Two University of Washington atmospheric scientistsAngela Rowe and Lynn McMurdie—are leaving for a weeks-long, firsthand study of some of the fiercest storms on the planet.

They will participate in RELAMPAGO, an international campaign in Argentina to monitor storms that occur east of the Andes near the slopes of another mountain range, the Sierra de Córdoba. The international team hopes to better understand how convective storm systems — the big systems that unleash torrential rains, hail and lightning — initiate and grow as they travel from the mountainous terrain eastward over the plains.

“From looking at the satellites, scientists have noticed that this area of South America had the most extreme storms in the world, in terms of how tall they get, the frequency of lightning and the frequency of hail,” said Rowe, a UW research scientist and the UW’s principal investigator on this project.

Read more at UW Today »