Vortex2 tornado study finally gets some twisters to study

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:56 PM GMT on June 08, 2009

Share this Blog
5
+

A proven way to reduce the incidence of dangerous weather phenomena is to schedule a multi-million dollar field experiment to study the phenomena. Up until this past weekend, that has certainly been true of this year's $10 million Vortex2 tornado study. The 7-week study (which also runs next year) has deployed an armada of over 100 storm chasing vehicles across the Great Plains this Spring, but has largely been frustrated by an exceptionally quiet tornado season. Tornado activity in May was less than half of what was observed last year in May, thanks to a ridge of high pressure that has dominated the weather. The residents of Tornado Alley ran out of luck over the weekend, though, as a strong low pressure system and associated cold front brought severe weather and multiple tornadoes to the region. Sixteen tornado reports were received by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center yesterday, and three on Friday. The team of University of Michigan students that has been writing our featured Vortex2 blog caught some excellent pictures of tornadoes on both Friday and Sunday. Yesterday was probably the last best chance for the Vortex2 project to document a strong tornado, since the project ends this Saturday and no significant tornado outbreaks appear likely for the remainder of this week.

Aurora, Colorado tornado yesterday
A tornado with a 3/4 mile wide debris cloud swept through Aurora, Colorado yesterday, staying on the ground for 8 - 11 miles and damaging a shopping mall, but causing no deaths or injuries. The tornado passed close to one of the high-resolution Terminal Doppler Weather Radars (TDWRs) that we now feature on our web site (see the radar FAQ for more details on these great new additions to our radar offerings). Posted below are the reflectivity and Doppler velocity images from the tornado, showing the amazing fine-scale details these high-resolution radars offer.



Figure 1. Radar reflectivity (top) and Doppler velocity (bottom) from the Denver, Colorado Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR), which caught the classic signature of a supercell thunderstorm tornado over Aurora, Colorado. A tornado dropped down from the low-level mesocyclone inside the parent supercell thunderstorm at the time of these images. Yellow colors located right next to greens/blues indicate that winds are moving towards and away from the radar in close proximity, the signature of strong rotation at low levels. Also visible on the plot are the winds spreading out from a downdraft on the rear side of the tornado. Black arrows denote the direction of wind flow. The dryline was bent back into a E-W orientation near Denver, creating an area of moisture convergence, which triggered thunderstorm formation.

Western Caribbean disturbance unlikely to develop this week
As area of disturbed weather over the Western Caribbean has brought rains of 2 - 3 inches over portions of Nicaragua and Honduras over the past few days. Wind shear is a high 20 - 30 knots over the disturbance, and no computer models are indicating that the disturbance will develop this week.

Jeff Masters, with help from wunderground's tornado expert, Dr. Rob Carver

Dying out after an official 24 minutes on the ground
Tornado (Fungus)
Tornado
Twisted (rrose1)
This was taken approximately 30 minutes after a brief tornado passed through South Hutchinson, KS tonight. The building is a bus manufacturing facility.
Twisted

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1287 - 1237

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35Blog Index

Quoting P451:
Okay, I'm really growing tired of this auto-hiding-messages that the Blog does. Can anyone tell me how to stop this? I will determine who I want to read and not read.



Link to Image

Anyone? Thanks in advance. I like to read all comments no matter who is saying what.


2 things

The bar where the comments start, called "filter", click show all

Go to your blog and click on modify profile to the right and scroll to "Comment Filter Level:" and choose "show all"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting P451:
Okay, I'm really growing tired of this auto-hiding-messages that the Blog does. Can anyone tell me how to stop this? I will determine who I want to read and not read.



Link to Image

Anyone? Thanks in advance. I like to read all comments no matter who is saying what.
]

Are my messages hidden?
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
1285. Seastep
Quoting P451:
Okay, I'm really growing tired of this auto-hiding-messages that the Blog does. Can anyone tell me how to stop this? I will determine who I want to read and not read.



Link to Image

Anyone? Thanks in advance. I like to read all comments no matter who is saying what.


If you go the the end of Doc's post and the reader comment start, at the right of that bar it defaults to "show average,' i think. Change it to "show all."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1283. IKE
16N
82W.

