| The 10 February 1994 Oroville tornado, a case study - :14484 | National Weather Service (NWS)
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The 10 February 1994 Oroville tornado, a case study
  • Published Date:
    1995
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The  10 February 1994 Oroville tornado, a case study
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    United States, National Weather Service., Western Region,
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  • Description:
    An F2 tornado touched down in the northern portion of the Sacramento Valley on 10 February 1994 causing significant damage in Oroville, California. This study documents the event and explores the possibility that the storm had supercellular structures including a mesocyclone. A collision of mesoscale boundaries interacting in a low buoyancy environment acted as the focus for the development of the thunderstorm. A strong barrier jet along the west side of the Sierra Nevada acted to create strong storm-relative helicity in this environment. Dry air rotating around the base of an upper-level trough acted to destabilize the atmosphere allowing for an enhancement of the convection. The orientation of the Sacramento Valley is such that strong storm-relative helicity can be created, under certain synoptic conditions, which is sufficient to develop rotation in developing thunderstorms. Rotation was detected in the mid levels of this storm and was likely responsible for the development of the damaging F2 tornado.

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