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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of St. Thomas
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Mathematics

PI: Doug Dokken

Warn on Forecast

The “warn on forecast” concept utilizes short-range high-resolution forecasts to provide longer public warning times for severe weather events. This is in contrast to the “warn on detection” concept presently used. This group’s preliminary studies will involve “Truth of Concept” verification of well-documented tornadic events, such as the North Minneapolis 2011 storm, and try to qualitatively recreate this event from available data. The researchers want to be able to recognize important tornadic features produced by the storm within corresponding time and geographical regions. They also want to do a (real-time runs) spring forecast over a two-month period.

The primary numerical weather-modeling tool the researchers use is WRF (Weather Research and Forecast), starting with a Continental U.S. grid obtained from either NARR (North American Regional Reanalysis data) or NCEP data. A typical run will require at least seven nests to obtain the required resolution from the 32 km NARR grids. In addition, the researchers will use the ARPS (Advanced Regional Prediction System) to do idealized simulations and view the output using the visualization package Vis5D and a visualization tool developed by MSI consultants. The output can be viewed and analyzed to determine processes that are most likely to contribute to tornado formation. The researchers want to observe the initial formation of vortex lines at small scales and track the evolution into large structures and their involvement in tornado genesis.

Group Members

Thomas Hultquist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, St. Paul, Minnesota
Kurt Scholz, Faculty Collaborator