ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2018, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 272-281

A satellite-based analysis of squalls and tornadoes in the Urals region in June 2017

A.N. Shikhov 1 , I.O. Azhigov 1 , A.V. Bykov 1 
1 Perm State University, Perm, Russia
Accepted: 13.11.2017
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2018-15-1-272-281
The article describes circumstances of two squalls and tornado events in the Urals region that occurred on 3 and 18 June, 2017. The main factors contributing to the tornado formation were identified on the basis of synoptic-scale analysis and instability indices which were calculated by GFS/NCEP and GEM/CMC numerical weather prediction data. The mesoscale analysis is performed using the EUMETSAT geostationary satellites images and Terra/Aqua MODIS data. The overshooting tops (OTs) of mesoscale convective systems were identified by meteorological satellite data. The spatial position of OTs generally coincides with the area where the tornadoes and severe squalls occur. We used the forest damage analysis by Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 satellite images to identify the squalls and tornadoes which were omitted by weather stations and eye-witnesses. We found five tornado tracks and three squall-induced windthrows, in which total area exceeded 1500 ha in Sverdlovsk, Kurgan and Tyumen Regions. To clarify the F-scale tornado intensity, a selective field survey was carried out in the tornado-damaged area near the Visim settlements (Sverdlovsk region). The features of forest stand damage correspond to F1 tornado intensity. However, the tornado path length and width indicate the F2 or F3 intensity.
Keywords: hazardous tornadoes, squalls, synoptic-scale and mesoscale analysis, windthrows, Landsat images
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