This spring, more than 100 scientists gathered from all over the world to chase tornados in the plains states. From May 1 to June 15, researchers roamed "tornado alley"--Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and nearby states---in a flotilla of 10 mobile radars and 25 other weather vehicles. Their goal was to determine how tornadoes form and how to better predict them.
Each day, teams staked out a potential tornadic storm about an hour ahead and stayed there until the storm passed. The project, called VORTEX2
, extended last year's efforts, when the roaming armada of scientists caught up with a tornado and successfully deployed all of their instruments. Their measurements have become some of the most intensely studied tornado data in history.