WW2010
University of Illinois

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Nonsupercell Tornadoes
tornadoes produced from non-rotating storms

Even though supercell thunderstorms are responsible for the biggest and deadliest tornadoes, a significant number of tornadoes form under nonsupercell clouds and storms.

The left photograph below shows such an event. Notice that there are three tornadoes (there were actually five, but only three are pictured) that exist simultaneously. Modeling efforts to reproduce events like this have been successful as seen by the illustration below (right). Weightless tracer particles define the tornadoes.

[Image: (28K)] Photo by Blottman Image by Lee

These nonsupercell tornadoes (NST) are normally short-lived and weak, but from time to time can become strong enough to damage property and kill people. Because of this, researchers are investigating how a rotating entity like a tornado can be produced beneath clouds with non-rotating updrafts.


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Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.