Patrick Skinner, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, The University of Oklahoma

High-Resolution Ensemble Analyses of Tornadogenesis in the 31 May 2013 El Reno, Oklahoma Supercell

Louis Wicker, Howard Bluestein, Jeffrey Snyder, and Kyle Thiem


This study uses LETKF data assimilation of rapid-scan Doppler radar data to retrieve the three-dimensional wind and thermodynamic state of a supercell thunderstorm in central Oklahoma occurring 31 May 2013. Analyses are produced by assimilating data collected by a mobile, rapid-scan, X-band, polarimetric radar (RaXPol) and S-band, phased-array radar (MPAR) prior to, and during the genesis of an intense tornado.

Ensemble analyses are produced with 500-m horizontal grid spacing at 1-minute intervals from 18 minutes prior to tornado development through the first 10 minutes of the tornado lifecycle. Analyses are examined to identify storm-scale kinematic precursors to tornadogenesis, which are then compared with the high-resolution polarimetric data to diagnose radar signatures of the kinematic features.

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