Ian T. Dunning ’16 presented a poster titled “A Deadly Tornado in Upstate New York: The Smithfield Tornado of 2014” at the 41st Annual Northeastern Storm Conference held in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on March 4-6.
Hometown: Rome, N.Y.
High School: Westmoreland High School
The work Dunning presented was based on his senior thesis with Prof. Cynthia Domack in the Hamilton College Geosciences Department. Dunning also interned with meteorologist Bill Kardas at WKTV. “Ian is a great student!” Kardas reported. “We used state of the art weather equipment here at WKTV to investigate the cause of this tornado.”
“There were many different factors that indicated to us how this tornado could have formed,” explained Dunning. “There is, however, no single answer to that question. Essentially, powerful winds in the uppermost part of the atmosphere where weather occurs (troposphere) were causing instability. An unstable atmosphere coupled with severe thunderstorms at the surface caused a tornado to form in Smithfield on July 8, 2014.”
“This initial study could be used to further study this event in the future, though,” Dunning said. “Additionally, the research could also be used to compare this event with other events of this nature.”
The American Meteorological Society, the National Weather Association, and Lyndon State College sponsored the conference and participants included personnel from the broadcast industry, research community, military (202 Weather Flight Massachusetts Air National Guard), government (NOAA’s National Weather Service), and private sector
Dunning will graduate from Hamilton this May with a major in geosciences. He has been accepted to the graduate program in geology at SUNY Buffalo where he will continue his studies next year.
The son of John and Michele Dunning of Rome, Dunning is a graduate of Westmoreland High School.