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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Patrap (179):

GREAT tornado video there. Thanks for posting it
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Vortex95:
why do all the crazy ppl have to live near me...


May have something to do with solar radiation and proximity to the ocean and swamps, or something. Or it could just be you. ;)

j/k - the crazies are everywhere, the ones near you just seem to enjoy blogging here.
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Quoting Ossqss:


Cool, I will post one on yours and see if you can find me though my tunnel if you would like to give it a test. Keeper came close. My coordinates are not secret.


just click on the map to see you location, give it 5 minutes.
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Consistency :P J/K

Quoting Vortex95:
why do all the crazy ppl have to live near me...
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Quoting Unfriendly:


wasnt it stromtop later?

Anyway.. I seem to recall questioning him about his weather office, and if it happened to be one and the same as his mother's basement... never did get an answer.



I think stromtop was one of the many spoof aliases that sprang up making fun of stormtop: stromtop, stormcrow, stormflop, etc.
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Quoting Weather456:


I have that on mines. His post coincided with Miami, Floirda, but that could be anybody so I won't may too much mind to it.


Cool, I will post one on yours and see if you can find me though my tunnel if you would like to give it a test. Keeper came close. My coordinates are not secret.
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
Quoting SavannahStorm:
Other infamous bloggers from the past-

STORMTOP- "IT IS SET IN STONE- STORMTOP WEATHER OFFICE"



wasnt it stromtop later?

Anyway.. I seem to recall questioning him about his weather office, and if it happened to be one and the same as his mother's basement... never did get an answer.

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Good Afternoon Everyone. Seems like the covnection died. And is no trying to start back up again to the south.
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2162
your reale bourning pleas maiyk a ericane pleas eye wunt a ericane

Translation: Your really boring please I want a hurricane please I want a hurricane

eye wunt a ericane sow eye cin leaf mein hos an gow two maryot

Translation: I want a hurricane so I can leave my house and go to the Marriott
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Quoting Ossqss:


Perhaps he will post on Keepers blog and we can ID his origination point. It you translate to the text to spoken word, I would guess Jamaica.


I have that on mines. His post coincided with Miami, Floirda, but that could be anybody so I won't may too much mind to it.
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Quoting Weather456:


eye am bourd pleas maik a ereicane

Translation

I am bored, please make a hurricane.

Sorry dude but you have the wrong person. You need mother nature. Her number is 1-800- Climate Change

That was posted on my blog. Did not understand the email.


Perhaps he will post on Keepers blog and we can ID his origination point. If you translate the text to spoken word, I would guess Jamaica.
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8185
the system is weakening and is now moving to the east. cloud tops have warmed considerably and the mid to upper level circulation is also not discernable. it is also apparent that a surface trough is now in the making. what ever chance this system had of becoming a tropical entity has diminihed considerably. the pressures in the area is still low about 1011mb and should continued to be monitored
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


What might this potentially intail for our little critter down there this afternoon, Weather456?


WS, I posted a likely scenario on my blog.

Excert:

If diffluent flow aloft remains persistent, a surface reflection in the form of a trough may develop across the area.
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MODEL PREFERENCE: ECMWF

THE NAM IS NEAR THE STRONG SIDE OF THE GUIDANCE BOTH ALOFT AND AT
THE SURFACE JUST OFF THE SOUTH CAROLINA COAST TONIGHT AND
WEDNESDAY...BUT OTHERWISE RECEIVES SOME SUPPORT FROM THE GFS FOR
DEVELOPING SURFACE LOWS WELL OFFSHORE NEAR THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE
TROUGH AXIS WHERE UPPER LEVEL DIFFLUENCE IS MAXIMIZED AROUND THE
DEVELOPING UPPER HIGH.
OTHERWISE...THE MODELS AGREE ON THE GRADUAL FORMATION OF AN UPPER
HIGH OVER THE REGION WITH AN ASSOCIATED SURFACE TROUGH LINGERING
OVER FLORIDA AND PARTS OF THE SOUTHEAST.
THE AGGRESSIVE AND FLUCTUATING NATURE OF THE NAM/GFS WITH THE
SURFACE LOWS OFFSHORE ARE CONSIDERED LOW PROBABILITY
SCENARIOS...AND THUS PREFER TO SEE BETTER MODEL CONTINUITY BEFORE
RECOMMENDING THEM.


from hpc noon model diagnostic discussion
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Quoting jeffs713:

Textbook view of low-level convergence.


