166 Characteristics of Tornado Debris Signatures Associated with Significant Tornadoes between 2010 and 2015

Thursday, 10 November 2016
Broadway Rooms (Hilton Portland )
Steven E. Nelson, NOAA/NWS Forecast Office, Peachtree City, GA; and A. K. Baker and J. R. Banghoff

The tornado debris signature (TDS), is a strongly correlated area in space and time of reflectivity > 30 dBZ, a velocity couplet, correlation coefficient (CC) < 0.85, and differential reflectivity (ZDR) of around 1.0 (Schultz et al., 2012; Van Den Broeke and Jauernic, 2014; WDTD, 2014).  A TDS has been shown to strongly correlate with debris lofted by a tornado and its track with observed tornado damage path. 

This study will show characteristics of observed TDS from WSR-88D dual-polarimetric radars, including TDS height, TDS width, and minimum correlation coefficient for TDS events across the Continental U.S. from May 2010 to December 2015.  This is an expansion of what was investigated by Nelson and Banghoff, 2015, which studied over 160 TDS events associated with EF2 or stronger tornadoes from May 2010 to December 2014.

Although there are some differences in TDS characteristics between various geographic regions, this research shows that the likelihood of seeing a TDS with a significant tornado is the nearly the same no matter which region or land-form the tornado occurs.

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