Automated detection of tornado debris signature paths

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Travis M. Smith, CIMMS/Univ. of Oklahoma and NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK; and D. M. Kingfield and K. L. Ortega

Handout (3.5 MB)

The presentation describes a simple, real-time, automated Tornado Debris Signature (TDS) algorithm for dual-polarization WSR-88D radar. The algorithm output depicts the geospatial coverage area of TDS intensity accumulated over the time period of a tornado event, and was tested in real-time as part of the Spring 2013 Hazardous Weather Testbed warning improvement experiments. These data may be used in warning decision-making as well as for assistance with post-event damage assessment and to support first-responders to tornado events. Several examples of TDS tracks (including those from the Oklahoma tornados of 20 May 3013 and 31 May 2013) are compared to surveyed tornado damage paths to document the strengths and limitations of the automated application and to suggest future improvements.