Tornadoes are responsible for the death of 530 people in the U.S. this year alone. Clearly, we don't know enough about predicting them in order to safely avoid them. Well, a new experimental technology could change that.
It's from a group called CASA (Collaborative Adapting Sensing of the Atmosphere). It says the new radar system can provide more precise data about tornadoes. Right now, National Weather Service tracking systems don't cover 75% of the atmosphere below one kilometre. The CASA system has so many radars that it virtually doesn't have a blind spot. On top of that, it's able to give more frequent readings. Most systems generate reports at five minute intervals. The CASA folks say their system generates them minute by minute.
They've already had a lot of success using the new technology. On May 24th, the CASA system predicted that a tornado, which touched down in Chickasha, Oklahoma, was headed north when no other system saw it. First responders were sent north to move into affected areas more quickly. With a fast moving event like a tornado, these extra minutes can make a big difference.