UAH’s SWIRLL work important on days like today

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Photo: Lysette Martinez, Boaz

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — University of Alabama Huntsville has students, professors, and researchers who constantly monitor severe weather. With all hands on deck like that, their work is highlighted on days like today with the threat of severe weather.

It showcases why UAH’s Severe Weather Institute Radar and Lightning Center’s work is necessary.

“Trying to get a better idea of how these things form, how they evolve, how they affect all of us. Ultimately try to get everybody to safety sooner and keep everybody safe during these severe weather days,” said Professor Phillip Bitzer.

Also known as SWIRLL, starting next week they are partnering with the National Severe Storms Laboratory to bring Vortex Southeast to Huntsville. Vortex Southeast is a key research effort in tracking tornadoes.

“SWIRLL is going to be sort of the hub of operations of Vortex Southeast. We’ll be running daily debriefings out of here, basically it all starts in this room,” said Bitzer.

Bitzer said they hope their research with Vortex Southeast can give them a little more insight in tornado activity in North Alabama, and better way to handle them.

“Tornadoes here seem to be a little bit different from the southwest. So we really want to get a better idea on how tornadoes form here, how they evolve, how they relate to other aspects of the storm, and how they differ from other parts of the country,” he explained.

Vortex Southeast is set to start in Huntsville on March 8th.