Tornado forecasting pushes scientific limits

Publish Date: 
June 9, 2011
Article Source: 
US News and World Report

"[Meteorologists] use mathematical models to make their predictions, inputting basic data like humidity, temperature, and wind speed. The equations take this data and, using the laws of physics, show what the weather might look like in a few hours. Meteorologists update their forecast by adding current conditions to their model. Knowledge of climate conditions is rarely complete, and even small amounts of uncertainty can dramatically change a forecast Incorporating this uncertainty into mathematical models can allow meteorologists to give more weight to the data they know are accurate, said Ross Hoffman, chief scientist at Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Lexington, Mass. Hoffman and colleagues are working to improve a method known as 4-Dimensional Variational Data Assimilation to give scientists more skill at predicting worst-case scenarios, which gives those in the line of the storm more time to prepare and take cover."

Read the whole article "Tornado forecasting pushes scientific limits" in U.S. News and World Report, by Carrie Arnold of Inside Science News Service (ISNS).

Also in the Knoxville News Sentinel