Midwesterners (most of us anyway) tend to harbor a stubborn pride in our section of the country. We look on our homeplace as singularly beautiful, with all its lakes and rivers and the quiet majesty of the prairies. We have the quartet of the seasons, each as distinct as the leaves from four different species of oak. But the Midwest also has tornadoes — which is exactly where the heartland song of praise screeches to a discordant abrupt end. We're smack in the middle here of the southwest-to-northeast-tracking meteorological killing floor known as Tornado Alley, a decidedly un-fun facet of Midwestern life, unless you're one of the special caste known as storm chasers, i.e., scientists/daredevils who follow tornadic paths, thereby deliberately placing themselves in the thick of some seriously heavy weather.... More >>>