1.1 Observing Challenges in Past and Current Severe Storm Field Campaigns (Invited Presentation)

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 9:00 AM
Conference Center: Chelan 2 (Washington State Convention Center )
Erik Rasmussen, CIMMS, Norman, OK

This talk will take a quick tour of the research questions that motivated severe storms field campaigns from the 1970s to today, and the innovations in observing that occurred to address those questions.  The focus will be on campaigns aimed at furthering our understanding of tornadic storms and tornadoes.  SESAME, J-DOP, VORTEX94-95, and VORTEX2 will be highlighted, along with less formal campaigns that drove the evolution of observing capabilities.

The talk will conclude with a look at major contemporary observing challenges that are present in tornado research, and proposed methods to address them.  In VORTEX-SE, formidable observing challenges are present owing to topography, land-use, and surface transportation issues.  These challenges will likely require novel approaches involving a mix of numerical modelling and observations primarily targeting those phenomena that are amenable to observations.  This is an area of active discussion in the VORTEX-SE planning community.  A second major challenge to be described involves supercell tornadogenesis: it seems increasingly likely that very important processes are occurring in the lowest few-hundred meters of the atmosphere.  New observing systems and approaches will likely be required to characterize these processes.

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