Tornadoes in Hurricane Harvey Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractTropical cyclone tornadoes pose a unique challenge to warning forecasters given their often marginal environments and radar attributes. In late August 2017 Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast and produced 52 tornadoes over a record-breaking seven consecutive days. To improve warning efforts, this case study of Harveys tornadoes includes an event overview as well as a comparison of near-cell environments and radar attributes between tornadic and nontornadic warned cells. Our results suggest that significant differences existed in both the near-cell environments and radar attributes, particularly rotational velocity, between tornadic cells and false alarms. For many environmental variables and radar attributes, differences were enhanced when only tornadoes associated with a tornado debris signature were considered. Our results highlight the potential of improving warning skill further and reducing false alarms by increasing rotational velocity warning thresholds, refining the use of near-storm environment information, and focusing warning efforts on cells likely to produce the most impactful tornadoes.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 4.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Nowotarski, C. J., Spotts, J., Edwards, R., Overpeck, S., & Woodall, G. R.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Nowotarski, Christopher J||Spotts, Justin||Edwards, Roger||Overpeck, Scott||Woodall, Gary R

publication date

  • October 2021