142 Analysis of the 16 May 2015 Tipton, Oklahoma EF-3 Tornado at High Spatiotemporal Resolution Using the Atmospheric Imaging Radar

Tuesday, 29 August 2017
Zurich (Swissotel Chicago)
Andrew Mahre, Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and J. M. Kurdzo, D. J. Bodine, C. B. Griffin, R. D. Palmer, and T. Y. Yu

In this study, data collected by the phased-array Atmospheric Imaging Radar is analyzed in conjunction with data from a local NEXRAD site (KFDR) during a tornado near Tipton, Oklahoma on 16 May 2015. Analysis is conducted via PPIs from both radars, polarimetric data from KFDR, high-resolution time-height plots from the Atmospheric Imaging Radar, and a ground-based velocity track display (GBVTD). Analysis of debris loading, debris lofting, and oscillations in tornado intensity during the tornado lifetime is presented. Debris was found to be lofted in a concentric ring around the tornado over several minutes. During debris lofting, there is a possible alteration of the velocity couplet intensity. Afterwards, there is evidence of debris loading, as lower elevations fill back in with higher reflectivity values near the vortex center. Using GBVTD-derived radial convergence, an implied concentric updraft is present at the same time and location as when the debris ring is lofted. These results attempt to improve our understanding of tornado dynamics related to debris loading and lofting.
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