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Chasing Tornadoes



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Drop and Run
Photograph by Carsten Peter

One jump ahead of the beast, Samaras hurries to drop an instrument-laden probe in the path of the Woonsocket storm. Samaras designed the 45-pound (20-kilogram) steel probes to cling to the ground as they record wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, temperature, and humidity as a tornado whips by. Such an instrument drop has been successful only five times in the past decade because a tornado's path is so unpredictable. Samaras lays claim to four of the victories.





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