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Lecture Series Slide SPC OU

We present a video lecture series on severe thunderstorm forecasting, a collaboration between the NOAA Storm Prediction Center, The University of Oklahoma, the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, and the NOAA Warning Decision Training Division. This is based on a three-semester-hour graduate-level course offered at The University of Oklahoma about applications of meteorological theory to the forecasting of severe thunderstorms (Meteorology 5403/4403: Applications of Meteorological Theory to Severe-Thunderstorm Forecasting). This course is led by SPC forecasters Ariel Cohen and Richard Thompson, and University of Oklahoma faculty member Steven Cavallo. During each spring semester from 2015 to 2017, this course has provided an opportunity to bridge the academic and operational disciplines of meteorology, allowing students to learn from experienced forecasters who have performed research on a variety of topics. During spring 2017, many lectures comprising Meteorology 5403/4403 and other related lectures relevant to severe thunderstorm forecasting were recorded. YouTube links to these recordings and accompanying descriptions are provided below as an educational resource.

Credit for recording and editing these videos goes to Ben Holcomb and Shawn Riley of The University of Oklahoma. OU student Daniel Cornish reviewed and edited most closed captions, and substantial appreciation is extended to OU graduate student Andrew Moore who served as a teaching assistant for Meteorology 5403/4403 during spring semester 2017. Keli Pirtle, NOAA Communications public affairs specialist, and James Murnan, NOAA Weather Partners audio/visual production specialist, both contributed assistance in the preparation and outreach for this video series.

All videos are closed captioned.
Additional videos will be available by July 2017.

Quick Links to Sections:

  • Severe Thunderstorm Ingredients
  • Homework Review
  • Mesoscale Convective System Motion
  • Dual-Pol Radar Application
  • Perturbation Pressure
  • Supercells and Tornadoes
  • Forecasting Fire Weather
  • Severe Thunderstorm Ingredients (Top)

    Video Name: Severe Thunderstorm Ingredients
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen discusses the main ingredients for organized severe thunderstorms, including moisture, rising air, instability, and vertical wind shear.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/MStOxD_TQ_Y

    Video Name: Lapse Rate Tendency Equation
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen presents the derivation of the lapse rate tendency equation using the principle of conservation of mass, and then discusses the physical meaning of each term in the lapse rate tendency equation.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/2iNtFJ3neIQ

    Video Name: Conservation of Mass
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen shows the mathematical relationship between changes in pressure and divergence using the conservation of mass.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/AgPLFR1D6KY

    Video Name: Moisture and the Return Flow Cycle
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: Thompson discusses air mass modification and the return flow cycle and how it applies to forecasting severe thunderstorms.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/d9wKfyb7cbo

    Video Name: Effects of Inland Mixing on Moisture
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: Thompson discusses the effects underlying land conditions have on inland moisture return.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/FDfD60jl9fQ

    Video Name: Effects of Evapotranspiration
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: Thompson discusses the effects of evapotranspiration on low-level moisture.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/FJGDnJ1o_3Y

    Video Name: Source and Evolution of Lapse Rates
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: Thompson discusses the source regions and evolution of lapse rates that result in favorable instability for severe thunderstorm development.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/6Tt2ro-Ed0A

    Video Name: Synoptic Influences on Vertical Wind Shear
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: Thompson discusses how synoptic scale processes influence favorable vertical wind shear for organized severe thunderstorms.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/ySHuZxrYP4s

    Video Name: Jet Streaks and Vertical Wind Shear
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: Thompson focuses on a conceptual model of jet streaks and how the movement of air through a jet streak influences the deep-layer wind profile.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/Abf1Q2VLUTs

    Video Name: Lee Cyclogenesis and Vertical Wind Shear
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: Thompson discusses the necessary conditions for lee cyclogenesis and its implications on the deep-layer wind profile, specifically on its intensification of the low-level jet.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/CZH9_awxUWY

