The WP-3D Orion NOAA42 was used to fly through severe thunderstorms right here in North Alabama in March, capturing incredible video during the flight. The craft, a hurricane hunter, was here as a part of VORTEX-SE’s third year of research.
VORTEX-SE (The Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment-Southeast) brings together scientists and researchers from across the country to study tornado development in the Southeast. This includes how unique factors across the Southeast, including terrain, can contribute to tornado development in storms. The ultimate goal is to understand how tornadoes form and behave differently in the Southeast than those over the Plains and to use this information to provide enhanced forecasts to the public.
The project introduced the use of hurricane hunters during its second year of research. During their time in Alabama in 2017 WHNT’s own Meteorologist Christina Edwards accompanied researchers on a flight through severe storms.