Sunday, 11 January 2009
A case study of the July 24, 2008 New Hampshire tornado
Phoenix Convention Center
Most tornadoes in the United States occur in the region known as Tornado Alley. However, the only tornado fatality in July 2008 was caused by a tornado in eastern New Hampshire. The purpose of this study is to assess the abnormality of New England tornadoes – is it simply their occurrence that's unusual, or are the underlying meteorological processes fundamentally different? A case study of the July 24, 2008 New Hampshire tornado will be conducted to examine forecasting indices, radar signatures, and synoptic-scale features. The results of this case study will be compared to a case study of a July tornado in North Dakota, a region with a similar climatological peak in severe weather.
Comparing tornadic supercells between two regions will benefit forecasters and highlight the different forecasting techniques required in each region. The two regions selected for the study are vastly different in terms of geography and severe weather occurrence, so it's reasonable to assume that tornadoes in each region are caused by different severe weather situations. Forecasting tornadic supercells is especially crucial in New England, where most communities do not have tornado warning sirens or tornado shelters.