Warn on Forecast

The Science of Warn-on-Forecast

picture of a tornado

Developing a skillful convective-scale warn-on-forecast system requires research in a number of areas throughout the next decade (2010-2020) before it is ready for use by National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters. One of the greatest challenges to extending tornado warning lead times is that we do not yet understand how tornadoes form. Past research indicates that most violent tornadoes are associated with supercell thunderstorms. These very intense thunderstorms are readily observed by radar and are used by NWS forecasters to issue tornado warnings. However, we are not yet able to distinguish between supercells that will and will not produce tornadoes. Understanding the processes by which tornadoes form is the main objective of the Verification for the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment 2 (VORTEX2).