Tornado outbreak in Indiana/Ohio

August 24th, 2016 |

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with SPC storm reports [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with SPC storm reports [click to play animation]

An outbreak of tornadoes (SPC storm reports) occurred during the afternoon/early evening hours of 24 August 2016 from central Indiana to northwestern Ohio (NWS Indianapolis | NWS Northern Indiana | NWS Cleveland). In terms of forcing mechanisms, while the supercell thunderstorms developed well in advance of a cold frontal boundary (surface analyses), GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images (above) showed a mesoscale convective vortex or MCV moving eastward across northern Illinois which may have played a role in helping to initiate convection. Moisture was also abundant across the region, with Total Precipitable Water (TPW) values as high as 53.1 mm or 2.1 inches on the 1200 UTC Lincoln IL rawinsonde report and 60.7 mm or 2.4 inches just east of the convection developing over central Indiana on the 1941 UTC Aqua MODIS TPW product (below).

Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) image and Total Precipitable Water product [click to enlarge]

Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) image and Total Precipitable Water product [click to enlarge]

A closer view of the 1841 UTC Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images (below) showed the thunderstorm complex over central Indiana just after the time of the first EF2-rated tornado in Montgomery County — the coldest cloud-top infrared brightness temperature was -80º C (violet color enhancement) over the southeastern portion of that county. In addition, an “enhanced-V” cloud top signature was evident over northeastern Clinton County — the next EF3-rated tornado formed just to the northeast in Howard County at 1920 UTC.

Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images [click to enlarge]

Aqua MODIS Visible (0.65 µm) and Infrared Window (11.0 µm) images [click to enlarge]

The GOES-13 (GOES-East) satellite had been placed into Rapid Scan Operations (RSO) mode, providing images as frequently as every 5-7 minutes — in the Visible (0.63 µm) images with plots of preliminary SPC storm reports of tornadoes (red) and hail/wind (cyan) shown below (also available as an MP4 animation), numerous overshooting tops can be seen. These overshooting tops were often in the vicinity of the parallax-corrected SPC storm reports (assuming a mean cloud top height of 12 km).

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with SPC storm reports of tornadoes in red and hail/wind in cyan [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Visible (0.63 µm) images, with SPC storm reports of tornadoes in red and hail/wind in cyan [click to play animation]

The corresponding GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images (below; also available as an MP4 animation) revealed cloud-top IR brightness temperatures as cold as -67º C (darker black enhancement) over Indiana at 1845 and 1855 UTC; the location of parallax-corrected preliminary SPC storm reports of tornadoes (white) and hail/wind (cyan) are also plotted on the images.

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images, with plots of SPC storm reports of tornadoes in white and hail/wind in cyan [click to play animation]

GOES-13 Infrared Window (10.7 µm) images, with plots of SPC storm reports of tornadoes in white and hail/wind in cyan [click to play animation]

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