The Contribution of Specific Humidity, Convective Available Potential Energy, and Storm Relative Helicity to the Southeastward Shift in Tornado Activity

Authors: Jennifer St. Clair*, Towson University, Todd W Moore, Towson University
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Temporal GIS
Keywords: tornado, tornadoes, tornado climatology, climatology, meteorology, atmosphere, physical geography, GIS, geographic information systems, geographic information system, temporal GIS
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


There is substantial evidence of a decrease in contiguous United States tornado activity in the Great Plains, and an increase in the southeast over recent decades. Little research has been conducted to address how environmental factors contribute to this shift in the spatial distribution of tornado activity. The “ingredients” for tornado activity are moisture, wind shear, instability, and lift. This research will assess how three of these variables, specific humidity (moisture), storm relative helicity (wind shear), and convective available potential energy (instability), have changed along with tornado activity in spring (March, April, and May).

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