VORTEX2: Oklahoma Outbreak

It’s been a busy past 36 hours so I haven’t been able to track VORTEX2’s whereabouts until today. The weather was certainly there on Monday to hopefully gather a lot of information. The Phased Array RADAR was used yesterday. For those unaware, the Phased Array RADAR is quite unique. The RADAR beam can be placed wherever the user wants it to be, collecting data faster than you can imagine. Thus, data was being received every 8 seconds while compared to NEXRAD radars gathering data every 5-7 minutes (though this too can be changed sometimes by the NWS). The KOCO ADVANTAGE DOPPLER RADAR collects data every 50 seconds in long-pulse (LP) mode though we can speed this up.¬† And while VORTEX was collecting data, the task was not that easy. VORTEX2 deployed on 2 sets of storms. The ones in Northern Oklahoma and then the ones in Central Oklahoma. Due to the speed of the storms, it was difficult to set down instruments and gather information for a prolonged amount of time. But, the VORTEX team did place some instruments in a speedy 20 secs to gather information on the Northern Oklahoma storm. However, with storms moving at the rate of 50 to even 70 mph. It was extremely difficult to “chase” these storms. According to some of the meteorologists, this was the worst case scenario for Vortex. Second, if you recall, Eastern Oklahoma is not part of the VORTEX chase zone. Remember, tall trees, hilly areas and quick-moving storms are not conducive for gathering good data. They still did collect some information though. And, we have heard rumors that the DOW (DOPPLER ON WHEELS) crashed. But, these are just rumors and I don’t quite know what “crash” means here. If the computer crashed or if the vehicle crashed. Who knows. Once the weather quiets down some, we’ll hear more about the VORTEX operations from yesterday.

-Damon

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