24th Conference on Severe Local Storms


TWISTEX 2008: In situ and mobile mesonet observations of tornadoes

Christopher D. Karstens, Iowa State University, Ames, IA; and T. M. Samaras, A. Laubach, B. D. Lee, C. A. Finley, W. A. Gallus, and F. L. Haan

In May and June of 2008, the Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in/near Tornadoes EXperiment (TWISTEX) project acquired several datasets in and near tornadic circulations, as well as within associated supercell rear-flank downdraft (RFD) surges. These environments were sampled using Hardened In-situ Tornado Pressure Recorder (HITPR) probes, photogrammetric probes, and mobile mesonet instrumentation.

Preliminary analysis of the datasets show at least three tornadic circulations well-removed from intense low-level mesocyclones passed across one or more mobile mesonet vehicles. The first, on May 10th, occurred near Broken Bow, OK where a linear transect of a developing tornadic circulation was measured. The second, on May 23rd near Quinter, KS, appeared to be a satellite tornado associated with an intense tornadic mesocyclone. The third, on May 29th, occurred near Tipton, KS where a small anti-cyclonic circulation was measured. In addition, a separate tornado near Tipton, KS passed directly across two HITPR probes and one photogrammetric probe deployed just ahead of it.

A complete summary of these datasets will be presented and related to analysis of video and damage. In addition, these datasets will be compared to turbulent vortex measurements obtained from the Iowa State University WiST tornado simulator as well as to prior results from laboratory and numerical simulations.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (756K)

Poster Session 3, Supercells and Tornadoes Posters
Monday, 27 October 2008, 3:00 PM-4:30 PM, Madison Ballroom

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