Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Meteorologists: Spearhead Echo

Northwest of Dodge City at 5:11pm CDT was a "spearhead echo" -- a predictor of damaging downburst winds. And, sure enough, radar sensed winds to 73 mph five minutes later which is the strongest winds I have seen from this storm. 
The regular KDDC METAR 18 minutes before the above image recorded calm winds; so the 73 mph gusts from this storm were entirely generated by convection -- no pressure gradient involved. While Doppler radar showed the highest winds passed west of the airport, it still recorded a 62 mph gust.

Because this is an infrequent occurrence, I wanted to document it for my meteorology friends. You can find more on this topic here

UPDATE: The gust front had passed DDC at the time the balloon was launched so here is the AMA sounding.
This is a classic "Inverted-V"sounding characteristic of downburst winds. 

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