Totable Tornado Observatory

Weather BulletinResearchers and storm chasers from the National Weather Service’s Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma make the first field deployment of the 300-pound TOtable Tornado Observatory (TOTO) instrument package, a modified oil drum filled with meteorological instrumentation which is intended to be placed directly into the path of an oncoming tornado. The first deployment, in north Texas, yields no data – no tornado forms for TOTO to study. Over the next five years, despite several “close calls”, TOTO is never successfully placed in the direct path of a tornado. The TOTO program is discontinued in 1987.