Mobile mesonet observations on 3 May 1999

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Abstract

Two long-lived tornadic supercells were sampled by an automobile-borne observing system on 3 May 1999. The "mobile mesonet" observed relatively warm and moist air, weak baroclinity, and small pressure excess at the surface within the rear-flank downdrafts of the storms. Furthermore, the downdraft air parcels, which have been shown to enter the tornado in past observational and modeling studies, were associated with substantial convective available potential energy and small convective inhibition. The detection of only small equivalent potential temperature deficits (1-4 K) within the downdrafts may imply that the downdrafts were driven primarily by nonhydrostatic pressure gradients and/or precipitation drag, rather than by the entrainment of potentially cold environmental air at midlevels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-444
Number of pages15
JournalWeather and Forecasting
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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