In contrast to tornadoes which are associated with "supercell" storms, that is, storms which possess strong mid-level rotation, another type of tornado exists which is related to thunderstorms not having this mid-level characteristic. These "non-supercell" tornadoes are the most common tornado type in such areas as the high plains near the Front Range, the Florida peninsula and the desert southwest. In general, these tornadoes are smaller than their supercell cousins but may contain damaging winds in excess of 120 knots.
Since the scale of this phenomenon and their local initiation environment is so small, effective observational studies are quite difficult. Once again, an attractive alternative involves numerically simulating the process in which a tornado is generated.
This image was produced from a simulation completed on the Connection Machine 5 (CM-5) at NCSA.
National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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