S61 Comparison of a Tornado Debris Signature Algorithm to High-Resolution Damage Surveys

Sunday, 6 January 2013
Exhibit Hall 3 (Austin Convention Center)
Brandon R. Smith, OU/CIMMS and NOAA/OAR/NSSL, Norman, OK

This evaluation compares the output of a simple automated Tornado Debris Signature (TDS) algorithm with high-resolution tornado damage surveys.  The TDS algorithm is used to quickly identify locations where a tornado may be occurring or has occurred based on the radar signature of debris lofted into the air by a tornado.  This algorithm utilizes 3 parameter fields: azimuthal shear, copolar cross-correlation coefficient (ρHV), and horizontal radar reflectivity factor (ZHH).  Using set thresholds for each parameter, a mask is created that highlights locations where a tornado is likely to be located. Data will be gathered by comparing the algorithm output with high-resolution damage surveys from the May 24, 2011 tornado outbreak that affected parts of central Oklahoma.  The study evaluates the accuracy of the location of the TDS with the actual tornado path on the damage surveys.
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