Tornado Dynamics

Neutral Hydrodynamics of the Atmosphere

Objective: To forecast and minimize damage pattern for debris-laden tornadoes..

Significance: Neutral-fluid hydrodynamics describes laminar and turbulent flows. Computer simulations, incorporating important physics details and neglecting (hopefully) unimportant physics details, help us investigate coherent structures within turbulence at low cost and with a great degree of control. Incorporating models of macroscopic particles (with sizes from dust to cows) introduces high-inertia components into the tornado dynamics.

Long Range Goal: Improve assessment (forecast, now-cast, and post-event) of damage caused by tornadoes that touch down and pick up debris.

Collaborators: Mike Zimmerman, Dave Lewellen (WVU Engineering), Mark Koepke

Coherent structures within turbulent, debris-laden tornadoes influence the potential for damage by these localized vortices, so improvement of forecasting models is desirable.