N.C. State students cross fingers for storms

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Storm chasers_02
Casey Letkewicz
Casey Letkewicz is a doctoral student in meteorology at N.C. State University in Raleigh. She is one of a half-dozen students and faculty from N.C. State participating in VORTEX2, a research project designed to learn more about how and why tornadoes form.

Despite VORTEX2 kicking off on May 1, the Great Plains have been extremely quiet the first few days of the project. In anticipation of a potential play in Colorado today, we moved from Norman, O.K., to Woodward, O.K., but the lack of low-level moisture pretty much killed any chances we've had. It's been a bit frustrating since everyone has been in a holding pattern: vehicles are ready, training has been completed, but no storms have formed. We've kept ourselves occupied by going out to eat, laying out in the sun, reading, talking to locals (we always cause quite a stir whenever we're in town) or tossing the disc around.

There's also been a lot of talk about when we'll finally be able to get out and chase storms! Well, the Storm Prediction Center has finally issued a slight risk for severe storms in the VORTEX2 domain on Thursday, so it looks like today we'll be traveling to get in position for that play. The set up looks quite good for Thursday; however, there may be some difficulty initiating storms. Cross your fingers that storms form and V2 can finally go out and do what it's here to do!

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