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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 06/16/2009

Best of CWG's VORTEX2 Photos

By Andrew Freedman

* An Atlantic Onslaught: Full Forecast | VORTEX2 Turns Heads *

Tornado touchdown, Goshen County, Wyoming, June 6, 2009.

VORTEX2, which stands for "Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment2," is the largest field experiment to investigate tornadoes. The project's first field phase ended on Saturday, and will resume again next spring. I joined the scientific "armada" for one eventful week, during which several supercell thunderstorms were intercepted, including one tornado in Goshen County, Wyoming. That tornado was the most observed tornado in history, considering the scientific platforms that were deployed around it, and the fact that it was broadcast live nationally on The Weather Channel.

Keep reading for some of my favorite VORTEX2 images that I photographed between June 4 to 10 as I rode along with the VORTEX2 team. Also read the rest of our VORTEX2 coverage here...

Researchers Isaac Hankes and Glen Romine deploy a disdrometer probe in Goshen County, Wyoming on June 5, 2009.

National Severe Storm Laboratory probe vehicle with wall cloud behind it in southern Wyoming, June 5, 2009.

A non-tornadic storm, captured on June 5, 2009, while riding with a team from the University of Illinois

Severe thunderstorm in the distance, June 5, 2009.

Severe thunderstorm with laminar flow clouds, June 5, 2009.

Non-tornadic supercell in Nebraska. Photo taken June 6, 2009. Area of rotation is right about on top of the road sign in this picture.

Thunderstorm with rainbow in southern Nebraska, on June 6, 2009.

You want us to follow Probe 7 to where? Supercell near Dodge City, Kansas on June 9, 2009.

Spaceship storm, near Dodge City, Kansas on June 9, 2009.

By Andrew Freedman  | June 16, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Freedman, Photography, VORTEX2  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Another Atlantic Onslaught
Next: PM Update: (Mostly) Quiet Weather, for Now


The "spaceship" storms generally indicate the presence of rotating wall clouds. Any rotating wall cloud, even if "non-tornadic", ought to be monitored for possible funnel cloud production.

Tornadoes, except those generated by tropical cyclones, generally seem to originate in the southwest quadrant of a supercell in our hemisphere [the NW quadrant in the Southern Hemisphere]. This was the case with the Goshen County, WY tornado observed by VORTEX2. Often there will be little or no rain when the tornado forms, but heavy rain obscures and "hides" the tornado during its mature & most powerful stage. This was also observed by VORTEX2. Despite its awe-inspiring appearance the tornado was rated EF2 on the new Fujita scale.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | June 16, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Ann-CapitalWeatherGang | June 16, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful pics! A nice cloud picture trumps just about all modern art in my view.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | June 16, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

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