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Veteran storm chasers say DFW due for major tornado event

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ARLINGTON, Texas - EntSun -- Storm chaser and filmmaker Martin Lisius is producing a documentary film about tornadoes titled, "The Chasers of Tornado Alley: Touching the Sky," (https://www.facebook.com/Chasers2/) which is set for release in July. In the film, Lisius discusses a scenario in which a violent, long-track tornado cuts through the Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex (DFW), the largest metropolitan area in America's Tornado Alley region.

Lisius is chairman of the Texas Severe Storms Association (TESSA), a non-profit dedicated to severe weather education. He and meteorologists at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Ft. Worth, Texas developed a worse-case DFW tornado scenario in a meeting on March 24, 2000. Just four days later, a deadly F3 tornado tracked through downtown Ft. Worth. "Although it was a significant event, it was not the more devastating scenario we developed," Lisius said.

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North Central Texas Council of Governments (https://nctcog.org/) analyst Scott Rae, who appears in the film, further developed the scenario by overlaying actual tornado tracks that have occurred in other areas, and superimposed them over DFW to study the impact it would have on communities. In the film, Rae says, "We've had tornadoes of this size in Kansas, we've had it in Oklahoma, we've actually had it in Texas. So, we're practicing and understanding what would happen if that actually occurred in the center of the Metroplex."

Tornado forensics expert Tim Marshall says, "I have looked at Scott Rae's work. It's absolutely amazing to think of a tornado to be in the worst-case scenario, to go through stadiums packed with people, you know, where we have parking lots full of vehicles at the worst possible moment. It's interesting to think about how tornadoes have for many, many years gone and hit places like that when people are not there, when schools are not in session. It always seems to be luck on the side. But in this scenario, the luck runs out."

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Lisius says it's just a matter of time before the scenario unfolds. "Anyone who studies tornadoes understands that a target as physically large as DFW will eventually be impacted by a violent, long-track tornado when they consider its close proximity to the highest frequency of tornadoes in the world. We're talking about an EF5 tornado with a path that is a mile wide or more, and several miles long tracking through the middle of the DFW Metroplex. When that happens, it will be like the Hurricane Katrina of tornadoes."


Martin Lisius is a veteran storm chaser and filmmaker based in Texas. He is the chairman of the Texas Severe Storms Association (https://tessa.org/) (TESSA), president and founder of Tempest Tours Storm Chasing Expeditions (https://www.tempesttours.com/), and StormStock (https://www.stormstock.com/), the largest storm footage library in the world.

Martin Lisius

Source: Prairie Pictures, Inc.
Filed Under: Film

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