|Issue of the Day Posts Tagged ‘Tornadoes’|
New Study to Improve Early Tornado Warning Systems
Published Friday, May 15th, 2009 by Lacey Loftin
With Tornado season in full swing, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has initiated a joint project that explores the origins, structure and evolution of tornados. The project, Verification of the Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment 2 (VORTEX2) involves more than 50 scientists, 40 vehicles and 10 mobile radars. Its objective is to collect data in order understand how tornadoes form and how the large-scale environment of thunderstorms is related to tornado function. The principle area of interest is the Great Plains including South Dakota, western Iowa, eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, the Texas panhandle, and western Oklahoma. Preliminary results from V2 are scheduled for presentation at Penn State during the 2009 fall semester. Funding for the study — amounting to $11.9 million — will come from NOAA and the National Science Foundation, 10 universities, and 3 non-profit organizations.
The initial VORTEX study operated during 1994 and 1995; its findings led to a greater understanding of the entire life cycle of tornadoes. The results of the study may, in part, be responsible for the improved National Weather Service severe weather warning statistics. Given the spike in the number of tornadoes in recent years, the improvements to the NWS have managed to significantly reduce the nationwide number of fatalities due to severe weather and tornadoes.