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North Carolina State University: "Detection of tornadic thunderstorms (Part 1)"

Final Report

The specific goal of this project was to train NWS forecasters in the use of the Detection of Tornadic Thunderstorm (DOTT) technique developed by the University. The principles used in the DOTT technique are based on the findings that mass flux, updraft rotation, and surface vorticity are related to the production of tornadoes in a thunderstorm. The NCSU research group has shown that the possibility of thunderstorms to become tornadic is greater in regions of high surface vorticity. The McIDAS system is used to obtain values for these variables which are then input to a regression-based statistical model that objectively determines which thunderstorms are tornadic.

Three operational case studies of tornadoes on August 1990 were carried out under the COMET program. The forecasters chose the cells to be assessed and made the measurements needed for DOTT. Their assessment concluded that two cells were non-tornadic and one cell was tornadic. This assessment was later confirmed by NSSFC, Kansas City.