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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Quoting canesrule1:
i believe and i've been taught that at least it will take 48 hours to go from the upper levels to the lower levels.


Which is incorrect, it may be right for a lot of systems but I've seen circulation circulations spin up in 12-24 hours.
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Quoting canesrule1:
i said something wrong, winds are above 50 knots in the quikscat, but still no LLC for a long while!


The Black Bars are rain contaminated.
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Quoting canesrule1:
i said something wrong, winds are above 50 knots in the quikscat, but still no LLC for a long while!


That may be right, but your trying to state that as a fact, rather than an opinion.
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Quoting extreme236:


I'm not saying it cant take a while, but thats not always the case.
i believe and i've been taught that at least it will take 48 hours to go from the upper levels to the lower levels.
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Quoting JRRP:


Very interesting Quickscat pass... We now have due east and due west winds converging under the convection, with some in the 30-35 knot range. (A lot of rain contamination, though)
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2342
thanks nrt
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Quoting extreme236:


Yup, but now as "WeatherStudent"


LOL,
That's not surprising...
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i said something wrong, winds are above 50 knots in the quikscat, but still no LLC for a long while!
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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 canesrule1:
that is fine with me all of us have to disagree on something, right, but imo i believe it takes a while for a circulation to make it from the upper levels to the lower levels!


I'm not saying it cant take a while, but thats not always the case.
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Quoting PcolaJess:

lol too funny

anyone know why some comments are hidden?


Go to top of reader comments and set filter to "Show All". You can also go to your blog and under "Modify My Profile" set the filter to a default selection.
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Quoting FMDawg:


Go to the top right where it says "filter' and click "show all"

thanks
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Quoting extreme236:


It doesnt always take 72 hours for a circulation to get to the lower levels, if thats what you think that is incorrect. I know its not going to take 5 minutes. I myself think the chances for development arent very good...i just disagree with the logic your using.
that is fine with me all of us have to disagree on something, right, but imo i believe it takes a while for a circulation to make it from the upper levels to the lower levels!
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what is a troll and what causes one to get banned for life
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Quoting PcolaJess:

lol too funny

anyone know why some comments are hidden?


Go to the top right where it says "filter' and click "show all"
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24hr Shear Tendency - North Atlantic - Latest Available - Large Scale
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
171. JRRP
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Deep-Layer Wind Shear - North Atlantic - Latest Available - Large Scale

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting TheWeatherMan504:


LOL...
Is he still around too?


Yup, but now as "WeatherStudent"
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Quoting canesrule1:
the circulation is in the upper levels and it will take about 72 hours to make it to the lower levels if it survives, it doesn't take 5 minutes to go from the upper levels to the lower levels on top of that in the quikscat winds are not above 29 mph.


It doesnt always take 72 hours for a circulation to get to the lower levels, if thats what you think that is incorrect. I know its not going to take 5 minutes. I myself think the chances for development arent very good...i just disagree with the logic your using.
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Other infamous bloggers from the past-

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

cyclonebuster- "My tunnels would have prevented this tragedy!"

Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2342
Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS JUNE 08, 2009 ISSUED 9:05 A.M. EDT


Thank you StormW! You always a great synopsis.
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Quoting extreme236:


lol yup


LOL...
Is he still around too?
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Quoting extreme236:


I said your calling it RIP premature. And who says something takes 4 days to develop?
the circulation is in the upper levels and it will take about 72 hours to make it to the lower levels if it survives, it doesn't take 5 minutes to go from the upper levels to the lower levels on top of that in the quikscat winds are not above 29 mph.
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Quoting TheWeatherMan504:


JFV?
Isn't that the guy that bet his life on Gustav not getting in the Gulf?


lol yup
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Looks to me like convection is tryig to consolidate around a "center" and still not looking too bad to my untrained eye.


The intense convection is being caused by Upper Level Divergence.
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Quoting Patrap:
..Welcome to the Jungle,we got vids and loops..

lol too funny

anyone know why some comments are hidden?
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Quoting extreme236:


He is still talking about me being weatherstudent/JFV...yeah right...


