Like big game hunting guides giving tourists a glimpse of African lions, a growing group of commercial storm chasing companies are providing people from all over the world a close look at tornadoes. Gaining in popularity since the movie Twister in 1996, these tours have become a regular part of Tornado Alley, following super cell storms and hoping to see a tornado.
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Everyone is familiar with storm chasers who follow tornadoes during the summer months. One University of Missouri researcher and a team of students will be doing much the same thing this winter in search of a rare weather phenomenon called thundersnow. The research could make the prediction of such severe snowfall events more accurate.
University of Missouri Storm Chase Team leader Taylor Trogdon cringes a bit at TV scenes of storm chasers plunging recklessly toward a tornado. While such antics may gather seconds of dramatic video, the action does little to scientifically understand the mysteries of America’s strongest storms.