Leigh Orf, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ultra-high resolution numerical simulations of devastating thunderstorms
Argonne Physics Division Colloquium - 12 May 2017
11:00 AM, Building 203 Auditorium

Tornadoes are among nature's most destructive forces. The most violent, long-lived tornadoes form within supercell thunderstorms. In this talk, results from simulations of tornado-producing supercell thunderstorms at ultra-high resolution will be presented, as well as the technical challenges involved in conducting, analyzing and visualizing such simulations.

In our control simulation, tornado formation occurs in concert with processes not clearly seen in previous supercell simulations including the consolidation of numerous vortices and vorticity patches along the storm's forward-flank downdraft boundary and the intensification of a feature we call a streamwise vorticity current (SVC), a current of horizontal vorticity that is tilted upward into the storm's low-level mesocyclone. The SVC is found throughout the genesis and much of the maintenance phase of the tornado, where it appears to help drive the storm's vigorous low-level updraft.

Argonne Physics Division Colloquium Schedule