Severe convective wind environments in Georgia
Fuhrmann, Christopher M.
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Severe winds pose a tremendous threat to people and property and are the most frequently reported form of severe weather in the United States. This study examines three aspects of severe convective windstorms in Georgia during the warm season. Severe thunderstorm wind reports and radar data from the WSR-88D network are used to determine the convective organization and evolution of severe windstorms. The synoptic-to-mesoscale environments associated with these events are evaluated using surface weather maps, re-analysis data, and radiosonde observations. Lastly, the characteristics of cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning are observed during the evolution of a subset of severe windstorms. Results of this study indicate that the majority of severe windstorms in Georgia are non-linear, are influenced by land-atmosphere interactions, and develop under relatively quiescent synoptic conditions. Severe windstorms exhibit fewer positive CG flashes than non-severe thunderstorms, suggesting that the diabatic effects of evaporation and sublimation may enhance the negatively-charged cloud center.