SWAD Breakout Descriptions

12:00PM – 12:30PM in Lecture Hall A

The April 19-20, 2011 Tornado Outbreak Re-analysis

Linda Gilbert – Meteorologist, NWS Louisville KY

During the late evening hours of 19 April 2011, a potent storm system produced a tornadic quasi-linear convective system (QLCS) that stretched from the Great Lakes to the Tennessee Valley. The QLCS produced a historic number of tornadoes across the County Warning Area (CWA) of the National Weather Service office in Louisville, KY (LMK). This presentation will provide an overview of the event, warning operations at LMK, severe storm evolution, and a brief comparison to the April 3-4, 1974 event.


12:00PM – 12:30PM in Classroom B

Storm Chasing vs. Storm Spotting: A Look at the WKU Storm Chase Project and Applications for Advanced Storm Spotting

Ryan Difani & Tyler Smith – Western Kentucky University

A perspective of storm chasing versus storm spotting from students in Western Kentucky University’s Field Methods in Weather Analysis and Forecasting course; a course which takes place for 2 weeks each May in the US Great Plains. A recap of the 2013 course will be provided as well as a discussion on the weather analysis tools the student’s use to predict and track severe thunderstorms in real-time. Many of these analysis tools can be used by advanced storm spotters to gain an extra edge during times of severe thunderstorms.


12:00PM – 12:30PM in Classroom C

Media/NWS Severe Weather Communications

Trevor Boucher – Meteorologist, NWS Nashville

Paul Heggen – Meteorologist, WSMV Channel 4

Justin Bruce – Meteorologist, WKRN Channel 2

To a lot of people, the role of the various meteorologists that play a role in severe weather forecasting is not too clear. Who makes the forecast? Who issues the warnings/watches? Whose radar is the best? Who is getting the reports first? These are all questions that are asked frequently by the public. In this presentation, Trevor, Paul, and Justin will discuss their individual roles in a severe weather situation and how clear, concise information sharing is a necessity when lives are on the line.


12:30PM – 1:00PM in Lecture Hall A

Squall Line Tornadoes and Operational Challenges

Angie Lese – Science and Operations Officer, NWS Nashville TN

Middle Tennessee experiences their fair share of tornadoes every year, but one type of tornado in particular can really challenge the most seasoned forecaster.  Squall line tornadoes are commonly mistaken for short-lived, weaker tornadoes as opposed to their supercellular counterparts.  This is not always the case, especially in Middle Tennessee where these particular types of tornadoes tend to form.  Squall line tornadoes can have a tendency to form rather quickly, for being nocturnal, and for occurring outside of the typical severe weather season.  Trying to convey their dangerous threat to the public is challenging, and even more challenging is the warning environment with these events.  This presentation will explain the challenges associated with squall line tornadoes, and why the public should be aware.


12:30PM – 1:00PM in Classroom B

The WKU Storm Team

Andrew Dockery and Caleb Chevalier – Western Kentucky University

When severe weather threatens, the WKU Storm Team utilizes various social media outlets to warn the campus of Western Kentucky University and south-central Kentucky.  During these events, members of the team assemble in two locations with broadcasting resources and track the storms while providing severe weather updates. In this talk, we will discuss these functions in detail and examine how the team took social media to the next level during severe weather coverage on November 17, 2013.


12:30PM – 1:00PM in Classroom C

NEXRAD Basics for Mid-TN Tornadoes: The 2009 Murfreesboro Tornado and the 2008 Super Tuesday Outbreak

Davis Nolan – Meteorologist, WKRN Channel 2

Besides showing coverage and overview of The 2009 Murfreesboro Tornado and The 2008 Super Tuesday Outbreak, this presentation will explain in simple terms the basics of tornado detection on NEXRAD Doppler radar.


1:00PM – 1:30PM in Lecture Hall A

Top Ten Weather Events of 2013 for Mid-TN

Tom Johnstone – Warning Coordination Meteorologist, NWS Nashville TN

While 2013’s severe weather season was a below average season, 2013 did contain some very busy days in Middle Tennessee in other times of the year. With the January 30th Middle Tennessee tornado outbreak in the middle of the night, the flash flood emergencies in Stewart and Wilson counties, and a SPC moderate risk in December, plenty of interesting weather occurred the rest of the year. This presentation will briefly review the top ten hazardous weather events of 2013 and answer any questions you may have about what led to these specific cases.  


1:00PM – 1:30PM in Classroom B

CMD 1: Tools For On-Scene Incident Command

Joel Sullivan – Metro Nashville OEM - Emergency Support Unit - Corporal

Incident response is never the same.  What is the same is the framework and tools used.  Command 1 is a unique command vehicle that is equipped with an “All Hazards” approach in mind.  Learn more about the various tools and processes used on this vehicle and how it responds to an incident.


