Yesterday (May 6th), the project intercepted its first thunderstorm! We began the day in Hays, KS and slowly drifted north and west during the afternoon. Late in the afternoon, storms began to fire in eastern Colorado. These storms intensified as they moved towards us. We knew that the tornado threat was pretty much zero, but everyone was anxious to deploy and test out their instruments on a real storm. In fact, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle launched yesterday, a first for V2. The UAV is a small aircraft that is launched near a storm and then remotely controlled to fly in an around the storm, collecting data as it flies.
The photogrammetry team didn’t have any data to collect, but we did practice our deployment strategy just to be sure we can do it when we are on a tornadic storm.
The storm system that helped to causer the thunderstorms yesterday swept all of the warmth and moisture out of the plains, so no operations will occur until Sunday at the earliest. The armada is traveling today and will have a down day tomorrow. Forecasts are coming into alignment now that next week will feature a classic severe weather setup in the Vortex2 domain…so we expect to be very busy, operating several days in a row. Really, between the two years so far, we have not had a week like that. Stay tuned! For now, please enjoy the following picture that I snapped of a cow that is very curious of DOW7 (Doppler on Wheels):