A tornado’s “secret sound” could help predict where it will strike

Matt Simon, Wired, writes about research into the low-frequency sound waves called infrasound that tornados produce but humans can’t hear.  We know that the sound of a tornado is loud, like a freight train overhead, but researchers believe that “storms may emit characteristic infrasounds perhaps an hour before they develop into tornadoes.”

While the research is in the early stages, with enough data the researchers hope that they can one day “detect these sounds, pinpoint the size and location of an impending twister, and better warn communities.” And if the infrasound research is reliable, then maybe one day people living in tornado alley could have infrasound detectors in their homes, “like a smoke alarm.”

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