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The National Severe Storms Laboratory serves the nation by working to improve the leadtime and accuracy of severe weather warnings and forecasts in order to save lives and reduce property damage. This paper describes how NSSL scientists and NWS forecasters evaluate new tools and techniques through real-time testbed operations for the improvement of flash flood detection and warning operations. This paper investigates flash flooding fatalities from 1996 to 2014 across the United States, providing insight into the circumstances and context of the flooding. This paper reports elucidates three-dimensional features thought to play an important role in creating and maintaining the tornado vortex. Airborne measurements from the NOAA P-3 aircraft provide valuable new insights into distinct atmospheric characteristics. NSSL is coordinating the planning and execution of VORTEX Southeast, a new experiment that brings together a number of tornado researchers and social scientists in the southeastern United States to learn how environmental factors in that region affect tornado development and how the public responds to forecast communications. Clouds form from water or ice that has evaporated from Earth’s surface, or from plants that give off water and oxygen as a product of photosynthesis.
For example, if a snowflake falls through a warmer part of the cloud it can get coated with water, then frozen again as it’s tossed back into a colder part. Clouds are the key element of the water cycle, since they are the transporters that move water from one place on Earth to another. GOES-12 image of thunderstorm clusters along the Texas coast.It is a very complex cycle, and scientists need to understand better how clouds affect climate. These snowflake photos were taken by Kenneth Libbrecht of Caltech, using a special snowflake photomicroscope. A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, including Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. Tornado Alley is a nickname invented by the media for a broad area of relatively high tornado occurrence in the central U.S. The most common and practical way to determine the strength of a tornado is to look at the damage it caused. Inflow bands are ragged bands of low cumulus clouds extending from the main storm tower usually to the southeast or south. The beaver's tail is a smooth, flat cloud band extending from the eastern edge of the rain-free base to the east or northeast. A wall cloud is an isolated cloud lowering attached to the rain-free base of the thunderstorm. A wall cloud that may produce a tornado usually exists for 10–20 minutes before a tornado appears.

The rear flank downdraft (RFD) is a downward rush of air on the back side of the storm that descends along with the tornado. A condensation funnel is made up of water droplets and extends downward from the base of the thunderstorm.
What we do: NSSL is working to simulate storms that produce tornadoes in computer models to better understand how they form and behave.
KML files are created with time-enabled placemarks compatible with Google Earth Time Slider. Flash floods are a worldwide threat, and the #1 hazardous weather related killer in the United States. NSSL researchers have studied lightning for almost half a century and continue learn more about lightning structure and behavior, and ways to use lightning data to improve severe weather forecasts and warnings. Warn-on-Forecast is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research program committed to increasing tornado, severe thunderstorm, and flash flood warning lead times.
NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan announced $5.7 million in cooperative research agreements and grants to improve the forecasting of hazardous and extreme weather.
NSSL scientists are committed to their mission to understand the causes of severe weather and explore new ways to use weather information to assist National Weather Service forecasters and federal, university and private sector partners.
When they get too heavy to stay suspended in the cloud, even with updrafts within the cloud, they fall to Earth as rain. Because wind is invisible, it is hard to see a tornado unless it forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust and debris. Various Tornado Alley maps look different because tornado occurrence can be measured many ways: by all tornadoes, tornado county-segments, strong and violent tornadoes only, and databases with different time periods.
The most destructive and deadly tornadoes occur from supercells, which are rotating thunderstorms with a well-defined radar circulation called a mesocyclone. The presence of inflow bands suggests that the storm is gathering low-level air from several miles away. A wall cloud may also persistently rotate (often visibly), have strong surface winds flowing into it, and may have rapid vertical motion indicated by small cloud elements quickly rising into the rain-free base.
The primary goal of NSSL's FLASH project is to improve the accuracy, timing, and specificity of flash flood warnings in the US, thus saving lives and protecting infrastructure. The funding will support collaborative work between NOAA and academic, government and industry research institutions, including VORTEX-SE and the Hazardous Weather Testbed. If the air in the cloud is below the freezing point (32 °F or 0 °C), ice crystals form; if the air all the way down to the ground is also freezing or below, you get snow.
Freezing rain occurs when the conditions are just "right." Falling snow encounters, first a layer of warmer air, which melts the snowflakes, and then, just above the surface of Earth, a very cold layer, which makes the liquid water “super-cooled,” ready to freeze up at the slightest hint of encouragement.

Since official tornado records only date back to 1950, we do not know the actual average number of tornadoes that occur each year. This rain-cooled air is very humid; the moisture in the rain-cooled air quickly condenses below the rain-free base to form the wall cloud. However, if the layers of atmosphere within the cloud, and between the cloud and the ground, alternate between warmer than freezing and colder than freezing, you get other kinds of precipitation. If the updrafts in a thunder cloud are strong enough, the hail stones can get pretty big before they become too heavy to stay up. Now, when the super-cooled rain hits colder-than-freezing ground and objects near the ground (such as roads, trees, and power lines)—snap! Plus, tornado spotting and reporting methods have changed a lot over the last several decades. The EF-Scale takes into account more variables than the original Fujita Scale (F-Scale) when assigning a wind speed rating to a tornado, incorporating 28 damage indicators such as building type, structures and trees.
Recent theories and results from the VORTEX2 program suggest that once a mesocyclone is underway, tornado development is related to the temperature differences across the edge of downdraft air wrapping around the mesocyclone. Learn all about thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, lightning, floods, damaging winds and severe winter weather at Severe Weather 101! For each damage indicator, there are 8 degrees of damage ranging from the beginning of visible damage to complete destruction of the damage indicator.
Mathematical modeling studies of tornado formation also indicate that it can happen without such temperature patterns; and in fact, very little temperature variation was observed near some of the most destructive tornadoes in history on 3 May 1999. The rear flank downdraft is the motion in the storm that causes the hook echo feature on radar.
The ice can become so thick and heavy that tree limbs snap and fall across power lines, or the power lines themselves just sag and sag until they snap.
An F5 tornado rated years ago is still an F5, but the wind speed associated with the tornado may have been somewhat less than previously estimated.
This makes it possible to express ratings in terms of one scale to the other, preserving the historical database.

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02.11.2014 admin

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