The Guardian

Mystery sounds from storms could help predict tornadoes

Scientists narrow down causes of low-frequency rumbles emitted before twisters form
Researchers were able to pick up audio clues eight minutes before a tornado formed. Photograph: Dave Hall

Mysterious rumbles that herald tornadoes could one day be used to predict when and where they will strike, according to researchers.

Storms emit sounds before tornadoes form, but the signals at less than 20Hz are below the limit for human hearing. What causes these rumbles has also been a conundrum.

Now researchers said they have narrowed down the reasons for the sounds – an important factor in harnessing the

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