UNRAVELING THE MYSTERIES OF TWISTERS

ARMED WITH POWERFUL COMPUTERS, DOPPLER RADAR AND PLENTY OF NERVE, METEOROLOGISTS ARE GETTING A HANDLE ON NATURE'S MOST TERRIFYING STORMS

At first, the tornado was just a wispy tendril trailing from a cloud--too fragile, it seemed, to do any harm. But suddenly it spawned three new funnels that spiraled around their parent in a deadly dance. Then, as the car his partner was driving skidded along a mud-slicked road near Hanston, Kansas, Robert Davies-Jones glanced nervously through a rear window and saw that this menacing whorl of dust and debris was following a bit too closely behind. Just as wild animals sometimes turn and track their hunters, Davies-Jones realized with growing alarm, the tornado he had started out chasing was chasing...

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