DISCUSSION: As of later yesterday evening and the later night-time hours of Sunday (3 June 2018), there were two distinct convective thunderstorm complexes occurring across portions of both central and eastern Texas. During the course of the evolution of the respective severe thunderstorm complexes which evolved into bowing thunderstorm complexes most often referred to as being mesoscale convective system’s (or MCS’s) these two bowing thunderstorm complexes were on such a trajectory which took them closer and closer to one another as the night progressed. In fact, as time went on, it became increasingly clear that the respective MCS’s were going to collide into one another. Although that reality was fairly certain, one of the primary questions was how this thunderstorm complex collision was going to affect and ultimately influence the intensity and duration of the respective areas of convective storms.
In light of the ongoing progress of the GOES-16 or the GOES–East satellite imager products, there is an even more cutting-edge level of insight which has been made possible now. This newer level of scientific insight has been made possible by GOES-East’s Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) imager. The GLM is a product which observes and archives data pertaining to lightning strikes both from a vertical and a horizontal perspective. The GLM gives a state-of-the-art on the evolution of severe weather it since it allows to gain a better understanding for how particular storms or storm complexes evolve with time during their lifetime.
In addition, this also substantiates how atmospheric scientists and operational forecasters can analyze how a given storm’s severe weather threats evolve during their existence. In the fairly recent example attached above, note how the lightning density count increased notable as the respective thunderstorm storm complexes approached each other and even more so as they merged. However, what you cannot clearly see is that once the respective MCS’s merged, the lightning substantially dropped off in frequency since the interacting updraft cores interacted and likely affected the angle at which the respective updrafts were positioned. More specifically, as the respective MCS’s collided, this collision most likely affected the ability of the updrafts and downdrafts to continue maintaining their most recent intensity prior to the thunderstorm segment collision.
Thus, it just goes to prove that through using modern satellite remote sensing technology, atmospheric scientists have the increased ability to improve the ways by which we study severe thunderstorms of varying types and intensities. The most incredible part is that we are likely only just beginning to tap the ongoing potential of atmospheric science in studying severe weather as we move further into the 21st century.
To learn more about other interesting severe weather events occurring from around the world, be sure to click here: https://www.globalweatherclimatecenter.com/severe!
© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz