Investigating Features and Structure of Non-Convective High Wind Events

EarthzineOriginal, Spring 2013 VPS

Satellite map of New England. Image Credit: DEVELOP

Satellite map of New England. Image Credit: DEVELOP

Image Credit: DEVELOP

Author: Michelle Hogenmiller

Mentors/Advisers (affiliation): Dr. Timothy Eichler and Dr. Jack Fishman (St. Louis University)

Team Location: St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

Abstract: Intense extratropical cyclones are often associated with non-convective high winds, which have devastating economic and societal impacts. A summer 2012 study investigated the influence of stratospheric intrusions on the production of high surface winds for three recent events: the Oct. 26-27, 2010, Great Lakes event; the Oct. 29-30, 2011, early season Nor’easter; and the Jan. 2-3, 2012, United Kingdom storm. This study focused on investigating the mesoscale structure and cloud features associated with the Great Lakes event. Rapidly intensifying cyclones are commonly associated with tropopause folds, which can be identified by intrusions of subsiding warm, dry, ozone-rich air. Previously, NASA products were used to verify that the dry intrusions associated with these events contained large concentrations of ozone and therefore were stratospheric in origin. Additionally, a link was made between red regions in the Red-Green-Blue (RGB) Air Mass imagery and stratospheric air. The stratospheric air also was connected to strong, non-convective surface winds which occurred below the dry intrusion. Currently, only a synoptic analysis of these non-convective high wind events has been completed. This study analyzed mesoscale parameters to investigate the possible presence of the sting jet in the Midwest United States case study and determined whether the Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) Reanalysis data could adequately resolve and give additional information about cloud features linked to high surface winds. This study used NASA satellite products and MERRA reanalysis data to diagnose the mesoscale and dynamical structure of non-convective high wind events. This project also incorporated the use of the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imagery (SEVIRI), MODIS, AIRS, and experimental RGB Air Mass imagery derived from Aqua and Terra MODIS satellite products to diagnose the storm structure.