A series of strong thunderstorms leading to 41, 57, and 43 tornado, severe wind, and severe hail respectively, were reported across portions of the southern United States During May 1-2, 2010. A brief analysis of the key synoptic-scale features and other atmospheric and land-surface constituents that played important roles in the development, magnitude, and mesoscale distribution of this historic rainfall event, is provided. At the surface and just upstream of the warm sector, a weak low-pressure center developed in Arkansas, along a southwest/northeast oriented surface stationary boundary. In the case of the May 1-2 record rainfall across the mid-South, an amplified upper-air circulation that initially developed on April 29 resulted in a particularly anomalous 500-hPa trough and ridge across Mexico and the intermountain west and the Caribbean Sea, respectively. During May 1-2, rainfall totals were exacerbated by storm motions that were closely parallel to both the upper-air circulation and surface quasistationary/slow-moving cold-frontal boundary.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science