From CSU’s Source:
C3LOUD-Ex, or CSU Convective Cloud Outflows and Updrafts Experiment, is led by Professor Susan van den Heever in the Department of Atmospheric Science. Supported by van den Heever’s Monfort Professorship, the project’s aim is to capture extremely hard-to-collect data from thunderstorms as they’re happening. Specifically, the researchers are making direct observations of storm phenomena called updrafts and cold pools, employing a signature technology of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.
Updrafts are just what their name implies – a region of the fastest-rising air in the center of the storm. Cold pools are pockets of cold air that rush away from the raining region of the storm, along the surface of the Earth. Storm prediction models – crucial for early warning systems in tornadic areas, for example – do a poor job accounting for how updrafts and cold pools influence storms’ formation, intensity and length. The C3LOUD-Ex scientists, including about 20 students from several research groups, are providing observational data around these processes. Their eventual goal is to improve predictive insights for severe weather.
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