Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A climatology of fatal tornadic and non-tornadic convective wind events by storm type in the United States: 1998–2007
by Schoen, Joseph Matthew, M.S., Northern Illinois University, 2009, 97; 1468052
Abstract (Summary)

There are still hundreds of casualties produced by thunderstorm hazards each year in the U.S. despite the many recent advances in prediction and mitigation of convective storms. Of all thunderstorm hazards, convective winds (tornadic and non-tornadic) remain one of the most dangerous threats to life and property. Analysis of the morphology of all fatal tornadic and non-tornadic convective wind storms throughout the decade of 1998-2007 in the U.S. revealed a variety of different storm types that were classified as unorganized cellular, quasi-organized cellular (either a cluster of cells or a broken line of cells), organized cellular (supercells and supercells embedded in an organized linear system), or organized linear (either squall lines or bow echoes). Results illustrate that over 90% of the 634 recorded fatal tornadoes are associated with supercells, with 78.4% isolated supercells and 12.1% supercells embedded within an organized linear storm. The morphologies responsible for the 191 fatal non-tornadic convective wind storms vary substantially, with bow echoes (24%), squall lines (19%), and clusters of cells (19%) the most prominent. Unorganized and quasi-organized convection comprised nearly half (44.5%) of all non-tornadic convective wind fatalities. Over half of all fatal tornadoes (53.3%) occurred between 6pm and 12am CST, and most (59.2%) fatalities from non-tornadic convective wind occurred in the afternoon between 12pm and 6pm CST. Three corridors of fatalities for non-tornadic convective wind were present: through the lower Great Lakes region, in the Mid South, and along the Eastern Seaboard. Tornado fatalities were greatest in a zone extending from southeastern Missouri, through western Tennessee, northeastern Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. These results may aid in the further development of storm classification schemes and provide forecasters with critical information to assist in the creation and implementation of convective wind mitigation strategies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ashley, Walker S.
Commitee: Bentley, Mace L., Changnon, David
School: Northern Illinois University
Department: Geography
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 48/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Geography, Atmospheric sciences
Keywords: Classification, Climatology, Convective, Fatalities, Tornadoes, Wind
Publication Number: 1468052
ISBN: 978-1-109-32397-9
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