Development of a Tropical Cyclone Tornado Parameter

Dr. Matthew D. Eastin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at UNC-Charlotte, recently (7/24/2012) gave a presentation to WFOs in the Carolinas on a situational awareness forecasting tool he is developing.   The tool is being designed to provide insight into the physical processes relevant to the formation of miniature supercells and tornadoes in the tropical cyclone (TC) environment.  Dr. Eastin’s motivation arises from the successful application of the Supercell Composite Parameter and the Significant Tornado Parameter in mid-latitude severe weather forecasting.  His experimental design incorporates examination of a TC environment climatology, identification of differences between TC tornado proximity soundings and non-proximity soundings, and the subsequent development of an effective TC Tornado Parameter (TCTP).   The following diagnostic variables are the major contributors to the TCTP:  0-1 km cell relative helicity (a.k.a. storm relative helicity in mid-latitude, non-TC tornado environments), 0-3 km shear, and mixed layer LCL.   The accompanying slides from Dr. Eastin’s presentation provide a snapshot of his TC tornado climatology and a summary of the parameter development up to this point.  The entire slide show is available at this link: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/ssd/erps/TCTP_Matt_Eastin.pdf

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