1.1 The Fluid Dynamics of Tornadoes

Monday, 5 November 2012: 8:45 AM
Symphony I and II (Loews Vanderbilt Hotel)
Richard Rotunno, NCAR, Boulder, CO

Because of the difficulty in making measurements under controlled conditions, most of what is known about the fluid dynamics of tornadoes comes from laboratory experiments that produce vorticies with features similar to those observed in a tornado. Numerical simulation of the laboratory experiments has become a valuable analytical tool owing to the greater ease of extracting data. The success of the numerical simulations has inspired better-defined numerical experiments capable of quantitatively describing the basic features of observed tornado vortices and has motivated simple fluid dynamical explanations. This presentation reviews the state of knowledge concerning the fluid dynamics of tornadoes as found in laboratory and numerical-model analogs.
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