Future Value of VORTEX database?

Feb 14, 2005
Charleston, South Carolina
I would pose a question for some of the mets and more experienced members. In my readings, it seems many of the late-day scientific papers on tornadogenesis refer heavily to the data gathered in the VORTEX project. This makes one wonder, to what extent has the database gathered from this project already been tapped out? Have we only scratched the surface of this data, or does a new and larger data set need to be gathered in order to really move our understanding forward at this point? Has technology since advanced further where it is now possible to measure and gather better qualitative data, or at higher densities, and, if so, how big of an issue would funding be?
I would pose a question for some of the mets....

I qualify as a met, so I'll give this a go. There continues to be research papers coming out from data collected during the first vortex project, but as you noted, the quantity has slowed as new projects have come up and funding to work on older data sets dwindles. There has been considerable improvement in data collection platforms since the vortex experiement in the mid-90's, which has prompted a core group of researchers to try and get another vortex project going (vortex2). Also, the data collection from the first vortex was focused on answering some specific questions - and the answers to those suggested we needed to focus our attention on some other areas. The funding will be difficult as new technology is also very expensive, and budgets are very tight. But, by the end of the summer a go/no go should be known with a potential experiment in the 07-08 or 08-09 time frame. Folks can help by writing their congressman and asking for increases in NSF funding - particularly to aid projects such as this one (and keeps guys like me employed :) ).