Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Master of Science
College of Arts and Sciences
The role of topography on the spatial distribution of tornadoes was assessed through geospatial and statistical techniques. A 100-m digital elevation model was used to create slope, aspect, and surface roughness maps; and; tornado beginning and ending points and paths were used to extract terrain information. Tornado touchdowns, liftoffs, paths, and path-land angles were examined to determine whether tornado paths occur more frequently in or along certain terrain or slopes. Statistical analyses, such as bootstrapping, were used to analyze tornado touchdowns, liftoffs and paths and path-relative terrain angles. Results show that tornado paths are more common with downhill-movement. Tornadoes are not as likely to move uphill because the 73.6 percent northeast path bias represents the highest frequencies of path-angles. Tornado touchdowns and paths occur more often in smooth terrain, rather than rough terrain. Complex topographic variability seems to not have an effect on the spatial distribution of tornadoes.
Cox, David Austin, "The Effects of Topography on Spatial Tornado Distribution" (2012). Theses and Dissertations MSU. 4451.