15th Conference on Planned and Inadvertent Weather Modification


Towards a tornado suppression system


Valery N. Stasenko, Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, Moscow, Russia; and M. T. Abshaev

An operative tornado suppression system is foreseen based on positive results of cloud modification have been achieved. The surface-to-air rocket seeding system may be used to suppress growth of a tornado bearing cloud.

Main approach of the method is to seed deep convection cloud that revealed certain radar echo signature ("bow echo"), which precedes tornado's touch down for a some time. Mass volumetric seeding of a given cloud volume within 2 or 3 minutes after targeting and firing off coordinates calculating procedures gives a good chance to alter cloud dynamics by the concentrated in space and time modifying impact.

Russian rocket seeding technology has been successfully used in different climate regions of the world for agricultural crops protection from hail damage. Positive results of hail prevention (severe storm suppression in fact) in the mature "multi-cell" and "super-cell" storms let us make the first step to suppress such a dynamic process as tornado.

Meso-scale process responsible for tornadic event can be detected, having local wind circulation structure and specific echo shape - "bow echo". An integration of different sensors data ( information of the ALDF with IC lightning detection capability, cloud doppler radar signatures, satellite data on explosive cloud top growth and further descend) may result in 15-20 minutes advantage before tornado's touch down, what is quite enough to activate the rocket protection system and to seed the selected cloud volume. It seems that there is a certain time reserve for acting properly as the above tornado precursor manifest itself.

Cloud structure of tornadic storm, mostly convective , allows cloud seeding to alter the storm dynamics. Radar detected storm evolution regularities can be used for seeding strategy formulation including time and space windows for cloud treatment to be successful. Precise and quick rocket delivery of ice-forming agent is promising to fit the tense time schedule for a tornado suppression.

To cover an area of 50x30 km size 10-15 rocket launchers may be installed. Rocket sites are located with reference to the radar, where the control center is placed. Qualified personnel and special software ensure the round-the-clock mode of the automated rocket seeding system.

Session 2, Cloud seeding Technology for Severe Thunderstorms
Tuesday, 16 January 2001, 3:00 PM-4:43 PM

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