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14 November 2019

Size of thunderstorm dome clouds may predict tornado intensity

The size of a bulge at the top of a thunderstorm’s anvil-shaped cloud may allow researchers to forecast the strength of tornadoes that spawn from such storms, according to a new study in AGU’s journal Geophysical Research Letters.


23 October 2019

Of all the Mistakes A Local News Outlet Can Make- This is The Worst

When a tornado moved right through central Dallas Sunday night, almost every TV station was in wall-to-wall coverage. The tornado was visible in lightning flashes, and this was not a “possible tornado”. It was confirmed, on the ground, and doing damage. Major damage. Yet, Dallas station KXAS did not break into programming for some time, and it was not because their meteorologists were asleep. They were tracking the storm and …


13 December 2018

Cartoon: New Insights into the Formation of Tornadoes

Today at 4 pm EST, AGU is holding a press conference titled “New Insights into the Formation of Tornadoes” at Fall Meeting 2018. To help you get a picture of the tornado research, check out this beautiful cartoon created by JoAnna Wendel.


24 October 2017

Scientists use seismic waves to measure tornado intensity

Seismic waves generated by tornadoes when they touch down could be used to measure a twister’s intensity, according to a new study that examined the May 2011 Joplin tornado. The findings could open the door to devising more accurate methods to study tornadoes from the ground.


14 April 2017

Supercomputer Recreation of an Oklahoma Tornado

A big hat tip to Tim Schmit at the Uni. of Wisconsin SSEC for this: Look at the animation below of a supercell with a large tornado that was re-created using a supercomputer. From the video tag on YouTube: Using supercomputers, a team led by UW-Madison CIMSS researcher Leigh Orf, successfully recreated a monstrous supercell that produced several tornadoes in 2011, one of which registered as an EF-5 and touched …


24 August 2016

30 Deaths from Lightning in the U.S. So Far This Year. 12 From Tornadoes

Meteorologist John Jensenius at NOAA keeps track of the deaths from lightning each year, and I asked him to send me a list of the deaths each month, so that I could share. We are now up to 30, and it is worth noting that 80% of the deaths are male and 20% female, a fact that is not unusual, with far more males rather than females becoming victims each …


27 July 2014

Rare Mid-Summer Tornado Outbreak Possible In Midwest Sunday

An unusually strong summer cool front is expected to kick off numerous super-cell thunderstorms Sunday across the Midwest and even into the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast. With thousands of folks at campgrounds and beaches, the possibilities that the storms may catch folks in the open and away from sturdy shelter is much higher than normal. Just this week, an EF1 tornado hit the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and left two dead and over …


30 April 2014

NWS Weather Radar Upgrade Proving Wildly Successful

It was near midnight last night (April 28, 2014) when a strong super-cell storm developed an intense rotation as it approached Birmingham, AL (with a population of over a million people). Tornadoes are hard to spot at night (and they can often be wrapped in rain) making them invisible until it’s too late to take cover. While Doppler radar has made it possible to see this rotation inside a storm, …


30 June 2013

Why Depending On Facebook for Severe Weather Warnings is A Bad Idea

James Spann  (meteorologist for the ABC affiliate in Birmingham, AL.)  spoke at the AMS Conference on Broadcast Meteorology last week, and made an interesting point about using social media for weather warnings. Be very careful! Young people especially tend to get most of their news and information from mobile devices, using social media apps etc. During the record tornado outbreak in April 2011, many viewers had no power, or were …


19 June 2013

Tornado Over Denver Airport Today

..and from Meteorologist Nate Johnson, the view from the terminal Doppler Radar at DIA. The radar was so close to the tornado you could see the precipitation wrapping around the vortex!: