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 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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Quoting canesrule1:
yes but the circulation was in the mid levels now its in the upper levels!


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.
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Current GOM and slightly below WV Loop
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Quoting extreme236:


I think you were around last year though and saw how long it talks for systems to either evolve into nothing or into tropical cyclones, so i dont understand why you are being premature about it.
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.
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Quoting Floodman:
Yep, it really is the jungle in here, huh?


Yea, but you can't help the human nature of it all. I just want to observe the weather and learn some things on this blog if I can along the way.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Nope, was under the same one.


Oh so you saw it too?
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1516
Quoting TampaSpin:


JP getting ticked....ARE YOU KIDDING......LOL...heck i thought he was pretending.....LOL


lol that was his biggest problem, he gotta a little too angry with people and the trolls...i just find them amusing
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Quoting Floodman:
Yep, it really is the jungle in here, huh?


DIDO
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Quoting TheWeatherMan504:


Neither did I.
I was hoping he would be back by now...


Yeah, despite what some thought he seemed to be a good guy.
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Quoting scottsvb:
well maybe he was under a different extreme #.. if so.. my bad!


Nope, was under the same one.
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Maybe its just a "Flock of Shear"..
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Quoting extreme236:


I remember him being pretty ticked off last year and said he was gonna be gone from the blog for a while...didnt think he would be gone this long.


JP getting ticked....ARE YOU KIDDING......LOL...heck i thought he was pretending.....LOL
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Where is pats voice of reason when you need it?
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Quoting canesrule1:
i said if this system is not classified an invest than its not anything, dont twist my words, i know what i said!!!


I think you were around last year though and saw how long it talks for systems to either evolve into nothing or into tropical cyclones, so i dont understand why you are being premature about it.
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well maybe he was under a different extreme #.. if so.. my bad!
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1516
Quoting extreme236:


I remember him being pretty ticked off last year and said he was gonna be gone from the blog for a while...didnt think he would be gone this long.


Neither did I.
I was hoping he would be back by now...
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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.
i said if this system is not classified an invest than its not anything, dont twist my words, i know what i said!!!
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Yep, it really is the jungle in here, huh?
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Quoting scottsvb:
Show me a way to go back to that blog and I will...lol but its no big deal! I dont care if you are.


Well im not and any person from last year can tell you that. Sorry to disappoint you.
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Quoting extreme236:


Im not doing too bad...I haven't seen him around at all this season so far.


I'm glad to hear your doing good.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


NOt seen JP for a long time......


I remember him being pretty ticked off last year and said he was gonna be gone from the blog for a while...didnt think he would be gone this long.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


That is true, but most likely the convection
will come and go. Later on the convection will
probably be back again. Or not. You can
never really know. And I don't think it would
have become a TS even with all that convection
because it had no LLC.
yes but the circulation was in the mid levels now its in the upper levels!
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Quoting canesrule1:
what does that mean, dont understand redneck, sorry.


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.
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Quoting TheWeatherMan504:


Extreme,
How have you been?
Has JP been around?


NOt seen JP for a long time......
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Quoting scottsvb:


um you are cause you admitted to it yesterday when peeps called you out.. and you came back on with your weatherstudent name and said sorry to everyone.. but anyways, I really dont care dude!


ROFL! You think Extreme's weatherstudent? ROFL.
Im sorry, that brings a tear to my eye. Extreme has been around since I think '06, and he's a damn skilled forecaster, (excuse my french), He's often right at his predictions, why I remember how good he was last year. Scott, how about you stick to fair and balanced forecasting instead of ridiculing everyone before you get the '!' and the other poof to the ignore list.
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Quoting canesrule1:
sorry, just got really pist.


I'm sorry too canesrule1.
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110. eddye
i think you people saying it dissipating but later on tonight it will look much better and next thing you will know we will have a tropical depression
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I'll have a blog later today/this evening about the carribean storm and other things. I think people are getting way too focused on this one cluster of thunderstorms.

