This research quantifies the spatiotemporal statistics of composite radar reflectivity in the vicinity of severe thunderstorm reports. By using over 20 years (1996–2017) of data and 500,000 severe thunderstorm reports, this study presents the most comprehensive analysis of the mesoscale presentation of radar reflectivity composites during severe weather events to date. We first present probability matched mean composites of approximately 5,000 radar images centred on tornado reports that contain one of three types of manually‐labelled convective storm modes—namely, (a) quasi‐linear convective system (QLCS); (b) cellular; or (c) tropical system. Next, we generate composites for tornado report data stratified by EF‐scale and for four temporal periods during which notable severe weather events took place. The data are then stratified by hazard, region, season, and time of day. The results show marked spatiotemporal and intra‐hazard variability in radar presentation. In general, cellular convection is favoured in the Great Plains of the United States, whereas QLCS convection is favoured in the Southeast United States. Night and cool‐season subsets showed a preference for QLCS convection, whereas day and warm‐season subsets showed a preference for cellular convection. These results agree well with the existing literature and suggest that the data extraction and organization approach is sound. Because of this, these data will be useful for future image classification studies in climate and atmospheric sciences—particularly those involving storm mode classification.
Many studies have aimed to identify novel storm characteristics that are indicative of current or future severe weather potential using a combination of ground-based radar observations and severe reports. However, this is often done on a small scale using limited case studies on the order of tens to hundreds of storms due to how time-intensive this process is. Herein, we introduce the GridRad-Severe dataset, a database including ∼100 severe weather days per year and upward of 1.3 million objectively tracked storms from 2010 to 2019. Composite radar volumes spanning objectively determined, report-centered domains are created for each selected day using the GridRad compositing technique, with dates objectively determined using report thresholds defined to capture the highest-end severe weather days from each year, evenly distributed across all severe report types (tornadoes, severe hail, and severe wind). Spatiotemporal domain bounds for each event are objectively determined to encompass both the majority of reports and the time of convection initiation. Severe weather reports are matched to storms that are objectively tracked using the radar data, so the evolution of the storm cells and their severe weather production can be evaluated. Herein, we apply storm mode (single-cell, multicell, or mesoscale convective system storms) and right-moving supercell classification techniques to the dataset, and revisit various questions about severe storms and their bulk characteristics posed and evaluated in past work. Additional applications of this dataset are reviewed for possible future studies.more » « less
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- American Meteorological Society
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Monthly Weather Review
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- p. 2257-2277
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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