The 12 May 2010 supercell thunderstorm intercepted by the Second Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX2) is analyzed during a time period of strong low-level rotation in which dual-Doppler radar observations were collected. Two different cyclonic vortices are documented. The first vortex was ''marginally tornadic'' before abruptly weakening, following the development of a descending reflectivity core (DRC) similar to those that have been documented in past studies of supercells. The second vortex rapidly developed immediately north of the DRC shortly after the DRC reached low altitudes, and was associated with a tornado that produced damage near Clinton, Oklahoma. The paper explores the possible roles of the first vortex in triggering the DRC, the DRC in the subsequent initiation of a new updraft pulse on its flank, and the updraft pulse on the development of the second, stronger vortex. The Clinton storm case is, unfortunately, a nice example of the challenges in predicting tornadogenesis within supercell storms even in environments understood to be favorable for tornadoes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science