Leigh Orf violent tornado simulation

Discussion in 'Advanced weather & chasing' started by Dan Ross, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. Dan Ross

    Dan Ross EF0

    Jan 8, 2016
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    A physicist/meteorologist friend of mine recently showed me this presentation by Leigh Orf. Maybe many of you have already seen it, but either way I found very it impressive and thought-provoking. It's a great reminder that what a chaser sees with their eyes is merely the "condensed" version of what's actually happening in and around a tornadic supercell. Without condensation, the motion of the air in the sky above us is invisible, and yet ironically it's condensation that also blocks our view of the inside of the storm. Most chasers I think (myself for sure) are always so focused on RFD characteristics and related cloud structure, that considering the implications of what's happening along the forward flank often takes a back seat. While there are no doubt good reasons for this, I found the streamwise vorticity current (SVC) and it's effects on tornado maintenance (or maybe more directly the maintenance of the low-level mesocyclone) in this presentation to be really intriguing. The "parade of vortices" he refers to is in line with my observations of the tornado just west of Syracuse, KS on July 15 last year. I watched a satellite funnel form just northeast of the tornado then wrap in behind it. As this was happening I noted another nub of a funnel a bit further upstream in the SVC region. Makes me think about how many vortices are constantly streaming in that we just don't get to see because they don't manage to condense any lower than the surrounding cloud base.
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