A Tornado's Secret Sounds Could Reveal Where It'll Strike

Discussion in 'Weather In The News' started by Randy Jennings, May 10, 2018.

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  1. Randy Jennings

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    A 5/8/18 story in Wired talks about using microphones to detect and predict tornados from the infrasound they produce even before the funnel forms. Full story at: https://www.wired.com/story/a-tornados-secret-sounds/ . Here is a clip:

    "... tornadoes also seem to emit low-frequency sound waves called infrasound that the human ear can’t hear. What’s more, storms may emit characteristic infrasounds perhaps an hour before they develop into tornadoes. ... Today at the Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, engineer Brian Elbing of Oklahoma State University is showing how he and his team were able to use microphones to detect the signal of a tornado 10 minutes before the twister formed 12 miles away. Not only that, afterwards they were able to estimate the tornado was 150 feet in diameter, and indeed the official report of the destruction path confirmed that."

    This is not the first time infrasound has been discussed on Stormtrack. There was a thread in 2012 https://stormtrack.org/community/threads/kind-of-an-odd-musing.26024/ and 2014 https://stormtrack.org/community/th...winged-warbler-flying-away-from-storms.27803/.
     
  2. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    Hopefully that's just a little press release lingo slipping in :) Suggesting that they can predict an hour (another story said two) ahead of tornado formation just doesn't pass the smell test. Most storms don't go for two hours before producing...
     
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  3. Warren Faidley

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    I'm wondering if they are not hearing the hail core, maybe naturally louder in some tornadic storms. Or, I would think hail sound would cover any **tornadic** sounds resulting from wind friction?
     
  4. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    SInce they can use the sound to measure the tornado's width, and tornado size is unrelated to hail core in any fashion that I know of, it's probably the tornado they are hearing?
     
  5. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    This is old news. Something nearly identical was released a few years ago and was met with an equal level of skepticism. I've seen no further proof of this hypothesis and the idea is pretty bunk IMO.
     
  6. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    Well technically this is "newer" news since the presentation was this week. I asked on the WAS*IS forum and apparently the mets involved are reputable from OK so it may have "some" merit. But a lot of hurdles.
     
  7. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    Okay, well what I meant was the topic came up a few years ago and I didn't see any obvious new developments or discoveries here. I'm more commenting on the media sensationalization of this "news".
     
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