Tech Professor Gives Insight Into Deadly Midwest Tornadoes

Published 11/18 2013 05:16PM

Updated 11/18 2013 06:23PM

By Alison Morris 

LUBBOCK, TX – A Texas Tech associate professor of wind engineering said a warmer-than-usual fall may have contributed to the violent storms that killed seven people and injured many more in Central Illinois.

On Sunday, 80 twisters touched down in Midwest states.  The worst hit community was Washington, IL, near Peoria.

Larry Tanner said, “Essentially it takes the warm, moist air from the south … to develop these super cells, and then it just depends upon how violent they can get.”

Tanner also said, “The number of states that have been affected has been somewhat unusual for this time of year.”

But while the size of the storm is unusual, the report of tornadoes in November is not.

“It’s not uncommon to have tornado outbreaks virtually anytime of the year,” Tanner said.

Tanner, an expert in storm damage, has toured many disaster areas as part of his research.  He has seen first hand hurt, pain and strength.

“Americans are very resilient people and tornadoes don’t stop them.”

Tanner’s research has made a difference in people’s lives.  For example, a report he compiled resulted in changes in the state laws of Indiana.

The whole purpose of the Texas Tech Wind Science and Engineering Research Center is to save lives.  It was established after the Lubbock 1970 tornado killed 26 people.

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