NOAA, University of Alabama-Huntsville and partners to kick off tornado study

February 25, 2016 The first field observing campaign for the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment-Southeast (VORTEX-SE) research program begins March 1 and continues through April 30. On February 29, researchers will discuss their operational plans to the media and showcase some of the vehicles and instruments they will use. 

VORTEX-SE is a research program to understand how environmental factors characteristic of the southeastern United States affect the formation, intensity, structure, and path of tornadoes in this region. VORTEX-SE will also determine the best methods for communicating forecast uncertainty related to these events to the public, and evaluate public response. In many ways, VORTEX-SE represents a new approach to tornado research in general. 

News conference, one-on-one interviews, and equipment displays

10 a.m., Monday, Feb. 29

Severe Weather Institute, Radar and Lightning Laboratories (SWIRLL) Building
University of Alabama – Huntsville
National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC)
320 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, Alabama 35805


  • U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt (AL-04)
  • U.S.  Representative Morris Brooks  Jr. (AL-05) (Invited)
  • Dr. Ray Vaughn, vice president for research and economic development, University of Alabama-Huntsville
  • Erik Rasmussen, VORTEX SE project manager, NOAA/University of Oklahoma
  • Kevin Knupp, atmospheric science professor, University of Alabama - Huntsville
  • Chris Darden, meteorologist-in-charge, NOAA National Weather Service Huntsville Forecast Office
  • Steven J. Goodman, GOES-R program chief scientist, NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
  • Robin Tanamachi, assistant professor, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University
  • additional scientists and researchers participating in VORTEX-SE field campaign

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Media contacts:
Keli Pirtle

Phillip Gentry