Vortex2 tornado study finally gets some twisters to study

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

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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

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"2009- THE YEAR OF THE FISH STORM
COUNT ON IT. IT IS SET IN STONE.

-STORMTOP WEATHER OFFICE"
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1135. JRRP
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1134. GatorWX
what a change here in swfl, you can really feel (finally) the passage of that front. Very springlike feel today. Last few days have been miserably hot and muggy! although almost 90 now, only 50% humidity and what a difference!
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1132. Michfan
We need a new fresh blog to liven things up a bit.
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1131. Levi32
Upon close inspection of high-resolution visible loops, you can see the the circulation in the Caribbean is purely at the mid-levels.

It takes some staring at the screen for a while but if you work at this long enough you'll be able to pick out the low-level clouds and see where they are going. Here they are predominately moving towards the WNW and there is no evidence of a surface feature.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26556
Quoting GatorWX:


lol, yeah!


There actually has been quite a shift. It's back up to 4 knots now from the NE. It was from the SSW early this morning.



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1129. Makoto1
Quoting SavannahStorm:


And windspeeds are at an impressive 0 knots...


lol It's only 34 knots short of a tropical storm, the world might end! /sarcasm
1128. GatorWX
they were gusting to near 20 this morning around 8am though, have since died down considerably obviously to a mediocre 4kts.
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1127. GatorWX
Quoting SavannahStorm:


And windspeeds are at an impressive 0 knots...



lol, yeah!
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Quoting gator23:


I hope it gets vetoed.


I do too.
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1125. gator23
Quoting Vortex95:
1118? lol im shocked


I hope it gets vetoed.
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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
A little laughter is good for the soul.

Thanks :-)


Yes it is - thanks for the giggles
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1123. Levi32
Quoting SavannahStorm:


And windspeeds are at an impressive 0 knots...



It looks like the pressure fell a bit during the wind shift.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26556
Quoting weathermanwannabe:


I'm not the pro on these charts yet....Does it show a little bit of cyclonic rotation if I read the arrow thingies correctly?


Yes, weak turning. Full barb ~10 knots, half barb ~5 knots.
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If you look at the Caribbean closely you can see the very broad surface low taking shape now. Centered near 13.5N 77W
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1119. Levi32
Quoting weathermanwannabe:


I'm not the pro on these charts yet....Does it show a little bit of cyclonic rotation if I read the arrow thingies correctly?


Yes there is rotation, but it isn't a well-defined low anymore.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26556
Drilling for oil off the Florida coast has been approved by committee... Yuck.

Link
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Quoting GatorWX:
although surface pressures aren't falling (at all) their was a definite wind shift from late last night into this afternoon at buoy SKMG1, link


And windspeeds are at an impressive 0 knots...

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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
SEVERE BICKERING WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WB 349 CALAMITY PREDICTION CENTER JUPITER, FL
1:03 PM EST TUE JUN 9 2009

SEVERE BICKERING WATCH 349 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1:03 PM EST WED JUN 10 2009 FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS - DR. MASTERS WUNDERBLOG.

AT 1:03 PM EST CAREFUL ANALYSIS INDICATED THE POSSIBILITY OF A SURFACE LOW DEVELOPING IN THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN IN THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HRS. FOLLOWED BY INTENSE BICKERING, BRIEF BUT HEAVY WISHCASTING AND FREQUENT DOWNCASTING. SHOULD THIS LOW DEVELOP A WARNING MAY BE ISSUED AND POSSIBLY 24HR BANS FOR THE EFFECTED PARTIES. SHOULD YOUR NERVES BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THE BICKERING, PLEASE GO OUTSIDE AND ENJOY YOURSELF AND REMAIN THERE UNTIL THE BICKERING PASSES.




The best post that I've seen on these boards in a long time. Finally, someone who doesn't take themselves too seriously and has a sense of humor... :->
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Quoting GatorWX:
I think everyone should keep a closer on the cluster right off the coast of ga and sc. Shear is very low here and sst's are marginally warm. Development here would be much more likely than in the sw carib.


See my comment 1078 below....
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1114. GatorWX
although surface pressures aren't falling (at all) their was a definite wind shift from late last night into this afternoon at buoy SKMG1, link
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1113. Makoto1
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
SPECIAL CALAMITY UPDATE
1:38 PM EST TUE JUN 9 2009


SEVERE BICKERING WATCH WILL BE MADE PERMANENT AND MAY BE UPGRADED TO A WARNING AT ANY TIME.

**PLAN AHEAD KEEP YOUR EYES TO THE BLOG FOR EARLY WARNING SIGNS**


lol I get on the blog today and the first thing I see is this.

Oh, we had a severe thunderstorm warning really early this morning, starting around 4AM, and it kept getting renewed until about 6:15 when it finally moved south of the area. It was quite crazy.
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Latest ASCAT pass




I'm not the pro on these charts yet....Does it show a little bit of cyclonic rotation if I read the arrow thingies correctly?
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Latest ASCAT pass


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1110. GatorWX
I think everyone should keep a closer on the cluster right off the coast of ga and sc. Shear is very low here and sst's are marginally warm. Development here would be much more likely than in the sw carib.
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SPECIAL CALAMITY UPDATE
1:38 PM EST TUE JUN 9 2009


SEVERE BICKERING WATCH WILL BE MADE PERMANENT AND MAY BE UPGRADED TO A WARNING AT ANY TIME.

