Tropospheric convection is one of the most important contributors to the Earth’s climate system through its transport of heat, moisture, and momentum. The hazards associated with convection (i.e., tornadoes, hail, lightning, flooding, damaging wind, etc.) are one of the largest threats to life and property. Despite the importance and wide-reaching impacts of convection, many processes both internal and external to storms are not well understood. One way to elucidate convective processes in a bulk sense is through the use of large climatologies. Radar data provide both microphysical and kinematic information about these convective storms and their hazards on fine spatiotemporal scales. The work herein is the large radar-based climatologies of shallow, modest, and vigorous deep convection with data from NEXRAD, the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) 16, and the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh model, to assess differences in the characteristics and environments of various scales of air-mass thunderstorms whose initiation is primarily driven by the inland propagation of the sea-breeze front. Also developed is a radar-based climatology of supercell thunderstorms, the most intense thunderstorms on Earth, with the goal to examine the intensity and transience of low-level and midlevel mesocyclones leading up to tornadogenesis or tornadogenesis failure. Radar-derived azimuthal shear is used to assess differences in the rotational intensity and transience of the low-level and midlevel mesocyclones in strongly tornadic, weakly tornadic, and non-tornadic supercells. Near storm environment characteristics from the Rapid Refresh model are used to investigate any relationships between the storm environment and the rotational intensity and transience of mesocyclones.



Document Type



convection, climatology, supercell, tornado, mesocyclone, sea breeze, ESCAPE, TRACER

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Earth Science


Michael M. French