Sensitivities of 1-km Forecasts of 24 May 2011 Tornadic Supercells to Microphysics Parameterizations
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Sensitivities of 1-km Forecasts of 24 May 2011 Tornadic Supercells to Microphysics Parameterizations

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  • Journal Title:
    Monthly Weather Review
  • Description:
    On 24 May 2011, Oklahoma experienced an outbreak of tornadoes, including one rated EF5 on the enhanced Fujita (EF) scale and two rated EF4. The extensive observation network in this area makes this an ideal case to examine the impact of using five different microphysics parameterization schemes, including single-, double-, and triple-moment microphysics, in an efficient high-resolution data assimilation system suitable for nowcasting and short-term forecasting with low latencies. Additionally, the real-time configuration of the 1-km ARPS, which assimilated increments produced by 3DVAR with cloud analysis using incremental analysis updating (IAU), had success providing a good baseline forecast. ARPS forecasts of 0–2 h are verified using observation-point, neighborhood, and object-based verification techniques. The object-based verification technique uses updraft helicity fields to represent mesocyclone centers, which are verified against tornado locations from three supercells of interest. Varying levels of success in the forecasts are found and appear to be dependent on the complexity of the storm interaction, with early forecasts of isolated storms exhibiting the most success. Verification scores indicate that the multimoment microphysics schemes tend to produce better forecasts of tornadic supercells. However, some of the forecasts from the single-moment microphysics schemes perform as well as or better than the forecasts from the multimoment microphysics schemes.
  • Source:
    Monthly Weather Review, 145(7), 2697-2721
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