Prof. Matt Kumjian and graduate researchers participating in NSF funded, multi-institutional field campaign to study extreme thunderstorms in Argentina.

Researchers with RELAMPAGO-CACTI will track severe thunderstorms in South America's Pampas region.

October 24, 2018
National Science Foundation
News Release 18-095 

Atmospheric scientists begin field campaign to study extreme thunderstorms in Argentina

large thunderstorm cloudPhoto Credit: RELAMPAGO-CACTI

As residents of the U.S. Midwest know, spring in the Great Plains can bring severe weather, including hail, damaging winds, torrential rains and deadly tornadoes with catastrophic impacts.

Similarly, spring in the Pampas, a vast plains region that extends from the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina to the coasts of Brazil and Uruguay, ushers in many of the same types of weather. But thunderstorms in the Southern Hemisphere are larger, have more lightning, and may produce more frequent large hail and flooding than their Northern Hemisphere counterparts.

Residents of the Pampas region know about the dangers of these storms, but the tempests are often difficult to predict.

Now an international team of scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) is heading to Argentina next month (spring in the Southern Hemisphere) as part of a field campaign to discover why these thunderstorms may be the most intense on Earth. The researchers aim to improve the prediction of severe storms.

>> Full story at the National Science Foundation website.