Vortex2 tornado study finally gets some twisters to study

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:56 PM GMT on June 08, 2009

Share this Blog
5
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1637 - 1587

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35Blog Index

Quoting WeatherStudent:



Good evening, Scott!


Have you're futuristic perspectives changed any in reference to the possibility of TC formation in the SW Carib later on this week into next weekend?


Nope not yet...I want to see formation 1st..then how the models pick up on it "After it forms.. or IF" Patience is the key until anything forms...then you look into the short term of which models have the best handle on it.
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1723
mornin' KOG!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
futuristic perspectives?!?!

Did I accidently stumble into the Science Fiction blog?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1629. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
good morning press
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1628. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
to err is human nothing wrong with being human no one is perfect if it was perfect it would be boring
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
cchs....remember...

"That which does not kill me makes me stronger."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1623. Makoto1
Quoting cchsweatherman:


Thanks for the advice. I had been practicing that all year long as I hope you all had noticed, but the past couple days, been pretty fiery with certain things going on around so its been affecting my judgment when it comes to my analysis. Just gotta learn to keep calm and be more objective and patient and to not let things outside weather affect my forecasting skills and analysis.


Hey, we're here to learn, right? As long as you learn from mistakes you're fine, I've done the same kind of thing too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Acemmett90:
HELP WHAT CAN I ADD TO THIS
~A Shaqcane IS a Horrific Storm that instead of Rain it Release Emense amounts of Sweat, It is also the most powerful storm on earth and It's Chuck Norris's Only weakness. Its Only weakness is the Foul line. the Shaqness Is devistating winds that are the fastest in the world. There is only one Catagory for a Shaq Cane and the is a Shaqfive. the Shaq five can form anywhere even in the artic. whe people hear a ShaqCane is comming they evacuate LA because once you piss off Shaq You Gotta Watch youR BACK.


another kid on ignore!
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1723
Quoting scottsvb:


Its alright dude.. you just get alittle too excited and post before you really analyis everything.
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
you must wait for persisence a minimum of 24 hrs cchs then you will be able to make the call always remember give yourself 24 hrs with any system only other rule i follow if rapid firing t cells are present in group of four or more in a compact zone of continues convective cycles and expanding and venting then rapid dev is very likly but organization is the key possible call in 12 hrs


Thanks for the advice. I had been practicing that all year long as I hope you all had noticed, but the past couple days, been pretty fiery with certain things going on around so its been affecting my judgment when it comes to my analysis. Just gotta learn to keep calm and be more objective and patient and to not let things outside weather affect my forecasting skills and analysis.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1619. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting cchsweatherman:
After doing a much deeper satellite analysis for our Western Caribbean disturbance using the TropicalRAMSDIS Daytime Visible/Nighttime IR Satellite Loop, it seems that the convective action in association with the disturbance did play tricks with my vision. Earlier it appeared that there may have been a mid-level circulation. Well, now with the convection waning, things have become much clearer. All that I had been seeing was the fast upper-level winds going opposite the fast lower-level flow, giving the appearance that there may have been some circulation. Seems that I'm starting to get into a funk with making observations and forecasting. Thats been two days straight where I've been incorrect with my observations.
you must wait for persisence a minimum of 24 hrs cchs then you will be able to make the call always remember give yourself 24 hrs with any system only other rule i follow if rapid firing t cells are present in group of four or more in a compact zone of continues convective cycles and expanding and venting then rapid dev is very likly but organization is the key possible call in 12 hrs
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cchsweatherman:
After doing a much deeper satellite analysis for our Western Caribbean disturbance using the TropicalRAMSDIS Daytime Visible/Nighttime IR Satellite Loop, it seems that the convective action in association with the disturbance did play tricks with my vision. Earlier it appeared that there may have been a mid-level circulation. Well, now with the convection waning, things have become much clearer. All that I had been seeing was the fast upper-level winds going opposite the fast lower-level flow, giving the appearance that there may have been some circulation. Seems that I'm starting to get into a funk with making observations and forecasting. Thats been two days straight where I've been incorrect with my observations.


