March 8, 2017 to May 8, 2017
Project Location: 
Southeastern United States
Project Description: 

VORTEX-SE is a research program focused on tornado issues of special concern in the southeastern United States. The overarching goal of VORTEX-SE is to reduce damage, injuries, and loss of life from tornadoes through improvements in understanding, forecasting and warning, and risk communication in ways that support protective decision making. This includes understanding and, where possible, providing recommendations for how to mitigate key vulnerabilities to tornadoes in the southeast US.

Physical science and observational advances that can help improve operational forecasts and warnings are important contributors to reducing loss of life from tornadoes in the southeast US. Contributions from the SBE sciences are also critical, to understand societal aspects of southeast tornado risks and to help meteorological advances achieve their potential for benefiting society. Thus, VORTEX-SE spans a range of disciplines, including atmospheric science, SBE (social, behavioral, and economic) sciences, and operational meteorology.

The 2017 VORTEX-SE Field Campaign has been organized to meet the research needs of a large group of investigators funded through a Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) in the spring of 2016.  The research emphases identified in that FFO were established by the VORTEX-SE Scientific Steering Committee in the late winter of 2015-2016.  The two main objectives of that funding activity were to 1) comprehensively analyze and understand the role of terrain features in altering the local environment, potentially making it more conducive to tornado formation; and 2) to analyze and understand storm processes that potentially support tornado formation in the Southeast U.S.  A variety of other goals are being supported related to the prediction of tornadoes, and mitigation of the tornado hazard, in the Southeast.