July 19, 2018

The National Severe Storms Forecast Center analyzes tornadoes and over the last 150 years, have documented some oddities.  In 1842, Elias Loomis shot a chicken out of a gun to simulate tornadic wind speeds that de-feather chickens. In 1920, an Illinois tornado lifted a freight car, carrying 1500 pounds of cargo, 40 feet into the air, dropping the load into the side of a train station.  A tornado hit the passenger train Empire Builder at a right angle on May 27, 1931 and lifted five coach cars, each weighing 70 tons, from the track.  Weather historian, Snowden Flora reported in 1919 that a Minnesota tornado, "split open a tree, jammed in an automobile and clamped the tree shut."  In May of 1953, an airplane, safely flying upside down, went from 12,000 feet to 16,500 to 2,500 and back to 4,000 feet in 25 seconds with the "help" of a tornado.

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