The Super Outbreak: Fairly new paper and slide show at SPC

Dec 5, 2003
Cincinnati, Ohio
I was browsing the SPC publications page last night and ran across these:

Corfidi, S.F., J.J. Levit and S.J. Weiss, 2004: The Super Outbreak: Outbreak
of the Century. Preprints, 22nd Conf. Severe Local Storms, Hyannis MA. [1869K PDF]


Just look inside, as I could write another paper talking about it all here. There's a satellite loop in the slideshow, but the link is broken :( There's also two radar photos on slide 61...cell in northeast part of screen is the Xenia cell (nice hook on both cells).
I think it's more like multiple vortices, but only two large ones present as opposed to five or so smaller ones. Since they were rotating around a common center, you wouldn't know that there were two if you saw the damage track. Photos taken immediately before that one show one condensation funnel, but a hint of suction vortices are just visble above the treeline.
fujiwara effect
Fujiwhara effect—The tendency of two nearby tropical cyclones to rotate cyclonically about each other as a result of their circulations' mutual advection.

This occurs with some frequency in the northwestern Pacific basin, where it presents a significant forecast challenge, but happens more rarely in other ocean basins.
Source: AMS Glossary

Originally posted by rdewey
It was actually one tornado from a single parent mesocyclone, but two distinct funnels exhibiting the fujiwara effect... I would suspect that the two funnels did indeed merge back together...

That's the best-known shot in a five-photo sequence that depicts a rather small funnel sweeping in, broadening abruptly and presumably intensifying just before striking the Midway Trailer Park, dividing, then reconsolidating into a single funnel.