Its alright dude.. you just get alittle too excited and post before you really analyis everything.
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1723
Quoting SavannahStorm:
Latest from NWS Charleston:

SHORT TERM /6 AM WEDNESDAY MORNING THROUGH 6 PM WEDNESDAY/...
DEEP LAYERED RIDGING OVER THE WRN GOMEX AND THE LWR MISS RIVER
VALLEY WILL EXTEND NE INTO THE SE STATES...SETTLING IN ON TOP OF
THE LEE SIDE TROUGH OVER THE INLAND CAROLINAS. INCREASING HEIGHTS
AND THICKNESSES WILL FORCE ABOVE NORMAL TEMPS TO CONTINUE WITH MAX
TEMPS REACHING THE MID-90S AWAY FROM THE COAST. A FEW LOCATIONS IN
INLAND SE GA MAY EVEN REACH THE UPPER 90S.
THE EXPECTED
DEVELOPMENT OF THE SEABREEZE SHOULD HOLD BACK TEMPS CLOSER TO 90
DEGREES CLOSER TO THE COAST AND THE MID-80S ALONG THE SHORES. WITH
DEWPOINTS EXPECTED TO REACH THE MID-UPR 60S INLAND AND REMAIN IN
THE LOW 70S NEAR THE COAST...MAX HEAT INDEX VALUES WILL REACH THE
101-103 DEGREE RANGE FOR MANY LOCATIONS. THOUGH THIS IS BELOW HEAT
ADVY CRITERIA...THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR THAT THIS
LEVEL OF HEAT WILL BE EXPERIENCED AND NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS
GUARDING AGAINST HEAT-RELATED PROBLEMS SHOULD BE TAKEN.



Ugh, summer has arrived in South Georgia...


No kidding - it's SO humid and terribly hot here and Chris Poseman the, well never mind what I call her, says it just going to get worse.

17 days kids...San Diego in 17 days.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
On that note, it's time for bed.

Night, all!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Acemmett90:

oh just realized why everyone likes the avitar its the creepest picture ever oh shaq


Nope, this is the creepiest ever.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Latest from NWS Charleston:

SHORT TERM /6 AM WEDNESDAY MORNING THROUGH 6 PM WEDNESDAY/...
DEEP LAYERED RIDGING OVER THE WRN GOMEX AND THE LWR MISS RIVER
VALLEY WILL EXTEND NE INTO THE SE STATES...SETTLING IN ON TOP OF
THE LEE SIDE TROUGH OVER THE INLAND CAROLINAS. INCREASING HEIGHTS
AND THICKNESSES WILL FORCE ABOVE NORMAL TEMPS TO CONTINUE WITH MAX
TEMPS REACHING THE MID-90S AWAY FROM THE COAST. A FEW LOCATIONS IN
INLAND SE GA MAY EVEN REACH THE UPPER 90S.
THE EXPECTED
DEVELOPMENT OF THE SEABREEZE SHOULD HOLD BACK TEMPS CLOSER TO 90
DEGREES CLOSER TO THE COAST AND THE MID-80S ALONG THE SHORES. WITH
DEWPOINTS EXPECTED TO REACH THE MID-UPR 60S INLAND AND REMAIN IN
THE LOW 70S NEAR THE COAST...MAX HEAT INDEX VALUES WILL REACH THE
101-103 DEGREE RANGE FOR MANY LOCATIONS. THOUGH THIS IS BELOW HEAT
ADVY CRITERIA...THIS WILL BE THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR THAT THIS
LEVEL OF HEAT WILL BE EXPERIENCED AND NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS
GUARDING AGAINST HEAT-RELATED PROBLEMS SHOULD BE TAKEN.



Ugh, summer has arrived in South Georgia...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:
For those who are not in the know about such things..."the Pigeon" ;;;[pronounced tha Peeshawn] is a bonafide "end of the world."

Those that have been there will verify my claim;;;


More than one road from there has a sign that says "Pavement Ends 1500 Feet"

And the ones that actually have a sign are the state highways.

Addendum: G'Nite, all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
After doing a much deeper satellite analysis for our Western Caribbean disturbance using the TropicalRAMSDIS Daytime Visible/Nighttime IR Satellite Loop, it seems that the convective action in association with the disturbance did play tricks with my vision. Earlier it appeared that there may have been a mid-level circulation. Well, now with the convection waning, things have become much clearer. All that I had been seeing was the fast upper-level winds going opposite the fast lower-level flow, giving the appearance that there may have been some circulation. Seems that I'm starting to get into a funk with making observations and forecasting. Thats been two days straight where I've been incorrect with my observations.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
From the NWS discussion for the NO/BR area:

"IN A NUTSHELL...HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS WILL PERSIST ACROSS THE AREA THROUGH THE WEEKEND WITH AFTERNOON HIGH TEMPERATURES IN THE LOW TO MID 90S AND VERY LITTLE CONVECTION EXPECTED.

