IEM Daily Feature
Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Tornado Watches and wind

Posted: 12 Jul 2011 06:19 AM

The featured chart presents an analysis of averaged surface wind speed and direction over the domain of a Storm Prediction Center issued tornado watch that was centered over Iowa. The wind values are for a period near issuance. The symbols represent the number of tornadoes reported within the watch box. The plot nicely shows that winds from the southeast to southwest are the most common with a sharp cutoff at the southwest direction. Tornadoes form in environments of wind sheer where wind speeds and/or direction change with increasing height in the atmosphere. So having surface winds out of the southeast and upper level winds out of the west provide the sheared environment in Iowa.

Good = 17
Bad = 9

Tags:   spc   tornado