Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Welcome to "Wolfpack in the VORTEX" (posted by Matt Parker)

From May 10-June 15, 2009, our team from NCSU (one faculty member and five students) will be heading to the Great Plains to participate in the second Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX2). The aim of this experiment is to help us better understand how storms produce tornadoes, and in what ways tornado forecasting can be improved. VORTEX2 is a multiple-university multiple-agency field program that will include roughly 40 vehicles and 100 participants from around the country.

Using four vehicles, our NC State team will launch weather balloons near tornadic thunderstorms in order to measure the vertical profiles of temperature, humidity, and winds in the atmosphere. We will be fully mobile; in other words, day by day we will travel to wherever tornadoes are expected in order to make our measurements.

This blog will serve as a communal place at which all NCSU team members (especially the students) can provide updates from the field. Hopefully, you'll get some insight into the ups and downs of an experiment of this kind, you'll see some impressive photos "from the front lines", and you'll have an appreciation for the interesting projects that are available to students who study at NC State!

We will be driving to Oklahoma on May 4th and 5th to prepare the equipment and rendezvous with the other VORTEX2 teams. Stay tuned!