Radar Estimated Winds for the 20 May 2013 Moore, Oklahoma Tornado

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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.