AOI.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Anything rolling in Kansas yet?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1279. IKE
18Z GFS seems slightly stronger and more in line with the 18Z NAM on track.

If these 2 models have any hope on the "ghost-storm" it's almost now or never...by Thursday at this time something should be happening.

I think:(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sporteguy03:


Those movies you do are amazing work time consuming I know but cool to watch thank you for making them.


Thankya, thankya...and I know you appreciate it...but you haven't seen nuthin' yet.

These new HD animations are really something to see! I've got 8 days of data now in my video editor and what's coming across is breathtaking!

You will be amazed! Standby for July 1st! :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:
If that "Ghost Storm" develops into a TC, I may have to forego using the theme from "Jurassic Park" for my June animations [GOES East IR Hurricane Sector] and use the theme from "The Frighteners!"


Those movies you do are amazing work time consuming I know but cool to watch thank you for making them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1275. Levi32
Tropical Tidbit for June 9th

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
If that "Ghost Storm" develops into a TC, I may have to forego using the theme from "Jurassic Park" for my June animations [GOES East IR Hurricane Sector] and use the theme from "The Frighteners!"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"I believe the reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated."

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Acemmett90:

Remember Its the friggen Ghost Storm what do you expect


Good point. I seem to have forgotten to overlay the satellite pic of a major hurricane over it. My bad.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5869
Quoting Acemmett90:
In a Govenator vocie "IM BACK"
view the image below
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/rb-l.jpg


Sorta reminds me of the Miami Heat logo.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MeterologistDewon9:
Looks like 18z model run of GFS has this storm developin tomorrow by noon. Will shear be low enough?


I don't see a closed circulation, or any kind of cyclonic features. On that map, there is a low in the western caribbean, and 2 areas of precip south of the Caymans and east of Jamaica. Nothing developing there.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5869
Pressures been dropping in the Caribbean for the past few hours.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like 18z model run of GFS has this storm developin tomorrow by noon. Will shear be low enough?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It is the station notice under the Miami local radar on Wunderground.

Funny thing is I've never seen that before today, but it popped up when I was trying to get the radar on my phone.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1257. gator23
Quoting cchsweatherman:


Read the highlighted areas from the NWS message that TheCaneWhisperer posted and it will answer your questions.

MESSAGE DATE: JUN 09 2009 13:11:03 MIA SOUNDING 12Z (06/09/09) EQUIL LEVEL 44877, CAPE 4202, PWAT 1.73, 500 MB TEMP -8.3C, LI INDEX -8.21, HGT OF WET BULB 13101, FRZ LEVEL 15314, AND THE LAPSE RA TE 7.89. THERE IS A CHANCE OF SEEING WIND GUSTS UP TO 80 KNOTS TODAY, ALONG WITH HAIL UP TO QUARTER SIZE WITH THE STRONGEST STORMS MAINLY OVER THE SOUTHEAST AREAS OF SOUTH FLORIDA.


I was hoping for a link. I just checked the NWS website for Miami and they had 50-60 MPH gusts which is a far cry from 92 MPH gusts on that Sounding.

Its fine with me I get to test my homemade anemometer!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cchsweatherman:


Read the highlighted areas from the NWS message that TheCaneWhisperer posted and it will answer your questions.

MESSAGE DATE: JUN 09 2009 13:11:03 MIA SOUNDING 12Z (06/09/09) EQUIL LEVEL 44877, CAPE 4202, PWAT 1.73, 500 MB TEMP -8.3C, LI INDEX -8.21, HGT OF WET BULB 13101, FRZ LEVEL 15314, AND THE LAPSE RA TE 7.89. THERE IS A CHANCE OF SEEING WIND GUSTS UP TO 80 KNOTS TODAY, ALONG WITH HAIL UP TO QUARTER SIZE WITH THE STRONGEST STORMS MAINLY OVER THE SOUTHEAST AREAS OF SOUTH FLORIDA.
when will that happen????
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting canesrule1:
where is that? im located in miami.
Quoting gator23:


Where is the from?


Read the highlighted areas from the NWS message that TheCaneWhisperer posted and it will answer your questions.

