This paper describes the climatology of tornadoes around New York City (NYC) and Long Island (LI), New York, and the structural evolution of two tornadic events that affected NYC on 8 August 2007 and 16 September 2010. Nearly half (18 of 34 events from 1950 to 2010) of NYC-LI tornadoes developed between 0500 and 1300 EDT, and August is the peak tornado month as compared to July for most of the northeast United States. A spatial composite highlights the approaching midlevel trough, moderate most unstable convective available potential energy (MUCAPE), and frontogenesis along a low-level baroclinic zone. Shortly before the early morning tornadoes on 8 August 2007, a mesoscale convective system intensified in the lee of the Appalachians in a region of low-level frontogenesis and moderate MUCAPE (~1500 J kg-1). Warm advection at low levels and evaporative cooling within an elevated mixed layer (EML) ahead of the mesoscale convective system (MCS) helped steepen the low-level lapse rates. Meanwhile, a surface mesolow along a quasi-stationary frontal zone enhanced the warm advection and low-level shear. The late afternoon event on 16 September 2010 was characterized by a quasi-linear convective system (QLCS) that also featured an EML aloft, a surface mesolow just west of NYC, low-level frontogenesis, and a southerly low-level jet ahead of an approaching midlevel trough. The QLCS intensified approaching NYC and generated mesovortices as the QLCS bowed outward. These cases illustrate the benefit of high-density surface observations, terminal Doppler radars, and sounding profiles from commercial aircraft for nowcasting these events.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science