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Rodger A. Brown

Abstract

Composite profiles of thermodynamic and kinematic variables are prepared to represent the characteristics of the environment within which a particular atmospheric phenomenon occurs. During the averaging process, it is desirable to retain the dominant features and associated gradients found in the individual profiles so that representative values of quantities such as flux parameters, energy budgets, convective available potential energy, and various stability indices can be computed from the composite profiles. The conventional compositing approach, where averages are computed at common heights, reduces or even smooths out a significant feature when the height and vertical extent of the feature differ from one individual profile to the next.

To retain a desirable feature in the composite profile, it is necessary to compute averages at the heights where the feature occurs and to compute the average height of the feature itself. As an example of the capabilities of this scaling or feature-preserving approach, the technique was applied to a set of 33 hodographs from supercell thunderstorm environments as documented in the literature. The feature-preserving technique retained realistic wind-shear values, including a midlatitude minimum-shear layer that disappeared when the conventional compositing technique was used.

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RODGER A. BROWN

Abstract

No Abstract Available.

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Rodger A. Brown
and
Rebecca J. Meitín

Abstract

During the late afternoon and early evening of 27 June 1989. Three splitting thunderstorms formed over Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the southern portion of the North Dakota Thunderstorm Project area. The first two storms are the subject of this study. The entire life cycles of both storms were documented using a single ground-based Doppler radar. Radar reflectivity signatures of updraft summits and Doppler velocity signatures of divergence near storm top were used to deduce updraft evolution within the storms. Dual-Doppler radar observations from a ground-based radar and an airborne Doppler radar provided fragmentary documentation of the storms’ life cycles.

The splitting storms on that day were unusual in two distinct ways: (a) the left members of the splitting storms were the dominant and longer-lasting ones, and (b) none of the deduced updrafts were collocated with centers of vorticity signatures that would have indicated updraft rotation. Both of the left-moving storms had 10 sequential primary updrafts, whereas their right-hand counterparts had 3 or 4 primary updrafts. Initial formation of the right-flank updrafts lagged behind the initial formation of the left-flank updrafts by 40–70 min. All the individual updraft summits moved in the general direction of the mean wind. Sequential updraft development on the left and right flanks of the storms suggested that expanding gust fronts provided the propagational component of storm motion.

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Vincent T. Wood
and
Rodger A. Brown

Abstract

Geometrical and mathematical relationships are developed to explain the variation with radar range of idealized single-Doppler velocity patterns of axisymmetric rotation and divergence regions. The velocity patterns become distorted as they approach a Doppler radar site. As a consequence, the apparent core diameters and locations of the centers of the features depart from the true values. Equations are derived to estimate the true values from the distorted Doppler velocity fields.

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Vincent T. Wood
,
Rodger A. Brown
, and
Donald W. Burgess

Abstract

Examination of 320 mesocyclones recorded by the National Severe Storms Laboratory's Doppler radars over Oklahoma and adjacent portions of Texas during 20 spring tornado seasons of 1971–90 shows that tornado-producing mesocyclones in this region typically travel farther and live longer than mesocyclones that do not produce tornadoes.

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Rodger A. Brown
,
Leslie R. Lemon
, and
Donald W. Burgess

Abstract

Doppler radar measurements in the Union City, Okla., tornadic storm of 24 May 1973 led to discovery of a unique tornadic vortex signature (TVS) in the field of mean Doppler velocity data. The distinct character of this signature and its association with the tornado are verified using a model that simulates Doppler velocity measurements through a tornado. Temporal and spatial variations of the TVS reveal previously unknown tornado characteristics. The TVS originates at storm mid-levels within a parent mesocyclone, descends to the ground with the tornado (extending vertically at least 10 km), and finally dissipates at all heights when the tornado dissipates. NSSL Doppler radar data from 1973 through 1976 reveal 10 signatures; eight were associated with tornadoes or funnel clouds, while no reports are available for the other two. Since the TVS first appears aloft tens of minutes before tornado touchdown, the signature has decided potential for real-time warning.

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Leslie R. Lemon
,
Donald W. Burgess
, and
Rodger A. Brown

Abstract

Single-Doppler Velocity data reveal that a dominant feature in the Union City, Okla., tornadic thunderstorm is a core mesocyclonic circulation, 2–6 km in diameter, extending to at least 9 km above ground. There is an apparent flow through the precipitation echo at low levels and divergence at high levels. Considerable similarity appears between mid-level flow structure around the mesocyclone core and that observed around a solid rotating cyclinder embedded in classical potential flow. As tornado time approaches, core circulation tangential velocities increase while diameter decreases. Simultaneously, the collapse of storm top and extensive echo overhang suggest updraft weakening.

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