STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – This week scientists and meteorologists from across the country are in Steamboat Springs for the 22nd year of the Steamboat Weather Summit.
The big story this week has been all the snow that has fallen in the high county, but everyone at the summit is also talking about the severe storms.
The research that’s being done is really amazing, according to CBS4 meteorologist Jennifer Zeppelin. She said one of the most interesting topics at the summit is Vortex2. Hundreds of researchers from across the country came together every year since 2009. They’ve been combining forces, using mobile radar and weather-sensing tools and other new technology to be able to see inside the storms and track tornadoes.
One of the Vortex2 researchers has been at the summit all week talking about some of the findings.
“They have been really intriguing and interesting,” Zeppelin said.
They key questions researchers have been asking is how do tornadoes form? One of the key things they’ve been able to find out is the tornadoes have formed three or four different ways.
“As they tracked storms for the last couple of years, one of the largest storms in Wyoming last year provided the researchers with some amazing information,” Zeppelin said.
They were able to see how “gust fronts” form.
“Multiple surges of gust fronts form out ahead of these storms,” Zeppelin said. “What they were able to detail is actually coming up with the zones of wind and temperature and how the wind and temperature would change so quickly and spawn tornadoes just in a matter of minutes.”
Zeppelin said the key to the research is helping forecasters know exactly where the storms are going to form and providing more lead information on where warnings need to be issued.