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Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

Topographic Influences on Storm Motion

Supercellular convective storms are particularly difficult to forecast in the short term. The rotation of the storm induces local vertical pressure changes that cause the storms to move away from the mean wind. It has been suggested that topography can have an influence the wind profile the storm “sees” due to channeling of low level winds by valleys. The changes in storm movement are suggested to be due to changes in the rotation rate of the storm. Topographically enhanced areas will be identified using the Severe Plot software for plotting the locations of tornadoes. For these events WSR-88D Doppler radar data was downloaded and analyzed. Using available surface data, wind profiles were modified to reflect the localized low-level channeling. Storm motion is then compared to Doppler radar observation of the corresponding event.

Presenter: Baylee Balschmiter (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Earth Science
Location: 306 Lennon
Time: 9 am (Session I)