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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weatherwatcher12,

You guys under a flash flood watch?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting futuremet:


According to the avatar imagery, looks like shaqogenesis is occuring.


And this comment about it is just too funny! :D
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


Hope you have fun in Vegas. I'd love to go one day. For now its a quick hop to Delta Downs. Lol. I saw the pics of the snow you posted. THAT was crazy!! I have ssome on my phone. One day I'll figure out how to post them. Lol. We looked like pod people coming out of our houses in the middle of the night to take pictures before it melted. Lol.


Thank you..i'm going for 10 days...leaving on the 17th. LOL the snow was something to see!!! I was up most of the night taking pictures! LOL! I haven't seen snow in years! I have been to Delta Downs several times!!! I like it..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Its gots so Hot here ,..In August.

I've literally seen Tourist's Melt on the Sidewalk..

Nothing left but cell phones ,..funny Hats, maps,sunglasses and lil puddles.


LOL!
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Quoting Patrap:
Its gots so Hot here ,..In August.

I've literally seen Tourist's Melt on the Sidewalk..

Nothing left but cell phones ,..funny Hats, maps,sunglasses and lil puddles.


lol
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting futuremet:


According to the avatar imagery, looks like shaqogenesis is occuring.


I really like Acemmet90's new avatar. :)
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Quoting Joanie38:



WOW!!! WHAT a DIFFERENCE!!

Joanie, we've been having a break in the temps in the west for a while. We've been about 15 degrees cooler than normal. Right now the forecast has LV warming up the day you come, but you never know, it may stay cool a few more days for you.
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1380. Patrap
Its gots so Hot here ,..In August.

I've literally seen Tourist's Melt on the Sidewalk..

Nothing left but cell phones ,..funny Hats, maps,sunglasses and lil puddles.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128865
1379. ackee
when does the GFS predict the ghost storm to form ?
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kingston forecast and the flash flood watch extended

Tuesday Night
Thunderstorm. Low: 77 F . Wind SE 13 mph . Chance of precipitation 100% (water equivalent of 1.86 in). Heat Index: 87 F .

Wednesday
Thunderstorm. High: 89 F . Wind SE 40 mph . Chance of precipitation 100% (water equivalent of 1.95 in). Heat Index: 93 F .

Wednesday Night
Thunderstorm. Low: 78 F . Wind SE 17 mph . Chance of precipitation 100% (water equivalent of 4.81 in). Heat Index: 89 F .

Thursday
Thunderstorm. High: 86 F . Wind SE 35 mph . Chance of precipitation 100% (water equivalent of 3.08 in). Heat Index: 93 F .

Thursday Night
Thunderstorm. Overcast. Low: 78 F . Wind SSE 13 mph . Chance of precipitation 60% (water equivalent of 0.31 in). Heat Index: 89 F .

Friday
Thunderstorm. High: 87 F . Wind SE 53 mph . Chance of precipitation 80% (water equivalent of 0.64 in). Heat Index: 96 F .

Friday Night
Thunderstorm. Low: 78 F . Wind SE 15 mph . Chance of precipitation 70% (water equivalent of 0.43 in). Heat Index: 89 F .

Saturday
Thunderstorm. High: 86 F . Wind SSE 31 mph . Chance of precipitation 80% (water equivalent of 0.89 in). Heat Index: 100
Member Since: May 16, 2009 Posts: 1 Comments: 1231
Quoting Joanie38:
Hello Homeless :) Nic meet you too:) Thank you for explaining...:) I am excited to go to Las Vegas and was just wondering what dry heat is like and I got my answer. :) I hate humidity with a passion!! VERY hard to breathe!! OH, and it's nice to know we are neighbors :)


Hope you have fun in Vegas. I'd love to go one day. For now its a quick hop to Delta Downs. Lol. I saw the pics of the snow you posted. THAT was crazy!! I have ssome on my phone. One day I'll figure out how to post them. Lol. We looked like pod people coming out of our houses in the middle of the night to take pictures before it melted. Lol.
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Quoting zoomiami:
Current conditions - Las Vegas, 16% humidity, Miami, 76% humidity.

Don't think I've ever been in 16% humidity.



WOW!!! WHAT a DIFFERENCE!!
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Quoting zoomiami:


When I was in Maine where the humidity was much lower than in Miami, the dry skin, lips, etc was a huge problem.


I also have a problem with anxieties and the humidity and heat doesn't help much at all!! Yep, LOTS of lotion is in order for sure!!! :) It's so nice to meet you all!!
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1373. Seastep
But it was hot. :)
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1372. Seastep
Quoting Orcasystems:


I have been to both...and I have trouble handling any kind of heat that starts with a 90...
They are both way to hot and uncomfortable.


Definitely a diff. Went to AZ on a golf vacation and played in 113... NO WAY you golf in that in FL.
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Current conditions - Las Vegas, 16% humidity, Miami, 76% humidity.

Don't think I've ever been in 16% humidity.
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Quoting Acemmett90:

well hears ha hummous definition of a Shaq Cane People feel free to put your input in
~A Shaqcane IS a Horrific Storm that instead of Rain it Release Emense amounts of Sweat, It is also the most powerful storm on earth and It's Chuck Norris's Only weakness.


It's main weakness is when it approaches the free throw line.
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I live in Victoria BC Canada... where it is NOT suppose to get to hot.. this is straight off the weather station from a few weeks ago.

