PBIO professor Chris Peterson and his collaborators Frank Lombardo (U. Illinois) and Chris Godfrey (U. North Carolina Asheville) (shown left to right below) have been awarded a second NOAA grant through the VORTEX-SE program.
This work is truly interdisciplinary; Peterson is a forest ecologist, Lombardo is a structural engineer, and Godfrey is a meteorologist. Their work will focus on making side-by-side comparisons of post-storm spatial distribution of debris from trees and buildings, to reconstruct characteristics of tornadoes, and relies heavily on a computer simulation written by Peterson that mimics a tornado moving through a forest and blowing down trees. The VORTEX-SE is a special initiative within NOAA to further understanding of how Southeastern U.S. tornadoes differ from the more commonly-studied Great Plains tornadoes.