Video: Hurricane Hunter in search of a different kind of storm

This spring one of NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter P-3 Orion airplanes, known best for flying through tropical cyclones, took to the skies for a different research cause: The tracking of tornadoes in the southeastern United States.

Tornadoes in the Southeast can form quickly and unexpectedly – and with deadly results. Researchers working on the third annual VORTEX-SE experiment gathered data from the plane above the clouds and from radars on the ground to better understand – and ultimately provide better forecasts for – the storms that produce tornadoes in this region. By capturing data from multiple angles, NOAA scientists hope to learn more about how these tornadoes differ from those that spawn in the Great Plains.