Supercell near Hays, KS, in the evening of 26 May 2012. © J. Dahl.
Welcome! My group's research efforts are focused on the
dynamics of convective storms,
including supercells and tornadogenesis.
Although such storms have been
studied for many decades, there are still gaping holes in our knowledge base.
One of the questions my group focuses on is where the rotation
that feeds the tornado originates from. Is
it generated within the storm or is it imported from the environment of
What role does surface friction play, and do the different contributions vary
from case to case? To tackle these questions, we use a mix of idealized
numerical simulations (see the animation below) and apply Lagrangian
vorticity diagnostics. In the future, I plan to
also use mobile platforms
(such as TTU's
Sticknet and the Ka-band radars). One particularly useful analysis technique
involves forward trajectories that allow us to analyze the evolution of
the rotation of individual air parcels.
Related research questions address the origin and the behavior of outflow surges
that are known to facilitate tornadogenesis. The overarching goal of
our research efforts is to understand the basic dynamics that drive severe
thunderstorms. Such knowledge will allow us to (i) understand why certain
environments are conducive to severe storms such as tornadic supercells and
(ii) improve the diagnosis and prediction of environments supportive of
tornadic thunderstorms. For more information about our research, see
I'm always looking for enthusiastic graduate students interested in joining our storm-dynamics group!
If you have any questions about the program here at Texas Tech or about our research,
please feel free to contact me!
Simulation of a supercell using the
Bryan cloud model (CM1). Shown are the horizontal velocity vectors, updraft
(solid contours), downdraft (dashed contours), and reflectivity (shaded) at 3375 m AGL.
Last updated in October 2013