Yeah it does look pretty awesome doesn't it. 456 is right it pretty much had to happen eventually because of all the thunderstorms.
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Quoting Vortex95:
456 what he write for you lol he copy pasted a boat load of stuff on my page.


eye am bourd pleas maik a ereicane

Translation

I am bored, please make a hurricane.

Sorry dude but you have the wrong person. You need mother nature. Her number is 1-800- Climate Change

That was posted on my blog. Did not understand the email.
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Convection starting to weaken

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Quoting SavannahStorm:


Says 1541 UTC for me


Textbook view of low-level convergence.
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Quoting Weather456:
HurricaneErnesto2006 are still on the blog? I did not understand your email.


He's a troll. He posted gros comments in my blog.
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HurricaneErnesto2006 are still on the blog? I did not understand your email.
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Quoting Levi32:


Ok see that's when the data was updated on the website....but look above that near the longitude labels are at the bottom of the image. You'll see purple times. 11:33 is on there on the right of that swath.


Doh, gotcha.
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Time of the pass is 1133 UTC, the time the image was buffered is 1541 UTC. The time of the pass is below.
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Quoting SavannahStorm:


Says 1541 UTC for me



Ok see that's when the data was updated on the website....but look above that near the longitude labels are at the bottom of the image. You'll see purple times. 11:33 is on there on the right of that swath. That's the actual time the pass was made. I made the same mistake when I started using those maps.
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Quoting TheWeatherMan504:


Imagine if Cindy would have had 5 Hours more over water.


Imagine if 90L had 5 hours more over water :)

Also latest NAM not really doing much with the carribean... I'll wait till 6pm and update my blog, these converging surface winds could get interesting pretty fast.

Link
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Quoting Levi32:


Correct me if I'm wrong but the pass image says 11:30UTC....it's currently 16:30UTC.


Says 1541 UTC for me

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Quoting SavannahStorm:


15:41 UTC = 10:41 EST

Anyhoo, you're probably right about the inflow. The point of convergence is also the point which is most rain contaminated.


Correct me if I'm wrong but the pass image says 11:30UTC....it's currently 16:30UTC.
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HurricaneErnesto2006- your reale bourning pleas maiyk a ericane pleas eye wunt a ericane


pleas %u263A

eye wunt a ericane sow eye cin leaf mein hos an gow two maryot


lolol, this is what I got. I think he means he wants to stay at the Marriott.
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Quoting TheWeatherMan504:
Levi are you a MET?


No. I wish I was. I might take MET classes when I go to college, but I still have a while to think about that, I'm not sure yet.
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The QuikSCAT pass indicates a surface trough has develop along the area of disturbed weather in the SW Caribbean. It's not a significant sign of development since it eventually had to happen.
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"As long as there is weather, I will have a job"

Tropical Update

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Levi are you a MET?
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Quoting Levi32:


5 hours....lol. Hey it looks really cool, I just doubt it's really a surface reflection of the trough.


15:41 UTC = 10:41 EST

Anyhoo, you're probably right about the inflow. The point of convergence is also the point which is most rain contaminated.
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Quoting SavannahStorm:


That pass is only from 2 hours ago.


5 hours....lol. Hey it looks really cool, I just doubt it's really a surface reflection of the trough.
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Quoting Levi32:


For one thing it only shows up on high-resolution and I think it's just inflow into the MCC thunderstorm bomb we saw last night. If maintained it might have had a shot at forming a surface low but it is already falling apart.


That also makes sense because if it was convergence the Convection would be re-firing by now...

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Quoting Orcasystems:
Any idea who this character is?

HurricaneErnesto2006

He just posted the entire Dr Masters blog in the comments section of my blog.
who is the character, he sent me a really stupid email. made no sense to me whatsoever
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Quoting Levi32:


For one thing it only shows up on high-resolution and I think it's just inflow into the MCC thunderstorm bomb we saw last night. If maintained it might have had a shot at forming a surface low but it is already falling apart.


That pass is only from 2 hours ago.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Imagine if Humberto had 5 hours longer over water.


Imagine if Cindy would have had 5 Hours more over water.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Back in the early days people would do that on this blog, or turn the whole blog bold or italics.
i like to call em cyber attacks by blog trolls
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting TheWeatherMan504:


Have you seen the latest Quick Scat?


For one thing it only shows up on high-resolution and I think it's just inflow into the MCC thunderstorm bomb we saw last night. If maintained it might have had a shot at forming a surface low but it is already falling apart.
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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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