Day 166: Tornado Chasing May 16, 2007Posted by Admin in Meteorology.
While students worked to complete their Severe Weather Safety Trifold assignments (due Friday) in class today, they watched two very powerful tornado chase video clips. Both are from meteorologist Tim Samaras. He has pioneered recent research into the inner workings of tornadoes – their near environment. This includes wind speeds, temepratures, dew points, and the air pressure found inside and immediately surrounding the funnel of a tornado.
For several years, his work has been centered on this deployment of instrument and camera probes along roadsides and ditches that are about to be crossed by tornadoes. Samaras then goes back and retrieves these probes to study the video and instrument data. His research is unparalleled and promises to give scientists a much better understanding of the tornadic environment.
One video clip was of his deployment and analysis of data from a tornado in Storm Lake, IA on June 11, 2004. That deployment was the first of its kind and is still being studied today. The second video clip we watched in class was of the Manchester, SD F-4 tornado of June 24, 2003.
Read much more about Tim Samaras and his research on this National Geographic Channel site.