The Tornado Chasers

Monday, May 18, 2009

In the movie “Twister,” a group of renegade scientists chase tornadoes, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats until they were reminded that it’s just fiction. Well, a group of real life scientists are doing just this, but not for the drama, but to really understand how tornadoes form. If we needed any reminder of how deadly tornadoes can be, last week, twisters in Missouri and Oklahoma killed at least two people and destroyed homes and businesses. In an effort to prevent such incidents, the largest and most ambitious study of tornadoes is now underway. The project is named Vortex 2 and involves almost 100 scientists and students from 16 universities and research institutes. Throughout the plains states, scientists are deploying sophisticated technology to better understand the storms. The Takeaway checks in with Katja Friedrich, a meteorologist at the University of Colorado, to learn how they are conducting their experiments, and what they hope to learn.

For another look at the sophisticated science of tornado studies, watch this clip.

Guests:

Katja Friedrich

Hosted by:

Andrea Bernstein

Contributors:

Stephanie Loleng and Nadia Zonis

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