A team of researchers at Iowa State University in Ames in developing the first simulator that will create a moving tornado. Bill Gallus is a meteorologist on the team that also includes two aerospace engineers. He says tornado tests now happen in a wind tunnel with a stationary wind. He says there’s some theoretical work that suggests moving winds may have more impact, and buildings designed in the old fashion may not be able to stand moving winds. Gallus says their invention would help prove that theory. He says they want to measure the destruction of buildings in the path of a moving tornado to better design the buildings to withstand the assault. Gallus says the tornado deaths this past weekend are a good example of what they’re trying to prevent. Gallus says meteorologist had predicted the severe weather well in advance, yet some who sought shelter were killed when the buildings collapsed. He says the meteorology for a change was not the problem, but to see that people still die was tragic. Gallus says they hope to have the simulator working within a few months. He says it will be the biggest tornado simulator out there as they want the width and height to be the same as an actual tornado. He says it will be six feet wide, 20 feet high and run down a 50 foot track. The simulator is being built in Howe Hall on the I-S-U campus.
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