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Robert R. Hoffman
,
Mark Detweiler
,
Jane A. Conway
, and
Kevin Lipton

Abstract

This article is intended to facilitate discussion of issues related to the use of color in new meteorological displays. Given the proliferation of new graphics display capabilities (e.g., overlays, animation, the combination of statistical models or numerical fields with satellite images, etc.) and new information sources (e.g., Doppler radar, wind profilers, etc.), the challenge of using color effectively without interfering with users’ abilities to interact with these systems has never been greater. Psychological and ergonomic research on the perception and interpretation of colored graphical displays is reviewed not only to ferret out recommendations but to disclose the design issues raised for meteorology. In addition to relying on tradition and consensus on meteorological symbology and the use of color, an iterative empirical strategy is recommended to help establish whether candidate color schemes could result in interpretation problems when applied to actual meteorological data.

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Brian Tang
,
Matthew Vaughan
,
Ross Lazear
,
Kristen Corbosiero
,
Lance Bosart
,
Thomas Wasula
,
Ian Lee
, and
Kevin Lipton

Abstract

The 22 May 2014 Duanesburg, New York, supercell produced an enhanced Fujita scale category 3 (EF3) tornado and 10-cm-diameter hail. The synoptic setup for the event was ambiguous compared to other documented cases of Northeast tornadoes. Mesoscale inhomogeneities due to terrain and baroclinic boundaries played a key role in the evolution and severity of the storm. The storm initiated at the intersection of an outflow boundary and a north–south-oriented baroclinic boundary. The mesocyclone was able to sustain itself as a result of sufficiently large amounts of low-level streamwise vorticity near the boundary despite subcritical values of 0–6-km vertical wind shear. Differential heating across the north–south-oriented boundary strengthened the pressure gradient across it. Strengthening ageostrophic flow across the boundary induced greater upslope flow along the southeastern slope of the Adirondack Mountains and induced terrain channeling up the Mohawk River valley. The channeling led to a maximum in moisture flux convergence and instability in the Mohawk valley. As the supercell moved into the Mohawk valley, radar and lightning data indicated a rapid intensification of the storm. Cold temperatures aloft due to the presence of an elevated mixed layer (EML) coincided with the surface instability to yield a local environment in the Mohawk valley favorable for extremely large hail. As the storm crossed the boundary, large values of 0–1-km wind shear, streamwise vorticity, and low lifting condensation levels combined to create a local environment favorable for tornadogenesis.

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