Jun 9, 2009
Editor’s note: Scientific American contributing editor Christie Nicholson is traveling with nearly 80 scientists conducting the largest tornado study ever completed. Check out her progress and learn about twisters on SciAm’s Twitter feed, and have a look at the photos she's taking along the way.
TOPEKA, Kan. (June 8, 2009)—When I arrived in Colby, Kansas last Thursday to join the VORTEX2 team’s nearly 160 scientists, students and media participating in the largest tornado-spawning storm study in history, the teams were despondent. The jet stream had been unusually displaced far to the north, resulting in one of the more calm seasons in decades. Even potential supercells—storms most likely to produce a twister—were conspicuously lacking.
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