Hook echoes and rear-flank downdrafts: A review

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Nearly 50 years of observations of hook echoes and their associated rear-flank downdrafts (RFDs) are reviewed. Relevant theoretical and numerical simulation results also are discussed. For over 20 years, the hook echo and RFD have been hypothesized to be critical in the tornadogenesis process. Yet direct observations within hook echoes and RFDs have been relatively scarce. Furthermore, the role of the hook echo and RFD in tornadogenesis remains poorly understood. Despite many strong similarities between simulated and observed storms, some possibly important observations within hook echoes and RFDs have not been reproduced in three-dimensional numerical models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)852-876
Number of pages25
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2002


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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