The Teton-Yellowstone Tornado of 21 July 1987

View More View Less
  • 1 The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
© Get Permissions
Full access

Abstract

The Teton-Yellowstone Tornado, rated F4, crossed the Continental Divide at 3070 m, leaving behind a damage swath 39.2-km long and 2.5-km wide. A detailed damage analysis by using stereo-pair and color photos revealed the existence of four spinup swirl marks and 72 microburst outflows inside the damage area. The tornado was spawned by a mesocyclone that formed at the intersection of a mesohigh boundary and a warm front. The parent cloud of the tornado, tracked on eight infrared-temperature maps from GOES East and West, moved at 25 m s−1 and the number of cold temperature pixels below –60°C reached a distinct peak during the tornado time. Identified and tracked also are two warm spots enclosed inside the cold anvil cloud. On the basis of their identity and movement, an attempt was made to explain the cause of thew spots as being the stratosphere cirrus clouds.

Abstract

The Teton-Yellowstone Tornado, rated F4, crossed the Continental Divide at 3070 m, leaving behind a damage swath 39.2-km long and 2.5-km wide. A detailed damage analysis by using stereo-pair and color photos revealed the existence of four spinup swirl marks and 72 microburst outflows inside the damage area. The tornado was spawned by a mesocyclone that formed at the intersection of a mesohigh boundary and a warm front. The parent cloud of the tornado, tracked on eight infrared-temperature maps from GOES East and West, moved at 25 m s−1 and the number of cold temperature pixels below –60°C reached a distinct peak during the tornado time. Identified and tracked also are two warm spots enclosed inside the cold anvil cloud. On the basis of their identity and movement, an attempt was made to explain the cause of thew spots as being the stratosphere cirrus clouds.

Save