1:00PM – 1:30PM in Classroom C

Aerial Surveys

Captain Kevin Divers – Music City Composite Civil Air Patrol Squadron

Aerial photography is Civil Air Patrol’s number one emergency services’ mission; nearly 80% of our aircraft are equipped with cameras.  CAP flew more than 95,000 hours, saved 44 live, 35 of which were linked to CAP’s cell phone and radar forensics expertise, and performed nearly 60 disaster relief operations in support of missions related to wildfires, floods, ice storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and tsunamis.  CAP aircrews and ground personnel provide transportation for cargo and officials, aerial imagery to aid emergency managers in assessing damage, and donations of personnel and equipment to local, state, and federal disaster relief organizations during times of need.  The Airborne Photographer (AP) serves as a member of a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) flight crew and is tasked with taking airborne photographs and/or video of specified targets in such a way that we completely meet or exceed our customer’s objectives and needs. 


1:30PM – 2:00PM in Lecture Hall A

Tornado Damage Path Re-Analysis Using Google Earth

Sam Shamburger – Lead Forecaster, NWS Nashville TN

After tornadoes are reported or cause damage, NWS personnel perform storm surveys to determine each tornado's strength, path length, and path width.  However, these storm surveys are often limited by poor road networks, inaccessible areas, and private property, which can result in inaccurate findings for these tornadoes.  Utilizing aerial imagery from Google Earth back into the 1990s, tornado damage can now be more precisely analyzed, enhancing results from storm surveys, allowing for more accurate measurements of strength, path length, and path width of tornadoes, and improving historical records.


1:30PM – 2:00PM in Classroom B

Bridgestone StormReady Presentation

Bud Hale – Bridgestone Tire Co.

(No abstract submitted)


1:30PM – 2:00PM in Classroom C

Weather Alerts and the Deaf Community

Donice Kaufman and Mike Helms – Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Many hearing people take for granted their ability to be alerted by such things as tornado sirens, weather radio alarms, cell phone alarms, and the EAS system. However, what would you do if you no longer had your hearing? How would you receive warnings or even know what is going on during a severe weather event if you couldn’t hear your TV or weather radio? This presentation will bring to light the challenges for those with hearing loss in severe weather situations and also share how those challenges have led to the formation of a special focus group whose goal is to tackle exactly these issues. 


2:00PM – 2:30PM in Lecture Hall A

Why We Tweet: Social Media in the Weather Community

David Drobny & Will Minkoff - @NashSevereWx

David Drobny and Will Minkoff will explain why they tweet hyperlocal forecasts and real time information via @NashSevereWx on Twitter. They'll discuss the advantages of Twitter as a weather platform, show you their tricks, teach you a way to report severe weather to the National Weather Service, and recruit others to join them and the National Weather Service's network of social media coordinators.


2:00PM – 2:30PM in Classroom B

One Hundred Years of Tornadoes in Tennessee:

An Overview of Tornado Climatology Research in the State

Dr. Mark Simpson – University of Tennessee Martin

Tennessee has seen its share of violent tornadoes over the past 100 years, but long-term research in tornado climatology has been hampered by a more regional approach to the subject and by changing population, settlement patterns, and the technology used to detect them.  This study describes the work of many researchers over the past century to provide a more holistic view of tornado activity within the state.  A picture emerges that some extremely significant tornadoes did occur in times past that made the national news, and one outbreak in particular in Tennessee changed how the federal government handled tornado forecasts forever!


2:00PM – 2:30PM in Classroom C

Complex Supercell Mergers and Storm-Scale Interactions During Recent Significant Severe Weather Outbreaks

Todd Murphy and Ryan Wade – University of Alabama Huntsville

During the course of documenting and researching the violent tornadoes from the historic 27-28 April 2011 outbreak, several operational and research meteorologists commented that a single long-track supercell produced four violent tornadoes, including the Philadelphia MS EF-5, Cordova AL EF-4, Rainsville AL EF-5, and Ringgold GA EF-4. These claims sparked a more detailed investigation into whether or not a single storm produced these four violent tornadoes, as well as an examination of complex cell mergers and interactions which occurred during the 27 April 2011 and 02 March 2012 outbreaks. Preliminary documentation and analysis of several tornadic storms reveal that the relatively small region impacted by numerous supercells on 27 April 2011 (as compared to the 1974 Jumbo / Super Outbreak) led to several complex mergers / interactions between 1) two individual supercells, 2) independent single cells with supercells, 3) daughter/feeder cells with their parent supercells, and 4) independent wave-like reflectivity segments (WRS) interacting with both convective lines and supercells. Many of these same types of mergers / interactions were observed with tornadic supercells during the 02 March 2012 Outbreak, some of which appear to be destructive while others appear to be constructive with tornadogenesis observed briefly after the interactions occurred. A radar analysis of several of these cases, comparisons of these cases to cell mergers observed during the 20 May 2013 Moore OK EF-5 tornadic supercell, and a discussion on the operational utility of cell merger / interaction identification will be presented.


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