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Meteorology (Weather)/elevated thunderstorms

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QUESTION: why in most cases, do the surface winds continue to blow during elevated thunderstorms? why is their in most cases no gust front? why is their no lighting strikes?

ANSWER: Hi Matt

Elevated thunderstorms, by their name, indicated a thunderstorm that occurs at a higher elevation then normal thunderstorms. The cloud base of an elevated thunderstorm is also higher than normal.

Low level wind fields are normal at the formation and at the decay of elevated thunderstorms.
During the mid part of the life cycle of the storm there is frontal activity below the storm which sometimes decrease the strength of the surface winds.

There are lightning strikes but they may be far out from the storm bottom.

For more info, see:

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/publications/corfidi/elevated.pdf

http://www.comet.ucar.edu/class/rfc_hydromet/02_Dec6_2000/docs/moore/Elevtstorms

http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints/164/




---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: can the surface winds drownd out the outflow winds of the elevated thundertorms if the east winds are too strong

Answer
The problem is that the outflow winds, because of the higher elevation of the storm, would be somewhat weaker than normal at the surface and thus it would be a contest of direction and speed at any intersection of winds. Also, because of the level frontal surfaces below the storm, the outflow may not penetrate down through the frontal barrier.

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Donald Rosenfeld

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Any questions (except private) answered from the 1st grade level on up pertaining to any aspect of Weather. I am a 20 year member of the American Meteorological society and a long time forecaster of eastern United States snow storms and Hurricanes.

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