Meteorologist Chris Higgins looks at the next generation of tornado research

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HUNTSVILLE, AL (KTVI) - This is the starting point of a four day trip across two different Tornado Alleys.

My first stop is here in Huntsville, at the University of Alabama Huntsville and the Severe Weather Institute Radar and Lightning Laboratories (SWIRLL).  Monday, this facility will play host to media day for the next generation of tornado research, Vortex Southeast.

Everyone has heard the term tornado Alley, it refers to the region of the country from the Midwest into the Central and Southern Plains states where the most violent of tornadoes are the most common.

However, few are familiar with its neighbor to the east, Dixie Alley.

It stretches from Louisiana into Mississippi and Alabama, and this spring it will be the focus of this massive new field research project, the next generation following Vortex 1 and Vortex 2.

Monday night on FOX 2 News at 9pm, I will take you behind the scenes as researchers prepared to head into the storms.  I’ll show what they are looking for and what they hope to learn.  And take you into the high tech storm chasing vehicles that make up the fleet.

Then, Tuesday and Wednesday, I’m off to Oklahoma City for the National Tornado Summit.  Both nights I will report back on the hot topics in tornado research and preparedness as well as disaster response.

It will be a busy couple of days and you can follow along on my Facebook page Chris Higgins on FOX2.  My stories where air on FOX 2 News Monday night, Tuesday night and Wednesday day.  I will also be broadcasting my weather forecast live from the field on FOX 2 News at 11pm all three days.

It is weather coverage you will only see on Fox 2 News!