11A.4 Radar Estimated Winds for the 20 May 2013 Moore, Oklahoma Tornado

Wednesday, 5 November 2014: 2:15 PM
Madison Ballroom (Madison Concourse Hotel)
Donald W. Burgess, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and K. L. Ortega, V. T. Wood, and V. Melnikov
Manuscript (702.9 kB)

Having several central Oklahoma radars observe the violent May 20 Moore tornado at close range [TOKC (operational TDWR) and KOUN (NSSL research WSR-88D) with 1-1.5 min updates; and KTLX (operational WSR-88D) and KCRI (ROC Test WSR-88D) with 2 -4 min updates] provides a unique opportunity to compare radar wind estimates to each other and to winds estimated from surveying the damage. Three-dimensional data from the radars have been analyzed and ground-relative maximum tornadic winds have been calculated. As expected, the closest radar to the tornado with the smallest pulse volume size (TOKC) observed the highest winds – winds that compare favorably, but somewhat lower than those estimated using the EF-Scale. Spectral data available from KOUN and spectrum widths available from the other radars suggest maximum radar-observed wind components within radar pulse volumes compare the most favorably with EF-Scale winds. Low-level plots of data from all radars show maxima at the time and location of the most intense portion of the tornado (EF-5). Time-height plots of the radar data indicate that the maximum radar-observed winds were almost always found at the lowest observed heights.
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