Explorations: The Thunderstorm Project
- Horace R. Byers and R. R. Braham, Jr., The Thunderstorm: Final Report of the Thunderstorm Project (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1949). This 282-page book is a comprehensive report of both the results of the project and the technology and observational techniques used.
- Horace R. Byers, “Structure and Dynamics of the Thunderstorm,” Science 110 (September 23, 1949): 291–294. This is a good, brief summary of the project.
- Roscoe R. Braham, Jr., “The Water and Energy Budgets of the Thunderstorm and Their Relation to Thunderstorm Development,” Journal of Meteorology 9 (August 1952): 227–242.
The Thunderstorm Project was the beginning of focused severe storms research based on field observations. Chapter 8 of The AMS Weather Book mentions some of the research that followed it. For a more complete account of this research and research that preceded the Thunderstorm Project see Charles A. Doswell III, “Historical Overview of Severe Convective Storms Research (PDF file)”, E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology 2, no. 1 (2007). For more, see the journal’s home page.
Thunderstorm Project Airplanes
The Northrop P-61 Black Widow fighter on display at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport, in Virginia, is one of four such aircraft known to still exist out of the 706 built during World War II and immediately after the war. It’s the only one of the four used for the Thunderstorm Project. For information about it go to the Udvar-Hazy Center collections database and search for “P-61” “Black Widow”.
The second of the four surviving P-61s is at the National Museum of the USAF, in Dayton, Ohio, and the third is at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, in China. The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum, in Reading, Pennsylvania, recovered the fourth from an Indonesian jungle mountaintop, in 1991, and is slowly restoring it to flying condition. The museum’s P-61 Web page has information.