How Improved Tornado Forecasting Saved Lives in the Midwest
A meteorologist explains how tornado science is evolving earlier warnings.
The first accurate tornado warning was issued back in 1948, when observant meteorologists at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma noticed that weather conditions seemed similar to skies that had birthed a twister just five days earlier. Since then, scientists have used weather balloons, radar, and other measurements to improve the science of storm prediction.
Predicting tornadoes is still harder than forecasting hurricanes, since tornadoes are much smaller and take more unpredictable courses. But the science is evolving.
National Geographic spoke with Charlie Neese, a severe weather expert and television meteorologist based in Nashville, Tennessee, about tornado prediction science and safety.
Oh, yes, absolutely. For the size of the tornadoes that struck Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky and the number of people