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Zhiyong Meng, Lanqiang Bai, Murong Zhang, Zhifang Wu, Zhaohui Li, Meijuan Pu, Yongguang Zheng, Xiaohua Wang, Dan Yao, Ming Xue, Kun Zhao, Zhaoming Li, Siqi Peng, and Liye Li

Abstract

An EF4 supercellular tornado hit Funing County, Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, China, from about 1410 to 1500 local standard time 23 June 2016, causing 98 fatalities and 846 injuries. It was the deadliest tornado in the past 40 years in China. This paper documents the storm environment, evolution of the radar signatures, real-time operational tornado warning services, and the damage distribution during this event. The tornado was spawned from a supercell that developed ahead of an upper-level trough extending southwestward from a low pressure vortex in northeast China and dissipated following the occlusion of the tornado vortex. The radar-based rotational velocity of the mesocyclone peaked at 42.2 m s−1. The strength of the tornado vortex signature (gate-to-gate azimuthal radial velocity difference) peaked at 84.5 m s−1. Surface observations at 1-min intervals from a mesoscale network of in situ surface weather stations revealed the surface wind pattern associated with the mesocyclone, such as convergent and rotational flows. The tornado formed after the peak updraft strength of the supercell, producing a damage swath that was 34.5 km long and with a maximum width of 4.1 km. The review of the tornado warning process for this event reveals that there is much work to be done to develop operational tornado forecast and warning services for China.

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