World's Largest Tornado Experiment Heads for Great Plains - Multimedia Gallery

Multimedia Gallery


The largest and most ambitious tornado study in history, known as VORTEX2 (Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment 2), was conducted from May 10 to June 13, 2009, as dozens of scientists deployed radars and other ground-based instruments across the Great Plains to gain a better understanding of these often deadly weather events.

Photograph of William Brown, Jennifer Standridge, and Tim Lim with weather balloon
NCAR scientists and technicians will launch weather balloons at VORTEX2 with their Mobile GPS Advanced Upper-Air Sounding System. Shown here are (left to right) William Brown, Jennifer Standridge, and Tim Lim testing a balloon launch [ENLARGE] (Photo by Carlye Calvin.) News media terms of use*
Visualization of potentially tornadic thunderstorm over farmland
This one-minute animation (QuickTime) gives a 3-D overview of the VORTEX fleet, with descriptions of instruments as they might be deployed around a potentially tornadic thunderstorm.
Two visualizations, one showing map of study area, second, gray and green map of percipitation
The VORTEX2 study area (left), shown as a red loop, stretches some 900 miles from north to south across the Great Plains. Shown at right is a supercell thunderstorm surrounded by VORTEX2 observing teams. The heaviest precipitation, in green, loops around the target area where a tornado might occur. (Image courtesy VORTEX2.) News media terms of use*

*Media & nonprofit use of images: Except where otherwise indicated, media and nonprofit use permitted with credit as indicated above and compliance with UCAR's terms of use. Find more images in the NCAR|UCAR Multimedia & Image Gallery.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.