Storm Chaser Group Homepage

Welcome to the Storm Chaser Group


At the present time it is not possible to detect a tornado with standard weather surveillance radar. It is possible to infer the existence of a tornado from certain clues given by the WSR-88D NEXRAD Doppler radar. The unfortunate fact is that issuing warnings based solely on Doppler radar information leads to a large number of false warnings. This inevitably leads to complacency about warnings in the public perception. Currently the only solution is to have highly-trained severe storm spotters on hand to go into storms and look for tornadoes. A technological solution to this problem would be desirable.

Support Documents

Introduction to Storm Chasing

Purpose of the Storm Chase Group

Our long-range goal is to develop an inexpensive technological means to detect tornadoes and other severe weather phenomena. To do this we must develop a thorough understanding of severe weather. The only way to develop this is by combining theoretical and computational models of how we believe severe weather behaves with actual data taken from severe weather.

A secondary goal for this group will be the development of photos for training purposes.

Current Projects:

  1. Developing methods of intercepting storms within the northeast Iowa, northern Illinois, and southern Wisconsin area.
  2. Determine if a tornado produces a detectable and unique electromagnetic signal.
  3. Determine if a tornado produces a unique infrasound signature.
  4. Determining if we can use lightning as a kind of illumination device for finding the electromagnetic signature of a tornado within a storm (looking for the back-reaction of the lightning off the tornado).
  5. Can a tornado "short-out" a storm and thus prevent a good deal of CG in the immediate area?
  6. What is the chemical composition of precipitation, and is there any difference between the precipitation in normal storms and tornadic storms?

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