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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1687. RTLSNK
69*F in Macon, Georgia this morning headed up to 92*F, 94% humidity, wind is calm, sky is clear, coffee is French Roast. :)
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Sorry i put the whole Discussion.
TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR NORTH AMERICA...CENTRAL
AMERICA...GULF OF MEXICO...CARIBBEAN SEA...NORTHERN SECTIONS
OF SOUTH AMERICA...AND ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE AFRICAN COAST
FROM THE EQUATOR TO 32N. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS BASED
ON SATELLITE IMAGERY...METEOROLOGICAL ANALYSIS...WEATHER
OBSERVATIONS...AND RADAR.

BASED ON 0600 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY
THROUGH 1015 UTC.

...TROPICAL WAVES...

AN ATLANTIC OCEAN TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 8N42W 6N45W 2N46W AT
10/0600 UTC...MOVING WESTWARD 10 TO 15 KT. THE POSITION OF THIS
WAVE WAS JUMPED FORWARD TO THE WEST IN ORDER FOR IT TO AGREE
WITH CURRENT SATELLITE INFORMATION...WITH FORECAST MODEL
INFORMATION...AND WITH CIMSS MIMIC-TPW DATA. THE METEOSAT-9
VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY FROM AS LATE AS 09/1700 UTC DID NOT
SHOW STRONG EVIDENCE OF CYCLONIC FLOW AROUND 35W...WHERE THE
WAVE HAD BEEN ANALYZED TO BE AT 09/1800 UTC. BROKEN TO OVERCAST
MULTILAYERED CLOUDS AND SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE IN ONE BIG
MASS FROM THE EQUATOR TO 7N BETWEEN 37W AND 46W AT 09/1700 UTC.
SCATTERED MODERATE TO STRONG SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS FROM THE
EQUATOR TO 2N BETWEEN 40W AND 43W...AND FROM 5N TO 10N BETWEEN
40W AND 44W. ISOLATED MODERATE CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION ALSO
IS OCCURRING FROM THE EQUATOR TO 10N BETWEEN 36W AND 40W.

A CARIBBEAN SEA TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 79W...JUST TO THE WEST
OF JAMAICA...TO THE SOUTH OF 20N AT 10/0000 UTC...MOVING
WESTWARD 10 TO 15 KT. NO DEEP CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION IS
ASSOCIATED WITH THIS WAVE AT THIS TIME.

...THE ITCZ...

FROM AFRICA NEAR 11N14W TO 7N20W 5N30W 5N38W 4N48W...INTO
NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL NEAR 2N52W. STRONG SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS IN INDIVIDUAL CELLS ARE FROM 4N TO 6N BETWEEN
16W AND 26W. ISOLATED MODERATE SHOWERS ARE ELSEWHERE FROM 3N
TO 6N BETWEEN 26W AND 35W.

...DISCUSSION...

THE GULF OF MEXICO...THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA AND
CENTRAL AMERICA...AND THE ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE WEST OF 70W...
A WEAKENING MIDDLE LEVEL TO UPPER LEVEL TROUGH PASSES THROUGH
32N76W...ACROSS THE BAHAMA ISLANDS TO THE WEST OF 76W...TO
WESTERN CUBA...INTO WEST-CENTRAL HONDURAS. SHOWERS ARE POSSIBLE
WITHIN 60 TO 90 NM ON EITHER SIDE OF THE LINE FROM SOUTH CENTRAL
HONDURAS TO 17N79W TO 19N75W. DISORGANIZED SHOWERS ARE IN THE
ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE NORTH OF 24N BETWEEN 69W AND 80W. THE
24-HOUR RAINFALL TOTAL IN FREEPORT IN THE BAHAMAS FOR THE PERIOD
ENDING AT 10/0000 UTC IS 1.65 INCHES AND THE TOTAL FOR BERMUDA
DURING THE SAME TIME PERIOD IS 1.15 INCHES IN BERMUDA.

THE REST OF THE CARIBBEAN SEA...
THE STRONG SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS THAT COVER THE AREA FROM
NORTHWESTERN VENEZUELA INTO NORTHERN COLOMBIA AND EVENTUALLY
THE COASTAL WATERS/COASTAL PLAINS OF COLOMBIA ALONG THE EASTERN
PACIFIC SIDE NEAR 3N80W ARE IN AN AREA OF AN UPPER LEVEL RIDGE
THAT IS ON TOP OF BROAD LOW LEVEL LOW PRESSURE. AN UPPER LEVEL
RIDGE IS ALONG 68W.