MESSAGE DATE: JUN 09 2009 13:11:03 MIA SOUNDING 12Z (06/09/09) EQUIL LEVEL 44877, CAPE 4202, PWAT 1.73, 500 MB TEMP -8.3C, LI INDEX -8.21, HGT OF WET BULB 13101, FRZ LEVEL 15314, AND THE LAPSE RA TE 7.89. THERE IS A CHANCE OF SEEING WIND GUSTS UP TO 80 KNOTS TODAY, ALONG WITH HAIL UP TO QUARTER SIZE WITH THE STRONGEST STORMS MAINLY OVER THE SOUTHEAST AREAS OF SOUTH FLORIDA.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1254. gator23
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
MESSAGE DATE: JUN 09 2009 13:11:03 MIA SOUNDING 12Z (06/09/09) EQUIL LEVEL 44877, CAPE 4202, PWAT 1.73, 500 MB TEMP -8.3C, LI INDEX -8.21, HGT OF WET BULB 13101, FRZ LEVEL 15314, AND THE LAPSE RA TE 7.89. THERE IS A CHANCE OF SEEING WIND GUSTS UP TO 80 KNOTS TODAY, ALONG WITH HAIL UP TO QUARTER SIZE WITH THE STRONGEST STORMS MAINLY OVER THE SOUTHEAST ARE AS OF SOUTH FLORIDA.

Good lawd!!!


me too! I thought it was supposed to be relativly dry today
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
MESSAGE DATE: JUN 09 2009 13:11:03 MIA SOUNDING 12Z (06/09/09) EQUIL LEVEL 44877, CAPE 4202, PWAT 1.73, 500 MB TEMP -8.3C, LI INDEX -8.21, HGT OF WET BULB 13101, FRZ LEVEL 15314, AND THE LAPSE RA TE 7.89. THERE IS A CHANCE OF SEEING WIND GUSTS UP TO 80 KNOTS TODAY, ALONG WITH HAIL UP TO QUARTER SIZE WITH THE STRONGEST STORMS MAINLY OVER THE SOUTHEAST ARE AS OF SOUTH FLORIDA.

Good lawd!!!
where is that? im located in miami.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
For what it's worth, Palm Beach County dried up a day early. We were supposed to have one more day of storms today, but as you see, subsidence is in control.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
MESSAGE DATE: JUN 09 2009 13:11:03 MIA SOUNDING 12Z (06/09/09) EQUIL LEVEL 44877, CAPE 4202, PWAT 1.73, 500 MB TEMP -8.3C, LI INDEX -8.21, HGT OF WET BULB 13101, FRZ LEVEL 15314, AND THE LAPSE RA TE 7.89. THERE IS A CHANCE OF SEEING WIND GUSTS UP TO 80 KNOTS TODAY, ALONG WITH HAIL UP TO QUARTER SIZE WITH THE STRONGEST STORMS MAINLY OVER THE SOUTHEAST ARE AS OF SOUTH FLORIDA.

Good lawd!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
RitaVec is not overhyping, incessant convection flare ups have been occuring since late last night. This seems to be showing some slight signs of cyclonic characteristics, since the vorticity values at 700mb are near the main convection mass.

Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
1249. gator23
Quoting Levi32:


Lol you guys love to make these things sound like a soap opera.


The title: As the Wind Blows...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Just dont like everthing dying in the heat
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting vortfix:
weatherwatcher12


OK...where the heck are you located?
You should make that info available under your profile so people don't have to ask.


I probably will. I'm located in Jamaica
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
1246. Levi32
Quoting gator23:


Lol its been an emotional rollercoaster with this blob.


Lol you guys love to make these things sound like a soap opera.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
Well, I'm out folks...play nice!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1244. gator23
Quoting RitaEvac:


Hype


Lol its been an emotional rollercoaster with this blob.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1243. vortfix
weatherwatcher12


OK...where the heck are you located?
You should make that info available under your profile so people don't have to ask.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:


Hype

? I was just pointing it out. I'm not trying to excite anyone. Just here to discuss
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
Quoting Floodman:


LOL...that WOULD be noce, huh?


