Black holes -- a sign of a severe tornado in the offing?

Could be, says University of Wisconsin Meteorology Prof. Charles Anderson. The holes are cloud-free areas on some satellite photos of storm areas. He says these appear to have a direct connection with the clear, dry funnel section of ''killer'' tornadoes.

His theory got a firm boost last month from the National Severe Storms Forecast Center. The center released Doppler radar observations in the area of Binger, Okla., where a powerful tornado with 196 mph winds touched down in 1981. An echo-free center appeared on radar about a half-hour before the twister struck and coincided exactly with the cloud-void area over Binger in satellite photos.

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Anderson says he hopes that Doppler radar and satellite photos can somehow serve as a more effective joint warning system than now exists.

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