Monday, 27 October 2008
Madison Ballroom (Hilton DeSoto)
During the Tactical Weather-Instrumented Sampling in/near Tornadoes Experiment (TWISTEX) a mobile mesonet and array of in situ probes collected data both within the near-tornado environment and in the tornado that occurred just south of Tipton, KS on 29 May 2008. This coordinated sampling of the thermodynamic and kinematic environment near and within a tornado is the first of its kind. Mesonet sampling began well before tornadogenesis including storm inflow collection. The mobile mesonet was able to collect data in the supercell rear-flank downdraft (RFD) outflow within 5 min of tornadogenesis at very close range to the tornado. Two Hardened In-situ Tornado Pressure Recorder (HITPR) probes (which also record temperature and relative humidity) as well as one photogrammetric probe took a direct hit by the tornado while the mesonet sampling continued. With storm inflow, close-in RFD and internal tornado observations, we believe the analysis will reveal characteristics of the flow being ingested into the tornado and possibly identify where that air is coming from in the region within/near the low-level mesocyclone. Preliminary analysis reveals that, consistent with recent research findings, the RFD outflow thermodynamic characteristics show only small thermodynamic deficits from storm inflow conditions. With two mesonet stations arrayed within 1 km south of the tornado and the in situ probes located just to the north in the tornado path, a rare opportunity exists to examine close-in RFD outflow gradients. Detailed analysis of this event will be presented.
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