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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Vortex2 on youtube. One appears to have been grabbed from TWC in Lansing, hence the local forecast :)

Link

Link

Link
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
I find this interesting. Last night, the upper trough over the western Caribbean was really digging in, and the strongest winds were on the east side of the base of the trough, west of Jamaica. This created the upper divergence that allowed the MCC bomb to form last night.

12 hours ago:


Today, the flow has begun to close off at the base of the trough, starting to form an upper closed low within the trough. As this happens the rest of the trough to the north is trying to lift out while the upper low stays put. This is causing the least positively tilted (in this case the most straight up-and-down) part of the trough to be further to the north, moving the strongest winds, pressure gradient, and strongest upper divergence over eastern Cuba and the Bahamas. This is why the blob bomb completely died today and most of the convection is now further to the north over eastern Cuba and the Bahamas.

Now:
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Oh ok. I know it was raining in Montego Bay.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting presslord:
A proven way to reduce the incidence of dangerous weather phenomena is to schedule a multi-million dollar field experiment to study the phenomena.

I just love that...


lol The weather is mocking us constantly.
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Quoting presslord:
A proven way to reduce the incidence of dangerous weather phenomena is to schedule a multi-million dollar field experiment to study the phenomena.

I just love that...


Better to spend money on that than the damn banks
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A proven way to reduce the incidence of dangerous weather phenomena is to schedule a multi-million dollar field experiment to study the phenomena.

I just love that...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:
Ground Reports:

Did it rain in the Caymans and/or Jamaica today?

Lo hizo la lluvia en Cuba, La Española o hoy?


No rain in Norbrook, St. Andrew, Jamaica. Overcast all day - solar water heater has cold water!!! ;-)
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3 waterspouts in Summerland Key today.
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Looks like Jamaica got some rain and eastern Cuba is getting most of it right now.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting Weather456:
Ground Reports:

Did it rain in the Caymans and/or Jamaica today?

Lo hizo la lluvia en Cuba, La Española o hoy?
Decent amount of rain in Grand Cayman today and looks like more later on.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8393
Here is how it looks outside right now.LinkWait a few minutes and check back on this cam then you can see the pink tower.That's how hard it's raining.
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Ground Reports:

Did it rain in the Caymans and/or Jamaica today?

Lo hizo la lluvia en Cuba, La Española o hoy?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Guess it is PB county this afternoon - we've had rain daily in Miami for some two weeks
and the mosquitoes are like to carry off small dogs and cats...
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Have a Nice One Folks...Lot's of naked swirls and ULL's out there right now around the US, Caribbean, and Bahamas but none of them have any meat on the bones due to the shear and other missing ingredients....See Yall Tommorow..
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Not sure if it is the first of the season or not - but a lawn-man working in Coral Springs, FL was killed by lightning earlier this afternoon... was on a riding mower and died instantly...
good old WSVN quoted a couple of people on his appearance post-strike...
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if anything could/would form in the next few days it would be near the SE bahamas,imo
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Quoting keywestbrat:
Kman that is brilliant but I am in flordia not the middle east, LOL, I will stick with the citronilla plant, that works quite well, when in doubt, take the lime out of your corona and rub all over expsosed skin, cheers LOL


Actually we have neem trees here so I know you can find one in Florida. Having said that, I like the sound of a cold one that doubles as an insect killer LMAO

Gotta run now
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
409. all4hurricanes

Unless things pick up, I wont get to be a hurricane this year either.

EPac does look like the place to watch, though.
358. Ossqss

Going out for a run - feel like crap so "I'll just give it 10 & see how it feels"
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Whew getting pounded here with heavy rain and gust up to 40 here in West Boca.Here is the radar.Link
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Quoting Patrap:
Greetings back from a City with a Shanghaied Mayor..LOL



New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, wife and security guard still quarantined in Shanghai hotel
by staff and wire reports
Monday June 08, 2009, 2:19 PM


LOL! I saw that today on Miami news...
and they feel fine - case of over reacting on the part of the PRC???
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Caribbean needs to be watched during the next 5-15 days. High building over the Gulf of Mexico sets up the trough-splitting pattern and under the ridge in the Caribbean is where to look for trouble down the road. European 10-day 500mb:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
thanks everyone,its very much appreciated.....
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Keywestbrat

Here is the cure for the mozzies. Also doubles as shade for your yard LOL

The magical Neem tree
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
UPDATE POSTED:
South Florida StormWatch
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Quoting Drakoen:
That low moves north and advects right into the TUTT kman.


