“Twister” In Real Life

You’ve all seen Twister right? Where a team of stormchasers “attempts to insert a revolutionary measuring device into the very heart of some extremely violent tornadoes”?

Well, this kind of excitement isn’t just limited to the silver screen — it happens in real life. And as I type, the biggest tornado chasing effort ever is being planned.

According to this article, starting on May 10, researchers from four countries and 19 universities and institutions will fan out and chase tornadoes across South Dakota, western Iowa, eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma.

The project, VORTEX2 (Verification Of Rotation in Tornadoes EXperiment 2), will look for the biggest and most destructive tornados and take a sample of the storm’s wind, temperature and moisture environment.

But why put 50 scientists, 40 research vehicles and 10 mobile radars at risk? Because the better we understand why tornadoes form, the more accurately we can predict them.

And once we can predict tornadoes, maybe you’ll no longer have to get busy reading these tornado safety tips.