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Name: Brittany G.
Status: N/A
Age: 13
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 5/10/2004


Question:
How has tornado finding technology developed over the years?


Replies:
Brittany,

Because tornadoes have potential for large impacts and because they can occur with little advance warning, many researchers in the scientific community have made tornado prediction a priority. Scientists do not fully understand tornado formation, so prediction of where and when tornadoes will occur remains difficult. Scientists are seeking to better understand tornadoes. In the mid-1980's the National Severe Storms Laboratory pursued a project, called Totable Tornado Observatory (TOTO), much like that featured in the 1996 motion picture TWISTER. TOTO was a large drum filled with sensors that was to be placed in the path of an approaching tornado. Unlike the device in the movie, TOTO met with limited success.

Today scientists need not depend on placing equipment directly in the path of a tornado. The doppler On Wheels (DOW) project of the University of Oklahoma in Norman and the National Center for Atmospheric Research is a more advanced high-tech effort that scientists are relying on to learn what happens inside a tornado. DOW is a team of sturdy trucks, each with a mobile Doppler radar unit mounted on top. The mobility of these trucks gives them a greater ability to get into position near a severe storm, including areas where hurricanes hit land, in order to document the rare and extremely small-scale phenomena that make up tornadoes. The above was taken from Microsoft Encarta 2004.

I hope that this helps.

Sincerely,

Bob Trach


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