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; then too, we have the quartet of the seasons, each as distinct as the leaves from four different species of oak. But the Midwest also has tornados -- 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 >>>