Mandated by Congress in 1945, The Thunderstorm Project was the first large-scale scientific study of thunderstorms.
While the first part of the project took place in Florida, the second phase of this multi-agency undertaking took place in and around Clinton County in 1947.
Clinton County was so chosen because of its flat terrain, its tenancy to be a site of thunder storms, and its close proximity to the Clinton County Army Air Force Base, which is now the Wilmington Air Park.
A fleet of P-61 Black Widow Fighter jets equipped with radar, radio, and motion picture cameras made several flights through storms of varying intensity in order to gather data.
Scientists on the ground also used radar, balloon soundings, and an extensive network of weather instruments around Southwestern Ohio in order to gain observations and evaluate hazards.
The resulting findings of the Thunderstorm Project remain extremely relevant in the modern study of storms and other weather phenomena.
February 20, 2015