College research teams deployed to Central Mississippi to study tornado genesis

MACON, Miss. (WCBI) – Multiple research teams from the University of Alabama Huntsville and other colleges from across the country, were out collecting data ahead of Tuesday’s storms.

The teams were spread across Central Mississippi using radar and profiling instruments to collect data based on elements like the wind, the atmosphere and precipitation. Joshua Huggins, Adam Weiner and Melissa Gonzalez-Fuentes made up the team that set up in the Macon area scanning for rotation and conversion signatures to better understand how the winds change and ultimately, form into a tornado.

“The data that we’re collecting here is going to be data researched by students and by researchers at laboratories,” Weiner says. “The purpose of this is to better understand what goes on before we see tornado genesis in these linear storms. And before we see severe weather, as the environment changes, perceiving these could impact how severe weather occurs or where it occurs.”

The goal is to use that information to increase the lead time for tornado warnings and better anticipate the location of severe weather.

Huggins says they are constantly monitoring how close the storms are and the teams have evacuation routes set in place. He says the research teams are equipped with two trucks so that they can drive out of the storm’s path while leaving the radar to collect more data.

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