Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tornado aloft

I have never seen a "tornado aloft" description on a damage survey. Technically I guess this means that the tornado was intermittently in contact with the ground and the track was discernible. This would tend to cast some doubt on the definition of a tornado via wikipedia:

"A tornado is a violent, rotating column of air which is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud."

Perhaps the inclusion of some sort of damage metric would be helpful to quantify "contact with the ground". Otherwise, technically this is mesocyclone damage. But this has scale implications as well because the damage pattern locally would be different.