Scientists to launch new tornado research mission

Researchers to discuss supercell study during press conference, public open house

Researchers are about to embark on a new research project aimed at understanding the relationships between severe thunderstorms and how tornadoes form across the Great Plains with the goal of improving forecasts.

The upcoming project, Targeted Observation by Radars and Unmanned Aircraft Systems of Supercells, or TORUS, will be discussed during a news conference followed by a public open house.

The TORUS project involves more than 50 researchers using 20 tools to measure the atmosphere, including unmanned aircraft systems, mobile radars and NOAA’s WP-3D Orion “Hurricane Hunter” aircraft. Fieldwork will be conducted May 15 to June 16 throughout a 367,000-square-mile area of the Central Great Plains from North Dakota to Texas and Iowa to Wyoming and Colorado.

Funded by NOAA and the National Science Foundation, the project is led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Partner institutions are the University of Colorado Boulder, Texas Tech University, NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory, NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, and the University of Oklahoma Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies.

News conference, public open house, equipment tours

Tue., May 14

10 a.m.-11a.m: Media briefing followed by a question and answer session, interviews

11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Public Open House; Viewing of unmanned aircraft systems, mobile radars and other instruments; Tours of NOAA’s WP-3D Orion “Hurricane Hunter”

Salina Regional Airport, Hangar 600, 2720 Arnold Court, Salina, Kansas

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