Thanks to Paul Douglas and D.J. Kayser for a report on Josh Wurman’s presentation at St. Cloud State University about the Doppler on Wheels project (based at the Center for Severe Storm Research in Boulder, Colorado).
Dr. Wurman explained that since the DOW project started about 15 years ago, the vehicles have seen between 160-170 tornadoes, about 15-20 of them with the VORTEX 2 project which was aimed at better understanding tornado formation and to hopefully push the lead time out for tornadic storms. Part of Dr. Wurman’s research is also to study the lower level winds of a tornado in hopes to come up with an even better Fujita Scale (yes, different from the current Enhanced Fujita Scale) and hopefully be able to better warn areas that would be impacted by tornadoes, especially since there is currently little ability to forecast the intensity, duration, and size of tornadoes, unlike we can with hurricanes.
Even with that kind of experience it doesn’t look like Wurman’s udder tornado scale will be putting Fujita’s version to pasture any time soon.