Environmental Science Division (EVS) a Division of Argonne National Laboratory

ARM facility captures rare tornado data

June 13, 2013

Every spring, tornadoes thunder across five states, from Kansas to Texas, and alerts are common. However, by Monday, May 20, it was clear that this time the alert had a different urgency to it. The turn of events leading up to the EF-5 tornado that wreaked havoc in Moore, Oklahoma, provided a unique opportunity for scientists to sample the environment preceding a severe weather event. Read more about how EVS scientist, Donna Holdridge, supported the ARM program in the full article.

Raw data from the additional radiosonde launches preceding the severe weather events of May 20 in Oklahoma. The blue line identifies the temperature, which decreases with increasing altitude. The red line is the dew point, the temperature at which the air is 100% saturated with its water vapor content. Where the dew point approaches the actual temperature, the air is nearing 100% relative humidity near the ground–ideal conditions for tornado events.
Raw data from the additional radiosonde launches preceding the severe weather events of May 20 in Oklahoma. The blue line identifies the temperature, which decreases with increasing altitude. The red line is the dew point, the temperature at which the air is 100% saturated with its water vapor content. Where the dew point approaches the actual temperature, the air is nearing 100% relative humidity near the ground–ideal conditions for tornado events. [Source: ARM]
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portrait of Donna Holdridge