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The Great Zo

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About The Great Zo

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  • Birthday 04/25/1985

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    Wilmington OH

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  1. The Great Zo

    June 16-25 Severe threat

    Radar definitely supports a tornado. https://twitter.com/wxbrad/status/481284058664558595 https://twitter.com/wxbrad/status/481287531665711104 image from Brad Panovich
  2. AVSET = termination of higher slices when there's nothing to sample. SAILS = addition of an extra 0.5deg cut in the middle of each volume scan.
  3. The Great Zo

    May 10-14 Severe Weather

    That was from this storm (image from WxNick):
  4. The Great Zo

    July 2013 General Discussion

    Climate reports use local standard time to define each day, so it's 1AM-1AM in daylight time.
  5. What makes it a little bit difficult for me to reconcile is that we're using radar estimates to rate a tornado on a damage scale -- there's a fundamental incongruence that does bother me to an extent. The NWS is very clear in its outreach (and tornado survey methodology) that tornadoes are only rated by the damage they leave behind (caveats about available targets, or a lack thereof, aside). Yet, as a scientist, I want to see all potential data sources used to properly estimate the intensity, location, width, and track of any storm. Having to shoehorn mobile radar data into the EF-scale is tricky. It's the best we've got for 99% of tornadoes, but saying the El Reno storm was an "EF5" doesn't match up with to how the EF-scale is used in almost all other cases -- at least with how the system is currently set up to work. Ultimately, those involved in the rating decision made the best possible choice -- ignoring the radar data would simply not have allowed the whole story to be told. In the future, I hope national policies are clarified to allow for this, and in these rare cases, make it known that it's acceptable to augment the EF-rating and wind speed based on mobile radar or other measurements.
  6. The Great Zo

    May 27-June 2 Severe Weather

    Just saw what apparently was a wall cloud while driving south on I-75 through Monroe County into Toledo. Was kind of distant (small cell, and was moving off into the lake by then) so I wasn't sure on it, but I found several similar reports from credible sources on Twitter. West and northwest of the lowering was a crap ton of scud, with a good bit of upward motion. No rotation at all. Had I been 10 minutes sooner I might have driven right under it! Here's a picture from the south, looking north (not mine, and much more dramatic than what I saw): https://www.facebook.com/NeoweatherToledo/posts/387446434708574
  7. The Great Zo

    Moore, OK Tornado 5/20/2013

    That's pretty common in tornadoes on TDWRs, actually -- sometimes, even weak ones. TDWRs have a much smaller maximum unambiguous range (especially on the lowest slice) as opposed to 88Ds. A couple examples from the March 2 event last year: EF4 (Piner KY) http://www.erh.noaa.gov/iln/events/20120302/radar/piner-tcvg-srm.png (inner part of the circulation improperly dealiased) EF3 (Moscow OH) http://www.erh.noaa.gov/iln/events/20120302/radar/moscow-tcvg-srm.png (huge part of the outbound velocities feeding into the circulation are erroneous)
  8. The Great Zo

    Moore, OK Tornado 5/20/2013

    That was at the most intense part of the debris ball's appearance on radar (> 65dBZ). Judging from the map it looks like it was in the area of SE 4th and Bryant. That would have been just a few minutes after impacting Plaza Towers and Briarwood, which are just upstream on the track on the opposite (west) side of I-35. Very scary to think about what the radar is actually sampling there. NWS? Hell no! That sounds like a job for the chasers!
  9. The Great Zo

    Moore, OK Tornado 5/20/2013

    Does anyone have a zoomed, a street-map view of the lowest slice on TOKC at 2025Z? Thanks.
  10. The Great Zo

    May 15-20 Severe Weather Obs/Discussion (Part 2)

