Baseline Climatology of Sounding-Measured Variates Associated with Atlantic and Gulf Coast Tropical Cyclone Tornado Clusters
MetadataShow full metadata
Radiosonde sounding-measured variates are analyzed for 55 cases of tornado outbreaks associated with tropical cyclones from 1995-2010. We define a tropical cyclone tornado outbreak as six or more tornadoes occurring in a six-hour period. All the tornadoes are associated with a landfalling or post-landfall translating tropical cyclone. Previous studies have examined the role of the atmospheric environment in an individual tropical cyclone or individual tornado. An earlier study of these tropical cyclone tornado clusters produced a baseline climatology of stability and wind shear parameters. The goal of this study is to provide a climatology of sounding-measured variates for each tropical cyclone tornado outbreak. Sounding variates provide information on characteristics of the atmospheric column such as height of standard pressure surfaces, temperature, moisture, and winds. Descriptive statistics for the sounding-measured parameters are presented to document the central tendency and variability of atmospheric conditions associated with these outbreaks. A hierarchical cluster analysis produced three clusters with significant difference in the North/South wind parameter for cluster 3. A principal components analysis revealed that the north/south wind contributed significantly to the occurrence of tornado outbreaks with dew point contributing the least.