Wind Research Experts Available as 2007 Tornado Season Begins

Texas Tech University, home to some of the nation’s most prominent wind researchers, has experts available as tornado season officially howls in across an already wind-battered United States today.

Written by Cory Chandler

Texas Tech University, home to some of the nation’s most prominent wind researchers, has experts available as tornado season officially howls in across an already wind-battered United States today.

Through the collaborative Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, scientists and engineers have collected one of the country’s largest repositories of wind data and helped develop the Enhanced Fujita Scale implemented by the National Weather Service this year.

They can speak to issues from home safety to the new Enhanced Fujita Scale, such as:
• How does the new Enhanced Fujita Scale work?
• Where is the best place to hide during a tornado?
• How do homeowners ensure an in-home shelter will withstand a wind storm?

Ernst Kiesling, professor of civil engineering and executive director of the National Storm Shelter Association, specializes in debris impact and above-ground shelters. He has more than 30 years of experience documenting debris damage and testing materials and construction. He can be reached at (806) 742-3476, ext. 335, or ernst.kiesling@wind.ttu.edu.

Kishor Mehta, former director of the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, helped lead a team that developed the new Enhanced Fujita Scale implemented by the National Weather Service in February. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering for his studies of structural damage caused by windstorms and leadership in developing structural design standards for wind loads. He can be reached at (806) 742-3479, ext. 323, or kishor.mehta@ttu.edu.

Larry Tanner, research associate in civil engineering, has years of field experience studying tornado damage and debris. He can speak about Texas Tech’s wind cannon, which simulates debris thrown by some of the biggest tornados and also about implementation of the new Enhanced Fujita Scale. Tanner can be reached at (806) 742-3476 ext. 336, or larry.tanner@ttu.edu.