BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Weather experts say the destruction in Moore, Okla., from Monday’s massive tornado is amazing, but what surprises them is that the town has been hit by three large tornadoes in the last 15 years.

Robert Henson, a researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said the tornado happened “in what may be the most tornado-prone area on the planet.”

Moore was impacted by tornadoes in 1999 and in 2003 and saw large-scale devastation.

Henson says this tornado could provide useful information for a project that would work to better pinpoint where large tornadoes will hit as much as 24 hours ahead of time.

Early predictions could help communities plan ahead and put an early evacuation plan in place.

“We have a study going on to determine how possible is it to predict say 6 to 24 hours ahead of time that this part of the state or these couple of counties might be affected by tornadoes,” Henson said.

Henson grew up in nearby Oklahoma City, and he said this latest storm is a reminder of his childhood.

“It’s difficult growing up and realizing your house can be gone in a matter of minutes. Sometimes it’s hard to sleep at night,” he said.

Henson said that it’s a good reminder that the tornado season in Colorado is also just getting started.


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