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: 1487 - 1437

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 StormW:


To set the time:
1. In Clock Display Mode, press and hold MODE for
2 seconds.
2. To change the setting, press or .
3. Press MODE to confirm and move onto the next
setting.
4. The setting sequence is 12 / 24 hour format, hour,
minute, year, month-date format, month, day and
day of the week language (English, French or
Spanish)



Storm!
Thanks!!! I was totally over thinking that
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1486. Ossqss
Quoting WeatherStudent:



Why do you treat me that way? :(


Frankly, because you deserve it. You had your chances to come clean and tell the truth and you chose to take a different direction. Look at your history. Why??

Rule of thumb #2
If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said.

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Quoting Weather456:


Thanks..I remember going to: http://weather.caribseek.com/ when Arthur was made landfall in Belize last year

the one for jamaica is http://www.metservice.gov.jm/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
As Yahoo! Messenger gets older so too do some of the “vintage” versions that are still in use by some users.

In an effort to provide the best experience for our users and maintain high security standards, we will officially retire Yahoo! Messenger versions 6.0 through 7.5 in August, 2009. This means that if you are currently using a version of Yahoo! Messenger that is below 8.0, you will no longer be able to sign in and use it after the retirement date in August.

If you are one of these users, you’ll begin seeing messages in-product about the upcoming retirement. You have several options for continuing to use Yahoo! Messenger:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
My power just came back :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1482. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
window to open how long remains to be seen


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormW:


To set the time:
1. In Clock Display Mode, press and hold MODE for
2 seconds.
2. To change the setting, press or .
3. Press MODE to confirm and move onto the next
setting.
4. The setting sequence is 12 / 24 hour format, hour,
minute, year, month-date format, month, day and
day of the week language (English, French or
Spanish)


So StormW did you ever figure it out???? LOL

Taco :0)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1479. Patrap
GOES-WV loop,Tropical Atlantic Basin,wide view
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
1478. Seastep
Quoting Drakoen:


Forever.


LOL.

No question. Destructive atm and immediate future.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1476. Drakoen
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Yup, but for how much longer though, drak?


Forever.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1475. TX2FL
Hello StormW!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1474. TX2FL
1471-how would that kind of a swing happen?

Here in N. Texas, during the fall, we'd have 75 or 80 degree temperatures and we'd get a strong cold front, and have a 40 degree drop in about 5 minutes. Driving from one end of the airport to another the temps were wildly different.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1472. gator23
Quoting Ossqss:
Quoting gator23:
Can anyone tell me why JFV soesnt just use his JFV account? Was he banned? This weather student character makes me feel... uncomfortable...

He was banned twice under different handles so far. Not how the rules work.


ahhh
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2182
1470. Ossqss
Quoting gator23:
Can anyone tell me why JFV soesnt just use his JFV account? Was he banned? This weather student character makes me feel... uncomfortable...

He was banned twice under different handles so far. Not how the rules work.
Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8186
Good evening bloggers

Im crawling out of the lurk-zone to say hello!

Beautiful day here in Northeastern Broward, not a drop of the wet stuff. Let's see if we can get a few more days like today.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1468. Makoto1
Wow, not much of a spread from 34 to 17.

For where I am:

Highest recorded: 105 F (41 C)
Lowest recorded: -21 F (-29 C)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1467. Patrap
NOAA WEATHER ALERT radios
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
Quoting DestinJeff:
...with all these "current conditions" posts I feel like John Ed Thompson's gone to full-time blogging in his retirement

"82 in Marianna, 79 in Destin, 80 in Crestview, 79 in Mobile, 77 in Atmore, 80 in Enterprise, 78 in Panama City, 77 in Pensacola..."

LOL I hope not
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1465. JRRP
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Interesting weather456! About what I expected. Some stations in the Dominican Republic have reached 43C (109 F)

it`s true
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5832
Bad cell here - at least bad for Utah this time of year. We've had tornados but usually in August. Thank heavens no tornados today but, I thought I was going to have Texas type hail damage to my car! Link Might take a minute to load.
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
Dewpoint temperatures(Fahrenheit) are much better at telling how humid and dry it is(a 35 degree temp. with 100% humidity I'm sure you'll agree is not humid).

