Modifications to the near-storm environment induced by simulated supercell thunderstorms

Christopher J. Nowotarski, Paul M. Markowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This study investigates the changes that simulated supercell thunderstorms impart on their surroundings. Supercells are simulated in a strongly sheared convective boundary layer comprising horizontal roll vortices. In sensitivity tests, the effects of cloud shading on the near-storm environment are explored through the removal of cloud ice, water, and hydrometeor effects on parameterized radiation. All of the simulated supercells increase the low-level shear in their proximal environment; however, this effect is more pronounced when cloud shading is included. Shading stabilizes the boundary layer beneath the cirrus anvil, diminishes boundary layer rolls and their attendant thermodynamic perturbations, and reduces the intensity of resolved turbulent mixing in the convective boundary layer. Anvil shading also acts to reduce the buoyancy of inflow air and the horizontal buoyancy gradient along the forward-flank outflow boundary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-293
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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