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Tornadogenesis In A HIGH-RESOLUTION Simulation of The 8 May 2003 Oklahoma City Supercell


A 50-m-grid-spacing Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS) simulation of the 8 May 2003 Oklahoma City tornadic supercell is examined. A 40-min forecast run on the 50-m grid produces two F3-intensity tornadoes that track within 10 km of the location of the observed long-track F4-intensity tornado. The development of both simulated tornadoes is analyzed to determine the processes responsible for tornadogenesis. Trajectory-based analyses of vorticity components and their time evolution reveal that tilting of low-level frictionally generated horizontal vorticity plays a dominant role in the development of vertical vorticity near the ground. This result represents the first time that such a mechanism has been shown to be important for generating near-surface vertical vorticity leading to tornadogenesis. A sensitivity simulation run with surface drag turned off was found to be considerably different from the simulation with drag included. A tornado still developed in the no-drag simulation, but it was much shorter lived and took a substantially different track than the observed tornadoes as well as the simulated tornadoes in the drag simulation. Tilting of baroclinic vorticity in an outflow surge may have played a role in tornadogenesis in the no-drag simulation.

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Accepted On
August 14, 2013
Fiscal Year
Publication Name
Journal of The Atmospheric Sciences
Published On
January 01, 2014
Final Online Publication On
January 01, 2014
Print Volume
Print Number
Page Range
Submitted On
February 25, 2013


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