A series of tornadoes--52 twisters in all-- touched down on the great plains and in the southeast over the weekend, killing more than 20 people. CBS' Kelly Cobiella and ABC's Eric Horng (embargoed link) traveled to the Oklahoma lead mining town of Picher, already designated for demolition by the Environmental Protection Agency as a toxic Superfund site, where the funnel clouds accelerated the bureaucrats' business. NBC's Don Teague selected Seneca Mo, hit by a mile-wide twister. He told us of a sink, hanging in a tree, 100 feet away from the kitchen where it belonged and showed us the "miracle llama" who was in the front yard of a house before the storm arrived and remained there after the house was blown away "without a scratch."
Al Roker, the weathercaster on NBC's Today, told his colleague Teague that it is normally not until mid-August that a year sees its 910th tornado, a total reached this weekend. NBC Weather Plus meteorologist Bill Karins went In Depth for anchor Brian Williams. He charted the year-to-year increase in deaths from tornado through early May for the last four years--from 38 to 67 to 81 to 96. Karins blamed cooler waters in the Pacific Ocean caused by La Nina current. ABC's Horng described the cause as an unusually snake-shaped jetstream, keeping violent storms from the Gulf of Mexico locked in place by cold Canadian air. Dave Price, weathercaster for CBS' The Early Show, traveled to NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman Okla to check on tornado forecasting technology. He called it "still a tricky science."
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