TWIRL - Tornadic Winds: In situ and Radar observation at Low levels

CSWR is currently operating a fleet of remotely sensing and in situ instrumentation as scientists seek to learn more about the kinematics and thermodynamics of tornadic supercells. Expected to occur from 1 May through 15 June 2016, this nomadic project will have participants driving anywhere from 10,000-15,000 miles all over Tornado Alley as they seek to find storms on which to deploy.

You can read more about the project by visiting


CSWR sends well wishes, love and positive thoughts to the Stein family at their (and the entire severe weather research community's) time of loss.

CSWR is currently participating in the OLYMPEX project: Nov 2015 - Jan 2016

CSWR crew, numerous graduate students and one DOW are currently stationed on Lake Quinault in the state of Washington to measure cold-season orographic precipitation.

More information can be found at

CSWR is currently partiicpating in the MASCRAD project: Nov 2015 - Apr 2016

CSWR crew, students from CSU and CSWR's Mobile Operations and Repair Center (MORC) are stationed in an airfield near Greeley, CO to periodically launch radiosondes during cold-season upslope precipitation events.

More information about the MASCRAD project can be found at

CSWR featured in the 18 May week episode of the National Science Foundation's Science Nation.

Learn more about the types of research done by CSWR, both in and out of the field.

CSWR participated in the PECAN (Plains Elevated Convection At Night) field project from 1 June - 15 July 2015.

PECAN is a large meteorology experiment sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA), and the Department Of Energy (DOE). The scientific goal of the project is to collect data before and during nighttime severe storms in order to learn how they form, why some become severe, and how to predict them better.

To learn more about the PECAN project, please visit

CSWR Analysis of El Reno, Oklahoma tornado and chaser deaths.

Three well-respected storm chasers, Tim and Paul Samaras and Carl Young, were killed while attempting to deploy instrumentation in the El Reno, Oklahoma tornado of 31 May 2013. A Weather Channel crew was also injured. CSWR's published analysis of this tornado (by team leaders Josh Wurman and Karen Kosiba and collaborators) reveals that an intense internal sub-vortex impacted the Samaras team and The Weather Channel crew, exposing them to winds of up to 150-200 mph, transporting their vehicles after they had penetrated through the weaker northern side of the extremely large tornado. While the tornado was rated EF-3 based on sparse damage, the National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported Rapid-Scan DOW measurements revealed winds near 300 mph (~300 feet AGL) at times, in intense, very small and very rapidly moving sub-vortices.

Drs. Karen Kosiba of CSWR and Greg Forbes of The Weather Channel discuss the El Reno tornado of 2013


The Doppler on Wheels Network

Image The Center for Severe Weather Research (CSWR) operates the Doppler on Wheels (DOW) mobile radar network, consisting of two dual-polarization, dual-frequency mobile radars and one multi-beam, rapid scan radar, several mobile mesonet vehicles and 20 in-situ weather PODs as a National Science Foundation (NSF) facility. Researchers and faculty can request the DOWs and other instrumentation for their projects.

The DOW radar facility has served the NSF community as part of the LAOF program since 2008. Prior to then, the DOWs operated as a de facto NSF-community resource, participating in many scientific and educational field programs not led by the DOW PI. The DOWs have been among the most widely used facilities, participating in over 30 field campaigns since VORTEX1. DOWs have been requested for several planned future field programs [e.g., PECAN (2015), SNOWIE (2015/2016), Victoria (2016), RELAMPAGO (2016) and OLYMPEX-NSF (2015)]. DOWs have been the most frequently requested and allocated LAOF facility for education and outreach, have deployed at 18 universities, and participated in extensive nationwide outreach tours impacting over 100,000 students.



CSWR Research ProjectsImage

CSWR is engaged in research investigating tornadogenesis, tornado structure, hurricane boundary layers and surface wind damage, as well as radar technology. CSWR has also played a major role in VORTEX2, COPS, IHOP, STEP, IPEX, PAMREX and other projects. Here is a list of related CSWR publications.


CSWR and Educational Outreach

ImageCSWR is committed to the advancement of radar meteorology education. Additionally, CSWR maintains close collaborations with both Pennsylvania State University and the University of Colorado. Here is a list of educational projects in which CSWR has been involved.


CSWR in the PressImage

A list of articles pertaining to CSWR and related projects.


Meet Our Staff and Contact Information

ImageInformation about our staff, location and contact information.


VORTEX2: Can we warn tornadoes 30, 40, 60 minutes ahead?


VORTEX2 is by far the largest and most ambitious effort ever made to understand tornadoes.