THE REST OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN...
THE PRECIPITATION IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE NORTH OF 20N TO
THE WEST OF 64W IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE 32N76W-TO-WEST CENTRAL
HONDURAS MIDDLE LEVEL TO UPPER LEVEL TROUGH. A MIDDLE LEVEL TO
UPPER LEVEL TROUGH EXTENDS FROM A SMALL-SCALE CYCLONIC CENTER
NEAR 31N40W TO A SECOND CYCLONIC CIRCULATION CENTER IS NEAR
23N44W TO 16N50W TO 9N51W. THE SOUTHERN END OF A STATIONARY
FRONT/TROUGH 32N48W TO 30N54W. ISOLATED MODERATE SHOWERS ARE
FROM 29N TO 32N BETWEEN 47W AND 62W. AN UPPER LEVEL TROUGH IS
ALONG 27N18W TO 21N20W TO THE SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST OF THE CANARY
ISLANDS.

$$
MT
1684. DDR
Quoting Levi32:


That next wave in the central Atlantic will bring another moisture surge into the southern Caribbean in 6-10 days.

Its more like 3 days,latest gfs
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Well, there is our surface trough but, shear is still rockin' in the Caribb.

In the discussion posted by IKE it looks like anything that develops will head NW to W. This is the other preferred track of June cyclones with a strong ridge present. "Hoist the shields"
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1681. IKE
From Mobile,AL. long-term discussion...

TO THE SOUTH...A WEAK SHEAR AXIS REMAINS DRAPED OVER THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN. THE
10.00 GLOBAL SPECTRAL MODELS OF THE GFS AND ECMWF DEVELOP A CLOSED
LOW IN A FEW DAYS OVER THIS AREA. MEANWHILE...THE CANADIAN RUN
SUGGESTS A MID LEVEL LOW WITH LITTLE SURFACE DEVELOPMENT. THE GFS IS
FASTER AND MORE NORTH TAKING LOW NORTHWEST INTO THE SOUTHEAST GULF
THEN CURVING IT LEFT EARLY NEXT WEEK AS IT INTERACTS WITH A STRONG
MID LEVEL RIDGE DEVELOPING EASTWARD OVER THE DEEP SOUTH. THE ECMWF
TAKES ITS SLOWER MOVING LOW NORTHWEST INTO THE YUCATAN PENINSULA BY
TUESDAY. REGARDLESS...IT APPEARS WE WILL HAVE ENOUGH RIDGING ALOFT TO
ACT AS A SHIELD...PREVENTING ANYTHING DOWN THERE FROM GAINING MUCH
LATITUDE.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting stoormfury:
weatherwatcher12

i am quite aware that it is not the cape verde season. it was only an observation over the african continent

oh sorry. Didn't know :)
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weatherwatcher12

i am quite aware that it is not the cape verde season. it was only an observation over the african continent
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tropical waves lined up over the african continent

Link
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Quoting stoormfury:
morning
the first two weeks of june has not seen favourable conditions for cyclogenesis in the western caribbean and the g/mex.the climatological favourable aress.high wind shear has been the dterminant factor in any tropical seedlings getting organised. the recent disturbance in the western caribbean which most of the global models were hinting of organisation never got going because of the wind shear. now they are forecasting a cut off low to form in the next two days and hopefully the shear will drop to allow some form of tropical development. i cannot see the shear relaxing until the subtropical ridge makes a that migration to the north at a quicker pace.
looking ovr the african continent it now apparent that the tropical waves have began to line up and then to start exiting the coast

It's not really the right time for the cape Verde season, but only time will tell.
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morning
the first two weeks of june has not seen favourable conditions for cyclogenesis in the western caribbean and the g/mex.the climatological favourable aress.high wind shear has been the dterminant factor in any tropical seedlings getting organised. the recent disturbance in the western caribbean which most of the global models were hinting of organisation never got going because of the wind shear. now they are forecasting a cut off low to form in the next two days and hopefully the shear will drop to allow some form of tropical development. i cannot see the shear relaxing until the subtropical ridge makes a that migration to the north at a quicker pace.
looking ovr the african continent it now apparent that the tropical waves have began to line up and then to start exiting the coast
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1675. IKE
Shear is just too high for anything to form in the GOM or the Caribbean...

As a matter of fact it's just about too high throughout the Atlantic basin.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Good Morning;

Tropical Update
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Quoting HIEXPRESS:
MNT, ... an add-on for personal weather stations.



