It could be a long day for the VORTEX2 project today.
The team of researchers is in GO mode today targeting an outbreak of possible tornadic supercell thunderstorms from the Texas Panhandle into western Kansas and southeast Colorado.
Here’s the tweet from VORTEX2 today.
“VORTEX2 Ops are GO. Supercells are expected along the dryline today and possibly along a retreating warm front. http://bit.ly/9C57Xc”
Tornado watches are flying tonight and SPC has placed the Texas Panhandle in a moderate risk for severe.
VORTEX 2 has been in operational mode for about two weeks. The teams have had some success intercepting storms. Tonight could mark one of the best opportunities yet. Here’s the VORTEX2 daily log so far.
5/1 – DOWN
5/2 – DOWN
5/3 – Travel to Woodward, Oklahoma
5/4 – DOWN – Woodward, OK
5/5 – Travel to Hays, KS
5/6 – GO – Intercepted elevated supercell near Oberlin, KS. The unmanned aircraft had its first flight with VORTEX2!
5/7 – Travel to Amarillo, TX
5/8 – DOWN – Laundry day!
5/9 – Travel to Perry, OK
5/10 – GO – Tornado outbreak in central Oklahoma. Intercepted supercell, but fast moving storms made deployment difficult.
5/11 – GO – Intercepted two supercells south of Woodward, OK. Weatherford, OK was lodging.
5/12 – GO – Intercepted high-precipitation supercell in SW Oklahoma – brief tornado formed near Clinton, OK. Lodging in Wichita Falls, TX.
5/13 – Travel to Midland, TX
5/14 – GO – cells near Monohans, TX. Road network poor until late in the life of the storm.
5/16 – Travel – Lubbock, TX.
Summary: 6 days of operations so far.
Here’s a photo that caught my eye today. Brian Emfinger is a storm chaser in Arkansas. Check out the time-lapse image he captured last night of the ISS and Space Shuttle passing overhead near the moon, as fireflies dance over the grass below.
(click for bigger image)
Pretty remarkable stuff. You can check out more of Brian’s work here.