Observations of the surface boundary structure within the 23 may 2007 perryton, texas, supercell

Patrick S. Skinner, Christopher C. Weiss, John L. Schroeder, Louis J. Wicker, Michael I. Biggerstaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

In situ data collected within a weakly tornadic, high-precipitation supercell occurring on 23 May 2007 near Perryton, Texas, are presented. Data were collected using a recently developed fleet of 22 durable, rapidly deployable probes dubbed "StickNet" as well as four mobile mesonet probes. Kinematic and thermodynamic observations of boundaries within the supercell are described in tandem with an analysis of data from the Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching Radar. Observations within the rear-flank downdraft of the storm exhibit large deficits of both virtual potential temperature and equivalent potential temperature, with a secondary rear-flank downdraft gust front trailing the mesocyclone.A primarily thermodynamic boundary resided across the forward-flank reflectivity gradient of the supercell. This boundary is characterized by small deficits in virtual potential temperature coupled with positive perturbations of equivalent potential temperature. The opposing thermodynamic perturbations appear to be representative of modified storm inflow, with a flux of water vapor responsible for the positive perturbations of the equivalent potential temperature. Air parcels exhibiting negative perturbations of virtual potential temperature and positive perturbations of equivalent potential temperature have the ability to be a source of both baroclinically generated streamwise horizontal vorticity and greater potential buoyancy if ingested by the low-level mesocyclone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3730-3749
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume139
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • In situ observations
  • Supercells
  • Tornadoes

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