Carried out between 1994–1995, the VORTEX1 project represented the first time scientists had completely researched the entire evolution of a tornado with an array of instrumentation, enabling a greater understanding of the processes involved with tornadogenesis.
In 2009–2010, the VORTEX2 project utilised enhanced technology allowing scientists to improve forecasting capabilities and warning of residents. Scientists sought to elucidate how tornadoes form, how long they last and why they last that long, and what causes them to dissipate.
VORTEX1 and VORTEX2 involved large surface fleets of instrumented vehicles as well as aircraft and mobile radars. Important work on developing and coordinating mobile mesonets came from the field projects and analysis of data collected in subsequent years led to significant advancement in the understanding of supercell and tornado morphology and dynamics.