E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology

E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology, Vol 7, No 8 (2012)

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An 11-Year Radar-Based Study of Tornadic Thunderstorms over Central Oklahoma

Charles Matthew Kuster, Patrick Burke, Andrew A Taylor


In an 11-y period (2000–2010) 126 tornadoes affected central Oklahoma within a 111-km (60-nm) radius of the Twin Lakes, Oklahoma (KTLX) WSR-88D.  The tornadoes resulted in 265 injuries and 3 deaths.  This study used archived WSR-88D data to obtain information about storm characteristics such as mode, width, height, and measures of the mesocyclone, at the time of initial tornado formation.  The radar data provided information about the supercell spectrum and highlighted differences between tornado-producing supercells and tornado-producing quasi-linear convective systems (QLCSs), especially with respect to midlevel rotational velocity.  Warning lead-time information also was obtained and compared with the radar characteristics.  No specific radar attribute was strongly correlated with lead time, likely due to the multitude of variables involved in the tornado warning process.  A strong correlation did exist between lead time and storm mode.  Applying these findings in an operational environment similar to that found in central Oklahoma may enhance tornado warning performance.

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