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Volume 32, Issue 3

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Thursday, 22 November 2007 00:45

A Season of Fury

Written by  David Leben

This May, a prime time for tornadoes in the Midwest, we saw an unprecedented amount of storm activity that struck at the heart of municipal infrastructure across the Plains states and into the South. More than 50 lives – and millions of dollars worth of property – were lost in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma alone. “By Saturday, May 3, about 300 tornadoes had been reported since the start of May, about 100 more than the most recent comparable rash, in 1999,” according to Dan McCarthy, warning coordination meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center of the National Weather Service in Norman, Okla. A weather system in which an existing warm air mass was hit by a jet stream from the southwest created a situation ripe for producing the thunderstorms that give birth to tornadoes, resulting in 74 twisters tearing across Oklahoma, southern Kansas and western Missouri. “It’s extremely rare to have so many large