As long as we can get some rain that is fine by me LOL
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
2009
Andres
Blanca
Carlos
Dolores
Enrique
Felicia
Guillermo
Hilda
Ignacio
Jimena
Kevin
Linda
Marty
Nora
Olaf
Patricia
Rick
Sandra
Terry
Vivian
Waldo
Xina
York
Zelda
East Pacific Names
I'm thinking we'll see an Andres soon
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404. keywestbrat 9:34 PM GMT on June 08, 2009

I know what you mean. The first rains allow all the mozzies to hatch.

Ah, life in paradise LOL
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
Quoting stillwaiting:
afternoon everyone!!!,I don't think I've ever seen a tornado w/snow capped mts in the back ground!!!!!...I have a really good friend thats had a accident and is critical condition,please keep him in your thoughts and prayers my fellow brothers and sisters,thanks:)


I will as well, I wish him luck in recovering too.
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Quoting stillwaiting:
afternoon everyone!!!,I don't think I've ever seen a tornado w/snow capped mts in the back ground!!!!!...I have a really good friend thats had a accident and is critical condition,please keep him in your thoughts and prayers my fellow brothers and sisters,thanks:)
Prayer is a powerful thing and your friend will be in mine. God bless.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8393
Quoting stillwaiting:
afternoon everyone!!!,I don't think I've ever seen a tornado w/snow capped mts in the back ground!!!!!...I have a really good friend thats had a accident and is critical condition,please keep him in your thoughts and prayers my fellow brothers and sisters,thanks:)


I will SW, hope he's alright.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
Quoting Patrap:
Mans,..I dont feels so good.

"That Chinese Buffet was rough momma."





I heard mayor RN has been quarantine possible contact with a person with swine flu symptoms. I always admire him for is work before, during and after Katrina considering the size of the disaster.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
That low moves north and advects right into the TUTT kman.
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afternoon everyone!!!,I don't think I've ever seen a tornado w/snow capped mts in the back ground!!!!!...I have a really good friend thats had a accident and is critical condition,please keep him in your thoughts and prayers my fellow brothers and sisters,thanks:)
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361. cgableshurrycanegal
LOL - Yes Dr. M
my sentiments exactly over the last 10 days or so - can we now deploy the same amount of personnel into the *hurricane field* and see if we get similar results?


Yes, that would work, except for the counter effect of "vacationers". Their recent ingress into the midwest CONUS overpowered the dampening effects of the V2 scientists. There are way too many in the Caribbean. 1 barefoot sailor = 10 scientists

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Anything that tries to form will have to form below 15N. The TUTT axis looks to remain tight and strong over the northern Caribbean. 15N is only based on the GFS the other models do not give room for anything.
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Tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean is positively tilted with the northern part of the axis over Puerto Rico while the southern end is over northern South America at 70W. May be starting to get involved in the western Caribbean soon as there is a 850mb vort max along the wave axis:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
72 hr forecast surface map

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
Seems like it fits.

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Good afternoon

Shear continues to fall in the SW Caribbean and is now in the 5 to 10 knot range near Panama and expanding to the N.

By 10 tonight we may see another flare up from the "blob" ( or what's left of it ). Even if that happens, this scenario of flaring up and dying down could play out again tomorrow.

June is much like October and November where systems take days to organize, if they do at all.

Shear falling
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
Quoting Weather456:
The text size on my blog has change?


Same here.

SJ - I told you I can't let it enter my mind...lol. It's got a small chance I'll give it that. It all depends on what the TUTT does. If it gets really narrow on us it will leave very little room for something to develop, but if it broadens out and leaves a dull spot with low shear like with TD 1, it will be worth watching.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26661
I think the key to anything forming there is staying far enough west to be in light wind shear instead of the really strong shear just to the east of that. It's probably a low chance but it's there.
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The text size on my blog has change?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
rain moving east through west palm beach, should be reaching my house in greenacres in less than 20 min.
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Mans,..I dont feels so good.

"That Chinese Buffet was rough momma."



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128749
SJ,

Sometimes other systems take the spot light but they wre still being observed.
I will comment on the area 2mr in my blog but this is from accuweather:



Another area we are watching is a cluster of thunderstorms over the Bahamas for possible development. If a low-level center were to become better organized, it would most likely move to the northeast and stay off the Southeast coast. Strong, southwesterly upper-level shear should keep this feature from intensifying, but a system like T.D. 1 would not be out of the question.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

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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.