Tornado chasers to use Lenovo PCs in severe storm research project

Posted May 7, 2009 2:17 p.m. EDT

How tough are Lenovo’s person computers?

A team of tornado chasers is about to find out.

PCs provided by Lenovo will be used by the Center for Severe Weather Research at Penn State University, the National Severe Storms Laboratory and other researchers as part of the so-called {{a href="external_link-0"}VORTEX2 tornado research project. VORTEX stands for “Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment – 2.”

The National Severe Storms Laboratory describes the project this way:

VORTEX-2 is a carefully planned field experiment that will target a potentially tornadic storm and canvass the area with an armada of instruments including radars, mobile vehicles equipped with instruments, instrumented weather balloons, and research aircraft.

Scientists manning a fleet of vehicles and weather equipment as well as the {{a href="external_link-0"}Lenovo Think-brand computers are going to track storms beginning Friday at the National Weather Center in Oklahoma.

“VORTEX1 made a significant difference,” says Lou Wicker a researcher for the project. “But now we have a lot more technology to make real-time predictions, which can increase warning times.”

The goal of the project is to help scientists better understand why tornadoes form.