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NASA Looks Into the 'Heart' of Severe Weather
An unexpected EF2 tornado brushes the Huntsville, Ala., skyline on Jan. 21, 2010.

An EF-2 tornado forms over the University of Alabama campus in Huntsville, Ala., on Jan. 21, 2010. Image Credit: UAH/Christopher Schultz
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The evening sky above Huntsville, Ala., held an eerie look on Thursday, Jan. 21, but few knew looming overhead was an EF-2 tornado waiting to descend on a downtown neighborhood. The Huntsville storm system didn't produce an abnormally large amount of lightning, typically a key indicator of severe weather, and the weather community was focused on larger hail-producing thunderstorms moving through southern Tennessee that looked more threatening. Scientists at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville are studying these recent storms by looking at data from three unique weather monitoring tools to gain a better picture of how storms evolve to produce both heavy rain or large hail, and subsequent strong winds or tornadoes.

On Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 at 3 p.m. EST, physical scientist Walt Petersen of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., answered your questions about severe weather and how NASA is using cutting-edge technology to improve forecasts.

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Kim Newton, 256-544-0034
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.