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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I wont tell Drak,,I promise dude.
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Quoting Levi32:


Careful...don't remind them about 2 days ago lol.


true true... :)
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Don't know why you all want to know how old I am so bad...

There's only one person in all of wunderground that knows that. That's all I need.
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Quoting scottsvb:


lmfao


Careful...don't remind them about 2 days ago lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
Quoting Acemmett90:

hey who cares about his age aleast he knows his stuff


lmfao again!
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Quoting Acemmett90:

hey who cares about his age aleast he knows his stuff


I agree
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Quoting Acemmett90:

and he knows what he's talking about


lmfao
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lol...Drak = JFV...omg...best laugh tonight. And I think Drak is younger than JFV...I tried to find out how old he was last season, but he will not tell...and i can understand why.
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Quoting futuremet:


Regardless, we will be in a negative phase for most of June.


What exactly do you mean by negative phase? That seems contradictory.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
Quoting Levi32:


Not really.....it's upward motion for the next 15 days at least.



Regardless, we will be in a negative phase for most of June.
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WV Loop,GOM and some below

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Quoting futuremet:


I concur, shear will decrease substantially next week. However, we will be experiencing downward MJO pulses during this time. In fact we are already in the negative phase of the MJO. I think the best chance is in July; this is quite analogous to 2008.

CFS, GFS, and EWP MJO forecast.



Not really.....it's upward motion for the next 15 days at least.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I seriously doubt that Drakoen is JFV. One of them is a first rate contributor to the blog. The other is not.


Drakoen seems older and more mature...
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Quoting Levi32:
I think we have a decent shot at at least one June storm.


I concur, shear will decrease substantially next week. However, we will be experiencing downward MJO pulses during this time. In fact we are already in the negative phase of the MJO. I think the best chance is in July; this is quite analogous to 2008.

CFS, GFS, and EWP MJO forecast.

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That juxtaposition is an antithesis.

Man....I just lub that sexy Hi Brow linguistics.

LOL.....!

J/K Drak,er JFV,er Prez, ...Bud
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I think Dr. Masters is onto something here. If spending $10 million on the Vortex2 Tornado study ironically prevents development... the same thinking could be applied to Hurricanes.

Jeraldo Rivera may be the lucky charm to ward off hurricanes. He stood on the seawall in Galveston and reported live for Ike (even fell over into the surf)----> Hurricane jogs East and spares Galveston.

Jeraldo stayed in New Orleans to report live for Gustav ------> Hurricane stayed West and spared New Orleans.

Perhaps Houston should consider hiring him to report live from Houston every time we are under the gun. That way... we might be immune to the worst of effects.
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Quoting Ossqss:


Must be visiting his Uncle at his house in the Dry Tortugas National Park. L8R


Too funny. This is the same person who swore to me on his own life that he was not JFV. Oh well.
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lmao...at least he admitted to it...finally..did you see his aviatar changes yesterday?
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Growing tornado in Sergiev Posad, Russia
Filmed at 10pm 03 Jun 2009


More info (in Russian) and some pics after the disaster here:




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Quoting Ossqss:


I finally get it, Drak is JFV>PE>WS, . Nah just an illusion, -- LoL

Illusion


That juxtaposition is an antithesis.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Don't forget...and I think it has never been mentioned in the history of this blog...Andrew formed in August.


If I had a Dollar for every time I mentioned that..I could retire again.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Ed...he admitted he was JFV a few days ago...wonder why he is not on tonight?


Must be visiting his Uncle at his house in the Dry Tortugas National Park. L8R
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Quoting KoritheMan:


It certainly wouldn't be atypical for us not to see one, though. Hell, the only years since 2000 that didn't see a June tropical cyclone (be it a depression or a named storm) were 2002 and 2004.

We've been running considerably above average for June tropical cyclone frequency since before 2000 even. It's about time we get a break.


Yeah well we're in the upward cycle of hurricane activity in the Alantic. The pattern during the last half of June will be setting up some good oppertunities for tropical development in the Caribbean.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
Don't forget...and I think it has never been mentioned in the history of this blog...Andrew formed in August.
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Quoting Levi32:
I think we have a decent shot at at least one June storm.


It certainly wouldn't be atypical for us not to see one, though. Hell, the only years since 2000 that didn't see a June tropical cyclone (be it a depression or a named storm) were 2002 and 2004.

We've been running considerably above average for June tropical cyclone frequency since before 2000 even. It's about time we get a break.
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Formed off Carolinas...almost poofed until it accelerated ENE and strengthened over the gulf stream...yada yada

Uh oh...
Thats not proper State Name usage..
Someones in deep water..off Johns Island now.
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Reason we have had no development: shear has struggled to even stay with climatology.
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Quoting Drakoen:


TD1 what was that again? Not very prominent in my memory.



An irrevocable decision can be defeating.


Formed off Carolinas...almost poofed until it accelerated ENE and strengthened over the gulf stream...yada yada

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
541. beell
Quoting Levi32:


Lol....the term is "trough-split". It'll start with a low forming within the base of the trough and eventually splitting away.


Glad to see the lol, Levi-a likewise lol and a j/k here also!
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16243
I think we have a decent shot at at least one June storm.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26548
Quoting KoritheMan:


We didn't get any June development last year either (Arthur didn't develop in June, it merely persisted, forming on May 31). I don't think that really signifies much for the season as a whole.

Kori, well said. It only takes one! One awful, anywhere one is enough for a feast.
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They pitch um..I just swing away Press..LOL
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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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