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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1582. atmoaggie
Still picturing Bastardi jumping off the train. Thanks for the blog save, atmo.
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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.


Huh, I actually hadn't saw that prior to your mention of it.

Very interesting, and I think I'll also give the pdf a shot.

Thanks!
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when will we get some rain in Louisiana? anyone know? future mets?? what say you?
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Quoting futuremet:


God is a great title, but not his personal name.


Which god are we talking about? :P
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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.
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Quoting Drakoen:


At least he capitalized God; that would have been blasphemous if not.


God is a great title, but not his personal name.
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Quoting melwerle:
You might want to clean up your blogging a bit... Seems you forgot an apostrophe...


How is everyone doing tonight?
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Quoting melwerle:


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

Seems you forgot an apostrophe...


By Jove, that's the spirit!
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2307
1578. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Drakoen:
It's been fun all; have a good night.
yep been balls of fun
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Quoting DeerfieldBeachGuy:
Evening blogosphere

Hows everyone doin tonite?


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

Seems you forgot an apostrophe...
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AOI #1

AOI #2
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Evening blogosphere

Hows everyone doin tonite?
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Not to take away from grammar time, but...

Bastardi: "The current unseasonable cold across northwest Europe is not the only place where the arctic hound is calling as yet another blast of reality gets lobbed into the base camp of agenda driven warmingistas, who of course refuse to see anything that could possibly challenge their false idols."

Dang. Might have to re-think that entire AGW thing. If Bastardi thinks the hypothesis is a farce, then it is likely accu-rate.


"and by the way, for the 5th consecutive year in a row, I predict the Northeast will be hit by a major hurricane."
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2307
Quoting atmoaggie:
Not to take away from grammar time, but...

Bastardi: "The current unseasonable cold across northwest Europe is not the only place where the arctic hound is calling as yet another blast of reality gets lobbed into the base camp of agenda driven warmingistas, who of course refuse to see anything that could possibly challenge their false idols."

Dang. Might have to re-think that entire AGW thing. If Bastardi thinks the hypothesis is a farce, then it is likely accu-rate.


XD wow.
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when will the south central US get some rain????
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1571. Ossqss
Folks, this is a blog for you. Use it accordingly ! L8R
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This is way too funny tonight. I cringe alot of time of punctuation during the blog comments, the run-ons etc...never think to tell anyone they're wrong because I figure it's blog where folks have fun, relax and talk about weather - not the english language. Perhaps I should see if a friend could copyedit before people post. I certainly understand Keepers and Draks and everyone else's posts - I wouldn't dream of asking them to edit. It would take away from what makes them "them."

Hey - I'll POOF myself on the rant.

:)
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1569. Drakoen
Quoting SavannahStorm:


Drak, you must've hated ee Cummings when you were in school:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes


At least he capitalized God; that would have been blasphemous if not.
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I hated English class please stop. Bad memories!
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1566. Drakoen
It's been fun all; have a good night.
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Not to take away from grammar time, but...

Bastardi: "The current unseasonable cold across northwest Europe is not the only place where the arctic hound is calling as yet another blast of reality gets lobbed into the base camp of agenda driven warmingistas, who of course refuse to see anything that could possibly challenge their false idols."

Dang. Might have to re-think that entire AGW thing. If Bastardi thinks the hypothesis is a farce, then it is likely accu-rate.
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1564. Drakoen
Quoting truecajun:
XL, don't get upset. we usually don't care about grammar. we are just bored and picking at each other. we are like children that are cooped up inside because it's too hot to play outside. such a situation always involves hair pulling.


LOL!
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1563. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer...

...oh wait, wrong blog. ;)

17 days till we move...anyone want to come help and pack?

Just glad nothing coming this way right now although our house is not sold yet. Wondering if the northern route or southern route is the more safe route still.
Action: Quote | Ignore User

where are you going
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XL, don't get upset. we usually don't care about grammar. we are just bored and picking at each other. we are like children that are cooped up inside because it's too hot to play outside. such a situation always involves hair pulling.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Lets try beginning our sentences with capital letters LOL!


