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May 16, 1957 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1957-05-16

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THURSDAY, MAY 1$, 1957


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. _ _._ _ ..__ .__.___ _ _ __.___. _ 1


Experts Stumped on Tornado Causes

We do not really know what
causes tornadoes.
This was the opinion of George
Reynolds, research associate of the
University .Research Institute at
Willow Run.
We do not understand the forces
themselves, mucl' less the causes
of the force. "The so-called in-
crease in tornados," said Reynolds,
who holds an M.A. in Meterology
from St. Louis University, "may
be the -result of a greater. public
awareness, increasing population,
and perhaps a little 'over-reporting
by meterologically untrained per-
Weather Bureau Research
He described research by the
United States Weather Bureau on
the relationship of the apparent
incidence in tornados and the ex-
plosion of atomic bombs in 1952.
"At. that time," he said, no ab-
normal incidence of tornadoes was
observed following the tests in the
spring of that year."
The Weather Bureau reported
that the energy in an atomic bomb'
is insignificant as compared to the
energy in a violent storm. It would
be necessary, the report said, to
explode atomic bombs (of 1952
vintage) at the rate of three per
second to match the energy of a
single moderate rainstorm.
"More recentlydeveloped nuclear
weapons pack considerably more
wallop than the 1952 A-bombs," he

' s

nado damage is only three square
Reynolds suggests the following
precautions at the time of a tor-
nado "warning" when the dangers
are increased and the possibility
of a storm hitting are much
greater: stay inside, leave radio
or TV on, locate -the safest spot
in the house (usually the basement
corner facing the tornado), keep
away from outside walls to avoid'
danger of flying debris and watch
for especially violent weather."h
He emphasized that during a
tornado 'forecast' there is little
cause to be frightened since the
possibility is small that a storm
will materialize.
"The chances that you will be
killed in a tornado are very, very,
small, but if you take reasonable
precautions, the likelihood is even
smaller," Reynolds concluded.

Campus Briefs
Michigan Crib Pre-Law Society is sponsoring Mr. Edmond F.
Devine, Washtenaw County District Attorney, who will speak on
"Criminal Law" today at 8 p.m. in 3003, Student Activities Building.
Mr. Devine, who is serving his third term as District Attorney,
is experienced in the criminal law field and teaches the course at the
University Law School.
The United Cerebral Palsy of Washtenaw County will meet at
8 p.m. today in the community room of Ann Arbor High School.
Mary Blair and Harold Wagner, consultants in Special Education,
Michigan Department of Public Instruction, will be the speakers.
The meeting is open to all those interested in the problems of
schooling for all types of handicapped children. The discussion will
be on the subject on planning for the handicapped in Public Schools.
Margaret Effinger, '60, Alpha Phi, was elected president of
Junior Panhellenic for the year 1957-58 yesterday.
Other officers are: First Vice-President, Joanne Greenwald, '60, Zeta
Tau Alpha; Second Vice-President, Theresa Finkler, '60, Zeta Tau
Alpha; Secretary, Damaris Blytheman, '60, Delta Delta Delta; Treas-
urer, Janice Portney, '60, Delta Phi Epsilon; and Public Relations,
Elinor Dodge, '60, Collegiate Sorosis.
The new officers began their duties yesterday as the old officers
stepped down from their posts.

:ti ;rt :wh ;

BEWARE THE TORNADO-This tornado formation would be
seen by a person driving a car. More tornado warnings have been
issued.in the past few years, but the chance of one hitting an area
is extremely small. Areas hit by tornadoes in one year would cover
a 25-square-mile area.

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tion which allows tornado action
to develop when it is properly.
triggered. But we do not know
exactly what the triggering mech-
anism is.
Reynolds expressed his opinion
that there seems to be an associ-
ation of tornadoes with the jet
stream-a band of winds aloft
which are of higher velocity than
the winds in the zurrounding area.
Tornado formation seems to be
related to the altitude and the
location of this jet stream in rela-
tion to other weather conditions,
but since a jet stream exists some-
where in the world almost all the
time itwould be incorrect to say
that the jet stream 'causes a tor-
Pressure Jump Line.
Reynolds also described research
by Dr. Morris Tepper of the United
1atates We Bureau, in which
It is suspected that tornadoes oc-
cur most frequently along a "pres-
sure jump line" of sudden small
scale changes in atmospheric pres-
sure which may serve as a tor-
nado triggering mechanism.
"Tornadoes," he elaborated,
"naturally occur in a general area
of low pressure, but we have low
pressure areas every year that are
not associated with any tornado."
Tornados have occurred in every
state of the union, every month of
the. year. Michigan ranks around.
20th in tornado frequency.
The months of most frequent
tornado occurrence in this state
are May and June.
Reynolds emphasized that dur-
ing the period of a tornado fore-
cast, "it is essential that you do
not call the Weather Bureau ex-
cept to report, an actual tornadp.
"Do not call the Bureau for in-
formation, because phone lines
may get jammed and prevent
somebody else from reporting a
sighted tornado."
Damage Estimate
He estimated that all the tor-.

nado damage for a single year{
would fill a square only 25 miles
on one side.
"Although we should maintain
a healthy respect for tornadoes,"




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--- .

- - - - .

ROPE-LIKE TORNADO-The formation of this tornado cloud
would be seen by a person from an airplane. Weathermen still do
not know what causes tornadoes, but they think wind action and
formation may cause them.

"' ./

... moving across farmland
said,. "but .it is believed that the
increased power is not enough to
be 'weather-significant'."
Violent, Narrow-Pathed
Describing a tornado, Reynolds
Said "they are very violent and
narrow-pathed, but there is some
question as to whether all tor-
nadoes include rotation around a
vertical or quasi-vertical axis."
Although it is likely that most,
if not all, tornadoes are accom-
panied by the characteristics as
depicted in the accompanying
photographs, these funnels are
often masked from the individual
by his surroundings, by rain or
other clouds.
Therefore, the funnel cloud is
not always observed, even though
debris may leave little doubt that
a tornado.has occurred.
"Tornadoes," he continued, "are
mostly likely to form under cer-
tain atmospheric conditions. Warm
moist air at the surface layers of
the atmosphere, with relatively r'ry
air above, are favorable for tor-
This creates an unstable condi-

he elaborated, "There is no cause
for alarm when a 'tornade fore-
cast' is issued by the Weather'
"A 'forecast' which covers sev-
eral thousand square miles and,
lasts for a few hours merely indi-
cates that weather conditions are
such that a tornado could occur in
the area."
The actual average area of tor-

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