Tallying Temperature Drops Inside Tornadoes

Tallying Temperature Drops Inside Tornadoes
Contact: Joseph Lilek (jlilek@americangeosciences.org)
4/25/2017

Collecting weather data can be hazardous, but with wind speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour, flying debris, and steep gradients in both air pressure and temperature, the inside of a tornado might just be the ultimate extreme. As EARTH Magazine examines in its May issue, a team of research engineers led by Georgios Vatistas at Concordia University in Montreal is exploring this harsh environment from a safe distance by using computer models to estimate temperature changes inside tornadoes.
 
Luckily, these computer models don’t exist within a vacuum: They’re informed by eyewitness observations. In 1955, when a violent storm approached Scottsbluff, Neb., three local radio broadcasters found themselves in the path of an oncoming twister. By taking refuge in the basement of a nearby stone building, they were able to survive a direct hit. Their chilling experience is driving research decades later. Learn how in EARTH Magazine: https://www.earthmagazine.org/article/tallying-temperature-drops-inside-tornadoes.
 
The May issue of EARTH is now available online. Experience the magnificent seaside geology of the North West Highlands of Scotland with EARTH Contributor Callan Bentley. Or learn how massive oilfields on the Arabian Peninsula may have been formed by tectonic plate movement during the mid-late Jurassic. For these stories and more, subscribe to EARTH Magazine.
 
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Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH Magazine online at www.earthmagazine.org. Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines. Now available on Kindle.
 
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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.
 
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AGI represents and serves the geoscience community by providing collaborative leadership and information to connect Earth, science, and people.