OUT OF THE NUTSHELL...VERY STUBBORN HIGH PRESSURE IS FORECAST TO REMAIN PARKED OVER THE NORTHERN GULF COAST REGION THROUGH THE FORECAST PERIOD."

Nutty.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
oh well. thanks Levi and the other two people who responded to my question. i guess I have no choice but to sprinkle the grass.

off to bed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEHCharleston:
1582. atmoaggie
Still picturing Bastardi jumping off the train. Thanks for the blog save, atmo.


Just sharing tidbits I thought you guys would enjoy from Watts' site at the moment.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1602. Levi32
Quoting truecajun:
i'm south of baton rouge. the local weather only goes as far as tuesday. there is no chance. do you think we'll get any by late next week?


I doubt it. Deep-layer high pressure is going to be dominating the northern gulf of Mexico for the next 2 weeks. It's going to be raining a whole lot in the states north of you though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting truecajun:
when will we get some rain in Louisiana? anyone know? future mets?? what say you?


Not in the forseeable, nor reliably modeled future.

At least 8 days or so...I hear the screams from your grass, too.

I am in Covington..starting to get crunchy. Needs to change soon or we will have burn bans for 4th of July.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting melwerle:


You might want to clean up your blogging a bit...

Seems you forgot an apostrophe...


LoL sorry i have to shake off the rust--im usually only lurking.

I figure i read this blog everyday--i might as well show my face now and again.

So if I've read correctly, the caribbean disturbance has some a small window to be our "A" storm next week.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:
What happened to the flaming Miami Heat basketball? The Ghost Storm? WTH?

You mean in just 3 hours, it's gone again?

Jeez...I was waitin' to see some shaqegensis!


Shaqgenesis is such an elegant term. I'm glad that it's the newest term being coined around here. :D
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
will my centipede grass really die if i only water it once a week? i hate fooling with the sprinklers. it's such a pain moving them all over the place. my yards are big.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
lets not go there religion or poltics start wars


Haha, I hadn't planned on it. I just love to nitpick when it comes to theology. It's one of my favorite subjects. :P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1593. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting KoritheMan:


Which god are we talking about? :P
lets not go there religion or poltics start wars
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
i'm south of baton rouge. the local weather only goes as far as tuesday. there is no chance. do you think we'll get any by late next week?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting truecajun:
when will we get some rain in Louisiana? anyone know? future mets?? what say you?


Last I heard from the NWS in NOLA, this hot and dry pattern is probably going to remain in place for at least a few more days. Last I heard, a weak front tried to work its way down here in about a week's time, but even that was uncertain, and any front we get may be a dry one, affecting only our humidity.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1590. Levi32
Quoting truecajun:
when will we get some rain in Louisiana? anyone know? future mets?? what say you?


Depends on what part of Louisiana. The north gulf coast is going to be pretty dry for a while. Northern Louisiana may get a portion of the wet pattern over the southern US, but that remains to be seen.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
You guys see the latest lightning one day before increasing hurricane intensity research?

"Here we analyse the evolution of maximum winds and total lightning frequency every 6 h during the entire lifetime of 56 hurricanes around the globe. We find that in all of these hurricanes, lightning frequency and maximum sustained winds are significantly correlated (mean correlation coefficient of 0.82), where the maximum sustained winds and minimum pressures in hurricanes are preceded by increases in lightning activity approximately one day before the peak winds."

Published in Nature Geoscience, but I have a link from Watts' site to the pdf here.


Wow, that is very interesting. I was always under the impression that lightning activity decreased as a tropical system became more organized.

I would imagine that the correlation between the lightning and intensification has to do with elevated cloudtops and ice-crystal friction, similar to the way that hail-bearing thunderstorms have increased lightning activity.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
night to all and to all a good night!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1582. atmoaggie
Still picturing Bastardi jumping off the train. Thanks for the blog save, atmo.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490

Viewing: 1637 - 1587

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35Blog Index

Top of Page

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.

Local Weather

Overcast
35 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron