JULY 14-15, 1998 WARM SEASON CASE STUDY
US Weather Research Program (USWRP) and
NOAA/NEXRAD Radar Operations Center (ROC)
On July 14-15, 1998 a very unstable airmass over
the upper Midwest led to a severe weather event over Minnesota and
northern Iowa. The synoptic conditions were weak and a low level
jet of southerly flow brought very moist (mid 70s dewpoints) air
into central Minnesota. The system first developed over the higher
terrain of southwestern Montana and became loosely organized into
a N-S line as it propagated eastward. Upon encountering the enhanced
moisture over Minnesota the convection intensified and became highly
organized into an E-W line stretching across much of Minnesota.
For a period of about 12 hours, as the system sagged southward into
Iowa, the NEXRAD level II data exhibited characteristics typically
associated with severe weather: reflectivities in excess of 65 dBZ
(indicative of heavy rain and hail), small scale Doppler velocity
couplets in excess of 50 m/s differential (rotation), and strong
low-level Doppler velocities in excess of 30 m/s at the leading
edge of the storm (gust front). Numerous ground reports throughout
Minnesota and Iowa noted flash flooding, large hail (up to 10 cm
size), strong straight line winds (40 m/s) and a couple of F0 tornadoes.
The tornadoes were coincident in time and space to the Doppler velocity
couplets observed. The ground reports confirm that the NEXRAD level
II data were able to identify and track the severe weather associated
with this event.
Reflectivity swath consists of the maximum reflectivity value that
passed over each grid point, accumulated over a 48-hour time period
beginning on 0 UTC 14 July. Note N-S orientation and eastward propagation
of system over Montana and North Dakota followed by a reorientation
(E-W) and intensification over Minnesota.
Surface damage reports from Minnesota and Iowa for the event.
- Infrared satellite images for July 14 and 15. See Image
archive for July 14-15, 1998.
- Eta analysis at 300, 500, 700, and 850 mb at 0 and 12 UTC:
July 14 and
- Level II reflectivity and radial velocity plots from the Minneapolis
radar for July 14 at 2247 UTC and July
15 at 0120,
0221, and 0533 UTC.
over ND and SD (5 min/frame, 8h total)
over MN and IA (5 min/frame, 20h total)
over larger domain (5 min/frame, 48h total)
and low-level winds (1 h/frame)
mixing ratio, low, and mid-level shear (1 h/frame)
- WSR-88D Level II radar reflectivity
and radial velocity movies.