Texas A&M Meteorologists Studying Deadly Storm Season

No question it's been a deadly season of spring-time storms with tornadoes from Tuscaloosa to Joplin.

News 3 went behind the scenes at Texas A&M's Department of Atmospheric Sciences to find out why conditions have been ripe for severe storms.

It's a storm season that's setting records for the number of tornadoes; more than 110 in May alone.

The National Weather Service estimates we've seen about a thousand twisters and we're not even halfway through this year.

In an average entire year we see around 1,274.

Things are much quieter on top of the Oceanography and Meteorology Building on the Texas A&M campus.

Russ Schumacher is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences

"It's been a remarkably active year this spring not only with the huge outbreak in the southeast back in April and then the Joplin, Missouri tornado on Sunday which had turned out to be one of the deadliest single tornadoes in the history of the U.S.," said Russ Schumacher, Ph.D.

Schumacher said this spring's storm outbreak will go down in history.

"The key ingredients for these kinds of tornado outbreaks are instability in the atmosphere which can lead to strong storms and then really strong vertical wind shear, so basically changes in the way the wind direction and speed with height both of these have been in place," he said.

Here at the Texas A&M Weather Center students and scientists alike can take a live look at what's happening in the atmosphere and they'll be studying the Joplin, Missouri tornado for years to come.

"It's been a troubling year for understanding how people respond to tornado warnings with the huge number of fatalities that have occurred even amid the generally good forecasts and warnings that have been in place," said Schumacher.

A place where the destruction is still hard to imagine.

At least another 14 people have died in tornadoes in the last two days in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

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