"Mr. Tornado:" A Documentary Worthy of Ted Fujita

"The Superoutbreak was one big crime scene."

Those words, spoken in the opening moments of Mister Tornado, told me that Michael Rossi and his team "got it." They understood the extraordinary scientist that was Ted Fujita. Their documentary reflects that understanding in the best way possible. In no way is this a dry 'science' program. It is about the man and his remarkable achievements. 
Ted visiting WeatherData, Inc. in 1993. I have
my back to the camera as I gave him a tour. This was
the second of his two visits.
We can't even begin to conceive what the United States (home of the most violent weather on earth) would be like today had Ted never become a meteorologist (after starting in engineering) or come to the University of Chicago. It is quite possible commercial airliners would still be catastrophically crashing in microbursts and that deaths due to tornadoes would be incrementally higher. 

Ted's former students, Dr. Roger Wakimoto and Dr. Greg Forbes, do a wonderful job of providing color on his life as did Mr. Tornado's other guests. 

My only criticism is that I wish they had spent a little more time on the downburst controversy. I 've always believed the almost unbearable stress he endured might have played a role in his later health problems. At the time, other meteorologists were vicious because they thought they finally had a "gotcha." I surmise the producers may not have wanted to spend much more time on it because Fujita "solved" the downburst problem (along with his student -- and also a pilot -- John McCarthy) and tornadoes are not solved. 

I'm just amazed. Mister Tornado is clearly the best science documentary I have ever seen.


Popular posts from this blog

[1:10am Update] Tornado Forecast for Rest of the Night

First Tornado Watch of the Day Issued

Hilary's Forecast Path Shifts West; Updated 9:20am PDT