Wedge or Stovepipe?

  • Thread starter Mike Hollingshead
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Mike Hollingshead

http://www.omaha5675.org

I say there is a definite stovepipe in that. One could say it would be both but I think some will think that is not a stovepipe in there. Just wondering some thoughts on this one as I had never noticed it before. You might have to adjust your monitor to see the contrast right.
 
wedge

I definately see the "wedge" tornado, as the width is certainly greater than the height. I do not see a "stovepipe" imbedded in the dust/dirt/condensation circulation, but then again my monitor at work I cannot fiddle with the contrast.

For now, I will say definately wedge. I will check it at home later and see if I can see what you see.
 
Definitely a wedge. I cannot see the stovepipe in there either.
 
Man surely someone else can see it. People in chat can see it.
 
I can see it....reminds me of Moore OK 5/3/1999, Happy TX 5/5/2002, and one of the South Dakota tornadoes on 6/23/2002 as they transitioned from a dusty wedge into a stovepipe.
 
[Broken External Image]:http://www.extremeinstability.com/stormpics/omahator.gif

Contrast adjusted.

[Broken External Image]:http://www.extremeinstability.com/stormpics/04-7-12-24.jpg
July 12, 2004 stovepipe

[Broken External Image]:http://www.extremeinstability.com/stormpics/04-7-12-25.jpg

It very very quickly transistioned from that stovepipe to this wedge as if it hit a ton of loose dirt. I remember watching it and all the sudden it was big(while driving south). I just wonder if it had the stovepipe inside a shroud of dirt and perhaps an outer wall of condensation quickly forming or if the tornado actually just widened its condensation that much that quickly. The July 12 stovepipe before it wedged, regardless of how, looks a whole lot like what is in the middle of that Omaha 75 image.
 
I just know I want one. :lol:

I see the stovepipe you refer to inside, but I'd say the tornado is whatever the whole condensation / dirt cloud is doing all combined so technically I'd say a wedge even though you can make out a pipe shape inside. Also, typically tornadoes (as you probably know) transition from one to another sometimes quickly. My Seward F4 was a wide wedge shape and it blew off the exterior to make a nice stovepipe for a while.
 
I can see it....reminds me of Moore OK 5/3/1999, Happy TX 5/5/2002, and one of the South Dakota tornadoes on 6/23/2002 as they transitioned from a dusty wedge into a stovepipe.

I'm reminded of Happy as well. For me, a bona fide wedge needs to be much wider than it is tall - almost to the point that, at a great enough distance, you wouldn't be able to tell if it's an actual tornado or wall cloud dragging the ground. A wedge should, literally, look like a "wedge". A large tornado, on the other hand, is a large tornado. And even a small tornado can look "large" if enough dirt is involved.

I can sort of make out a stovepipe in the photo Mike provided, although I've seen other photos of the tornado in which a stovepipe wasn't all that evident. I am a bit curious where all the dust and dirt is coming from, however. That part of Omaha should have been relatively well-developed in 1975.
 
A wedge should, literally, look like a "wedge".

A wedge is a triangle. There is a tool called a wedge that is made to scrape wood, and it is triangular. A doorstop is a wedge. I've always wondered why a "wedge' tornado is called a wedge tornado. What is (inherently) triangular about it?

Insults hurled below:
 
.... because that's what we call cone tornados. :wink:


anyway, based off the first pic... well how about a narrow wedge? "Stovepipe" to me means that, a shape with the two sides being nearly parallel.

How about "nice tornado"? 8)
 
I can clearly see the stovepipe inside the debris cloud. I say stovepipe since the circulation itslef is a stovepipe shape. the debris is becoming wedge shaped but most debris, even from a cone gets swept outwards. The actual tornado itself is stovepipe. If the cloud base was a bit higher I dont think it would have the wedge appearance. it would be a clear stovepipe with a huge debris cloud under it but since the wall is dragginfg the ground it makes it look worse than it actually is.
 
I noticed there were some additional pictures of the tornado from the horse racing track here:

http://www.ak-sar-ben.com/tornadomain.html

What this suggests to me is that the enhanced constrast in the eliptical crop image shown above may not have been physical, as the other two images show the condensation funnel as being consistently large (not necessarily shrowded in a debris cloud as suggested earlier), but there does appear to be something of a progression from more of a wedge shape:

http://www.ak-sar-ben.com/tornado1.html

http://www.ak-sar-ben.com/tornado2.html

http://www.ak-sar-ben.com/tornado3.html

to a large stovepipe shape as it becomes wrapped in rain:

http://www.ak-sar-ben.com/tornado4.html

Glen
 
Those photos with people in the grandstands are sure creepy enough ... imagine going to the track to see something like THAT coming for you. I can see the stovepipe-ish central vortex, but think I would have to classify this as a wedge myself. The circulation extends to quite a radius around the funnel ... but in just looking at it would say that this is condensation funnel all the way out to the edge. Possibly dual vortices with one in the core of the tornado surrounded by another maybe (ala "Twister")? Really don't know ... whatever the case, those photos are wild.
 
