NC State Researchers Chase Tornadoes

May 14, 2009
By Chris Richter

tornadoMatthew Parker, an associate professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, and a group of NC State graduate students are spending the next month in the Midwest studying tornadoes.

The scientists will roam from state to state following severe weather outbreaks through the plains, and the fleet will use an array of instrumentation to literally surround the tornadoes and the supercell thunderstorms that form them.

Parker’s team will form a four-vehicle portion of the caravan. The NC State researchers will launch weather balloons near tornadic thunderstorms in order to measure the vertical profiles of temperature, humidity and winds in the atmosphere.

They’re blogging, too, at Wolfpack in the Vortex. We’ll keep an eye out and share highlights here.

Update: The Weather Channel has some cool video of the team. Nice “Red Means Go” T-shirts.

Update #2: Parker recently talked with WUNC radio.

(Photograph courtesty of Flickr user tlindenbaum)

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