    Video Name: Synoptic Lift Sources
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: Thompson discusses sources of synoptic scale lift, how it affects the near-storm environment, and its relation to convective initiation.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/rhTIorvcjXw

    Video Name: Mesoscale Lift and the Dryline
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: Thompson discusses mesoscale lift, specifically the vertical circulation of the dryline, and how a conceptual model can be used to estimate the likelihood of thunderstorm development.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/4LKx_YOTIlc

    Homework Review (Top)

    Video Name: Homework Review
    Lecturer: Andrew Moore
    Description: Moore discusses the solutions to the first homework problem set, which included questions involving positively and negatively tilted troughs, surface cyclogenesis, mesoscale and synoptic scale lift related to convective initiation, and identifying areas of low-level ascent.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/o2mKwERp4x8

    Mesoscale Convective System Motion (Top)

    Video Name: Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) Motion
    Lecturer: Andrew Moore
    Description: Moore discusses the basic characteristics of an MCS, how to forecast MCS motion, and the factors that influence MCS motion.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/kcrZDS_hSDw

    Dual-Pol Radar Applications (Top)

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: Overview
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: Picca provides an overview of the dual-polarization variables and their operational uses, creating a foundation for this radar training series.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/rCXlg3sYQhQ

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: ZDR Columns/Updraft Detection
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: This dual-pol signature gives you the ability to track updrafts and monitor their evolution with more confidence.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/A1WR2LkYe70

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: Size Sorting/Updraft Detection
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: What is the hydrometeor size sorting signature and how can you use it to predict near-term thunderstorm trends? Check it out!
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/oD1bfv7VO_k

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: ZDR Arcs/Detection of Increasing Low-Level Rotation Potential
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: This radar signature uses the unique footprint of raindrop size sorting to reveal an increasing potential for low- and mid-level rotation in thunderstorms.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/Mdee9iuJOVE

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: Large Hail Signature
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: Use dual-pol data to gain even more confidence regarding the location of the largest hail within thunderstorms.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/jF8lZMvPcFg

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: Tornadic Debris Signature (TDS)
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: This powerful dual-polarization signature gives us the ability to confirm a recent or ongoing tornado. However, TDS diagnosis must be done with great caution, and this video provides some tips to do so.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/RKUP46UE-1I

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: Side Lobe Contamination
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: Side lobe contamination doesn’t sound very interesting, but it can wreak havoc with radar interrogation of potentially tornadic storms. Here’s a description of side lobe contamination and some tips on how to spot it.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/CxHypXmICJM

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: Three-Body Scatter Spike (Hail Spike) Signature
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: The hail spike signature is fairly common in severe thunderstorms. However, did you know it can also interfere with velocity signatures, occasionally producing false indications of rotation? Use dual-pol data to identify this problem and improve your radar interpretation skills!
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/w7HWGtETDQg

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: Melting Layer Identification
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: Heavy precipitation or high reflectivity due to melting snowflakes? Rain about to switch to snow? Here’s how dual-pol data can help your analysis.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/qtSenCoVClI

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: Transition Zones / Re-Freezing (Sleet) Signatures
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: Snow? Sleet? Freezing Rain? Don’t fear the wintry mix! Use dual-pol data to decipher an array of precipitation types.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/sq5hNNps2Ao

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: Heavy Snow Identification
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: When heavy snow threatens your area, dual-pol data can highlight snow crystal processes (such as crystal growth and aggregation) that can enhance snowfall rates.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/MPGH19MlzHQ

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: Depolarization / Increasing Lightning Potential
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: Did you know dual-pol data can identify strengthening in-cloud electrification and a growing potential for lightning in winter storms? Here’s how!
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/qe1oUZu0Z4o

    Video Name: Dual-Pol Radar: Light Winter Precipitation
    Lecturer: Joey Picca
    Description: Light winter precipitation may seem harmless, but it can still have big impacts. Use subtle dual-pol details to target the areas of most concern.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/Aiowi18_Ono

