Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rolling with the Punches

Good morning loyal followers! I know it has been quite some time since I have blogged but an early departure has allowed me to get a jump start to my day, affording me plenty of time to fill all of you in with what has transpired lately.

After much debate a major change to operations has taken place. The leaders of VORTEX2 have decided that earlier departures and briefings on the road would grant the project more time to reach distant targets that would otherwise be unreachable based on prior departure times. Basically, we are transitioning into a pseudo desperation mode with two weeks left to go! We have yet to accomplish some of our project goals including intercepting a vigorous tornado and we need to pursue every opportunity that Mother Natures serves up to us.

Intercepting tornadoes is no easy task as we still do not have a complete understanding of the environment that they form in. A perfect example is the Memorial Day tornado of this year that occurred in southeast Colorado. The setup was marginal and ultimately the final decision to position for the next day's weather event was made. An eventual tornado formed out of the marginal conditions and another missed opportunity was at our hands. Attention had been given to the Colorado target area in the morning briefings but the conditions were not favorable enough to justify heading south to Colorado. This just goes to show how rigorous our science is and how challenging point forecasting can be.

This transition that we are making now will indefinitely put more stress on all teams as the days will get longer and the nights shorter, especially when we start deploying our instruments. The nights will get even shorter as instruments will need repairs (hopefully not)!

Despite the increased level of stress, our team is remaining focused on collecting as much data as we can and representing Texas Tech University proudly. These are times where we all have to put pride and short tempers to the side and remain patient. It is very easy to let loose and lose your cool, but I must say our team has done a fine job keeping our composure. We pride ourselves on utilizing our resources efficiently in the field and know that by exercising patience, Mother Nature will surely reward us with some adequate data sets.

Stay tuned for more exciting news from VORTEX2 Land!

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