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C. R. Church
J. T. Snow
, and
E. M. Agee

A 4 m wide and 7 m tall tornado vortex generator (including exhaust fan and duct work) has been constructed at Purdue University that operates on a principle similar to that of the earlier machine modeled by Ward (1972). Characteristics of the Purdue simulator are described, as well as the corresponding modifications and improvements that have been made to Ward's machine. Selected photographs of vortex configurations obtained in the simulator demonstrate the ability of the machine to achieve vortex breakdown and multiple vortex configuration. A radial-axial profile of velocity magnitudes (using hot-film anemometry) has been obtained for the state of vortex breakdown characterized by two interlocking helical spiral vortices. This preliminary result shows the potential that the experimental system offers for obtaining quantitative information about the flow field of selected vortex configurations. Multiple vortex phenomena in the thunderstorm-tornado system are examined in light of the laboratory simulation and the similarity concept.

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