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The Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX) is a multi-agency field program to investigate
The first VORTEX field phase (VORTEX1) was conducted in 1994-1995 and advanced the understanding of the kinematic similarities between tornadic and nontornadic supercell thunderstorms and the implied sensitivity of supercell evolution and tornadogenesis to fine-scale heterogeneity, both pre-storm and storm-induced.
The second field phase of VORTEX (VORTEX2) will take place over a broad region of the central United States Great Plains during the months of May-June, 2009-2010. VORTEX2 will take full advantage of cutting-edge remote and in situ mobile and fixed observing systems, as well as data assimilation techniques that can improve analyses by combining the dense observations with governing dynamical equations.
VORTEX2 is designed to improve our understanding of tornadogenesis, which ultimately will better allow us to assess the likelihood of tornadoes in supercell thunderstorms and possibly even tornado intensity, longevity, and cyclic behavior. Moreover, VORTEX2 is expected to improve vastly our understanding of the range of tornado structures and the relationships between tornado structure and characteristics of the parent thunderstorm.
For more information about the VORTEX2 2009-2010 field activities see the following links:
All photos copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research unless otherwise noted.