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CineX

Do Supercells Interact Destructively With Complex Terrain?

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Hy,

sometimes I read that supercells are much more common in flat regions than in terrain with complex topography. Is that right? Can supercells interact destructively with complex underlying terrain? (large hilly or mountainous terrain, large Mountain ridges, etc...?) I know that under right Conditions supercells can also form in complex terrain. But is there a trend, that supercells are less common /weaker in complex terrain due to the complex wind shear or other effects?

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Guest

My place in southern France has fairly close proximity both to the Pyrenees and the Massif Centrale - at times we get real humdinger storms and I have often wondered as to how much the topography contributes to this and I noticed earlier this year there was a tornado near Toulouse.

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I cant see this tbh, in the last few years of chasing in the US, There has been an EF4 - 1 Mile Wide Wedge at 5,500ft asl at Windsor which is a suberb of Denver just in front of the front range of the Rockies, the Greensburg EF5 Was also a quite a high elevation in SW Kansas. So I dont think Supercells or Tornadic Supercells are weaker due to elevation.

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@Keraunophile

Many thanks, thats exactly what I´m looking for ;-)

@all

Thanks for answering :-) What about West Virginia? Are there statistics available about the supercell frequenzy in West Virginia compared to other regions? I´ve heard, that supercells are rare in that region due to the complex terrain. West Virginia is surrounded by very complex topography.

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Wasn't there an F4 (old Scale) tornado in Wyoming at around 9,000ft in the late 80's? it also depends as hilly/mountainous area can cause strange effects take the Denver convergence vorticity zone that sprouts up tornadoes all the time caused by the rockies and not always with supercellular thunderstorms.

West Virginia is one of the least states to get hit by tornadoes, as you can see with this map:

original.jpg

There was the derecho that went through there a couple of weeks back:

20120629-derecho.png

It held its own through there the higher the elevation the dryer the air gets but when a cold front comes through it can carry the energy with it. These places don't generate the energy as efficiently and the wind patterns arn't always favourable as in a hilly area you get all sorts of wind patterns. I think its to do more with its elevation in the Appalations then how the terrain is scaped though as in the UK we get tornadoes all the time and we are a very hilly region.

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