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R. P. Davies-Jones and N. B. Ward

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D. W. Burgess and R. P. Davies-Jones

Abstract

Severe tornadoes caused much damage in eastern Oklahoma on 5 December 1975. Although synoptic conditions were favorable for tornadoes, the storms in eastern Oklahoma ahead of a strong dryline had no appearance of being tornadic when viewed on radar and on satellite photographs. This case and others like it indicate that dryline tornadic storms often have a unique structure which fails to fit the classic supercell model and results in a misleadingly weak appearance on radar (small, weak low-level echo without hook).

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Robert P. Davies-Jones, Donald W. Burgess, Leslie R. Lemon, and Daniel Purcell

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Changes in tornado structure were accompanied by corresponding changes in damage intensity and debris configuration. Initially, damage was light over a 200 m wide path but the vortical nature of the winch was clearly evident. During the mature stage, damage was severe and still showed signs of circulation Intriguing and mysterious microscale patterns were observed in wheat fields. In the shrinking and decaying stages, heavy damage occurred over a 100 m wide path and there was evidence of strong radial inflow in the lowest meter above the surface. Generally, debris was thrown ahead of the vortex, with heavy objects coming to rest on the right forward side. Signs of circulation were no longer apparent in the debris configuration. Flow relative to the moving vortex appeared asymmetrical with strongest winds on the right side of the funnel.

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G. K. Grice, R. J. Trapp, S. F. Corfidi, R. Davies-Jones, C. C. Buonanno, J. P. Craven, K. K. Droegemeier, C. Duchon, J. V. Houghton, R. A. Prentice, G. Romine, K. Schlachter, and K. K. Wagner
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D. B. Parsons, M. Beland, D. Burridge, P. Bougeault, G. Brunet, J. Caughey, S. M. Cavallo, M. Charron, H. C. Davies, A. Diongue Niang, V. Ducrocq, P. Gauthier, T. M. Hamill, P. A. Harr, S. C. Jones, R. H. Langland, S. J. Majumdar, B. N. Mills, M. Moncrieff, T. Nakazawa, T. Paccagnella, F. Rabier, J.-L. Redelsperger, C. Riedel, R. W. Saunders, M. A. Shapiro, R. Swinbank, I. Szunyogh, C. Thorncroft, A. J. Thorpe, X. Wang, D. Waliser, H. Wernli, and Z. Toth

Abstract

The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) was a 10-yr, international research program organized by the World Meteorological Organization’s World Weather Research Program. THORPEX was motivated by the need to accelerate the rate of improvement in the accuracy of 1-day to 2-week forecasts of high-impact weather for the benefit of society, the economy, and the environment. THORPEX, which took place from 2005 to 2014, was the first major international program focusing on the advancement of global numerical weather prediction systems since the Global Atmospheric Research Program, which took place almost 40 years earlier, from 1967 through 1982. The scientific achievements of THORPEX were accomplished through bringing together scientists from operational centers, research laboratories, and the academic community to collaborate on research that would ultimately advance operational predictive skill. THORPEX included an unprecedented effort to make operational products readily accessible to the broader academic research community, with community efforts focused on problems where challenging science intersected with the potential to accelerate improvements in predictive skill. THORPEX also collaborated with other major programs to identify research areas of mutual interest, such as topics at the intersection of weather and climate. THORPEX research has 1) increased our knowledge of the global-to-regional influences on the initiation, evolution, and predictability of high-impact weather; 2) provided insight into how predictive skill depends on observing strategies and observing systems; 3) improved data assimilation and ensemble forecast systems; 4) advanced knowledge of high-impact weather associated with tropical and polar circulations and their interactions with midlatitude flows; and 5) expanded society’s use of weather information through applied and social science research.

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