Hahaha...nice one. Love to see that price+shipping!
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MNT, I guess you only get a TDWR if you are near a terminal. They don't need them in the middle of BFE. Maybe somebody will come out with an add-on for personal weather stations.
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I must say that those TDWRs give amazing detail. The only thing wrong with them is that there isn't enough of them up and running yet.
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Tomorrows another day.
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Dang, who put presslord to sleep? Vote 1}the Blog 2)The Tropics
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1666. Levi32
Quoting Orcasystems:


SSMI/AMSRE-derived Total Precipitable Water - North Atlantic


That next wave in the central Atlantic will bring another moisture surge into the southern Caribbean in 6-10 days.
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1665. boyzNme
Quoting melwerle:
99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer...

...oh wait, wrong blog. ;)

17 days till we move...anyone want to come help and pack?

Just glad nothing coming this way right now although our house is not sold yet. Wondering if the northern route or southern route is the more safe route still.


good luck on the move! I still say the southern route!! i40 is the way to go.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
poof your a blank


2-0
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1663. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
later all off to la la land
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1662. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
poof your a blank
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1661. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
how about some empty space
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1659. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting presslord:
I can't fall asleep...somebody tell me a bedtime story...
once upon a time in the caroliners there was a great dresslord roaming the land
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SSMI/AMSRE-derived Total Precipitable Water - North Atlantic
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24hr Shear Tendency - North Atlantic - Latest Available - Large Scale


That little blob off the eastern Florida coast is in a weakening area of shear.. maybe that might give people something to talk about?
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


I know, some extraordinarily tropical meteorologists post remarks, explinations, comments, ext, on the forums over there, it's an extremely reliable website, without the hype.


Well when something forms.. I post.. but when there is nothing going on...I dont post unless someone has a question that I can answer for them if someone else hasnt already!
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1600


Deep-Layer Wind Shear - North Atlantic - Latest Available - Large Scale
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1653. Skyepony (Mod)
Here's another article about the same Harvard research. Goes into some different details.


Romps and co-author Zhiming Kuang, assistant professor of climate science in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, were intrigued by earlier data suggesting that the amount of water vapor in the stratosphere has grown by roughly 50 percent over the past 50 years. Scientists are currently unsure why this increase has occurred; the Harvard researchers sought to examine the possibility that tropical cyclones might have contributed by sending a large fraction of their clouds into the stratosphere

But if very deep clouds, such as those in a tropical cyclone that can rise through the atmosphere at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, can punch through the tropopause too quickly for this to happen, they can deposit their ice in the warmer overlying stratosphere, where it then evaporates.

"This suggests that tropical cyclones could play an important role in setting the humidity of the stratosphere," Romps and Kuang write.



That whole punch the tropopause seems to be on the increase lately in thunderstorms in general.. all these gravity waves we've been seeing lately.
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Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, which now also includes Weather456, daily updates


AOI #1

AOI #2

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...ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz...
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I usually dont post on fl site till there really is something to post.. there are many good posters and some Mets that post on there.
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1600
1648. Skyepony (Mod)
Presslord~ Here you go..

Positive Feedback Hint Between Tropical Cyclones And Global Warming
ScienceDaily (June 1, 2009) — Tropical cyclones could be a significant source of the deep convection that carries moist air upward to the stratosphere, where it can influence climate, according to Harvard University researchers David M. Romps and Zhiming Kuang.


Using 23 years of infrared satellite imagery, global tropical cyclone best-track data, and reanalysis of tropopause temperature, the authors found that tropical cyclones contribute a disproportionate amount of the tropical deep convection that overshoots the troposphere and reaches the stratosphere.

Their findings appear in a recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

Tropical cyclones account for only 7 percent of the deep convection in the tropics, but 15 percent of the convection that reaches the stratosphere, the researchers found. They conclude that tropical cyclones could play a key role in adding water vapor to the stratosphere, which has been shown to increase surface temperatures.

Because global warming is expected to lead to changes in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones, the authors believe their results suggest the possibility of a feedback mechanism between tropical cyclones and global climate.

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I can't fall asleep...somebody tell me a bedtime story...
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1644. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
o ya i got to change the y to i and add er
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We will have a decent idea by Thurs evening...then if it does want to develop..Friday afternoon is when they would fly a plane down there.. but this is just a guess!
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1600
1641. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
some nutty than others
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1638. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
were a good mix of nuts
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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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