NWC REU 2005
May 30 - August 6



Determining Environmental Parameters Most Important for Significant Cool Season Tornadoes across the Gulf Coastal States

Kar'retta Venable, David Imy, and Jared Guyer



The purpose of this study is to derive a set of parameters for improved forecasting of significant cool season tornado occurrences in the Gulf coastal states during the period from mid November through mid February. It is important to examine these tornado events because they are characterized by strong shear and weaker instability than the more typical warm season tornado events. These cool season tornado occurrences are rare, which makes them more difficult to forecast. When cold season tornadoes do occur, they tend to be of the stronger variety due to the strong vertical shear. This makes it important to analyze these tornado events since the chance for loss of life is greater with strong tornadoes. The study is based on six cool seasons from 1998 and 2004 and examined F2 and stronger tornado events. Temperatures, dew points and wind data was examined at various levels to see which, if any, parameters were better discriminators for these types of events.

Full Paper [PDF]