Monday, 18 June 2012

Why T-storms fizzle as they cross Lake Huron

Today was just another example of the frustration we face in southern ontario when michigan gets blasted with strong storms which appear as though they are going to nail us too and then at the last second they rapidly weaken. I have done some research on this, because it has really interested me(the fact that T-storms fizzle quickly when passing the eastern shores of lake huron). My theory is that when these storms are crossing the lake that has a colder water temperature then the air temperature above it(the air in which these cells fire up in (warm air masses)). This will cool the surface air and create a capping inversion by cooling any air parcels that may begin to rise or are in the process of rising. This will leave cooler air parcels relative to the surrounding air, especially as you go up into the atmosphere and this cuts off convection and thunderstorms development even if conditions may be favourable.This will also weaken any storms that have previously developed. Unless we are in the middle of the summer months and in a situation very supportive for thunderstorms (a widespread outbreak we usually see in august with tornadoes) when a line of storms crosses lake huron they tend to weaken otherwise. A better source region for a line of storms would be from the south of lake huron or from the lake erie area SSW of us in southern ontario. Lake erie is not as wide as lake huron and does not have nearly the same effect on T-stomrs. Any comments or questions feel free to let me know!!

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