Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Venturing a bit north of I-80, one finds:

1. Bluffs
2. Tornadoes
3. Team Howie


On the 7th and the 9th
the greater Scottsbluff area provided us with bluffs. On the 7th, it provided us with tornadoes. And Team Howie was with us all along (they finally crawled out of their radar trucks!).

The 7th was a bit of a challenge because of the usual suspects: multiple storms, fast storm motion, and not many roads. But, despite our nemeses (I would have thought it was nemesi!), we persevered and after a west (Henry, NE), east (Bridgeport, NE), west (Minatare, NE) trajectory on US 26 we deployed. The storm was not looking very interesting on radar (dinner plans were being made...Arby's, Sonic or McDonald's--decisions, decisions...) when, well, it began to look interesting... A weak tornado quickly formed, we moved the pod teams south to get in front of the tornado, but they could not make it in time--the tornado crossed 26 and quickly dissipated. Unfortunately, these weak, short-lived tornadoes are not conducive to pod deployments (slow moving, long-lived wedge, please), but, along with NOXP, we got good radar coverage of the tornado. Additionally, DOW6 got radar data up on (US? NE?)71 in an earlier tornado.

Time to go south...

_______________________________________________________________
Team Howie (as I like to call the group of graduate students that work for Dr. Howie Bluestein):
Picture 1: Jana (left), Mike (right) and Chad (behind). (Chad is not really the radar--he is the radar engineer, but since he was not around, the radar seemed like a good stand-in). Jana and Mike are doctoral students at the University of Oklahoma and operate the mobile phased array radar (which also has a vertically pointing lidar).
Picture 2: (From left to right) Dan, Jeff, and Robin. Technically only Jeff and Robin are Team Howie--Dan is a postdoctoral scientist for CAPS (Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms), but he is married to Robin, so by association... Jeff operates UMASS-X (an X-band dual polarization radar) and Robin operates the UMASS-W (It uses a small wavelength (millimeters, as opposed to centimeters), which has the effect of increasing the spatial resolution (it can see smaller things). Therefore it is good for studying tornado-scale phenomena).

Picture 3: A bluff.

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