On August 31st, 2016, I was invited to attend and speak at the NWS Central Region (CR) Southeast SOO Group Meeting at WFO Indianapolis on the topic of our (WFO ILN — Wilmington, OH) experiences/research with non-supercell HSLC tornadoes and the use of the SHERB parameter in our operations to help diagnose environments more prone to producing HSLC tornado and damaging wind events. The CR Southeast SOO Group consists of SOOs from the following offices in Central Region:
- Jackson (KY)
- Lincoln (IL)
- St. Louis
- Springfield (MO)
- Kansas City
Before diving into SHERB and environment awareness, I wanted the group to see some of the radar-based research that has been done here at WFO ILN by one of our meteorologists, Andy Hatzos. Andy has taken this research to the Ohio State Severe Weather Symposium and the 2016 NWA Annual Meeting. I presented about half of Andy’s slide deck to the SOOs showing some of the rotational velocities, reflectivity characteristics, and other commonalities and challenges we see in the Ohio Valley, particularly during the cool season. Much of Andy’s work focuses on the use of FAA (TDWR) radar and some of the benefits and challenges of this data. This slide deck is available here in PDF format. This slide deck — and the challenges/questions it brings — is important to understand in context of what makes research like SHERB so important. The more situationally aware a meteorologist is to environments that can produce HSLC tornado and damaging wind events, the more effective the messaging will be in all formats — including social media, outlooks, decision-support briefings, and most importantly, warnings.
Andy’s presentation was an excellent segue into the importance of SHERB use in operations. Graciously, Keith Sherburn provided me a wealth of background slides on SHERB development and verification, to which I added some brief case events from the WFO ILN area. The slide deck I put together from several of Keith’s presentations is available here in PDF format.
The presentations were well received with good dialog and discussion – and I was thrilled to be able to present and discuss SHERB use outside the CSTAR footprint where it was developed. A hearty thank you to Keith and Andy for allowing me the opportunity to present their outstanding work. — Seth Binau (WFO ILN SOO)