RESEARCH

Our research group is involved in a number of areas currently. Listed below is a sample of ongoing research.

VORTEX (2,SE)

Texas Tech has been heavily involved in the Verification of the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX2 - 2009, 2010; VORTEX-SE - 2016-current). During these seasons, a wealth of data were collected by a broad spectrum of radar and in situ data platforms. Texas Tech, specifically, has brought two types of instrument platforms to the field.

 

Pictured above are (left) a StickNet probe and (right) a TTUKa radar

Current avenues of research include:

 

(left) Equivalent potential temperature perturbation analysis from StickNet data and (right) an animation of internal RFD surges observed by TTUKa dual-Doppler data during the 18 May 2010 Dumas, TX VORTEX2 case

Since 2016, we have been involved in a Congressionally mandated project named VORTEX-SE, aimed at an improved understanding of conditions leading to tornado development in the southeastern United States. The Texas Tech StickNet probes were deployed over an 18-week span, covering northern Alabama and southern Tennessee, in an effort to capture environmental heterogeneity and cold pool properties relevant to the tornadogenesis. We will again be deploying across this region for the VORTEX-SE MESO18-19 field campaign Nov 2018-Apr 2019.

StickNet deployments during a 2016 VORTEX-SE IOP

 

 

TORUS Project

In collaboration with the University of Colorado and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we will be part of the Targeted Observation by Radars and UAS of Supercells (TORUS) project in 2019 and 2020. The overarching goal of this project is to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), mobile Doppler radars and surface in situ measurements to characterize thermodynamic and kinematic gradients along flanking boundaries of supercells that are believed to be relevant to the genesis and maintenance of tornadoes.

 

(left) A photograph of the University of Colorado Tempest aircraft, (right) TTUKa mobile radar (top) reflectivity and (bottom) radial velocity RHIs of a possible streamwise vorticity current near Gate, OK on 13 June 2018

Dryline Structure and Convection Initiation

The West Texas region outlines the climatological maximum in dryline activity. Understanding the critical role of drylines in the initiation of severe thunderstorms, we are focused on a few key areas:

   

Animation of (shaded) reflectivity and (contoured) vertical vorticity for a series of dryline misovortices near Levelland, TX on 30 April 2012