Geog. 111 Notes 11

Geog. 111 Notes 11 - -tornadoes-much still to be known...

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- tornadoes: -much still to be known about formation of tornadoes in the lower half of cloud where tornadoes occur (once we figure out what is going on at surface we will know more) -tornado embedded in the mesocyclone of cloud (area of counterclockwise rotating air w/i the supercell, low pressure; supercell itself is rotating counterclockwise in the warm sector of the thunderstorm; key ingredient for tornadoes is rotation); in Great Plains tornadoes much taller vertically due to raised cloud bases (in southeast cloud bases are generally much lower, tornadoes much shorter) -Fujita scale: measures tornado strength based on damage done -tornadoes most commonly associated with rotating supercell thunderstorms (associated with updraft region, near rain free base); tornado outbreak (multiple tornados occur during same general time; occur as result of supercell thunderstorms lining up with each other); strength of tornadoes depends on scale which two downdrafts (rear flank downdraft and forward flank downdraft; tornadoes form at intersection of updraft and downdrafts) are pinching warm, moist air up into the storm -violent updrafts in a supercell are necessary to facilitate strong rotating winds w/i a mesocyclone (i.e. where a tornado is likely to form; the mesocyclone appears as a hook on radar imagery); wall cloud in updraft region, sinking below cloud base, is also associated with thunderstorms -wind shear: directional shear (wind changes directions with height, this is key ingredient for rotating thunderstorms; intersection of dry air off of Mexican plateau and moist air from the Gulf Coast leads to severe weather in the Great Plains; Doppler radar can show both speed and direction of wind/
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This note was uploaded on 05/13/2011 for the course GEOG 111 taught by Professor Konrad,c during the Fall '07 term at UNC.

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Geog. 111 Notes 11 - -tornadoes-much still to be known...

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