NSSL Video

Bite-Sized Science: Exploring the Supercell

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We know the strongest and deadliest tornadoes form from a specific type of thunderstorm... the supercell. However, important areas inside supercell thunderstorms remain unexplored. That changes this spring as scientists hit the road to study these powerful storms as part of the field project TORUS - which is short for Targeted Observation by Radars and UAS of Supercells.

Roughly a dozen radar, ballooning, unmanned aerial vehicle, and ground-based observations teams will travel into the storm, along with a team in the NOAA P-3 Hurricane Hunter flying just outside the storm, to provide a data-driven, multi-dimensional view of each storm system.

Among the tools used in the project are swarms of radiosondes that take measurements of the atmosphere. The radiosondes are attached to balloons that are much smaller than traditional weather balloons and can be rapidly deployed from a field vehicle.

Learn more about the TORUS project →

This video can also be found on the NOAA Weather Partners YouTube Channel.