|Atmospheric Sciences seminar on infamous tornado is Sept. 3 |
Matthew Gilmore, associate professor with the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at UND, will present a seminar on “The 18 March 1925 Tri-State Tornado Reanalysis Project: Preliminary Results” at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, in 210 Clifford Hall.
The Tri-State tornado that occured on March 18, 1925, remains the most infamous tornado in the historical record. It has been attributed with a 219- mile path of damage, injuries of 3,000, and over 700 deaths (the most deaths ever attributed to a single tornado). Red Cross Relief efforts spent over $3 million (approximately $36.5 million in 2008 dollars) and over 7,000 families were affected; many were made refugees. Surprisingly, only one formal publication (the April 1925 issue of Mon. Wea. Rev.) ever addressed the detailed meteorological aspects of the event. That study pre-dated the acceptance and application of frontal theory and the modern era of tornado forecasting. A team of tornado researchers are currently reanalyzing this event with the goal of confirming or denying existing notions about:
• the tornadic storm's location within the synoptic-scale cyclone
• the environment that maintained the long-lived tornadic storm
• the continuity of the damage along the tornado track
• the tornadic storm's precipitation characteristics
The reanalysis has been exceptionally challenging because much of the weather data from 1925 was not available from the U.S. National Climatic Data Center and none of the original damage surveys could be found. We have laboriously hunted down original handwritten weather data records from libraries across the country to investigate the synoptic and mesoscale conditions. These analyses have been interpreted in light of current knowledge regarding violent long-lived tornadoes. We have also personally interviewed living survivors along the track to determine, as accurately as is possible, the tornado’s damage and intensity. These unique challenges associated with analyzing older historical weather events will be discussed. Preliminary results regarding the synoptic and mesoscale conditions and continuity of the tornado damage track will be presented.
This seminar is free and open to the public. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend.
-- Wanda Seyler, Administrative Secretary, Atmospheric Sciences, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-3884