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Title: Environmental and Radar Characteristics of Gargantuan Hail-Producing Storms
Abstract Storms that produce gargantuan hail (defined here as ≥ 6 inches or 15 cm in maximum dimension), although seemingly rare, can cause extensive damage to property and infrastructure, and cause injury or even death to humans and animals. Currently, we are limited in our ability to accurately predict gargantuan hail and detect gargantuan hail on radar. In this study, we analyze the environments and radar characteristics of gargantuan hail-producing storms to define the parameter space of environments in which gargantuan hail occurs, and compare environmental parameters and radar signatures in these storms to storms producing other sizes of hail. We find that traditionally used environmental parameters used for severe storms prediction, such as most unstable convective available potential energy (MUCAPE) and 0–6 km vertical wind shear, display considerable overlap between gargantuan hail-producing storm environments and those that produce smaller hail. There is a slight tendency for larger MUCAPE values for gargantuan hail cases, however. Additionally, gargantuan hail-producing storms seem to have larger low-level storm-relative winds and larger updraft widths than those storms producing smaller hail, implying updrafts less diluted by entrainment and perhaps maximizing the liquid water content available for hail growth. Moreover, radar reflectivity or products derived from it are not different from cases of smaller hail sizes. However, inferred mesocyclonic rotational velocities within the hail growth region of storms that produce gargantuan hail are significantly stronger than the rotational velocities found for smaller hail categories.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1661679
NSF-PAR ID:
10279374
Author(s) / Creator(s):
;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Weather Review
ISSN:
0027-0644
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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