VORTEX2 NEWS: Tracking twisters: Vortex 2 heads back to KS
WICHITA, Kansas - Today`s storm system was just the type a team of scientist has been waiting for. They`re part of Vortex 2, a group of more than 100 scientists and 40 vehicles searching for tornadoes.
KSN caught up with the Vortex 2 crew in Perry, Oklahoma as they were waiting for storms to develop Monday afternoon.
We really haven`t even chased yet, said Shawn McQuinn with Vortex 2. We had a practice chase the other day in northern Kansas, elevated storms that really weren`t severe.
More than 100 scientists and students make up the team, making it the largest tornado research project in history.
Normally we all go out on our own, we don`t collaborate together on a single storm, it still gets good data, but that`s the whole point of Vortex 2 is getting all these vehicles out and getting them all on one storm so we can have kind of the ultimate data set to realty understand tornadoes, Justin Walker with Votex 2.
The Votex 2 crew has about 40 vehicles, including trucks, which are Doppler`s on wheels that allow them to track the storm from any location.
The idea is to circle the storm with scientific equipment in hopes of getting detailed information about how tornadoes form and their patterns of damage.
That`s one of the things we want to do is lower the false alarm rate, said Walker. And also increase the warning time, cause the average warning time is like between 10 and 15 minutes, so we want to increase that.
But the Vortex 2 crew is not alone. An IMAX film crew is following the TIV - or tornado intercept vehicle - made famous on the Discovery Channel.
For me and our tank, it`s to get right up next to those tornadoes and film them as they`re going right by or right at us, said Sean Casey, IMAX filmmaker. So for me is to get amazing images, but we also have a weather station on our vehicle, so we can collect data.
Both teams know chasing may be difficult.
Storms are moving 50 miles an hour, so we`re more almost waiting for storms to come to us, said McQuinn. They`re chasing us instead of us chasing them.
Whether or not they catch one today, the Vortex 2 crew will be on the road from now through June 15.
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