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VORTEX2 stormchasers on the hunt today

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 1:22pm MDT
VORTEX2 scientists are on the chase for tornadoes today in west Texas.

VORTEX2 scientists are on the chase for tornadoes today in west Texas.

Since officially kicking off on Sunday, the weather has been less than cooperative for the VORTEX2 tornado field study teams.  From their starting point in Oklahoma, there simply has not been severe weather worthy of them chasing.  That is changing right at this moment as the team is on the road and headed to western Texas.

VORTEX2 (Verification of Origin of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment2) is nothing short of the most ambitious field study of tornadoes ever launched.  Comprising a team of more than 80 scientists utilizing 40 vehicles, 10 mobile radar units and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from the United States, Canada, Australia and Finland, the study hopes to answer many of the questions about twisters that we do not have answers to. 

How do tornadoes form? What exactly causes the wind to spin into a concentrated funnel? How can we tell exactly when a tornado will form and when it will die, or how long it will last? Why do some thunderstorms produce tornadoes and others do not? What is the structure of tornadoes? What is the relationship of tornadic winds to damage?

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