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Ominous skies draw storm chasers PDF Print E-mail

It’s the height of the tornado season and people get nervous when the skies darken like they did Sunday night. Chase County was under a thunderstorm watch or warning most of the afternoon and evening Sunday. One storm passed around 5 p.m. and another came through about 8:15 p.m. Storm chasers who are part of Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment 2 (VORTEX2) came through in force Sunday afternoon. After no tornadoes developed in the first storm, the chasers headed back west to another major cell that had developed near Bridgeport. That cell later came through Chase County, spawning a tornado spotted on the ground four miles north of Imperial. Fortunately, no damage occurred. VORTEX2 is supported by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). More than 100 scientists, students and staff collect weather measurements around and under a supercell thunderstorm.  VORTEX2 teams are using a fleet of 10 mobile radars, and 70 other instruments, all equipped with cutting-edge communication and computer technologies.  The 2010 effort started in May and continues through mid-June. The two-year project started in 2009. (Republican photos)