Drones are Changing the Way We Observe Tornadoes

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30 May 2019 12:01 PM
This tornado season has been the year of the drone. With every new drone video comes a tornado view that we've never seen before. The footage of Wednesday's severe storms was no different. Early Wednesday morning, Brandon Clement surveyed devastating tornado damage in Linwood, Kansas. He then headed to Texas to see what the atmosphere had in store. What he captured was some of the most compelling tornado visuals ever seen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocP6-XFLUmM&feature=youtu.be   This footage provides a view at an angle and range that has rarely been seen before. Drones can get relatively close to tornadoes having an advantage over helicopters. This isn't the first time Brandon has photographed a tornado from above. Earlier this May, he broke the internet with his aerial visual of a weak tornado in Oklahoma. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fScrm9XeI3o&feature=youtu.be   Drones have also been crucial to visualizing damage after a tornado has gone through. In March, the world saw surreal images out of Beauregard, Alabama. The town was absolutely decimated after a violent EF-4 twister trekked through. This marked the first violent tornado (EF4/EF5) the U.S. saw since April 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP9COibj1CE&feature=youtu.be   These visuals shed light on just how devastating tornadoes can be and how important it is to take shelter when one is headed your way. But it's not just visuals drones are providing. The 2019 severe season was the start of the tornado field campaign, "Targeted Observations by Radars and UAS of Supercells" also known as TORUS. The field campaign aims to solve mysteries of thunderstorm and tornado development. Drones and balloons will be used to gather data from relatively unobserved parts of Earth's atmosphere. Whether it's during or after, for viewing or for research, drones are unequivocally changing how we observe tornadoes. Written by Dakota Smith.
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