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/winter123/show.html
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Quoting TheWeatherMan504:


Extreme,
How have you been?
Has JP been around?


Im not doing too bad...I haven't seen him around at all this season so far.
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Quoting scottsvb:


um you are cause you admitted to it yesterday when peeps called you out.. and you came back on with your weatherstudent name and said sorry to everyone.. but anyways, I really dont care dude!


Wow it shows how little you know, thats why i definatly call Weatherstudent out on things, especially when he was pretending he was JFV. Please do show me the post where i admitted to that as well.
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Quoting canesrule1:
i said what i said that it was becoming a ts at around 9am EST when there was a big blob of convection, now there are just a couple of showers around there!


That is true, but most likely the convection
will come and go. Later on the convection will
probably be back again. Or not. You can
never really know. And I don't think it would
have become a TS even with all that convection
because it had no LLC.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting extreme236:


lmao you think im weatherstudent?


um you are cause you admitted to it yesterday when peeps called you out.. and you came back on with your weatherstudent name and said sorry to everyone.. but anyways, I really dont care dude!
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1516
31. Vortex95
Gotta say I agree with you Vortex95. I am not comfortable with someone being singled out as getting it wrong, as to other 'good peeps in here to listen to..'

It is indeed true that there are some incredibly knowledgeable and gifted bloggers on this site. I am in awe. New bloggers will quickly figure out who they are. Often these experts are the most patient with those of us who are complete novices, or who are beginning to catch on, or who are in the advancing stages of knowledge.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you, especially Dr. Master's, whose posts speak to both the novice and the expert - not a small task. Also thank you all for the patience, knowledge and welcome that you have shown me over the past year.

I will try to keep my stupid questions to a minimum this season, y'all. ; )
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Quoting extreme236:


lmao you think im weatherstudent?


Extreme,
How have you been?
Has JP been around?
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Conditions are deteriorating by the minute. The uplift created by the massive amounts of hot air present is converging with the dipolar rotation of the wishcast/deathcast axis. The Tropical Blog Watch is soon to be upgraded to a Warning with the next advisory.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2229
Quoting TheWeatherMan504:
Hey Guys,
I'm glad to be back for HS 2009.


I am too weatherman. I think this will be a very interesting season.

I saw a recent news segment that said we are in for a lot of "in close developement".
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Quoting canesrule1:
how about you be quiet, an hour ago it was not affected by shear as bad as now and the convection was there, now its being affected by shear quite badly and and convection is diminishing, THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A SEC!!!


About an hour ago you were hyping it up, so pot calling the kettle black much?
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Quoting scottsvb:
extreme (weatherstudent) dont be upset!


lmao you think im weatherstudent?
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Quoting IKE:


You will wind up banned with that attitude.
sorry, just got really pist.
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Steering columns seem real weak in SWFL today. Any storms that pop up should be erratic and slow moving! I am in the middle right at the river(calusahatchee) Link
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Do you all realize there is nothing even close to the surface! NOt even mid-level....ITS ALL IN THE UPPER LEVELS...look at the Vorticity Maps! Even if conditions were good it would take at least 3 days for something to pull together...
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You can certainly tell when school is out!
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
It looks the same as it did about an hour ago..
The shear has been making it struggle for
the past 24 hours all the same. The only difference I see is that DMIN is over and
the sun heating thunderstorms aren't popping up
yet so it's a regular blob going through regular phases. That's IMO.
i said what i said that it was becoming a ts at around 9am EST when there was a big blob of convection, now there are just a couple of showers around there!
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91. IKE
Quoting canesrule1:
and your a typical blogger who is always talking crap


You will wind up banned with that attitude.
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It looks the same as it did about an hour ago..
The shear has been making it struggle for
the past 24 hours all the same. The only difference I see is that DMIN is over and
the sun heating thunderstorms aren't popping up
yet so it's a regular blob going through regular phases. That's IMO.
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Its been a rough past couple of months.
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TampaSpins Tropical Update
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.