VORTEX2 NEWS: Researchers embark on unprecedented tornado study

Vortex2 Image

An international team of researchers is embarking on what has been described as the most ambitious tornado study in history.

An array of instruments will be deployed across the US Great Plains, where violent twisters are more common than anywhere else on the planet.

It is hoped that the data gathered will improve tornado warnings and forecasts.

More than 100 scientists will be involved in the study, which will continue until the middle of June.

Continue reading the main story Animation of a tornado (Image: BBC) Animated guide: Tornadoes

Tornadoes rank among the most destructive weather events on Earth, said Dr David Dowell, one of the project s principal investigators and a scientist for the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

It is imperative that we learn more about how they develop and why some are so powerful.

The study, Vortex2, will use a range of enhanced mobile radars and other weather-sensing equipment in order to build up a comprehensive picture of the zones where tornadoes develop.

Researchers say that rapidly changing contrasts in wind and temperatures in an area just a few miles across can spawn a tornado in a matter of minutes.

But, they added, only a small percentage of supercell storms generate twisters, and standard observing networks and radars struggle to pick up the atmospheric conditions that lead to the formation of a tornado.

see more on BBC.com
By Mark Kinver
Science and environment reporter, BBC News

Latest News:

ImageTracking twisters: Vortex 2 heads back t ...
(2010-05-10-05:25pm) WICHITA, Kansas - Today`s storm system [More...]

ImageThe technology behind storm chasing ...
(2010-05-13-09:49pm) We were hoping to hit a few thunderstorms on the w [More...]

ImageResearchers embark on unprecedented to ...
(2010-05-10-02:25pm) An international team of researchers is embarking [More...]

ImageLargest-ever tornado study begins ...
(2010-05-05-01:19pm) Flotilla of instruments to be deployed across t [More...]

ImageThe Most Ambitious Tornado Project Ever ...
(2010-04-27-06:00pm) BOULDER - It is considered the largest and most am [More...]

ImageRemote-controlled planes to study tornad ...
(2010-04-16-09:36am) Remote-controlled planes to study tornadoes [More...]

ImageTornadoes: How Deadly Are They? ...
(2010-03-10-02:41pm) Tornado forming: Book of Odds Talks with Storm [More...]

ImageNew Scientist Covers VORTEX2 ...
(2010-02-28-01:40pm) Inside the biggest tornado hunt in history [More...]

ImageThe challenge of observing small-scale p ...
(2010-01-31-12:07pm) The mobile Doppler on Wheels (DOW) projects radar [More...]

ImageVORTEX2: Inside the Biggest Tornado Chas ...
(2010-01-31-11:29am) by Susan Cobb It was day 26 of the largest [More...]