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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Hey gang! Sorry to just drop in and out - but I am running a camp this week and will be w/o a computer. Anything to worry about through this Sunday? Info is much appreciated! Hope everyone is well!
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Quoting StormW:


Looks like some mid level vorticity goin' on.


Hey StormW, its barely in the mids...almost in the Upper levels...days for anything to work down in the best of conditions....
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it may refire some more as the sun gets lower in the sky later this evening but iam not holding my breath
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 192 Comments: 59601
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


the great poofer

it went from a blob to a rather dried out, shriveled remnants of a blob.
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the great poofer
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 192 Comments: 59601
331. 7544
Quoting sails1:
It now appears that there is some circulation at the mid to upper levels in reference to the distrubance in the Central Carb. Does anyone else see this on the Vis Sat Loop?


yes it does here too maybe it will become invest 93l soon after all wait watch and see
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Back to tropical weather (or lack thereof).
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Breaking---Apple announces new iPhone3GS
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Quoting sails1:
It now appears that there is some circulation at the mid to upper levels in reference to the distrubance in the Central Carb. Does anyone else see this on the Vis Sat Loop?


That's what Gordy and I just said.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
It now appears that there is some circulation at the mid to upper levels in reference to the distrubance in the Central Carb. Does anyone else see this on the Vis Sat Loop?
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Hey Storm if your still out there. Is that a circulation at 82w 18n heading wnw look at visible nhc or anybody.


It looks like there may be some rotation there but it is at the mid-levels.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
304 post That has to be the most unique post I have ever read in here. I am sorry in advance for laughing out loud at the visual of him "sneaking" onto your computer and causing havok.

This backwards flow is getting old in swfl..i want my ridge back.
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Quoting StormW:


Ditto...I sorta know the feeling...my son was diagnosed a few years ago with Bi-polar disorder


Wow.. I know what having bipolar feels like, I wish you the best of luck.
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Hey Storm if your still out there. Is that a circulation at 82w 18n heading wnw look at visible nhc or anybody.
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I have not run across that disorder for a long time. Interesting thing, it is predominately in the North American continent.
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Quoting DestinJeff:


but the picture she/he lifted off the net was pretty hot


agreed, it was pretty nice... isn't it funny how people get treated even on blogs by their beauty and not their knowledge?
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No harm done Ernesto.

On another note, here's the ECMWF/GFS comparison 7-10 day mean 500mb heights.



Notice the negative NAO over the north Atlantic. It's a pattern where one has to watch under the ridge in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico for tropical mischief trying to get pulled north by troughs over the eastern US. It's also pattern with potential for trough-splits which are a main trigger for early-season storms.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
amanda brown nosed everyone and everyone catered to her...lol it was sickening
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Quoting DestinJeff:
anybody remember "Amanda" from last season? her handle was something close...can't remember exactly, but remember how everyone was all about her then she turned out to be a fake..... yeah....? remember that?


YES I do...ugh
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Don't know what I missed on the great carribean debate for the rest of last night/early morning but the NHC just took off the 30% chance graphic and it now says No Tropical Cyclones at this time

I still stand by and say maybe? LOL =D
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304. HurricaneErnesto2006

It's OK. We're used to it around here.
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the hype about the caribbean disturbance is about to wane .all eyes will now be focused on the next potential system. in the interim the emphasis will be on 91e
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No worries, Ernesto. It happens, and kids will be kids. Thank you for jumping on and explaining the situation - many people would have just gone back to lurking.
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I didn't notice any problems, Ernesto.
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Quoting Patrap:
One cant be faulted for anything done here by a child. No harm ,no foul.


Agreed.
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One cant be faulted for anything done here by a child. No harm ,no foul.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134812
Getting downpours right now here.Too bad this disturbance is dying out,it looks like it's already moving north now when they said it's going to move over Nicaragua then north.
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Quoting Skyepony:
scott~ upper right under previous entries..

ty
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Quoting scottsvb:
Is there anyway in here you can go back to past blogs to read comments?


go to the beginning of the entry and click on Jeff Masters name. It iwll take you to the blog index and you can select the prior blogs to view.



Link
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All blogs have a archive,..look on the right side of this page---------------->

Previous Entries for 2009:

* June
* May
* April
* March
* February
* January
* Complete Archive
* Complete Archive by Subject new!
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134812
299. Skyepony (Mod)
scott~ upper right under previous entries..
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Like i stated last night.. I would look 2-3days from now near Jamaica-Cuba...but still the wind shear will be too great.
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Hey guys! Someone needs to turn off the rain in my area. I've had rain for a few days and have 10 more days forecasted. My yard is beautiful, but you can't enjoy the outdoors!

In regards to the blob, shear is expected to drop in about 90 hours. Maybe it can hang on til then!
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Is there anyway in here you can go back to past blogs to read comments?
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Well the NHC is right that at the moment there is basically no threat for development, but the western Caribbean needs to be watched over the next week.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Having a Map Loco is a good tool for seeing the traffic that passes thru ones Blog.
I've had one for 2.5 years now.

Patrap's Map loco
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 437 Comments: 134812
292. JRRP
000
ABNT20 KNHC 081734
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT MON JUN 8 2009

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

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

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN/BLAKE
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6823
100 miles off for me (marco island vs clewiston)
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Quoting Weather456:


just click on the map to see you location, give it 5 minutes.
Right on for Charleston



Watching the B&BP (blob and barromentric pressure) - 1pm EST
AOI (da' blob) 14N 80W 'ish (southerly move) - Data from north going south

Buoy 42057 - 16.7N 81.5N - 1013/29.90(falling) - 25mp/21kts E
San Andres, Nicaragua - 12.2N 83.0W - 1011/29.84(steady) - 12mp E
Puerto Limon, Costa Rica - 10.0N 83.1W - 1011/29.84(falling) - 4mp NE
Cartagena, Colombia - 10.4N 75.5W - 1010/29.83 (falling) - 6mph WNW
Fort Sherman, Panama - 9.3N 80.0W - 1009/29.80(falling) - 5mph SE
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
Quoting Ossqss:


Close but no Cigar, about 30 miles off.

Location Time
Brandon, FL, United States Mon, 08 Jun 2009 12:17:24 -0500


Mine's 80 miles off on every map lol.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26775
Quoting Weather456:


just click on the map to see you location, give it 5 minutes.


Close but no Cigar, about 30 miles off.

Location Time
Brandon, FL, United States Mon, 08 Jun 2009 12:17:24 -0500

BTW, I did not know that service was free. Probably want you to upgrade to get accuracy up. Some of you may want to bolt it on your blog :)


Link
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Patrap (179):

GREAT tornado video there. Thanks for posting it
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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