80+ degree dewpoints(very rare in the U.S.)=Severely oppressive puking ickiness! With a high of 107 degrees and a dewpoint of 95 degrees, Saudi Arabia(at the Persian gulf coast) experienced a heat index of up to 176 degrees. Talk about exposure!

70-80 degree dewpoints=Very oppressive though less tragic(unless air temps. approach the century mark).

60-70 degree dewpoints=Everyone complains it's a little sticky outside.

45-59 degree dewpoints=Fairly comfortable except when air temps are real high with absolutely no breeze in the heat of the day(it's still really nice just a little hot around the edges if you plan to hick).

44 and lower dewpoints=Conditions are absolutely fabulous(the lower the better. all wildfires and dust storms aside). it doesn't matter if it's breezy or not. If it's 64 or 124(The sun is your only enemy in a dry heat. Shade is an oasis). The tombs of Egypt are a testament to dry heats superiority!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1459. gator23
Quoting WeatherStudent:


Why? What have I done to you? But it's alright, regardless, I guess.


No no nothing personal I was kidding. I just miss the old JFV moniker
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2182
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

When did I post that Keeper?
It wasn't today.
June 1st is the start of winter here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This blog has unhealthy obsession over JFV, I think Dr. Masters is going to have to hire a psychologist to determine why a weather blog cannot go for a single day without reference....somethings wierd in blog world I think
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Acemmett90:

who's winning

5-0 Red Sox Bottom of 4th
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1452. Drakoen
30-50 knots of blowing shear in the Caribbean.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1451. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting AussieStormCome to Sydney Australia now at 09:50 EST
Temperature: 11.5C (52.7F)
Relative humidity: 35%
Feels like: 9.1C (48.4F)
Wind: W 22km/h (16.6mph)
Wind gusts: 35km/h(21.7mph)

and it ain't even winter yet
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1450. gator23
Can anyone tell me why JFV soesnt just use his JFV account? Was he banned? This weather student character makes me feel... uncomfortable...
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2182
1448. JRRP
Quoting Weather456:


34C in April or May 2005

and 17C for several occasions during the winter of 2007-2008, which was one the coldest for islands.

only 34ºc?
well...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5832
1447. Levi32
Scattered thunderstorms near Panama this evening:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
Hey All!!!

I just got a new NOAA weather radio so I'm rather excited... However there is one feature that I really don't get....

The weather radio I purchased is

"Oregon Scientific Noaa, Weather Radio Model WR601"

when I go and set the Time/Date it gives me an "S....E or F" option after the time...

does anyone have any clue what this is!

thanks again!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gator23:


Still better for you than McDonalds

hahahahahaha roflmao
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Weather456:


34C in April or May 2005

and 17C for several occasions during the winter of 2007-2008, which was one the coldest for islands.


lol, seems pretty comfortable there. Highest temp recorded in Savannah- 105F, the record low 3F.

That pales in comparison to some places like South Dakota-

Records for Pierre, SD:
Record high: 117F
Record low: -35F

How's that for a temperature range?
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2342
Hey, it DIDN'T rain today in Pompano Beach :) Wow !!!!!!! Got to about 90F
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1441. gator23
Quoting KEHCharleston:
The eggs do not scrape off the sidewalk easily - so a bit difficult to eat ; )
Ants make short work of the remains though. Now that makes sense! Much more edible.


Still better for you than McDonalds
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2182
I'm currently watching the Red Sox playing Yankies. Looks quiet cold and at any moment it could rain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1439. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Levi32:


Yeah, it's pretty inconsistent at this point. The GFS and ECMWF have been very consistent in at least having something down there though.

its there. what is there remains to be seen!



AOI
MARK
12.69N/83.29W
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting gator23:


sounds tasty
The eggs do not scrape off the sidewalk easily - so a bit difficult to eat ; )
Ants make short work of the remains though.
Quoting AussieStorm:

I cooked 1 on the bonnet of a car... and ate it. also made pancakes/flapjacks.
Now that makes sense! Much more edible.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
Quoting MobileMob:
Nice!! Just looked at the Sydney cam and it's looks like it's a beautiful day there.

Beautifully cold and windy
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1487 - 1437

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

Mostly Cloudy
72 °F
Mostly Cloudy