They Said the Tornado Would Hit at 9:30. It Hit at 9:30.

Advances in meteorological technology have helped drive down the fatality rate from tornadoes in the U.S. to a fraction of what it was a century ago. Violent tornadoes rarely evade advance detection, thanks to weather satellites, advances in radar, and a communication system to announce warnings. The deadly tornadoes that struck Kentucky and other states in December 2021 illustrate the ways in which even this system – one scientist called it "one of the most incredible success stories in applied science" – can fail, including when people ignore warnings or buildings cannot withstand the high winds.

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