Jumping cirrus above severe storms
Wang, Pao K. Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
- Model simulation of jumping cirrus
- Mechanism for jumping cirrus formation
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Jumping cirrus is a spectacular phenomenon that sometimes is seen at the top of certain severe thunderstorms. It sometimes can be observed by ground-based techniques, if the storm is sufficiently far away and its cloud top can be seen clearly. This phenomenon was first reported in the 1980s by T. Fujita, the atmospheric scientist famous for inventing the Fujita scale of tornado intensity. Fujita often flew jet airplanes above severe storms to observe phenomena associated with thunderstorms. In 1982, Fujita, describing the phenomenon, wrote, “One of the most striking features seen repeatedly above the anvil top is the formation of cirrus cloud which jumps upward from behind the overshooting dome as it collapses violently into the anvil cloud.” For the nomenclature of storms mentioned here, please see Fig. 1.
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