Tornado Cube project in Virginia shows new way to view and study tornadoes

>Apr 08, 2016

Tornado Cube project in Virginia shows new way to view and study tornadoes

Tornado Cube project in Virginia shows new way to view and study tornadoes

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Spring usually means severe weather. In fact, just about six weeks ago, central Virginia experienced an early severe weather outbreak. Some Virginia Tech meteorology students had a real-life lesson.

In the Tornado Cube, Meteorologist Aubrey Urbanowicz studies the Moore, Okla. tornado

Now, students are getting ready to head to Tornado Alley (as they do every year at this time). They are hoping to catch tornado images and send back real-time data to a project right here in our own state. This is all in hopes of not just learning more about tornadoes, but maybe to find a way o improve warnings, all to keep you safe.

There were eight confirmed tornadoes in Virginia on Feb. 24 and four people died. Now researchers at Virginia Tech are finding new ways to study and even view tornadoes.

On May 25, 2013, a devastating tornado struck in the Midwest. About 3:00 p.m., a violent EF-5 tornado touched down in Moore, Oklahoma. In a matter of 30 minutes, 24 lives were lost, and over 250 people injured. Homes were destroyed and debris spread for miles. A tornado warning was issued 16 minutes before the twister formed. That's three minutes more than the average warning time, but could there be more notice?

That's exactly what researchers at Virginia Tech are trying to learn about tornadoes. And they are looking at the violent storms in a unique way.

In the Virginia Tech Moss Art Center Cube, you wouldn't necessarily think of tornadoes; but in this space, virtual reality meets science. The uses of the Cube range from performances to research.

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