Department of Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Students' Distinguished Visiting Lecture

Richard Rotunno

Dr. Richard Rotunno


June 5, 2014 (Thursday)


7:30-8:30, Kane Hall 210


Dr. Richard Rotunno


Senior Scientist at National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO.

Lecture: "Tornadoes in Observations and Theory"


Online lecture registration will open May 1.


About the Lecture

In this talk Dr. Rotunno will survey some of the basic facts about tornadoes: seasons and regions of occurance, size, intensity and duration. In the last decade or so, major advances in gathering information on the structure of tornadoes (i.e., how the wind in the torndao varies with radius and height above the ground) has come from mobile Doppler radar which can be positioned at close range (less than 2-3 miles) to the tornado. Although there are important limitations to the mobile-Doppler radar, the database using this technology has increased to the point where certain generalizations about tornado structure are now possible. Perhaps the most import generalization is that the strongest winds in a tornado are found at the lowest observable level which is approximately 10 meters (30 feet) off the gound. Dr. Rotunno will show that this finding (among others) is consistent with older theoretical and laboratory tornado models.

About the Speaker

Dr. Rotunno specializes in storms and large-scale atmospheric events, including tornadoes, squall lines, gust fronts, hurricanes, polar lows, mid-latitude cyclones and fronts, sea breezes, and a variety of related areas. He combines theory and numerical modeling to seek ways of improving the forecasting of these weather phenomena, and has engaged in modeling that simulates certain atmospheric events, such as hurricanes, in unprecedented detail.

He is the recipient of the 2004 Jule G. Charney Award, American Meteorological Society, and the Banner I. Miller Award, AMS.

Sponsored by Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

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