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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On water-vapor loop you can start to see the trough-split beginning just south of western Cuba where the upper flow is closing off within the base of the TUTT.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
OMG 734 LOL
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Don't even think about it Press.
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Quoting TampaMishy:
Miniature Dashaund


A miniature wiener dog?

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Quoting Acemmett90:

cute dog
Yes he is!
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Actually, quikscat for this evening shows very light winds offshore that area. The general drift is to the East so it would not surprise me to see the blow up ease into the offshore waters where it could just sit and stew for a while.

Has happened before.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Oh God, I am afraid to ask... a pitbull or a poodle
Miniature Dashaund
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727. IKE
Quoting kmanislander:
Levi, relax man. LOL


LOL.

I just ate a nice cold piece of watermelon....ahh...good............
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting kmanislander:
Levi, relax man. LOL


I'm completely relaxed, except for that embarrassing thing I did on the last page lol.

I was just saying we're not likely to see a repeat of last night.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Quoting TampaMishy:
Hi Orca! I have a puppy now to replace the troll!


Oh God, I am afraid to ask... a pitbull or a poodle
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Levi, relax man. LOL
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Mishy :)
Hows the Troll dome doing :)
Hi Orca! I have a puppy now to replace the troll!
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Quoting presslord:
y'all keep talkin' about pictures...and I may feel compelled to drag out the dress shot...

(pun intended)

omg not the dress thing
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting kmanislander:
Don't look now but the blob is back and regrouping over Nicaragua, no doubt intending to migrate offshore later tonight.



Looks primarily like land-based t-storms due to day-time heating to me. The upper divergence that caused the MCC last night is not there anymore, so I doubt we'll see anything that impressive tonight.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Don't look now but the blob is back and regrouping over Nicaragua, no doubt intending to migrate offshore later tonight.

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Quoting TampaMishy:
Did you pay your electric bill?


Mishy :)
Hows the Troll dome doing :)
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Quoting presslord:
y'all keep talkin' about pictures...and I may feel compelled to drag out the dress shot...

(pun intended)


Ok, how much will it cost. I will drive to Daytona to deliver the ransom to avoid that in particular since you referenced Bikini season prior, ouch !
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Quoting gator23:
Power is out here in West Kendall. Has anyone else lost Power?
Did you pay your electric bill?
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Quoting presslord:
y'all keep talkin' about pictures...and I may feel compelled to drag out the dress shot...

(pun intended)


I'm leaving lol
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Quoting IKE:


LOL....51:(


I didn't say how many pluses :)
I was being S&I :)
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Quoting presslord:
y'all keep talkin' about pictures...and I may feel compelled to drag out the dress shot...

(pun intended)


rofl Children come here. And I really don't mind the picture you have anyway, though I know that has nothing to do with the dress one.
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Quoting Ossqss:



Actually Kman, there is much work in that areana that is underway. Authentication is a real deal we all have in our future. Anonymity will be a thing of the past, as it is now on the internet, but easier to access the verification of identity. Like it or not, it is coming.

The analytics that exist and are being developed will suprise you. In particular with the use of surveilance and fascial recongnition. Part of my business deals with engineering and integration of this type of tech.

Look at your cell phone capabilities vs a few years ago. Today, they annouced, the new I phone can be a bridge to the internet for your PC wirelessly. That's cool stuff ;)

In all, I see it as bringing back the personal touch eh>



I fear that you are right but we will all rue the day when big brother knows your every waking moment. I just got a US visa and had to give 10 fingerprints for it. Soon it will be DNA and eye scans.
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709. IKE
Quoting Orcasystems:


From someone ummmm 50+... that wishful thinking :)


LOL....51:(
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting presslord:
y'all keep talkin' about pictures...and I may feel compelled to drag out the dress shot...

(pun intended)


NO...........
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Quoting IKE:
Levi, you look 12?

You seem about 16-17?


From someone ummmm 50+... that wishful thinking :)
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I lived in Finland for 6 years, latitude 63N. Sun rise at solstice was 3.17 am and sunset at 23.35, so over 20 h of sun. The remaining hours it was still so bright that I could sit on the balcony and read a book without needing additional light. The sun remains so close to the horizon that it doesn't darken at all.

My body clock went nearly nuts the first summer there, I could not sleep when it was so bright but I didn't need much sleep anyway, 4 hours a night was sufficient.
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y'all keep talkin' about pictures...and I may feel compelled to drag out the dress shot...

(pun intended)
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704. IKE
Quoting kmanislander:
This is hilarious. Maybe I will take my pic down and post one from 25 years ago LMAO


A real active tropical evening....yawn......
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting kmanislander:


I just happen to feel that the anonymity that comes from being shielded behind a screen handle tends to encourage a lot of the nonsense we get on the blog from time to time.




Actually Kman, there is much work in that areana that is underway. Authentication is a real deal we all have in our future. Anonymity will be a thing of the past, as it is now on the internet, but easier to access the verification of identity. Like it or not, it is coming.

The analytics that exist and are being developed will suprise you. In particular with the use of surveilance and fascial recongnition. Part of my business deals with engineering and integration of this type of tech.

Look at your cell phone capabilities vs a few years ago. Today, they annouced, the new I phone can be a bridge to the internet for your PC wirelessly. That's cool stuff ;)

In all, I see it as bringing back the personal touch eh>

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Power is out here in West Kendall. Has anyone else lost Power?
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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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This is hilarious. Maybe I will take my pic down and post one from 25 years ago LMAO
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Quoting futuremet:


Please remove the link

the content is a little too much lol


I didn't read it....sorry. I'll remove it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Quoting Levi32:


Um....Geoffrey....I think he might be joking again. Link


Drak was joking LOL!
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696. IKE
Levi, you look 12?

You seem about 16-17?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Levi32:


Um....Geoffrey....I think he might be joking again. Link


Please remove the link

the content is a little too much lol
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Quoting kmanislander:
Hey Levi, are you an Aussie or do you just like Foster's lager ?


Hey I didn't have a choice in the box I was given! lol. And I was 15 in that pic....not that I look any better now.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Speaking of avitars..I had of pic of me at work (Palm Beach Kennel Club) with a Greyhound. And I received some hate mail.
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692. IKE
Quoting Levi32:


Hrmph here I thought I was back behind a screen....


I've seen your picture.

If you're getting 18-19 hours of sunlight in the summer you must be getting 5-6 around Christmas time. Baby making weather:)
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
I wish you the best of luck in gynecology%u2026but I really do think meteorology is your specialty.


Um....Geoffrey....I think he might be joking again.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Hey Levi, are you an Aussie or do you just like Foster's lager ?
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Grrr you can't remove "recent photos"
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Drak is a cloistered monk at a French monestary...
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I wish you the best of luck in gynecology…but I really do think meteorology is your specialty.
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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.

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