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If a Sharknado hits, seek shelter: Meteorologist

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Scott Meiklejohn
Staff Writer

Thursday, July 18, 2013, 6:17 PM -

One of Syfy's latest guilty pleasures has spread like wildfire across the internet.

Sharknado.

A pack of bloodthirsty sharks sucked up in a swirling vortex of nature’s raw ferocity. 

I can think of nothing more terrifying. Fortunately several colleagues have informed me that this movie is indeed not a documentary.

Poseidon be praised.

But still the thought has kept me awake at night.

What if?

What if a passing storm sucked up a handful of the ocean’s most vicious apex predators and sent them twirling towards a coastal town? 

Was it possible? How could I defend myself from a marauding Jaws-infested cyclone? Is there Oscar buzz around this movie? Why not?

So many questions -- I needed answers. I looked to Dayna Vettese. She is a meteorologist, storm chaser and to my knowledge, not a shark. She was perfect.

Here is a transcript of our conversation: 

Have you ever seen a shark?

Yes.

Have you ever seen a tornado?

Yes.

How many do you think you’ve seen?

I’d say about 15.

Have you ever seen a shark-nado?

…No.

Could it really be real?

Could it really be real?

Is it possible a tornado could pick up a shark?

…Yes? Theoretically it could.

How long do tornadoes typically last?

They can last anywhere from a minute to over an hour

Should I be worried about the possibility of a Sharknado?

I think it’s safe to say we’re not at risk of Sharknados.

Okay, well, let’s just say in the event of a sharknado or regular tornado, what should you do?

It’s best to seek shelter in the most interior room of your house. Put the most walls between you and either the tornado or Sharknado as possible. Shards of glass or shark can injure you so stay away from windows.

What is the strangest thing you’ve seen or heard a tornado picking up?

I once heard a story of thunderstorms and possibly a tornado picking up thousands of frogs and sending them raining down on a town in Serbia. Also there are reports of tornadoes picking up barnyard animals.

As a scientist, what do you think a Sharknado scale would look like? Would it be something like a S-N 1 through 5?

I think we could range them from a small docile species of shark like a rainbow shark and then we’d have to increase in ferocity and size, where we get up to I would say a bullshark and then the highest being a great white, they’d get the most publicity. Whale sharks are the biggest but they don’t really do much damage they just kind of float around there. I would say great white would be your EF-5 equivalent.

Spoiler alert for Sharknado -- Have you ever heard of throwing bombs into a tornado to stop it? Is that possible?

Some people have thought that bombs could disrupt tornadoes, but you could still be causing an equal amount of damage if you set off an explosion inside a tornado.

I felt better after our conversation and immediately thought the world needed to know this valuable information.

If a Shark-related weather storm ever strikes, know that The Weather Network will be tracking it. You can always find out your personalized weather forecast here, use “PointCast” to ensure that you are safe from monstrous-marine-animal-twisters. The Sharknado film was written and directed by Thunder Levin. Yes -- Thunder is his real name.

A sequel has been announced for 2014 that will take place in New York City. Tweet us @WeatherNetwork and let us know, are you worried about a Sharknado? What tagline would you give the sequel?

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