Maximum Temperature
+40.2 °C at 16:31 on 03 June

For those who do not know how to convert C to F ... thats 104 F... thats just wrong in so many ways for this climate.


Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Hello Homeless :) Nic meet you too:) Thank you for explaining...:) I am excited to go to Las Vegas and was just wondering what dry heat is like and I got my answer. :) I hate humidity with a passion!! VERY hard to breathe!! OH, and it's nice to know we are neighbors :)
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Orca - that's because you are a sea creature - and the ocean never gets above 90....
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Quoting Joanie38:
Thank you Zoo:) I guess dry heat is better. I was told its like an ant underneath a magnifying glass....LOL!! I also heard it can dry your skin out terribly, so I guess I better make sure I have plenty of lotion!! :)


When I was in Maine where the humidity was much lower than in Miami, the dry skin, lips, etc was a huge problem.
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Quoting Joanie38:




LOL!!! Hahaha!!! seriously, what's the difference?


I have been to both...and I have trouble handling any kind of heat that starts with a 90...
They are both way to hot and uncomfortable.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Kman, to go with your idea of the wave. Looking at the conditions in your neck, together with many variables (reference the nws post of this morning), don't you think that our blobs may not follow all the rules?
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Thank you Zoo:) I guess dry heat is better. I was told its like an ant underneath a magnifying glass....LOL!! I also heard it can dry your skin out terribly, so I guess I better make sure I have plenty of lotion!! :)
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Quoting Joanie38:




LOL!!! Hahaha!!! seriously, what's the difference?


I'm your neighbor across the border, lol. Nice to meet ya. Used to live in El paso where it was bone dry. The humidity is the difference. Here the air is so wet heat stroke is more of a threat quicker because your sweat doesnt evaporate easily. Nobody believes me when I tell them we didn't have a/c in El Paso. Lol. The dry is easier to live with.
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1359. Patrap
No matter the seasonal changes from year to year on the SAL,Ninos,La & El..or the SSt's..

Ma Nature will get her Balance with the Systems moving heat and Moisture North,..from the Tropics to her Higher latitudes.

She has too.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128865
Humid heat is very oppressive - almost like you can't breathe, the dry heat is like being where you are when a cool front comes through - the air is dry instead of hanging on you.

Still can't go out in the absolute heat of the day, but it is better than muggy, you feel cooler.
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Good Night Folks...Just been lurking since my Georgia/SC Blob off the coast basically evaporated right before my very eyes over the last several hours......Happy Hunting...
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1356. Patrap




Mike Bettis and the Lady Chaser's
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128865
One thing that always puzzled me. 2007 was La Nina but almost very storm in the tropical atl that year struggled with wind shear at some point and others origniated from non tropical sources, Andrea, Jerry and Olga to name a few. In fact the 2 cat 5's of the season, coincidently, dived south of 15N actually avoiding the strongest shear.

With 2004 and 2007 strange ENSO-Atlantic years is seems above normal activity is best forecasted in ENSO nuetral years, namely 2008.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm like walking inside an oven




LOL!!! Hahaha!!! seriously, what's the difference?
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AOI #1

AOI #2

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Acemmett90:
how can I upload a jpg


Does this help ?

Upload to WU
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
Quoting Joanie38:
Hello everyone..:) Wow!!! I am going to Las Vegas June 17th... never been there, never experienced dry heat... i'm in Louisiana, the humidity is horrible!!! It's like walking outside into an oven!!! What is dry heat like??


Umm like walking inside an oven
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Hello everyone..:) Wow!!! I am going to Las Vegas June 17th... never been there, never experienced dry heat... i'm in Louisiana, the humidity is horrible!!! It's like walking outside into an oven!!! What is dry heat like??
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1346. Seastep
1340 - Yes. I'm on vaca, so not as much. Love the dynamics.
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Quoting Acemmett90:
how can I upload a jpg


According to the avatar imagery, looks like shaqogenesis is occuring.
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Quoting SavannahStorm:


At what point did that El Nino develop? I remember 1990 being ENSO neutral. Was it summer-fall 1991?


1991, the start of the 1991-1994 El Nino. Some speculated the the La Nina of 1995 was a feeback to that significant El Nino, just like some are saying the 2009 El Nino is a feedback to the 2007-2008 La Nina
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting futuremet:
Quasi-expert at least?


Just pulling your chain LOL.

Always enjoyed and respected your point of view
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
Quoting Weather456:
I do not think 1992 would be an analog year since the El Nino for that year as ongoing. This potential El Nino being forecasted is expected to be developing.


At what point did that El Nino develop? I remember 1990 being ENSO neutral. Was it summer-fall 1991?
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1336. Seastep 10:54 PM GMT on June 09, 2009

Good evening to you too. Trust you are enjoying the "blob watching" activities for the day.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
Quasi-expert at least? lol
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Well, on to weather. Last night I was postulating that the introduction of the tropical wave into the mix in the SW Caribbean could be a catalyst for potential cyclogenisis.

Levi felt that it would take 4 or 5 days for conditions aloft to allow for that, by which time the wave would have moved on.

Levi,are you still of that view today ?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
I do not think 1992 would be an analog year since the El Nino for that year as ongoing. This potential El Nino being forecasted is expected to be developing.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

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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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