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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Live Chat: The Science of Storm Chasing
16 November 2011 12:13 pm
See below for the chat box. Join us each Thursday at 3 p.m. EST for a live conversation with leading scientists and expert reporters.
A flash of lightning, a clap of thunder. Big storms have long inspired awe, fear—and a lot of scientific interest. Now, researchers are getting an unusual new tool to probe severe weather: A retired warplane best known for destroying tanks on the battlefield. In September, the U.S. National Science Foundation announced that it will spend about $13 million to convert an A-10 Thunderbolt jet fighter into a next-generation storm penetrator. The heavily-armored aircraft will lug a suite of high-tech instruments into the hearts of storms to study everything from how hail and lightning form to mysterious bursts of high-energy gamma rays. What are some capabilities this new plane will have that its predecessor didn't? Will it help scientists learn to identify killer storms before they strike? And why, in the age of high-tech satellites and super-sharp radar, do we need to risk a pilot's life flying into a storm at all?
Join us for a live chat about the new storm penetrator and the science it will enable at 3 p.m. EST on Thursday, 17 November, on this page. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts.
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Bradley F. Smull
Bradley F. Smull is a program director in the Division of Atmospheric & Geospace Sciences at the National Science Foundation. During his research career, Smull logged in excess of 1200 hours as flight scientist aboard NOAA’s P-3 "hurricane hunter" instrumented aircraft in pursuit of improved understanding of severe thunderstorms and other intense weather systems.
Dr. Sonia Lasher-Trapp is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University. She has participated in 5 field campaigns during her career, primarily using airborne measurements to study the development of precipitation within clouds and factors that modulate its production, including atmospheric aerosol. Such knowledge is needed to improve efforts in weather forecasting and climate prediction.