Project MOBILE History

Project MOBILE stands for Multiple Observations of Boundaries In the Local storm Environment. It began in 2006 in conjunction with an Atmospheric Science graduate course in field measurements. The course has allowed students to participate in field operations while collecting scientifically relevant measurements. The primary objective of the project has been to collect research quality data on kinematic and thermodynamic gradients across boundaries near tornadic and non-tornadic supercell thunderstorms. Originally the primary instrument used was the mobile mesonet suite; however the development of the Stick-Net probes has allowed the project to grow. In 2007 four mobile mesonets were used along with 24 Stick-Net probes and a total of 8 vehicles. The collected data from the Project 2007 will be used for a MS thesis in Atmospheric Science, as well as the data collected from Project MOBILE 2008. The 2008 edition of MOBILE also has allowed for the testing of logistics and deployment strategies for the upcoming Vortex 2 project in 2009 and 2010. In 2008 the MOBILE crews deployed an array for an ongoing tornadic supercell near Hoxie, KS. This event marked the first time ever a tornado has passed through a rapidly deployed array of complete surface observing stations.
2006 was the first year of collaboration with the University of Michigan's Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences Department, which has offered selected undergraduate and graduate students to operate mobile mesonets and be a part of the Stick-Net deployment teams.
In 2008, the University of Michgian provided the mobile mesonet vehicles (3).