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Statistics of Severe Tornadoes and Severe Tornado Outbreaks : Volume 12, Issue 3 (07/03/2012)

By Malamud, B. D.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003982021
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 32
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Statistics of Severe Tornadoes and Severe Tornado Outbreaks : Volume 12, Issue 3 (07/03/2012)  
Author: Malamud, B. D.
Volume: Vol. 12, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Chemistry
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Historic
Publication Date:
2012
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications

Description
Description: Department of Geography, King's College London, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS, UK. The standard measures of the intensity of a tornado in the USA and many other countries are the Fujita and Enhanced Fujita scales. These scales are based on the damage that a tornado causes. Another measure of the strength of a tornado is its path length of touchdown, L. In this study we consider 4061 severe tornadoes (defined as L≥10 km) in the continental USA for the time period 1981–2010 (USA Storm Prediction Center Severe Weather Database). We find for individual severe tornadoes: (i) The noncumulative frequency-length statistics of severe tornado touchdown path lengths, 20 < L < 200 km, is well approximated by an inverse power-law relationship with exponent near 3. (ii) There is a strong linear scaling between the number of severe tornadoes in a year and their total path lengths in that year. We then take the total path length of severe tornadoes in a day, LD, as a measure of the strength of a 24-hour USA tornado outbreak. We find that: (i) On average, the number of days per year with at least one continental USA severe tornado (path length L≥10 km) has increased 16% in the 30-year period 1981–2010. (ii) The daily numbers of severe tornadoes in a USA outbreak have a strong power-law relationship (exponent 0.87) on their daily total path lengths, LD, over the range 20 < LD < 1000 km dy−1. (iii) The noncumulative frequency-length statistics of tornado outbreaks, 10 < LD < 1000 km dy−1, is well approximated by an inverse power-law relationship with exponent near 1.7. We believe that our robust scaling results provide evidence that touchdown path lengths can be used as quantitative measures of the systematic properties of severe tornadoes and severe tornado outbreaks.

Summary
Statistics of severe tornadoes and severe tornado outbreaks

Excerpt
Brooks, H. E.: On the relationship of tornado path length and width to intensity, Weather Forecast., 19, 310–319, 2004.; Doswell, C. A., Brooks, H. E., and Dotzek, N.: On the implementation of the Enhanced Fujita scale in the USA, Atmos. Res., 93, 554–563, 2009.; Doswell, C. A., Edwards, R., Thompson, R. L., Hart, J. A., and Crosbie, K. C.: A simple and flexible method for ranking severe weather events, Weather Forecast., 21, 939–951, 2006.; Fujita, T. T.: Proposed characterization of tornadoes and hurricanes by area and intensity. SMRP Research Paper 91, Dept. Geophys. Sciences, Univ. of Chicago, 42 pp., 1971.; Fujita, T. T.: Tornadoes and downbursts in the context of generalized planetary scales, J. Atmos. Sci., 38, 1511–1534, 1981.; Fujita, T. T. and Pearson, A. D.: Results of FPP classification of 1971 and 1972 tornadoes, Preprints, Eighth Conf. on Severe Local Storms, Denver, CO, Amer. Meteor. Soc., 142–145, 1973.; Glickman, T. S. (eds.): Glossary of Meteorology, 2{nd} edn., Amer. Meteor. Soc., 782 pp., 2000.; Hanks, T. C. and Kanamori, H.: A moment magnitude scale, J. Geophys. Res., 84, 2348–2350, 1979.; Kelly, D. L., Schaefer, J. T., McNulty, R. P., Doswell, C. A., and Abbey Jr., R. F.: An augmented tornado climatology, Mon. Weather Rev., 106, 1172–1183, 1978.; McCarthy, D. W.: NWS tornado surveys and the impact on the national tornado database, First Symposium on F-Scale and Severe Weather Damage Assessment, Long Beach, CA, Amer. Meteor. Soc., preprint 3.2, 2003.; NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration): Storm Prediction Centre (SPC), Tornado, Hail, and Wind Database, available online at: www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/, last access: 24 December 2011.; Richter, C.: An instrumental earthquake magnitude scale, Bull. Seism. Soc. Amer., 25, 1–32, 1935.; Schaefer, J. T., Schneider, R. S., and Kay, M. P.: The robustness of tornado hazard estimates, Third Symposium on Environmental Applications, Orlando, FL, Amer. Meteor. Soc., paper 4.1, 35–41, 2002.; Schielicke, L. and Névir, P.: Introduction of an atmospheric moment combining Eulerian and Lagrangian aspects of vortices: Application to tornadoes, Atmos. Res., 100, 357–365, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2010.08.027, 2011.; Verbout, S. M., Brooks, H. E., Leslie, L. M., and Schultz, D. M.: Evolution of the U.S. tornado database: 1954–2003, Weather Forecast., 21, 86–93, 2006.

 

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