JFV?
Isn't that the guy that bet his life on Gustav not getting in the Gulf?
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Quoting TheWeatherMan504:


This is my 3rd Season here and I do not remember you.
trust me ivebeen hear 3 years
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This is merely a test of the NOAA Floater Satellite System. Had this been a real invest, tune to Dr. Master's Blog for further mayhem and hysteria.

Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2342
Conditions basin wide are not favorable for development right now...yet... I hate to see what happens if shear ever does drop..Waves this year seem to be fighters.
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Quoting canesrule1:
why are we fighting???? and yes it has been around for at least 3 days, and it will take another 4 days to develop(if it does) and you called me premature.


I said your calling it RIP premature. And who says something takes 4 days to develop?
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Good morning regulars! Wow just caught up on the latest edition of "As the Blog Turns"! This is going to be a long season with some of the bickering already taking place. Everyone is allowed to have their opinions, trolls are trolls and know who they are, just don't feed them. They will change their minds 20 times with one system just to aggravate anybody they can, that's their mission. And yes it's painfully obvious that school is out!

I'm not ready to RIP this blob but it would definitely take some time to develop, nothing to get excited over anytime soon IMO.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
I could be wrong but shear seems to have decreased a bit over the Caribbean system, I still think this has chance to become a named system or a least a TD.
Looks to me like convection is tryig to consolidate around a "center" and still not looking too bad to my untrained eye.
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Quoting extreme236:


1)It hasnt been 4-5 days
2)No one is calling for short term development, just a long term watcher so nothing right now really matters with it
3)Never called you immature
why are we fighting???? and yes it has been around for at least 3 days, and it will take another 4 days to develop(if it does) and you called me premature.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Yes..?


He is still talking about me being weatherstudent/JFV...yeah right...
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What ever happen to ihave27windows?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


JP got banned from Dr. Masters blog. I spoke with him a few weeks ago on his blog.


Ohh,
I'm gonna have to pay him a visit then on his blog....
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Quoting scottsvb:


Oh so you saw it too?


Yes..?
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I could be wrong but shear seems to have decreased a bit over the Caribbean system, I still think this has chance to become a named system or a least a TD.
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Quoting extreme236:


Um an hour ago you were saying this should be an invest and talking this system up, and now your calling it RIP...and tomorrow if it flares back up you will be talking it up again. Gotta be more consistent than that.


http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/float1.html

It's not an invest, it's a TEST! This storm isn't even real! Someone tell NOAA its dangerous to create test storms.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Yep I haven't been paying attention to waht levels the circulation is in but it is definitely
weakening. But it could flare up again and
strengthen just as easily. Blobs like this
one are never consistent and there will be
TONS more like this one. Right now it's in
one of it's regular weakening phases. And
even if it was in it's mid levels back when
you were calling it to be a TS, it has to be
all the way down into the lower levels.
i know but now that it is in the upper levels it will have about another 3-4 days to get to the lower levels if it survives which i doubt.
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Quoting canesrule1:
btw i've been around for 3 years.


This is my 3rd Season here and I do not remember you.
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Quoting extreme236:


lol that was his biggest problem, he gotta a little too angry with people and the trolls...i just find them amusing


JP got banned from Dr. Masters blog. I spoke with him a few weeks ago on his blog.
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Quoting canesrule1:
its already been 4-5 days and the circulation is still in the upper levels and convection is down, so im not being immature, btw i've been around for 3 years.


1)It hasnt been 4-5 days
2)No one is calling for short term development, just a long term watcher so nothing right now really matters with it
3)Never called you immature
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..Welcome to the Jungle,we got vids and loops..
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Quoting extreme236:


Yeah, despite what some thought he seemed to be a good guy.


Yea,
He was a cool dude.
What made him special is that he was Real, he never sugarcoated anything he just to people he how it was.
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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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