Tornado simulation. Ming Xue of the University of Oklahoma used the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center's (PSC) terascale computer system to run one of the largest tornado simulations ever created. Together with PSC's Greg Foss, who used Xue's numeric simulations to create a 3-D visualization, Xue successfully simulated a 1977 supercell thunderstorm and the high-intensity tornado that it spawned. The results captured the tornado's vortex structure with wind speeds of 260 miles per hour, classified as an F5 on the Fujita tornado intensity scale.
Xue is a team member with the $40 million NSF ERC for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA). A complete summary of the simulation project is available at http://www.casa.umass.edu/docs/Retwistered_twister.pdf. The research was supported by NSF grants ATM 01-29892 and EEC 03-13747. (Date of Image: May 2004)
Credit: Numerical simulation performed by Dr. Ming Xue, Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms and School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma; 3-D visualization created by Greg Foss, Pittsburg Supercomputing Center, with assistance from Ming Xu