In order to improve the quality of forecasts, the coorporation between NOAA and Meteomatics was announced last year. At the beginning of November 2016 the Meteodrones rose up to the sky of Oklahoma for the first time. The second phase of the project was set for the tornado season in May, and a number of flights were carried out over a period of two weeks. During more than 100 soundings the Meteodrones flew almost 140km. The collected data will be assimilated in a model that enables NOAA to forecast thunderstorms and tornados more precisely.
For more information, as well as US press reports: