Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 146 (3), September 2019, 1528-1540


(c) 2019 Acoustical Society of America. Used by permission.


A hail-producing supercell on 11 May 2017 produced a small tornado near Perkins, Oklahoma (35.97, –97.04) at 2013 UTC. Two infrasound microphones with a 59-m separation and a regional Doppler radar station were located 18.7 and 70 km from the tornado, respectively. Elevated infrasound levels were observed starting 7min before the verified tornado. Infrasound data below ~5Hz was contaminated with wind noise, but in the 5–50 Hz band the infrasound was independent of wind speed with a bearing angle that was consistent with the movement of the storm core that produced the tornado. During the tornado, a 75 dB peak formed at ~8.3 Hz, which was 18 dB above pre-tornado levels. This fundamental frequency had overtones (18, 29, 36, and 44 Hz) that were linearly related to mode number. Analysis of a larger period of time associated with two infrasound bursts (the tornado occurred during the first event) shows that the spectral peaks from the tornado were present from 4min before to 40 min after tornadogenesis. This suggests that the same geophysical process(es) was active during this entire window.