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Researchers ‘heard’ a twister 10 minutes before it formed

In 2017, roughly 1400 tornadoes touched down in the United States alone. Early detection systems are key for keeping people out of harm’s way, but they’re not always believed: More often than not, a tornado siren ends up being a false alarm. To enhance detection, researchers think that meteorologists could listen for infrasounds, low-frequency sounds that are produced by tornadoes, WIRED reports. A team deployed infrasound detectors in a tornado hot spot in Oklahoma and were able to detect a nearby twister 10 minutes ahead of its formation. The work, presented this week at the meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, could be used to develop more accurate early warning systems.

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