**PLAN AHEAD KEEP YOUR EYES TO THE BLOG FOR EARLY WARNING SIGNS**
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Quoting IKE:
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT TUE JUN 9 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN/AVILA


Hey Ike; regardless of this Outlook, Blob watching during this part of the season is always fun (particularly when a cluster of normal summer t-storms just "looks" ominous stting right off the coast)...Lol
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1106. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1100 AM PDT TUE JUN 9 2009

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH A BROAD AREA OF LOW
PRESSURE LOCATED ABOUT 1000 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTHERN
TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA REMAIN POORLY-ORGANIZED. DEVELOPMENT OF THIS
SYSTEM...IF ANY...WILL BE SLOW TO OCCUR AS IT MOVES SLOWLY WEST-
NORTHWESTWARD TO NORTHWESTWARD. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...LESS THAN
30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN/AVILA
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1105. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT TUE JUN 9 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN/AVILA
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Vortex95:
unfriendly you got mail.


haha wheres it from?
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1103. IKE
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
A little laughter is good for the soul.

Thanks :-)


Sad thing is, a decent chance of that warning being legit.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
SEVERE BICKERING WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WB 349 CALAMITY PREDICTION CENTER JUPITER, FL
1:03 PM EST TUE JUN 9 2009

SEVERE BICKERING WATCH 349 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1:03 PM EST WED JUN 10 2009 FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS - DR. MASTERS WUNDERBLOG.

AT 1:03 PM EST CAREFUL ANALYSIS INDICATED THE POSSIBILITY OF A SURFACE LOW DEVELOPING IN THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN IN THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HRS. FOLLOWED BY INTENSE BICKERING, BRIEF BUT HEAVY WISHCASTING AND FREQUENT DOWNCASTING. SHOULD THIS LOW DEVELOP A WARNING MAY BE ISSUED AND POSSIBLY 24HR BANS FOR THE EFFECTED PARTIES. SHOULD YOUR NERVES BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THE BICKERING, PLEASE GO OUTSIDE AND ENJOY YOURSELF AND REMAIN THERE UNTIL THE BICKERING PASSES.




I want to complain about this office, a watch should've been issued a long time ago!
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Quoting stormpetrol:

Even in the mid levels, this rotation is more impressive and better defined than the previous "blob". I doubt it will amount to anymore but one never really knows for sure.
that is true, I'm giving it a 50% of having a 30% chance of developing.
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1100. IKE
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
blog is moving kinda slow today... I have been just lurking the past couple of days...
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A little laughter is good for the soul.

Thanks :-)
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Quoting canesrule1:
Mid levels

Even in the mid levels, this rotation is more impressive and better defined than the previous "blob". I doubt it will amount to anymore but one never really knows for sure.
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1096. Levi32
Quoting P451:


So is that the kicker that was expected to enhance the disturbance?

Does anyone really believe it will other than force a little more blob watching?

I'm just not convinced given the environment we're watching. It seems too hostile to me.


For the moment yes it's hostile but it will be becoming increasingly favorable during the next 4-8 days.

From my blog:



Figure 1. Notice the consolidated area of convection in the eastern Pacific around 100W. That's symbolizing the MJO pulse moving over, and now we notice that convection is becoming a little more consolidated in the SW Caribbean, and we may get a more organized Panamanian Low that can drift north and interact with the tropical wave coming in from the east. This area won't be able to develop for 3-5 days but it should be watched to see if it wants to be a trouble-maker.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26556
Quoting 7544:
is the blob off the ga coast nudging to the south at this hour ?


Not particularly but starting to lose it's earlier "elongation" as it slowly detaches from the trof...Just kind of sitting there right now figuring out whether "Do I Stay or Should I Go?" kind of mode...
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1094. 7544
Quoting canesrule1:
i believe it is stationary.


thanks cane
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Quoting 7544:
is the blob off the ga coast nudging to the south at this hour ?
i believe it is stationary.
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1091. IKE
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
SEVERE BICKERING WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WB 349 CALAMITY PREDICTION CENTER JUPITER, FL
1:03 PM EST TUE JUN 9 2009

SEVERE BICKERING WATCH 349 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1:03 PM EST WED JUN 10 2009 FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS - DR. MASTERS WUNDERBLOG.

AT 1:03 PM EST CAREFUL ANALYSIS INDICATED THE POSSIBILITY OF A SURFACE LOW DEVELOPING IN THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN IN THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HRS. FOLLOWED BY INTENSE BICKERING, BRIEF BUT HEAVY WISHCASTING AND FREQUENT DOWNCASTING. SHOULD THIS LOW DEVELOP A WARNING MAY BE ISSUED AND POSSIBLY 24HR BANS FOR THE EFFECTED PARTIES. SHOULD YOUR NERVES BE ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THE BICKERING, PLEASE GO OUTSIDE AND ENJOY YOURSELF AND REMAIN THERE UNTIL THE BICKERING PASSES.




LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Afternoon all! The blob! The blob!

Funny one CaneWhisperer!
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1089. 7544
is the blob off the ga coast nudging to the south at this hour ?
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Quoting stormpetrol:


nice spin near 15/83
Mid levels
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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