Use of data from Meteosat water vapour channel and surface observations for studying pre-convective environment of a tornado-producing storm
ABSTRACT An alternative to the upper air sounding approach is used for assessing potential instability in the environment of a tornado-producing storm on 15 May 1999. The storm developed over a mountain area of the most southern part of Bulgaria located close to the Mediterranean coast. Hourly High Resolution Image (HRI) data in water vapour (WV) channel of Meteosat are used to identify the continuously decreasing of mid- and upper level humidity over the upstream area of the tornado location within 9 h prior to the severe weather event. During the same period, three hourly data from six synoptic stations (altitude range: 140–1920 m) showed increasing of temperature and humidity of the low-level air mass around the area of subsequent development of the convective storm.A new quantity referred to as Potential Instability WV Index (IWV) is proposed as a measure of potential for destabilisation of the air mass. The IWV uses a combination of two different data sources: thermodynamic parameters calculated from surface observations at synoptic stations; HRI Meteosat WV data (representative for water content in the middle and upper troposphere) averaged in an area of 7×7 pixels around the synoptic stations.Nine hours prior to the tornadic event, high and continuously increasing values of IWV are observed at the upstream area of the tornado release point where the pronounced ‘C’-shaped dark zone appeared in the imagery. The proposed WV Index is used in this study to reflect the potential instability in the pre-thunderstorm environment having moist surface air capped by a deep mid- to upper-tropospheric dry layer.
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ABSTRACT: The paper presents results that shed some more light on the mid- to upper-level dynamics, responsible for development of intense convection, as seen by satellite images in the water vapour channels. The study has also the ambition to help forecasters to improve their abilities in nowcasting strong convective events.In addition to the well-known upper-level dynamic structures visible in the 6.2 µm imagery, typical moisture boundaries related to mid-level jet streams can be distinguished in 7.3 µm images. About 20 cases of severe convection developing over southern Europe between 2004 and 2007 were studied. In 80% of the cases, a mid-level jet (MLJ) is present at about 600 or 700 hPa in a south-westerly flow. In these cases, the distinct MLJ boundary in 7.3 µm image grey shades is a signature for the presence of a low-level baroclinic zone–related to the MLJ origin–that plays a critical role in destabilisation of the atmosphere for intense convection.Images in the 7.3 µm and 6.2 µm channels are used to detect coupling between low- and mid-level conditions dynamics associated with intense convective developments. As a tool for water vapour imagery analysis in diagnosing this context, “dynamic wind shift”−defined as difference in the position of mid- and upper-level jets over a short distance, seen in the WV images−is considered. Two types of intense convective developments over the Mediterranean are distinguished, associated with “smooth” and “sharp” dynamic wind shift conditions, upstream of the zone of intense convection.Atmospheric Research 07/2009; 93(1):277-285. · 2.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The instability and unpredictability of future global energy markets necessitate the development of new alternative technical solutions to meet our continuously increasing energy demands. This rapid development has permanent consequences for the environment. This paper analyses several technical solutions and theoretical ideas concerning energy utilisation, i.e. for carbon-free electricity production. The ideas are discussed from theoretical and experimental perspectives. This review focuses on methods of production of an artificial vortex column in the surrounding atmosphere. Namely, convective vortices can be used as heat engines to convert available solar energy into mechanical work. Some of the proposed technical solutions deal with the ability to capture the mechanical energy and produce electricity. The discussion focuses on theoretical models and experimental results. The main aim of this study was to identify the state of the art. The conclusions presented herein may form a basis for further development of this alternative carbon-free concept of energy utilisation.Fuel and Energy Abstracts 02/2011; 36(2):1236-1242.