Weatherquest forecasters Chris Bell and Dan Holley are set to fly out to the U.S. in search of one of the most powerful forces of nature... the tornado.
Every year, but not exclusively, generally from April through to June tornadoes can occur as cold air from the North meets warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico to the south. Several conditions are required for both the development of tornadoes and the thunderstorm clouds that produce them. Abundant low level moisture is necessary, and a "trigger" is needed to lift the moist air aloft.
Once the air begins to rise and becomes saturated, it will continue rising to great heights and produce a thunderstorm (cumulonimbus) cloud if the atmosphere is unstable. An unstable atmosphere is one in which the temperature decreases rapidly with height. Atmospheric instability can also occur when dry air overlays moist air near the Earth's surface.
Tornadoes usually form in areas where winds at all levels of the atmosphere are not only strong, but also turn with height in a clockwise, or veering, direction. Most tornadoes in the United States occur east of the Rocky Mountains, across the Great Plains, Midwest, Mississippi Valley and southern United States.
You can follow Chris' and Dan's blogs here
We wish Chris and Dan the best of luck and a safe return.
3rd May 2013
Jim Bacon features in Farmers Weekly
David Richardson, a Norfolk farmer and opinion columnist for Farmers Weekly, sat down with Jim Bacon to discuss how the rapidly advancing techniques of weather forecasting can help optimise production in the farming community. For the full details, the column appears on page 31 of the 26 April 2013 edition of Farmers Weekly, and can be purchased at most news agents.
Chris Bell 26 April 2013