E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology

E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology, Vol 4, No 1 (2009)

Font Size:  Small  Medium  Large

The Supercell Spectrum. Part II: A Semi-Objective Method for Radar Classification of Supercell Type

Kyle Beatty, Erik Rasmussen, Jerry Straka, Leslie Lemon


This paper describes a method for classifying supercells that relies partially upon a mixture of objective radar analysis and human analysis. The technique is used to ascertain the direction and distance of supercell precipitation core centroids from their updrafts. It is applied to a number of cases, and in this small sample the supercell centroids appeared to be segregated into locations upstream and downstream of the updraft, but not immediately beside the updraft. This suggests the spectrum of supercell precipitation morphologies may have modes that could be associated with the legacy categories of “HP” and “LP/Classic”. Based on this analysis, we suggest that supercell classification be radar-based and utilize the classes “forward reflectivity mode” and “rear reflectivity mode”.

Full Text: PDF HTML

E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology | ISSN 1559-5404 | Some Rights Reserved