Scientists to Chase Tornadoes

WASHINGTON (AP) - For most people, tornadoes are something to flee. But a small army of scientists will do the opposite next month, crisscrossing the nation's midsection in search of twisters.

Operation Vortex2 is organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation. From May 10 to June 13, 50 researchers will set out in research vehicles, including mobile radars. They'll try to get close to tornadoes and study how they work.

Besides NOAA and NSF, institutions taking part in the new study include 13 agencies and universities, including Texas Tech University.

The study will focus on southern South Dakota, western Iowa, eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma.

The original Vortex program operated in the central Great Plains during 1994 and 1995 and documented the entire life cycle of a tornado for the first time.

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