Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Brown, Michael E.

Committee Member

Wax, Charles L.

Committee Member

Rodgers, John C., III

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


A majority of tornado research focuses on the Great Plains region of the United States. Knowledge of tornado environments outside of the Great Plains is limited; this is especially true for the Southeast U.S. In addition, little is known about the role of the lower troposphere on tornadogenesis. Therefore, this study examines low-level thermodynamic parameters associated with tornadoes in the Southeast U.S between 1960 and 2002. Previous studies have shown that higher values of CAPE, 0-3 km CAPE, 0-1 and 0-3 km SRH, and 0-1 and 0-1 km EHI are more likely associated with significant tornadoes. Similar studies have shown that decreasing LCL, LFC heights, and CIN are common with significant tornadoes. This study supports that higher values of shear and instability/shear and lower CIN values are associated with significant tornadoes in the Southeast. However, this study indicates that instability, LCL, and LFC heights may be poor tornado strength discriminators.