Twelve hundred tornadoes rip through U.S. towns every year, causing injuries, fatalities and billions in damage. An NSF-funded research team at the University of Oklahoma’s Advanced Radar Research Center hopes that their radar simulator can assist researchers and meteorologists in better understanding how debris interacts with deadly tornadoes. Using a sophisticated computer program, the team inputs the real-time data collected in the field then reconstructs the exact same tornado in the chamber. Simulating the event allows the team to separate out leaves, shingles and boards, giving a clearer picture of the radar signals and just how damaging a tornado will likely be. The team hopes these tools will help arm meteorologists with the real-time information they need to improve tornado detection, and ultimately... save lives.
Provided by National Science Foundation