Synoptic Climatology of Bell-Shaped Thunderstorms.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Eleven cases of bell-shaped thunderstorm occurrence are analyzed for characteristic features of synoptic patterns, vertical wind shear, and temperature and moisture stratification. Comparisons are made with certain well-documented supercell and multi-cell cases. A model synoptic pattern, sounding, and hodograph are presented. Major findings are The storms formed in a highly unstable environment just ahead of a dryline, often near a drylinefront intersection. A strong upper-level disturbance was not required to trigger the storms. The storms formed as isolated cells, often to the south of a broker line of existing storms, and often continued as isolated cells for several hours. Except for being slightly more unstable, the environment of the storms did not differ significantly from that of the supercells, but did differ significantly from that of the multi-cell storms. An intense updraft, and the absence of a water-loaded downdraft, may be responsible for many of the physical characteristics of the storms. Author