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Opening Arguments

Ill winds


Areas where landscape shifts from urban to rural or forest to farmland may have a higher likelihood of severe weather and tornado touchdowns, a Purdue University study says.

An examination of more than 60 years of Indiana tornado climatology data from the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center showed that a majority of tornado touchdowns occurred near areas where dramatically different landscapes meet - for example, where a city fades into farmland or a forest meets a plain.

"Transition zones." That's sorta where trailer parks are built, isn't it? Remember the old joke? "Why is a tornado like a divorce in (insert your favorite state to hate)?" "Somebody's gonna lose a trailer." Wow -- 60 years of activity analyzed; that must make ours the most studied tornadoes in the country.

Then there is this:

The study also found that tornado touchdowns in tend to occur at about 1 and 10 miles from the city center.

Kellner said these "rings" of increased tornado activity could be related to how cities are developed.

Whew. I live about two miles from the city center, so guess I don't have to worry so much.

Posted in: Hoosier lore