Analysis of Tornado-Induced Tree Fall Using Aerial Photography from the Joplin, Missouri, and Tuscaloosa–Birmingham, Alabama, Tornadoes of 2011

dc.contributor.author Karstens, Christopher
dc.contributor.author Gallus, William
dc.contributor.author Lee, Bruce
dc.contributor.author Finley, Catherine
dc.contributor.department Geological and Atmospheric Sciences
dc.date 2018-02-17T01:55:27.000
dc.date.accessioned 2020-06-30T04:04:52Z
dc.date.available 2020-06-30T04:04:52Z
dc.date.copyright Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2013
dc.date.issued 2013-05-01
dc.description.abstract <p>In this study, aerial imagery of tornado damage is used to digitize the falling direction of trees (i.e., tree fall) along the 22 May 2011 Joplin, Missouri, and 27 April 2011 Tuscaloosa–Birmingham, Alabama, tornado tracks. Normalized mean patterns of observed tree fall from each tornado’s peak-intensity period are subjectively compared with results from analytical vortex simulations of idealized tornado-induced tree fall to characterize mean properties of the near-surface flow as depicted by the model. A computationally efficient method of simulating tree fall is applied that uses a Gumbel distribution of critical tree-falling wind speeds on the basis of the enhanced Fujita scale. Results from these simulations suggest that both tornadoes had strong radial near-surface winds. A few distinct tree-fall patterns are identified at various locations along the Tuscaloosa–Birmingham tornado track. Concentrated bands of intense tree fall, collocated with and aligned parallel to the axis of underlying valley channels, extend well beyond the primary damage path. These damage patterns are hypothesized to be the result of flow acceleration caused by channeling within valleys. Another distinct pattern of tree fall, likely not linked to the underlying topography, may have been associated with a rear-flank downdraft (RFD) internal surge during the tornado’s intensification stage. Here, the wind field was strong enough to produce tornado-strength damage well beyond the visible funnel cloud. This made it difficult to distinguish between tornado- and RFD-related damage and thus illustrates an ambiguity in ascertaining tornado-damage-path width in some locations.</p>
dc.description.comments <p>This article is from <em>Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology</em> 52 (2013): 1049, doi: <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-12-0206.1" target="_blank">10.1175/JAMC-D-12-0206.1</a>. Posted with permission.</p>
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.identifier archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/ge_at_pubs/53/
dc.identifier.articleid 1065
dc.identifier.contextkey 7656053
dc.identifier.s3bucket isulib-bepress-aws-west
dc.identifier.submissionpath ge_at_pubs/53
dc.identifier.uri https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/38270
dc.language.iso en
dc.source.bitstream archive/lib.dr.iastate.edu/ge_at_pubs/53/2013_GallusWA_AnalysisTornadoInduced.pdf|||Sat Jan 15 00:50:10 UTC 2022
dc.source.uri 10.1175/JAMC-D-12-0206.1
dc.subject.disciplines Atmospheric Sciences
dc.subject.disciplines Geology
dc.subject.keywords aerial imagery
dc.subject.keywords computationally efficient
dc.subject.keywords flow acceleration
dc.subject.keywords Gumbel distribution
dc.subject.keywords near-surface winds
dc.subject.keywords tornado damage
dc.subject.keywords vortex simulation
dc.subject.keywords aerial photography
dc.subject.keywords computer simulation
dc.subject.keywords imagery
dc.subject.keywords vortex
dc.subject.keywords wind field
dc.subject.keywords wind velocity
dc.title Analysis of Tornado-Induced Tree Fall Using Aerial Photography from the Joplin, Missouri, and Tuscaloosa–Birmingham, Alabama, Tornadoes of 2011
dc.type article
dc.type.genre article
dspace.entity.type Publication
relation.isAuthorOfPublication 782ee936-54e9-45de-a7e6-2feb462aea2a
relation.isOrgUnitOfPublication 29272786-4c4a-4d63-98d6-e7b6d6730c45
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