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Global News: Western University researchers develop breakthrough short-term tornado forecasting

Western University, tornadoes, extreme weather, natural disasters, environment, Tornado Identification and Forewarning with VHF Windprofiler Radars, Wayne Hocking, Anne HockingAfter collecting 16 years’ worth of data, two researchers with Western University ties have developed a system to forecast tornadoes with 90 per cent accuracy within a 100km radius.

Tornado Identification and Forewarning with VHF Windprofiler Radars is the result of data compiled through 10 radar arrays stationed in Ontario and Quebec, including one just north of London. Western University professor Wayne Hocking and Western alumna Anne Hocking, PhD, compiled 16 years of tornado data and correlated that with real-time and archived data.

Wayne Hocking told 980 CFPL that in contrast to tornado-chasers, they wait for tornadoes to come to them.

“We’ve had to be very patient, we obviously can’t catch all of them but over the last 16 years we’ve caught 34 tornadoes which we’ve been able to analyze.”

The data found that a combination of three factors were recorded in the majority of the tornadoes: specific profiles of cloud overshoot into the stratosphere, wind velocity, and turbulence. While they still can’t pinpoint exactly where and when a tornado will hit, the tornado-prediction method could buy as much as 20 minutes more warning time.

Read the full article here.


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