To clear up my point in this. I wasn't asking if the overall outside shape was a wedge or a stovepipe. I was asking it just wondering if anyone seen the stovepipe shape inside...that was it. I would certainly say the outside shape is a wedge(the one everyone clearly sees) and the inner is a stovepipe. If anyone wants to say what they think the outer shape is and if it is or isn't a wedge have at it, but that wasn't my point I guess.
 
For me, a bona fide wedge needs to be much wider than it is tall - almost to the point that, at a great enough distance, you wouldn't be able to tell if it's an actual tornado or wall cloud dragging the ground.

I talked with a guy yesterday who watched this tornado from his office at ~ 68th & Grover street, he was looking NW and said “it looked just like a really dark cloud dragging on the ground â€￾, “ I kept looking for the tornado everybody was talking about, but never saw itâ€￾, “the only reason I knew something was not right, was that a child’s plastic swimming pool came sailing by, just like a Frisbeeâ€￾.

So I guess at this point it must have reached the “wedgeâ€￾ state.
 
I’d say wedge. But I clearly see the “stovepipeâ€￾ you’re talking about. Without video there’s really no way to tell if the stovepipe thingy is the main tornadic circulation or just a transient vortex in a larger multi-vortex wedge. But heck, “wedgeâ€￾ and “stovepipeâ€￾ are not technical definitions. A tornado can take many shapes, and we have words for only a few of them, and the terms we have are only approximations. Tornadic events don’t always fit into preconceived categories. They’re transitory and ephemeral beasts, shifting from one shape to the next faster than we can classify them. I agree it’s a bit silly to obsess over this kind of thing.

It’s all subjective anyway, and what looks like a wedge from one viewpoint might appear as a stovepipe from another. Consider a classic black wedge, much wider than it is tall, fitting the “wedgeâ€￾ label to perfection... Suddenly the meso begins to occlude, dryer air wraps around, and the cloud base quickly erodes so that the same tornado is now much higher than it is wide (but still the same width!) Our perception does a double take, and what appeared to be a classic wedge is now revealed to be a very large stovepipe. I have seen this happen on video many times. The tornado itself doesn’t really change shape, but it’s surroundings (and our perceptions) do. The visibilty, the amount of debris, the position of wrapping rain curtains, the height of the cloud base, all these rapidly changing things affect the perceived shape of the tornado. Arguing about a tornado’s true shape seems kinda pointless to me - although it’s true I’m enjoying this discussion, so maybe it isn’t. :wink:

I have to say that many tornados (and sometimes the storms they spawn from) seem to me to have a unique “characterâ€￾ about them that’s maintained throughout their lifecycle. The tornado (or storm) may change its shape (or mode), but somehow you can always tell it’s still the same event. Think of how many of us can immediately identify certain storms from a picture, regardless of when and where in the storm’s evolution the photo was taken. There is just an inherent uniqueness to some tornados that trumps all variations in physical appearance. They go from tube to stovepipe to wedge to rope, but the “characterâ€￾ remains the same. Do you know what I’m talking about? I can’t really explain it any better... I don’t know, perhaps I’m anthropomorphizing (is that a word?) when I shouldn’t be. But for me the character of a storm is more important thing than whether or not it conforms to a category like wedge or stovepipe. On the other hand, concrete verifiable terms like “mile-wideâ€￾ are obviously useful... I dunno, interesting topic.

I doubt if there ever will be any definitive rules for what’s a wedge and what isn’t. These terms are all basically chaser slang. If enough people say it’s a wedge, then I guess it’s a wedge. Or... “I may not be able to define ‘Stovepipe’, but I know one when I see one!â€￾
 
:shock: If you havent watched alot of tornado videos or have had no experience lol this could be a dust devil ;-) JK, alot would say its a Wedge, but if you look at the picture more then once you can see a Stovepip figure in there with Swirling Debri making it look more like a wedge


Stovepipe to me. :wink:
 
Man can you believe the Tri State tornado moved at up to 73 mph and was up to a mile wide with a continuous damage track of 291 miles?! Chase that!!!

Oh no.....


hehe
 
Man can you believe the Tri State tornado moved at up to 73 mph and was up to a mile wide with a continuous damage track of 291 miles?! Chase that!!!

The Tri State tornado is amazing in almost every respect. I wish there would have been such a thing as chasers back then. The crazy thing is that if that situation ever duplicates itself today we would literally have chasers all across those three states making intercepts on the SAME tornado (if the thing was moving at a halfway chaseable speed, that is). 73 mph is definitely a little too quick for my blood - it made the 291 mi. trip from Missouri through Indiana in THREE hours!
 
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