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Inside Tornadoes
JUNE 2005
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In Learn More the National Geographic magazine team shares some of its best sources and other information to expand your knowledge of our featured subjects. Special thanks to the Research Division.

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 Did You Know?  
 Related Links  
 NGS Resources  

Did You Know?Did You Know?

Tornadoes can occur anywhere in the world, any time of day and any day of the year. Still, June 11, 2004, is one for the record books. On that single day 25 tornadoes struck the state of Iowa, which usually sees 31 for the entire month (National Climatic Data Center statistics available at www4.ncdc.noaa.gov/
). Among those tornadoes was the one documented by Tim Samaras in our article "Direct Hit." Amazingly, there were no deaths or injuries in Iowa as a result of those tornadoes. The United States experiences more tornadoes than any other country—about a thousand every year, according to the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center (www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/
). And no, you shouldn't open the windows when you see a tornado. It's a myth that that equalizes air pressure and reduces damage; it just lets in more damaging wind. Forget the windows and get to a safe place.
—Alice J. Dunn


Related Links

Tornado Project Online
This commercial website is a great source for tornado lore and links. Its section on safety in a variety of circumstances is one of the best on the Internet.
Online Tornado FAQ
Roger Edwards, with the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center, has assembled an outstanding site that covers everything about tornadoes, from how they form to current research in the field.  He has included dozens of embedded links.
Storm Chasing
A leading tornado researcher provides storm chasers with a guide to safety and responsibility in the field.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's tornado page has links to several safety guides, tornado statistics, and a page that lets you check the probability of a tornado occurring near where you live. Included are links to the Storm Prediction Center and the National Severe Storms Laboratory.
National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration
Tim Samaras's work was funded in part by National Geographic's Research, Conservation and Exploration Group.


Bluestein, Howard. B. Tornado Alley: Monster Storms of the Great Plains. Oxford University Press, 1999.
Grazulis, Thomas P. The Tornado: Nature's Ultimate Windstorm. University of Oklahoma Press, 2001.


NGS Resources

Peter, Carsten. "
Blown Away." National Geographic (April 2004), 2-35.

Appenzeller, Tim, and Dennis Dimick. "
Signs From Earth: Heating Up… Melting Down…" National Geographic (September 2004), 2-11.
Glick, Daniel. "GeoSigns: The Big Thaw." National Geographic (September 2004), 12-33.
Montaigne, Fen. "
EcoSigns: No Room to Run." National Geographic (September 2004), 34-55.
Morell, Virginia. "
TimeSigns: Now What?" National Geographic (September 2004), 56-75.
Suplee, Curt. "
The Sun: Living With a Stormy Star." National Geographic (July 2004), 2-33.
Vesilind, Priit J. "
The Hard Science, Dumb Luck, and Cowboy Nerve of Chasing Tornadoes." National Geographic (April 2004), 2-37.
Phelan, Glen. Extreme Weather. National Geographic Books, 2004.
Bliss, Pamela. Introduction to Weather. National Geographic Books, 2004.
Johnson, Rebecca. Weather and Climate. National Geographic Books, 2003.
Collins, Andrew. Storms. National Geographic Books, 2002.
Bradbury, Ray. "The Beautiful Bad Weather." National Geographic Traveler (May/June 2000), 98-101.
Miller, Peter. "Tornado!" National Geographic (June 1987), 690-715.

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