Next Article in Journal
A 133-Year Record of Climate Change and Variability from Sheffield, England
Next Article in Special Issue
Rising Precipitation Extremes across Nepal
Previous Article in Journal
Trend and Homogeneity Analysis of Precipitation in Iran
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Climate 2016, 4(3), 45;

Life Cycle Characteristics of Warm-Season Severe Thunderstorms in Central United States from 2010 to 2014

Department of Geosciences, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA
Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christina Anagnostopoulou
Received: 17 July 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 8 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Extremes, the Past and the Future)
Full-Text   |   PDF [4807 KB, uploaded 8 September 2016]   |  


Weather monitoring systems, such as Doppler radars, collect a high volume of measurements with fine spatial and temporal resolutions that provide opportunities to study many convective weather events. This study examines the spatial and temporal characteristics of severe thunderstorm life cycles in central United States mainly covering Kansas, Oklahoma, and northern Texas during the warm seasons from 2010 to 2014. Thunderstorms are identified using radar reflectivity and cloud-to-ground lightning data and are tracked using a directed graph model that can represent the whole life cycle of a thunderstorm. Thunderstorms were stored in a GIS database with a number of additional thunderstorm attributes. Spatial and temporal characteristics of the thunderstorms were analyzed, including the yearly total number of thunderstorms, their monthly distribution, durations, initiation time, termination time, movement speed and direction, and the spatial distributions of thunderstorm tracks, initiations, and terminations. Results revealed that thunderstorms were most frequent across the eastern part of the study area, especially at the borders between Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Finally, thunderstorm occurrence is linked to land cover, including a comparison of thunderstorms between urban and surrounding rural areas. Results demonstrated that thunderstorms would favor forests and urban areas. This study demonstrates that advanced GIS representations and analyses for spatiotemporal events provide effective research tools to meteorological studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: storm tracking; directed graph; split and merger storm tracking; directed graph; split and merger

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, W.; Li, X. Life Cycle Characteristics of Warm-Season Severe Thunderstorms in Central United States from 2010 to 2014. Climate 2016, 4, 45.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Climate EISSN 2225-1154 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top