    Perturbation Pressure (Top)

    Video Name: Perturbation Pressure Part 1: Introduction
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen introduces the individual components of the perturbation pressure equation and how it can be obtained from the Boussinesq equations of motion.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/KXhv679HCbQ

    Video Name: Perturbation Pressure Part 2: The Hydrodynamic Non-Linear Shear Term
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen presents the physical implications of the hydrodynamic non-linear shear term on the flanking sides of an initial updraft.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/mNTyAiPS3zc

    Video Name: Perturbation Pressure Part 3: Vorticity and Storm Relative Helicity
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen discusses the implications of crosswise and streamwise vorticity on the development of rotating updrafts. He also introduces the equation to find storm relative helicity.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/3RJnTbZ3CSI

    Video Name: Perturbation Pressure Part 4: Crosswise and Streamwise Vorticity
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen continues to discuss why streamwise vorticity is more favorable for tornadogenesis by analyzing the change in horizontal vorticity over time.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/TgJBo7H767s

    Video Name: Perturbation Pressure Part 5: Hydrodynamic Non-Linear Fluid Extension Term
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen discusses the physical implications of the hydrodynamic non-linear fluid extension term on the flanking sides of an initial updraft.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/UfpRZ6EWAxY

    Video Name: Perturbation Pressure Part 6: Summary of Non-Linear Terms
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen summarizes the physical implications of the hydrodynamic non-linear shear and fluid extension terms on the flanking sides of an initial updraft.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/VPM1RdNqicY

    Video Name: Perturbation Pressure Part 7: Linear Term and a Straight Hodograph
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen discusses the hydrodynamic linear term of the perturbation pressure equation and its implication on cell propagation in a straight hodograph case.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/DaaV9Dlud_k

    Video Name: Perturbation Pressure Part 8: Linear Term and a Curved Hodograph
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen discusses the physical implications of the hydrodynamic linear term in the case of a curved hodograph.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/bPs-sEj7uz0

    Video Name: Perturbation Pressure Part 9: Linear Term and a Second Curved Hodograph
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen presents another example of a curved hodograph to show the physical implications of the hydrodynamic linear term.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/fpOQ_J8OsJg

    Video Name: Perturbation Pressure Part 10: Summary of Perturbation Pressure and Bunkers Storm Motion
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen reviews the terms of the perturbation pressure equation and their effects on the flanking sides of an initial updraft. Bunkers supercell storm motion is also introduced in this video.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/by8CNokCz38

    Supercells and Tornadoes (Top)

    Video Name: Supercell Characteristics
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: In this instructional video Thompson describes the ingredients and physical processes for supercell formation including buoyancy, shear, and vorticity.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/4smGcIOfHjQ

    Video Name: Non-Mesocyclonic Tornadoes
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: In this instructional video Thompson discusses the physical processes for non-mesocyclonic tornadoes.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/7-0p3SymW2k

    Video Name: Mesocyclonic Tornadoes
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: In this NWS instructional video Thompson presents the physical processes for mesocyclonic (supercell) tornadoes.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/CSdw3qP_kgs

    Video Name: Supercell Composite Parameter
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: Thompson discusses the Supercell Composite Parameter (SCP) in this instructional video for the NWS.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/QO0AB74Tig4

    Video Name: Significant Tornado Parameter
    Lecturer: Rich Thompson
    Description: In this instructional video for the NWS, Thompson presents information on the use of the Significant Tornado Parameter (STP) for severe weather forecasting.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/oGroevljaWQ

    Forecasting Fire Weather (Top)

    Video Name: Forecasting Fire Weather in the United States
    Lecturer: Ariel Cohen
    Description: Cohen discusses an ingredients-based approach to fire weather forecasting.
    YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/Xy9AdUaUynU

    Weather Topics:
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    Page last modified: May 16, 2017
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