Tornadoes with Tentacle Like External Vortices!!

Discussion in 'Advanced weather & chasing' started by Bill Tabor, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. Bob Hartig

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    This is the first time I've seen that particular video of the Cullman tornado, and it is fascinating. At the risk of stating the obvious, it seems like there are a lot of things going on all at once or in close proximity. Vortex breakdown is one. At times, the breakdown bubble is obvious--you can see a downdraft that appears to blow the tornadic circulation into multiple vortices, and I wonder if the downdraft doesn't fan out as it approaches ground level in a way that tilts vertical vortices into the horizontal, and/or perhaps interact with the updraft in a way that causes the same result.

    But there are also plenty of horizontal vortices that just seem to appear out of nowhere, and they seem to have nothing to do with vortex breakdown. This paper by Paul Markowski on vortex lines may offer a clue. As has been mentioned, it seems clear that the tornado is moving through an area that is surcharged with vorticity--which is what you'd expect, given the outrageous 1 km storm-relative helicities on April 27, 2011.

    In the Cullman video, it's interesting how some of the horizontal vortices rise while others sink. At around 5:10 in the video, the tornado assumes some fantastic shapes, and at 5:40, you can see a horizontal vortex form and then descend, slantwise, to ground level about a quarter-mile from the parent funnel. You have to wonder just exactly how one defines the periphery of such an extremely turbulent tornado that has got so much going on with it.
     
    #51 Bob Hartig, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2013
  2. ELY M.

    ELY M. EF0

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    I found another video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNBuNAYdQ3s
    I can see some vortices going out of sides in this video.

    The rating is unknown and I think it was unreported tornado.
    I went thru LSRs and storm reports database.
    I already emailed to the closest NWS office about this video.
     
  3. Paul Knightley

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    What we need to remember, of course, is that these features are visual manifestations of the very complex flow around the tornado - the visual parts come and go as more or less moist air parcels are ingested, and/or the pressure deficit around the tornado changes. It is likely that the flow around tornadoes is often very complex like this, but in slightly less humid environments we just don't see them quite so much.

    In the case of the Cullman tornado the terrain looks reasonably rolling, so this might also shed vorticity which the tornado ingests. Of course, features like this on the flat terrain of the plains will probably owe their existence to the interplay of inflow and outflow from the FFD and RFD.

    If you look at water going down a plug hole in a vortex, you'll often see lines on the surface of the water, as it 'folds over' (for want of a better description) on its way to the plug hole - perhaps something like this is occurring with tornadoes too.
     
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  4. Jeff Wright

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    On a side note, there is interesting video of C-17s ingesting vortices
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIZcTVz60rA

    Now there is even talk about vortex surfing
    http://www.edwards.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123322535
    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA419065

    I can't help but wonder if new artificial vortex generators might be based on thrust reversers from decommissioned C-17 parts...

    I am reminded of the opening of the Howard Stern show on E and the jump sequence on Wing Commander with cameras surrounding an action, allowing one frame of action to be walked around...

    I just wish there had been better video of the twin suction spots from Xenia...Having drones fly around a tornado and hold at a certain distance from each other with Lytro cameras would be interesting. At an ABC COKE plant in Tarrant Alabama during a cold morning, I saw a detached steam vortex that was off to one side of the tower briefly...
     
  5. Jeff Wright

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  6. James Hilger

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    The Shawnee tornado is the most beautiful tornado I've seen because of the wicked vortices, but the Tulsa tornado on 3/31/17 was a little unique for me because they would come out of nowhere and have some hang time. Hopefully you'll see what I'm trying to say. Just left of the power pole it appears a few times. Screenshot_20170904-222351.png
     
  7. Jeff Wright

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    That's an idea for a horror movie. A person in an upper floor sees this horizontal vortex reach inside a window and start feeling around for a victim...
     

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