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OU, OSU Team Up To Develop Drones For Predicting Severe Weather

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Weather researchers at OU and OSU are teaming up on a project they say will revolutionize how tornadoes are predicted. Weather researchers at OU and OSU are teaming up on a project they say will revolutionize how tornadoes are predicted.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Weather researchers at OU and OSU are teaming up on a project they say will revolutionize how tornadoes are predicted. 

Researchers are using a $6 million federal grant to use “unmanned air vehicles” or drones to feed data into weather models.  

OU meteorologist Phillip Chilson and OSU aerospace engineering professor Jamey Jacob say drones are valuable, because they fly closer to the earth than airplanes can. 

Chilson said this new research is a “game changer.”

“This region of the atmosphere hasn’t been thoroughly investigated in the past.  There’s been a lot of work done, but it’s it bit ironic that the layer of the atmosphere closest to where we live is so difficult to monitor,” he said. 

Right now, the national average time it takes to forecast a tornado is 10 to 12 minutes.  

Jacob said drones could increase that average lead time to almost an hour. 

“This will change how we forecast weather across the entire globe,” he said Tuesday.

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