Doppler radar analysis of a tornadic miniature supercell during the landfall of typhoon Mujigae (2015) in South China

On 4 October 2015, a miniature supercell embedded in an outer rainband of Typhoon Mujigae produced a major tornado in Guangdong province of China, leading to 4 deaths and up to 80 injuries. This study documents the structure and evolution of the tornadic miniature supercell using coastal Doppler radars, a sounding, videos, and a damage survey. This tornado is rated at least EF3 on the enhanced Fujita scale. It is by far the strongest typhoon rainband tornado yet documented in China, and possessed double funnels near its peak intensity.Radar analysis indicates that this tornadic miniature supercell exhibited characteristics similar to those found in United States landfalling hurricanes, including a hook echo, low-level inf low notches, an echo top below 10 km, a small and shallow mesocyclone, and a long lifespan (3 h). The environmental conditionswhich consisted of moderate convective available potential energy (CAPE), a low lifting condensation level, a small surface dewpoint depression, a large veering low-level vertical wind shear, and a large cell-relative helicityare favorable for producing miniature supercells. The mesocyclone, with its maximum intensity at 2 km above ground level (AGL), formed an hour before tornadogenesis. A tornado vortex signature (TVS) was identified between 1 and 3 km AGL, when the parent mesocyclone reached its peak radar-indicated intensity of 30 m s(-1). The TVS was located between the updraft and forward-flank downdraft, near the center of the mesocyclone. Dual-Doppler wind analysis reveals that tilting of the low-level vorticity into the vertical direction and subsequent stretching by a strong updraft were the main contributors to the mesocyclone intensification.

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Author Zhao, Kun
Wang, Mingjun
Xue, Ming
Fu, Peiling
Yang, Zhonglin
Chen, Xiaomin
Zhang, Yi
Lee, Wen-Chau
Zhang, Fuqing
Lin, Qing
Li, Zhaohui
Publisher UCAR/NCAR - Library
Publication Date 2017-09-01T00:00:00
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Topic Category geoscientificInformation
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Metadata Date 2023-04-14T21:04:43.321577
Metadata Record Identifier edu.ucar.opensky::articles:21110
Metadata Language eng; USA
Suggested Citation Zhao, Kun, Wang, Mingjun, Xue, Ming, Fu, Peiling, Yang, Zhonglin, Chen, Xiaomin, Zhang, Yi, Lee, Wen-Chau, Zhang, Fuqing, Lin, Qing, Li, Zhaohui. (2017). Doppler radar analysis of a tornadic miniature supercell during the landfall of typhoon Mujigae (2015) in South China. UCAR/NCAR - Library. http://n2t.net/ark:/85065/d7bk1fxz. Accessed 03 June 2023.

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