Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Great Tornado Chase

Texas Tech researchers work to solve the mystery of the tornado after a 6-week journey across the Great Plains.

2010 Texas Tech University VORTEX2 Team
While others seek shelter from the storm, Texas Tech researchers go face to face with Mother Nature. These brave scientists are trying to solve the mystery of tornado genesis, and after six weeks of intense storm chasing and data collection, they just might have some of the answers.
Researchers are now beginning to dig through the data gathered during the recent Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment 2 (VORTEX2), an $11.9 million project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The 2010 field portion of the project lasted 45 days and involved about 120 people, including 18 Texas Tech researchers, more than 40 vehicles and an array of data-collecting instruments from Doppler radars and unmanned drone aircraft, to StickNet probes and weather balloons.
The purpose – to discover the origins of tornadoes in order to better predict when and where storms will pop up, determine how severe they will be, and in turn, improve alert systems by increasing warning times.

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