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Researcher Seeks Clues To Tornado Paths

Associated Press - March 8, 2014 9:02 pm

The storm dropped a large tornado west of Interstate 135 in rural Ottawa County. (Cirrus Weather photo by Jerry Schumacher)

Weather officials will be watching major thunderstorms this year for a clue that may help indicate the path of potential tornadoes.

The research stems from tornadoes last year in Kansas and Oklahoma that baffled weather researcher Jon Davies. The two large tornadoes — one near Bennington in north-central Kansas on May 28, and another near El Reno in Oklahoma on May 31 — took unpredictable paths.

Davies studied those tornadoes and found they had fairly weak winds between 10,000 and 30,000 feet above the surface.

Kansas weather officials say they’ll look at midlevel winds with strong thunderstorms this season to see if they can correlate those wind speeds with tornado paths. Forecasters may get a bearing on whether a supercell thunderstorm’s tornadoes will be erratic.

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Associated Press information from: The Wichita Eagle

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