Low-Level Cloud Features and Airflow of an Oklahoma Hailstorm

Randall R. Bensch Department of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman 73019

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John McCarthy Department of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman 73019

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Abstract

The low-level airflow and thermodynamic features of an Oklahoma hailstorm are explored using single-Doppler radar data and research aircraft measurements. Cloud structures at the base of the hailstorm are matched with the airflow in that part of the thunderstorm. A distinct discontinuity in the thermodynamic properties of the air reveals the existence of an outflow boundary in the form of a weak gust front. The nature of the airflow in the area of the gust front indicates that much of the inflow air is ascending over the gust frontal surface as it enters the storm updrafts.

Abstract

The low-level airflow and thermodynamic features of an Oklahoma hailstorm are explored using single-Doppler radar data and research aircraft measurements. Cloud structures at the base of the hailstorm are matched with the airflow in that part of the thunderstorm. A distinct discontinuity in the thermodynamic properties of the air reveals the existence of an outflow boundary in the form of a weak gust front. The nature of the airflow in the area of the gust front indicates that much of the inflow air is ascending over the gust frontal surface as it enters the storm updrafts.

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