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dc.contributor.authorProciv, Kathryn Aen_US
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-14T20:35:55Z
dc.date.available2014-03-14T20:35:55Z
dc.date.issued2012-04-30en_US
dc.identifier.otheretd-05092012-094035en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10919/32463
dc.description.abstractThat tornadoes cannot occur in mountains due to disruptive influences of the complex terrain is a common misperception. Multiple tornadoes occur each year in mountainous environments, including the Appalachian Mountains. Copious research examines the influences of complex terrain on large severe weather systems such as multicell convective systems and squall lines, but research is lacking investigating this same relationship for smaller-scale severe weather phenomena like supercells and tornadoes. This study examines how complex terrain may have influenced the rotational low-level wind fields of fourteen supercell thunderstorms in the Appalachians. The terrain variables include elevation, land cover, slope, and aspect. Using GIS mapping techniques, the individual storm tracks were overlaid onto elevation, land cover, slope, and aspect layers; points along the storm tracks were measured to correlate storm intensities with the underlying terrain. Hypotheses predict that lower elevations, areas of shallower slopes, agricultural land covers, and terrain features with a southeasterly orientation represent terrain variables that would enhance low-level rotation in the lower levels. Results indicate that elevation has a significant impact on storm rotational intensity, especially in mountainous regions. Lower and flatter elevations augment storm rotational intensity, and higher elevations decrease storm rotational intensity. Additionally, northern and western facing slopes exhibited a negative relationship to storm intensity. A qualitative examination revealed vorticity stretching to be evident in eight of the fourteen storms; with vorticity stretching evident on both southeasterly and northwesterly slopes. Future research on appropriate scale for storm-terrain interactions could reveal even stronger relationships between topography and supercell thunderstorms.en_US
dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.relation.haspartProciv_KA_T_2012.pdfen_US
dc.rightsI hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.en_US
dc.subjectGISen_US
dc.subjectterrain effectsen_US
dc.subjectsupercell thunderstormsen_US
dc.subjectAppalachian Mountainsen_US
dc.titleTerrain and Landcover Effects of the Southern Appalachian Mountains on the Low-Level Rotational Wind Fields of Supercell Thunderstormsen_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentGeographyen_US
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.levelmastersen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairCarstensen, Laurence William Jr.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKeighton, Stephen J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCarroll, David F.en_US
dc.identifier.sourceurlhttp://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-05092012-094035/en_US
dc.date.sdate2012-05-09en_US
dc.date.rdate2012-06-05
dc.date.adate2012-06-05en_US


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