The Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment 2 (VORTEX2) featured in Tornado Alley is the largest tornado research project in history to explore how, when and why tornadoes form. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the project involved more than one hundred scientists and students and staff from around the world, whose mission was to collect weather measurements around and under a supercell thunderstorm. This massive field experiment was conducted by several teams of researchers, operating a fleet of ten mobile radars and seventy other instruments all equipped with cutting-edge communication and computer technologies. Much about tornadoes remains a mystery, and researchers hope this data will help them better understand tornadoes and lead to further improvements in tornado warnings.

VORTEX2 research teams made science history by strategically deploying all instruments on a tornadic supercell, as depicted in Tornado Alley. Detailed data were collected from 20 minutes before the tornado formed until it faded away, capturing its entire lifecycle. This tornado is now the most intensely examined tornado in history.

Results from VORTEX2 will be evident in the coming years as researchers study the collected data and use it to enhance cloud models needed for the new warn-on-forecast effort.


To learn more about VORTEX2, visit: