Fine-Scale Doppler Radar Observations of Tornadoes

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Science  21 Jun 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5269, pp. 1774-1777
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5269.1774


Observations obtained with a mobile pencil-beam Doppler radar revealed many previously unresolved structures within tornadic storms and tornadoes and helped verify various aspects of conceptual models. Radar data from the parent circulations indicate the existence of spiral reflectivity bands, intense radial wind shear zones, and multiple larger-scale velocity maxima. Tornado structures observed include debris shields, clear axial (eye) regions, multiple reflectivity bands surrounding the center of the eye, and occasional reflectivity protrusions into the eye. Velocity and reflectivity data from tornado-scale circulations show evidence of axial downdrafts.

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