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Article

Climatology and Formation Environments of Severe Convective Windstorms and Tornadoes in the Perm Region (Russia) in 1984–2020

1
Faculty of Geography, Perm State University, 614068 Perm, Russia
2
A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119017 Moscow, Russia
3
Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119017 Moscow, Russia
4
Perm Center for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, 614030 Perm, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alexander V. Kislov
Atmosphere 2021, 12(11), 1407; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12111407
Received: 28 August 2021 / Revised: 21 October 2021 / Accepted: 22 October 2021 / Published: 26 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorological Extrema and Storm Simulations in Eurasia)
Severe convective windstorms and tornadoes regularly hit the territory of Russia causing substantial damage and fatalities. An analysis of the climatology and formation environments of these events is essential for risk assessments, forecast improvements and identifying of links with the observed climate change. In this paper, we present an analysis of severe convective windstorms, i.e., squalls and tornadoes reported between 1984 and 2020 in the Perm region (northeast of European Russia), where a local maximum in the frequency of such events was previously found. The analysed database consists of 165 events and includes 100 squalls (convective windstorms), 59 tornadoes, and six cases with both tornadoes and squalls. We used various information to compile the database including weather station reports, damage surveys, media reports, previously presented databases, and satellite images for windthrow. We found that the satellite images of damaged forests are the main data source on tornadoes, but their role is substantially lower for windstorm events due to the larger spatial and temporal scale of such events. Synoptic-scale environments and associated values of convective indices were determined for each event with a known date and time. Similarities and differences for the formation conditions of tornadoes and windstorms were revealed. Both squalls and tornadoes occur mostly on rapidly moving cold fronts or on waving quasi-stationary fronts, associated with low-pressure systems. Analyses of 72-h air parcel backward trajectories shows that the Caspian and Aral Seas are important sources of near-surface moisture for the formation of both squalls and tornadoes. Most of these events are formed within high CAPE and high shear environments, but tornadic storms are generally characterised by a higher wind shear and helicity. We also differentiated convective storms that caused forest damage and those did not. We found the composite parameter WMAXSHEAR is the best discriminator between these two groups. In general, storm events causing windthrow mainly occur under conditions more favourable for deep well-organised convection. Thus, forest damage can be considered as an indicator of the storm severity in the Perm region and in adjacent regions with forest-covered area exceeding 50%. View Full-Text
Keywords: squall; tornado; damage survey; windthrow; climatology; Perm region; synoptic-scale environments; convective parameters; ERA5 data; satellite images squall; tornado; damage survey; windthrow; climatology; Perm region; synoptic-scale environments; convective parameters; ERA5 data; satellite images
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shikhov, A.; Chernokulsky, A.; Kalinin, N.; Bykov, A.; Pischalnikova, E. Climatology and Formation Environments of Severe Convective Windstorms and Tornadoes in the Perm Region (Russia) in 1984–2020. Atmosphere 2021, 12, 1407. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12111407

AMA Style

Shikhov A, Chernokulsky A, Kalinin N, Bykov A, Pischalnikova E. Climatology and Formation Environments of Severe Convective Windstorms and Tornadoes in the Perm Region (Russia) in 1984–2020. Atmosphere. 2021; 12(11):1407. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12111407

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shikhov, Andrey, Alexander Chernokulsky, Nikolay Kalinin, Alexey Bykov, and Evgeniya Pischalnikova. 2021. "Climatology and Formation Environments of Severe Convective Windstorms and Tornadoes in the Perm Region (Russia) in 1984–2020" Atmosphere 12, no. 11: 1407. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12111407

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