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Tornados and Climate Change. Michael Pateman And Drew Vankat. What is a tornado?. An intense, rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm cloud to the ground. www.spc.noaa.gov. Ingredients for tornado formation:. Polar jet stream Low pressure trough Inversion layer

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tornados and climate change

Tornados and Climate Change

Michael Pateman

And

Drew Vankat

what is a tornado
What is a tornado?
  • An intense, rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm cloud to the ground.

www.spc.noaa.gov

ingredients for tornado formation
Ingredients for tornado formation:
  • Polar jet stream
  • Low pressure trough
  • Inversion layer
  • Layer of warm humid air near surface
  • Triggering mechanism

Ahrens, C. Donald. Meteorology Today, pp407-8

how are they formed
How are they formed?
  • Supercell Thunderstorms
    • Large
    • Long-lasting
    • Complex
  • Mesocyclones
    • Area of rotating air in a severe thunderstorm
    • May be stretched vertically, increasing rate of rotation
    • Can protrude downward, through base of storm
      • Funnel cloud
      • Becomes a tornado when contact is made with ground
tornado structure
Tornado Structure
  • Extremely low pressures
    • Estimated 10 percent less than the immediate surrounding area
  • Steep pressure gradient
    • Wind speeds of up to 300 miles an hour
slide6
Weaker tornadoes: one vortex
  • Larger, stronger tornadoes: several smaller \'suction vortexes’
    • very concentrated
    • often no larger than 10 meters in diameter
where are they found
Where are they found?
  • United States
    • Great Plains during spring and summer
    • “Tornado Alley”
  • All over the world
tornado magnitude
Tornado Magnitude
  • Fujita Tornado Damage Scale
    • Measures strength and intensity
    • Ratings from F0 (weakest) to F5(most powerful)
fujita scale
Fujita Scale
  • Category F0: Light Damage (<73 mph); Some damage to chimneys; branches broken off trees; shallow-rooted trees pushed over; sign boards damaged.
  • Category F1: Moderate Damage (73-112 mph); Peels surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos blown off road.
  • Category F2: Considerable Damage (113-157 mph); Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars overturned; large trees snapped or uprooted; light-object missiles generated; cars lifted off ground.

www.noaa.gov/tornadofacts.html

slide10
Category F3: Severe Damage (158- 206 mph); Roofs and some walls torn off well-constructed houses, trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted; heavy cars lifted off ground and thrown.
  • Category F4: Devastating Damage (207- 260 mph); Well-constructed houses leveled; structure with weak foundations blown off some distance; cars thrown and large missiles generated.
  • Category F5: Incredible Damage (261- 318 mph); Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and swept away; automobile sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters; trees debarked; incredible phenomena will occur.

www.noaa.gov/tornadofacts.html

slide11
ENSO
  • The ENSO (El Nino/ Southern Oscillation) cycle refers to the coherent, large-scale fluctuation of ocean temperatures, rainfall, atmospheric circulation, vertical motion and air pressure across the tropical Pacific.

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

when has it happened
When has it happened?
  • La Nina
  • 1951
  • 1952
  • 1956
  • 1965
  • 1971
  • 1974
  • 1989

El Nino

  • 1958
  • 1964
  • 1966
  • 1969
  • 1973
  • 1983
  • 1987
  • 1988
  • 1992
  • 1995
what is el nino
What is El Nino?
  • a disruption of the ocean-atmosphere system in the Tropical Pacific
  • development of abnormally warm sea surface temperatures across the eastern tropical Pacific
  • having important consequences for weather and climate around the globe.
  • These consequences can include increased rainfall in some areas (which can lead to flooding)
  • extreme drought in others.
what is la nina
What is La Nina?
  • Characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific
  • US warmer southwest winters, colder Northwest
how do they affect tornados
How do they affect Tornados?
  • Mideastern US April 3 - 4, 1974 - Massive Tornado outbreak - “Classic La Nina Year”
  • In Ohio 16 Tornados
  • All within 6 hrs of each other
  • 5 - F1 4 - F2 2 - F3 2 - F4 3 - F5
  • Coincidence?
tornado data texas
Tornado Data (Texas)

# Tornados

  • 1950’s 647
  • 1960’s 1195
  • 1970’s 1484
  • 1980’s 1492
  • 1990’s 1836
tornado data nebraska
Tornado Data (Nebraska)

# Tornados

  • 1950’s 319
  • 1960’s 302
  • 1970’s 405
  • 1980’s 377
  • 1990’s 701
tornado data ohio
Tornado Data (Ohio)

# Tornados

  • 1950’s 71
  • 1960’s 148
  • 1970’s 202
  • 1980’s 165
  • 1990’s 251
slide21
Data
  • http://www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-win/wwcgi.dll?wwEvent~Storms
  • All Tornado Data downloaded from this site.
  • Any questions?
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