Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pick a storm…any storm: Part 1

(posted by a very sleepy and grammatically challenged Karen Kosiba)

Before picking a storm, I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to everyone impacted by today’s severe weather outbreak. At best it is scary, at worst it is absolutely devastating.

As tornado scientists, we cannot alter the meteorological conditions that produce tornadoes. We only can collect the data. We collect this data in order to improve our understanding of tornado dynamics. If we can better understand how tornadoes form, how they are maintained, and what the winds are like at building height, we can make better forecasts AND can provide engineers with the information necessary to design better buildings (this sentence contains a lot is a lot of “betters”—I know! I could have used “gooder”, but, for some reason, Word chose to reject this “Word”).

Today was tricky.

Let’s talk about the forecast:

1. Today's severe weather event was well forecast (which means that the more predictable ingredients for severe weather had been evident in the model runs for several days).

2. Conditions were favorable for severe weather over a broad region (500 miles may not seem like a lot, but that is a solid 7 hour drive, and with 40+ vehicles—Oi!). Since conditions were favorable over a broad region, many storms would form. But which of these would be tornadic?

3. Given the meteorological conditions, storms were forecast to move FAST (fast is bad, because that means we cannot “chase” the storms. Instead, we need to pick a location to sit, wait and let the storm(s) overrun our instruments. This is limiting because it is difficult to adjust once we are deployed).

4. The region that was most favorable (meteorologically) for long-lived tornadoes is full of trees and hills (which is bad for collecting radar data because the trees and the hills block low-level radar scans).

That was the forecast. Let’s talk about the deployment (i.e., strategy):

Given that the storms were forecast to (a) move fast and (b) occur in a regions characterized by less than desirable terrain, it was decided that the radar teams would survey an area that roughly comprised most of northeast Oklahoma in order to find locations suitable for radar deployments. The task was divided among 3 teams. This meant that each team spent 3+ hours (on the day of the severe weather outbreak) driving up and down roads looking for sights that were relatively flat and unblocked (very few trees) so that a radar could collect relatively unobstructed data. Ultimately, we needed 6 sites (for 6 different radars), but because there were no storms yet (this was about 1100, storms were not forecast to form until ~400), we needed to find a bunch of sites (roughly 10 billion--or maybe it was just 70??--one loses track after 3 hours) that would accommodate a multitude of storm scenarios (what if the storm forms here and moves this way…? what if the storm forms there and moves that way…?).

How does the rest of the day unfold for Vortex2?

Stay tuned... (I will say this much--we were/are in Oklahoma)

A “better” blog to come (Part 2)—I literally am in the dark tonight. Our hotel has no electricity, so I am in the DOW running the generator. I imagine most of the hotel patrons do not equate the sweet hum of the generator with a sweet lullaby at 200 AM...

Picture 1: 700 A.M. on 10 May in Perry, OK. The calm before the storm (hmmm…i get it!).

Picture 2: A picture of my computer screen (who takes pictures of their computer screen?!). It is the Storm Prediction Center's outlook for the probability of severe weather today. Severe weather is probable today (yes. I concur).


  1. Who takes pictures of their computer screen? : why, storm chasers, of course!
    Keep up the writing, it is great (and you are one funny lady)!

    Francois from the North
    (no tornadoes here but it snowed last weekend...helas!)

  2. Thanks Karen... I enjoy your posts. Having stayed at that hotel in Perry, I doubt the patrons even noticed. :-) Looking forward to the next post.

  3. After a day like yesterday, it is disappointing to see that only this blog (out of the V2 bloggers) has much substantial to report about Monday's events. I'm sure that everyone is busy and exhausted and so I want to thank Karen (especially) for taking the time to post. Take heart: They won't all be 50kt screamers like they were today.

    Thoughts and prayers go out to all those dealing with the aftermath in their personal lives or the ones of those they love.

  4. Wes said....

    As an original Vortex alum from the 90's, Karen I look forward to reading your blog each day. Keep up the fantastic work, and enjoy your time out there, you won't ever experience anything like this again.

  5. Irrefutable Proof ICTY Is Corrupt Court/Irrefutable Proof the Hague Court Cannot Legitimately Prosecute Karadzic Case

    (The Documentary Secret United Nations ICC Meeting Papers Scanned Images)

    This legal technicality indicates the Hague must dismiss charges against Dr Karadzic and others awaiting trials in the Hague jail; like it or not.