Long as a .25 inch or .50 inch of rain comes and goes with the heat I'm good.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:


SE winds and seabreeze storms off the Gulf


LOL...that WOULD be nice, huh?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting vortfix:
TROPICAL DISCUSSION - INTERNATIONAL DESKS
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
214 PM EDT TUE JUN 09 2009


PATTERN EVOLUTION-FORECAST IS MORE COMPLICATED OVER THE CENTRAL
AND SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN. IN THIS AREA THE MODELS DISAGREE ON RISK
OF CYCLOGENESIS ALONG THE INDUCED/INVERTED TROUGH. LATEST
SATELLITE IMAGES SHOWS A SMALL CYCLONE OFF THE NORTHEAST COAST OF
HONDURAS. UNDER INFLUENCE OF THE UPPER TROUGH...AND IN INTERACTION
WITH A TROPICAL WAVE OVER THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN...THE GFS
FORECASTS THIS SYSTEM TO RETAIN ITS INTEGRITY WHILE LIFTING TO THE
NORTHEAST TOWARDS JAMAICA THROUGH 36-42 HRS. THE GFS THEN
FORECASTS THE CYCLONE TO STALL. THE NAM INITIALLY FOLLOWS A
SIMILAR EVOLUTION...THEN FORECASTS THE LOW TO MIGRATE WEST TO
SOUTH OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS BY 78 HRS. THE ECMWF FAILS TO
INITIALIZE THE LOW...AND TRIES TO DEVELOP A CLOSED CIRCULATION
OVER THE SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN BY 54-60 HRS. THIS SYSTEM IS IN A HIGH
SHEAR ENVIRONMENT...SO IT IS SOMEWHAT QUESTIONABLE THAT IT MIGHT
SURVIVE/INTENSIFY AT THE PACE THE GFS/NAM INDICATE. CONDITIONS
MIGHT BE MORE FAVORABLE AFTER 48/60 HRS WHEN THE UPPER LOW CUTS
OFF AND THE INFLOW OF COLD AIR ALOFT STARTS TO WANE.
MEANWHILE...THE SURFACE CYCLONE WILL FAVOR ORGANIZED DEEP
CONVECTION OVER NORTHEAST HONDURAS WHERE WE EXPECT RAINFALL
AMOUNTS OF 10-15MM/DAY AND MAXIMA OF 30-60MM. MOST INTENSE IS
EXPECTED OVER WATER...AND AS THE WEAK VORTEX MIGRATES TOWARDS
JAMAICA THROUGH 36 HRS IT WILL FAVOR A SURGE IN ACTIVITY. AS A
RESULT...BETWEEN 24-60 HRS...WE EXPECT ACCUMULATION OF 20-40MM/DAY
AND MAXIMA OF 150-250MM TO AFFECT JAMAICA... HAITIAN PENINSULA AND
PORTIONS OF EASTERN CUBA. CONVECTION MIGHT PERSIST INTO DAY
03...BUT THIS WILL BE HIGHLY DEPENDENT ON INTENSITY/INTEGRITY OF
THE SURFACE CYCLONE. WE ARE GOING FOR HEAVY RAINS ON DAY 03...AS A
WORST CASE SCENARIO...BUT THIS IS A LOW CONFIDENCE FORECAST. THE
MAXIMA WILL PERSIST AT 150-250MM...WITH POSSIBILITY OF EXPANDING
TOWARDS THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.

THE MID/UPPER TROUGH...AS IT MEANDERS OVER THE WESTERN
CARIBBEAN/CENTRAL AMERICA...SUSTAINS THE NORTHWARD RELOCATION OF
THE ITCZ INTO THE CARIBBEAN BASIN. THE EASTERN PACIFIC ITCZ
MEANDERS EAST ACROSS THE PACIFIC TO SOUTHERN NICARAGUA...WHILE THE
EQUATORIAL TROUGH EXTENDS ACROSS THE GUIANAS-CENTRAL/NORTHWEST
VENEZUELA-NORTHERN COLOMBIA TO THE SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN. THIS WILL
PERSIST THROUGH DAY 03.

we are under a flash flood watch
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
Quoting weatherwatcher12:
convection is really trying to refire



Hype
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
convection is really trying to refire

Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231

Viewing: 1287 - 1237

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
59 °F
Mostly Cloudy