This study examines the dynamics and predictability of the mesoscale convective vortex (MCV) of 10-13 June 2003 through ensemble forecasting. The MCV of interest developed from a preexisting upper-level disturbance over the southwest United States on 10 June and matured as it traveled northeastward. This event is of particular interest given the anomalously strong and long-lived nature of the circulation. An ensemble of 20 forecasts using a 2-way nested mesoscale model with horizontal grid increments of 30 and 10 km are employed to probabilistically evaluate the dynamics and predictability of the MCV. Ensemble mean and spread as well as correlations between different forecast variables at different forecast times are examined. It is shown that small-amplitude large-scale balanced initial perturbations may result in very large ensemble spread, with individual solutions ranging from a very strong MCV to no MCV at all. Despite similar synoptic-scale conditions, the ensemble MCV forecasts vary greatly depending on intensity and coverage of simulated convection, illustrating the critical role of convection in the development and evolution of this MCV. Correlation analyses reveal the importance of a preexisting disturbance to the eventual development of the MCV. It is also found that convection near the center of the MCV the day after its formation may be an important factor in determining the eventual growth of a surface vortex and that a stronger midlevel vortex is more conducive to convection, especially on the downshear side, consistent with the findings of previous MCV studies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science