October 2011

Professor Doug Dokken (Mathematics, University of St. Thomas) and his colleagues Professor Kurt Scholz (Mathematics, University of St. Thomas) and Thomas Hultquist (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) are working towards a new method of forecasting tornadoes, one that would give authorities the ability to accurately predict when a tornado is likely to form under certain conditions. This will allow them to warn those in the storm area to seek shelter. Using weather-modeling tools, the researchers are analyzing past tornadoes to better understand the processes that cause them. This image is a computer simulation showing counter-rotating loops of vorticity (hairpins) being lifted up along a gust front of a simulated supercell storm. An article about this research is in MSI's Annual Research Highlights 2011.