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Although accounts of tornadoes occurred in ancient writings, few paid much attention to nature’s most violent windstorm until the United States Army Signal Corps’s John Park Finley began writing about tornadoes in the 1880s. Finley used statistics he had gathered from a network of tornado...
During March of 1948 Tinker Air Force Base was hit directly by two tornadoes during a period of only five days. The first tornado was the most destructive, to that point, ever to occur in Oklahoma. The second storm caused considerable additional damage and was remarkable in another, more...
An overview of the birth and development of the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, formerly known as the National Severe Storms Forecast Center, is presented. While the center’s immediate history dates to the middle of the twentieth century, the nation’s first centralized severe...
The purpose of this paper is to review the large strides made in tornado and severe thunderstorm forecasting by the Severe Local Storms Unit (SELS) of the National Severe Storms Forecast Center during the last 25 years or so of its existence. The author compares and illustrates the tools...
The history of storm spotting and public awareness of the tornado threat is reviewed. It is shown that a downward trend in fatalities apparently began after the famous “Tri-State” tornado of 1925. Storm spotting’s history begins in World War II as an effort to protect the nation’s military...
Efforts to study severe convective storms and tornadoes by intercepting them either on the ground or on airborne platforms are highlighted. Airborne sorties into or near waterspouts in the Florida Keys with instruments were made in the late 1960s and the 1970s. The main goals of the first...
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