Drak, you must've hated ee Cummings when you were in school:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2307
Drak - Mensa?
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1559. Drakoen
Quoting KEHCharleston:
Sirens of Titan, was my favorite.


That comma is so disgusting.
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Vonnegut on semicolons -

Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.
Kurt Vonnegut, A Man without a Country
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Quoting melwerle:
uh oh SAvannah - that - whatever it is, looks likes it's coming our way. Or someone's way.

forgive me for using inappropriate punctuation and grammer. Did that for a living forever, now following Kurt Vonnegut rules.

:)
Sirens of Titan, was my favorite.
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1556. Drakoen
Lets try beginning our sentences with a capital letter LOL!
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Someone wake me when all the school children go to bed!
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no, i suppose it isn't.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
why don't we call "pre-invests" what they really are: clouds?


Because "Blob" and "poof" are so much more appealing.
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2307
Uh oh SAvannah - that - whatever it is, looks likes it's coming our way. Or someone's way.

Forgive me for using inappropriate punctuation and grammer. Did that for a living forever, now following Kurt Vonnegut rules.

:)
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1550. Ossqss
Quoting Drakoen:


Nice use of anaphora.


Am I wrong?
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1548. Drakoen
Quoting truecajun:
Instead of a semicolon, you make a whole new sentence beginning with a prepositional phrase. period.
Like this:
Draky, it takes practice. At least, I'm trying.


The period isn't as appealing as the semicolon.
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LOOK- THE WEATHER

Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2307
1546. Drakoen
Quoting DestinJeff:


...and if there is one thing we all know about semicolon usage, "it's" to be used when subsequent statements are in "direction relation" to the previous independent clause.


This isn't spelling error; it is grammatical error. I'm doing more than one thing at a time.
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1545. XL
Furthermore I want to say that I appreciate the constructive comments made on this blog. They not only help me learn, but keep me informed. Thanks to all those who regularly contribute.
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Instead of a semicolon, you make a whole new sentence beginning with a prepositional phrase. period.
Like this:
Draky, it takes practice. At least, I'm trying.
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1543. Drakoen
Quoting Ossqss:
Ask of yourself, why are we here? Why do we do what we do?

We are not here to parlay inaccuracy or distract that which is the intention of the interaction. We are here to share information. We don't need to share that which is wrong or distorted.

You make this what it is, never forget !


Nice use of anaphora.
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Quoting SavannahStorm:
Slowly into madness the blog descends.

Without anything tropical to talk about, the blog version of cabin fever sets in...


Indeed....
Or should I say "Very Much So"
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1540. XL
I am a lurker and will revert to being such as soon as I have made this comment:
As far as I am aware we are here to either learn about the weather; be informed about the weather, or comment on the weather. I am stunned by the level of animosity to various individuals in the blog. It does not encourage newbies to voice their opinion. I appreciate there is history, and yes, not everyone has excellent spelling or grammar (myself included). However, what I have seen over the last couple of days is destructive. It demeans the blog and purpose of it.

That's it, shoot me down in flames and put me on ignore. I just needed to have my say.
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1539. Drakoen
Quoting futuremet:


So in other words, you can use a semicolon instead of a period when two independent clauses are placed side by side?


If they are related then yes; it creates parallelism between the two sentences.
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1538. Ossqss
Ask of yourself, why are we here? Why do we do what we do?

We are not here to parlay inaccuracy or distract that which is the intention of the interaction. We are here to share information. We don't need to share that which is wrong or distorted.

You make this what it is, never forget !
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


You didn't need a period after incorrect. You could have just used a semicolon since it's in direction relation to the previous independent clause.


So in other words, you can use a semicolon instead of a period when two independent clauses are placed side by side?
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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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