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JPA Cate 30-07-2020 21:59

Studying Super Storms & Comments
Hi, guys,

Jim put me onto this article this morning. I found the photographs and descriptions to be excellent--if scary.

So, I thought I'd share:

I'd have to add that I doubt one'd survive one of these at sea.


JPA Cate 31-07-2020 19:02

Re: Studying Super Storms & Comments
The article discusses the use of doppler radar to aid in the tracking of the behavior of the event; the presence of convection-available potential energy, how it accumulates, and what happens after it has done so; and there is a picture of a woman's hands holding a hailstone the size of a grapefruit. She saved it in her freezer. It is pretty gnarly.


leftbrainstuff 31-07-2020 19:09

Re: Studying Super Storms & Comments
Few boats have the speed to outrun or avoid big fast moving storms.

These days forecasting of major systems is much better. We see roughly 1 day more predictability every decade.

Radar is useful for seeing localized rain and you can use this info with some basic weather front and cloud knowledge to choose areas to avoid or wind changes that might be favourable withing the hour or less.

But if you're expecting radar to help you avoid large systems you should probably rethink this approach. Avoiding large systems is something you try to do before leaving the dock.

JPA Cate 01-08-2020 14:38

Re: Studying Super Storms & Comments
Hi, leftbrainstuff,

The Dopplers used in the article are on land, on trucks with stands or feet like large cranes, that they use to stabilize the trucks. They are placed throughout the region and are used to create three dimensional models of the building storms.

You are quite right that a sailboat would have little chance, with our toy radars, using it to avoid one of these mothers. They're too big. Our little radars, though, do "see" squalls, and we've used ours to skirt squalls. However, ours is "blinded" by too many returns, if we get inside the rain.

If you have time, I recommend reading the whole article. It really IS interesting.


barnakiel 01-08-2020 20:09

Re: Studying Super Storms & Comments
It is 4 in the morning here but I will read it first thing in the "morning". I have scanned the images quickly.

The radar is a typical thing used in this kind of study.

The hail head may have been hand formed. Beyond a size, large particles do not form, however hail is probably the biggest meteor known to meteorologists. I will try to look thru some sources and tell what is the biggest size noted by researchers.

On a small scale, a super storm may happen when two lows merge. But I believe reading about hurricane grade storms merging too. Godzilla storms ... yak. Hurts to imagine.

THANK YOU for sharing !!!


barnakiel 01-08-2020 20:12

Re: Studying Super Storms & Comments

Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff (Post 3198929)


Avoiding large systems is something you try to do before leaving the dock.

In a short passage yes can be done. Further off you can only lessen the probability.

The super tricky thing in this case are the tails of the distribution. Aka black swans - rare, but existing, bad storms right during the 'best' or safest' season.

Think of an Atlantic hurricane in January, etc.


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