    This is remarkable imagery. I am most intrigued with the life cycle as the storm neared, crossed, and then moved away from I-35. Near the start of the loop, the signature is that of a classic hook / debris ball. As the storm neared I-35, the signature becomes much more messy. I don't know that you're actually looking at a 2+ mile wide debris ball (as was reported on some TV stations) -- the aerial footage seems to confirm that the tornado was becoming obscured by precipitation at that point in its evolution. The circulation (seen on velocity imagery) remained much tighter than the large area of 50+ dBZ on reflectivity. However, after it moved past the interstate (roughly 2025Z), everything becomes much better defined again -- both in the helicopter footage and on the TOKC radar images. Multiple radar bins over 65 dBZ in the debris ball for several consecutive scans. Velocity images from TOKC showed a very common signal seen in tornadoes on TDWRs -- dealiasing failures at the center of each lobe (inbound / outbound) of the circulation.
  11. TWC must be thrilled that their naming matched up a popular cartoon character with the giant nor'easter. No way this catches on as much as it did if it's "called" Orko. Can sponsored winter storm names be that far away? "Nemo" has given a heck of a lot of free publicity to competitor Disney/ABC. Can't wait for Winter Storm Cialis in late 2013 and Winter Storm Slap-Chop in 2014.
  12. I am curious as to how it will be done from a technical standpoint, and especially if any of these changes will eventually translate to inland offices. This decision will affect far more than just the NHC product suite. It's probably the best possible call for the sake of both public awareness and scientific integrity, even if the name of the warning (in these rare cases) may not match the technical classification of the storm. I don't necessarily see how it will lead to overwarning, since the policy still only seems to cover storms of "hurricane" intensity (via surge and/or wind). The private sector articles written about this haven't been terribly specific at this point, but that's hardly their fault, since there has been no communication from the NWS with regards to this change. I've continued to read posts and comments about this (here, on twitter, on blogs, etc) -- and I'm at the point of completely disregarding the opinions of anyone still going after NHC alone. That implies a complete lack of understanding of how the situation played out, and it's usually accompanied by a whole bunch of manufactured, misplaced indignation. I thought Knabb explained the warning challenges very eloquently and descriptively, but his comments don't seem to have attracted much attention. In fact, he flat-out foreshadowed today's news.
  13. There are certainly those within the NWS that would prefer that the focus is shifted more toward getting the forecast numbers and expected impact correct, rather than spending loads of time hand-wringing over "headline" decisions. What constitutes a headline can differ from office to office, from forecaster to forecaster, and even from week to week on the calendar. All that apparent disagreement might make an organization look like they're having trouble speaking with a consistent message. In reality, if you pulled back the VTEC and looked at the numbers being produced by a bunch of well-educated mets, I bet the forecasts would line up pretty well most of the time. The extreme solution would be to do away with headlines entirely, and let the forecast speak for itself. That's not a completely reasonable approach during winter weather, where sometimes the "headline-level" threats are not easily quantifiable in the forecast (such as freezing rain amounts, black ice, and so on). It's especially applicable, though, when dealing with strict criteria-based headlines such as heat and wind chill products, which essentially should be able to just "fall out" of the numerical forecast data. The NWS is all about Decision Support Services (DSS) right now, but ideally, an educated user base should be able to make their decisions based on the forecast -- not because they required a specific headline to be issued. Ideally, an educated broadcast met should focus on explaining the impacts rather than the headlines, because that's the most important part of it for the general public -- not the watches, warnings, and advisories that (at times) might make the situation tougher to understand in a 2-minute spot coming out of a commercial break. Even with that said, there is still utility for winter weather headlines, especially in complex situations where a simple snowfall amount isn't going to tell the whole story. The NWS won't likely abandon that in the near future, although I don't anticipate you'll be seeing any cutesy names in the next WSW .
  14. I'm amused that TWC/NBC/Universal is dipping into Disney characters before drawing from their own franchises. Why not Blizzard Bourne? Winter Storm Stifler? Lake Effect Focker? Super-Snowmageddon Don't-Call-Me-Shirley?