    Unfortunately for the Signatures Of the Rome Statute United Nations member states instituting the ICC & ICTY housed at the Hague, insofar as the, Radovan Karadzic, as with the other Hague cases awaiting trial there, I personally witnessed these United Nations member states openly speaking about trading judicial appointments and verdicts for financial funding when I attended the 2001 ICC Preparatory Meetings at the UN in Manhattan making the iCTY and ICC morally incapable trying Radovan Karazdic and others.

    I witnessed with my own eyes and ears when attending the 2001 Preparatory Meetings to establish an newly emergent International Criminal Court, the exact caliber of criminal corruption running so very deeply at the Hague, that it was a perfectly viable topic of legitimate conversation in those meetings I attended to debate trading verdicts AND judicial appointments, for monetary funding.

    Jilly wrote:*The rep from Spain became distraught and when her country’s proposal was not taken to well by the chair of the meeting , then Spain argued in a particularly loud and noticably strongly vocal manner, “Spain (my country) strongly believes if we contribute most financial support to the Hague’s highest court, that ought to give us and other countries feeding it financially MORE direct power over its decisions.”

    ((((((((((((((((((((((((( ((((((((((((((((((((((((( Instead of censoring the country representative from Spain for even bringing up this unjust, illegal and unfair judicial idea of bribery for international judicial verdicts and judicial appointments, all country representatives present in the meeting that day all treated the Spain proposition as a ”totally legitimate topic” discussed and debated it between each other for some time. I was quite shocked!
    The idea was "let's discuss it." "It's a great topic to discuss."

    Some countries agreed with Spain’s propositions while others did not. The point here is, bribery for judicial verdicts and judicial appointments was treated as a totally legitimate topic instead of an illegitimate toic which it is in the meeting that I attended in 2001 that day to establish the ground work for a newly emergent international criminal court.))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    In particular., since "Spain" was so overtly unafraid in bringing up this topic of trading financial funding the ICC for influence over its future judicial appointments and verdicts in front of every other UN member state present that day at the UN, "Spain" must have already known by previous experience the topic of bribery was "socially acceptable" for conversation that day. They must have previously spoke about bribing the ICTY and
    ICC before in meetings; this is my take an international sociological honor student. SPAIN's diplomatic gesture of international justice insofar as, Serbia, in all of this is, disgusting morally!


    I represented the state interests' of the Former Yugoslavia, in Darko Trifunovic’s absence in those meetings and I am proud to undertake this effort on Serbia’s behalf.

  6. What It’s Like to Chill Out With Whom the World Considers the Most Ruthless Men in the World Ratko Mladic, Radovan Karadzic and Goran Hadzic (+) Confessions of a Female War Crimes Investigator

    Retrospectively, it was all so simple, natural and matter of fact being on a boat restaurant in Belgrade, sitting with, laughing, drinking a two hundred bottle of wine and chatting about war and peace while Ratko Mladic held my hand. Mladic, a man considered the world’s most ruthless war criminal since Adolf Hitler, still at large and currently having a five million dollar bounty on his head for genocide by the international community. Yet there I was with my two best friends at the time, a former Serbian diplomat, his wife, and Ratko Mladic just chilling. There was no security, nothing you’d ordinarily expect in such circumstances. Referring to himself merely as, Sharko; this is the story of it all came about.

    (Read My Entire Book Here For Free Now).

    (Jill Starr's Entire American Expose Including the Secret Scanned Photo Documentary Evidence I Obtained From the CLOSED UN ICC Preparatory Meetings (2001)

    (Jill Starr On Instablogs)

    Also Read This New Article_> (Newly Released U.S. State Dept Documentary Proof That Richard Holbrook Gave Radovan Karadzic Immunity & Assassination Attempts on His Life) ->I don’t think these newly released State Dept. papers come anywhere close to answering Dr. Karadzic’s legal concerns(Read it Here)...http://sites.google.com/site/jillstarrsite/i-don-t-think-these-newly-released-state-dept-papers-come-anywhere-close-to-answering-dr-karadzic-s-legal-concerns-insofar-as-whether

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