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The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis

Visualization of a Simulated Long-Track EF5 Tornado Embedded Within a Supercell Thunderstorm.

Authors: Leigh Orf (Central Michigan University), Robert Wilhelmson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Louis Wicker (National Severe Storms Laboratory)

Abstract: Tornadoes are one of nature’s most destructive forces, creating winds that can exceed 300 miles per hour. The sheer destructive power of the strongest class of tornado (EF5) makes these tornadoes the subject of active research. However, very little is currently known about why some supercells produce long-track (a long damage path) EF5 tornadoes, while other storms in similar environments produce short-lived, weak tornadoes, or produce no tornado at all. In this work we visualize cloud model simulation data of a supercell thunderstorm that produces a long-track EF5 tornado. Several obstacles needed to be overcome in order to produce the visualization of this simulation, including manag- ing hundreds of TB of model I/O, interfacing the model output format to a high-quality visualization tool, choosing effective visualization parameters, and, most importantly, actually creat- ing a simulation where a long-track EF5 tornado occurs within the model, which only recently has been accomplished.

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