AP NEWS

Scientists to deploy drones in thunderstorm study

March 27, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Drones will be among the tools scientists and students will use later this year and next to study supercell thunderstorms that can spawn tornadoes in Nebraska and other Plains states.

The study is scheduled to begin field work May 15 and cover the Great Plains, from North Dakota south to Texas, and Iowa west to Wyoming and Colorado.

More than 50 scientists and students will use four drones, a manned aircraft, eight trucks equipped with meteorological instruments, several mobile radar systems and sophisticated weather balloons to collect data on supercell thunderstorms. Participants hope the data gathered will improve the detection of tornadoes and reduce the number of false-alarm warnings.

The four universities involved: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Colorado, University of Oklahoma and Texas Tech University.

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