High Winds Generated by Bow Echoes. Part I: Overview of the Omaha Bow Echo 5 July 2003 Storm during BAMEX

Wakimoto, Roger M.; Murphey, Hanne V.; Nester, Albert; Jorgensen, David P.; Atkins, Nolan T.
October 2006
Monthly Weather Review;Oct2006, Vol. 134 Issue 10, p2793
Academic Journal
An analysis of a bow echo that produced damaging winds exceeding F1 in intensity on the Fujita scale near Omaha, Nebraska, is shown. Part I of this study presents a combination of airborne Doppler-derived wind syntheses with a comprehensive damage survey in order to document the generation of strong winds at the surface. A detailed kinematic analysis of the evolution of a quasi-linear convective system into a bow-shaped and, subsequently, a spearhead echo is shown for the first time. It is hypothesized that a large, cyclonic bookend vortex (70–80 km in diameter) north of the bow apex enhanced the rear-inflow jet and initiated the “bowing process.” A hook-shaped echo and mesovortex formed at the apex of a bowed segment of the convective line and was located to the north of the swath of strong damage rated greater than F1 in damage intensity. The peak single-Doppler radial velocity recorded by the tail radar was 43 m s-1 in the low-level outflow near the apex of the bow echo. The regions of the strongest single-Doppler velocities at the lowest grid level were not always associated with the most intense damage at the surface. This discrepancy may be related to the development of a stable nocturnal boundary layer that prevented the strong outflow winds from reaching the surface. An intensifying rear-inflow jet was revealed in vertical cross sections through the bow echo. The relationship between mesovortices and strong surface winds is examined in Part II.


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