Vt. Storm Chasers Return From Oklahoma
When we hear the term “storm chasers”, many of us think of thrill-seeking adventurers who hop in their Jeeps and tear through the Mid-west in search of dramatic storm footage.
But storm chasing also involves a more measured attempt to collect data and analyze information to help us understand dangerous weather vents.
Dr. Nolan Atkins is a professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Department Chair at Lyndon State College.
He has just returned from central Oklahoma, which is still reeling from two rare EF5 tornadoes, the strongest on the Tornado Velocity scale.
Atkins and several students collected data in hopes of better understanding the relationship between the visual observation of tornados, and the damage they create.
Atkins says there are some very basic questions that need to be answered, such as how do tornadoes form? And, how can we extend tornado lead times to give people more warning?
Atkins also says that surveying damaged areas after tornados can be a very sobering experience.
VPR's Neal Charnoff speaks with Dr. Atkins about his experiences in Oklahoma.