Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


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Many nontornadic supercell storms have times when they appear to be moving toward tornadogenesis, including the development of a strong low-level vortex, but never end up producing a tornado. These tornadogenesis failure (TGF) episodes can be a substantial challenge to operational meteorologists. In this study, a sample of 32 pre-tornadic and 36 pre-TGF supercells is examined in the 30 min pre-tornadogenesis or pre-TGF period to explore the feasibility of using polarimetric radar metrics to highlight storms with larger tornadogenesis potential in the near-term. Overall the results indicate few strong distinguishers of pre-tornadic storms. Differential reflectivity (ZDR) arc size and intensity were the most promising metrics examined, with ZDR arc size potentially exhibiting large enough differences between the two storm subsets to be operationally useful. Change in the radar metrics leading up to tornadogenesis or TGF did not exhibit large differences, though most findings were consistent with hypotheses based on prior findings in the literature.