Scientists track pollution spread by thunderstorms

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Scientists are studying thunderstorms high over Alabama in hopes of determining how they spread pollution.

Researchers are using research airplanes equipped with high-tech gear, weather balloons and other equipment to study thunderstorms this spring in northern Alabama, northeast Colorado and central Oklahoma.

The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry Project, or DC3, began this spring and continues through June 30.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the research will measure how thunderstorms transport, produce and process chemicals that form harmful ozone.

Lightning sensors in the region will also be used, including one system that includes sensors in northern Alabama supplemented by Georgia Institute of Technology lightning sensors near Atlanta.

More than 100 researchers from NOAA and agencies such as NASA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research are involved.

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