Vortex2 tornado study finally gets some twisters to study

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:56 PM GMT on June 08, 2009

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

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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1737. kimoskee
4:45 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
what's the forecast for Kingston, Jamaica?
Is this rain going to hang around until the weekend?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1735. TheCaneWhisperer
2:28 PM GMT on June 10, 2009


Click image for link
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1734. nrtiwlnvragn
2:07 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
New Blog...and that saying about careful what you wish for...
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1733. stoormfury
2:07 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
the ssts near the south american coast appears to br cooling somewhat while the MDR in the atlantic is showing signs of warming. is this the reason why the epac and wpac are slow in kicking off? or is it that were are reversing to a neutral/ weak el nino episode?
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1732. TheCaneWhisperer
2:07 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
I sense a weakness in the Farce.

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1731. IKE
2:07 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
NEW BLOG!
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1730. 0741
2:07 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
why their low on map were their nothing in sw carribbean shear very high??
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1729. SavannahStorm
2:07 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
new blog
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1727. SavannahStorm
2:03 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
WIPEOUT
Time to catch a wave

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1726. Patrap
1:59 PM GMT on June 10, 2009


Baby you've been gone so Long..
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1725. TampaSpin
1:57 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
TampaSpins Tropical Update....stick my neck out

Named storm coming by June 19th! Link
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1723. tornadofan
1:52 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Boring - maybe climate change would be better?

Naah.
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1720. CybrTeddy
1:49 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting jeffs713:
5 bucks says that at least 1 blogger will declare the Columbian low on nrtiwlnvragn's post as "proof" that the AOI in the western Caribbean is actually trying to develop.


5 bucks that 5 other bloogers will declare that blogger a wishcaster.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1719. scottsvb
1:43 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting jeffs713:
5 bucks says that at least 1 blogger will declare the Columbian low on nrtiwlnvragn's post as "proof" that the AOI in the western Caribbean is actually trying to develop.


Well Here comes out low off of Columbia... lol jk!!!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1718. jeffs713
1:40 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
5 bucks says that at least 1 blogger will declare the Columbian low on nrtiwlnvragn's post as "proof" that the AOI in the western Caribbean is actually trying to develop.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1717. nrtiwlnvragn
1:35 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
12Z Surface Analysis


Click on image to view original size in a new window



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1716. IKE
1:33 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


I think this area has been willed to death, literally, lol.


I do too. Like an energizer bunny...just keeps going and going......
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1715. RitaEvac
1:33 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
.
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1714. TheCaneWhisperer
1:32 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting WxLogic:


You know what they say... if there's a will there's a way.


I think this area has been willed to death, literally, lol.
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1713. jeffs713
1:32 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting IKE:


OMG...please Dr. M, spare us the GW debate.


Hey! Some of us need entertainment to distract us from work!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1712. IKE
1:30 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:


We are in desperate need of a new Blog :(
Its getting so slow.. he might even mention GW just to Heat things up a bit (pun intended).


OMG...please Dr. M, spare us the GW debate.

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1710. weathermanwannabe
1:28 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting Tazmanian:
has any one noteded that the W Pac and E pac been slow starters this year



starting to look more like 1965!


K-Man mentioned it yesterday.....With all of the pent up heat that will continue to build around the Gulf region with high pressure dominating right now and no relief in sight in the short term, something will probably "pop" once the sheer dies down.......I don't like "late" starts to the season because some of the initial storms can become pretty strong because of the heat buildup before upwelling becomes a factor after a few storms in the basin....But then again, it's only June.
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1709. 69Viking
1:27 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:


When both numbers are in the 90's, that can't be to comfortable?
And who drinks flavoured coffee first thing in the morning?


Yep we've finally dried out and here comes the summer heat! No doubt this week will push the GOM water temperature up a bit. Hopefully shear continues to rule the day and keep anything from forming! Good morning everyone, nice and quiet tropics, just the way I like to see it!
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1708. WxLogic
1:24 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Morning...
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1707. WxLogic
1:24 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:
The NHC thinks it will find a weakness.



You know what they say... if there's a will there's a way.
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1706. CybrTeddy
1:24 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting Weather456:
Taz, yea, they are slow to start especially the WPAC


So, both the EPAC and the WPAC are below average were as the Atlantic is above?
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1705. Orcasystems
1:23 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting IKE:


LOL!


:(


We are in desperate need of a new Blog :(
Its getting so slow.. he might even mention GW just to Heat things up a bit (pun intended).
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1704. 2010hurricane
1:22 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting Weather456:
Taz, yea, they are slow to start especially the WPAC




I Know!!
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1703. Cavin Rawlins
1:18 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Taz, yea, they are slow to start especially the WPAC
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1701. IKE
1:16 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:


You are 50+ remember.. its to be expected


LOL!


:(
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1700. Orcasystems
1:10 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting IKE:


Good lord I'm going blind.


You are 50+ remember.. its to be expected
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1699. IKE
1:05 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:


Its in AOI#1 , but its pretty small isn't it?


Good lord I'm going blind.
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1698. Orcasystems
1:00 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting IKE:


I see one between eastern Cuba, SW, to SW of Jamaica....


Its in AOI#1 , but its pretty small isn't it?
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1697. TheCaneWhisperer
12:57 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
The NHC thinks it will find a weakness.

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1696. Tazmanian
12:54 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
has any one noteded that the W Pac and E pac been slow starters this year



starting to look more like 1965!
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1695. IKE
12:51 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:
Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, which now also includes Weather456, daily updates


AOI #1

AOI #2



It was not easy trying to find two AOI's this morning :(


I see one between eastern Cuba, SW, to SW of Jamaica....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1694. Orcasystems
12:43 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, which now also includes Weather456, daily updates


AOI #1

AOI #2



It was not easy trying to find two AOI's this morning :(
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1693. Orcasystems
12:36 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting RTLSNK:


Morning Big Fish, not a problem, have 36 sprinkler heads and a little princess granddaughter, have you forgotten how much fun running through the sprinklers can be? Sugar Bear likes flavoured coffee in the morning, when she is happy, grandpa is happy. :)


Both valid points... I never thought of it that way :)
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1692. RTLSNK
12:34 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:


When both numbers are in the 90's, that can't be to comfortable?
And who drinks flavoured coffee first thing in the morning?


Morning Big Fish, not a problem, have 36 sprinkler heads and a little princess granddaughter, have you forgotten how much fun running through the sprinklers can be? Sugar Bear likes flavoured coffee in the morning, when she is happy, grandpa is happy. :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1690. weathermanwannabe
12:25 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Good Morning....Shear rules in the Tropics and high pressure over North Florida which will result in highs around 95 for the next few days...Maybe a nice time to head down to the Tropics for a vacation where the water is warm and the drinks are cool.......
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1689. Orcasystems
12:22 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
Quoting RTLSNK:
69*F in Macon, Georgia this morning headed up to 92*F, 94% humidity, wind is calm, sky is clear, coffee is French Roast. :)


When both numbers are in the 90's, that can't be to comfortable?
And who drinks flavoured coffee first thing in the morning?
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1688. canesrule1
12:11 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
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1687. RTLSNK
12:08 PM GMT on June 10, 2009
69*F in Macon, Georgia this morning headed up to 92*F, 94% humidity, wind is calm, sky is clear, coffee is French Roast. :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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