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National Weather Service uses cellphone videos to research tornado

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PADUCAH, Ky -

The National Weather Service is still researching the tornado. They're actually using many of the pictures and videos you took with your cellphone to back up the information from radar. 

Computers are key in helping the National Weather Service track storms, but videos like this are taking expert's research to a new level.

"The videos and pictures, they're the actual event. When we're looking at radar and technology we're just seeing data," Rick Shanklin with the National Weather Service said. 
 
Shanklin says researchers are watching videos posted on social media this week to look at the tornado's movement to assess all the damage. They'll also be used to educate you on how to stay safe in the event of a tornado.

"Cellphones really revolutionized video capture of tornado. It has increased greatly in last five to 10 years," Shanklin said.

Still, Shanklin says if you see a tornado, it's best to resist the urge to record these unpredictable storms.

"It can suddenly take a dramatic turn in one direction or another and be right on top of you," he said.

The weather service uses trained severe weather spotters to capture videos, while you focus on finding cover. 

So what is a distance if your going to be taking video? Weather spotters are trained to keep a 2-mile radius between them and the tornado.

The weather service advises you to leave the videos to the professionals. Shanklin says if you see a tornado, even from what you think is a safe distance away, it's best to take cover. 

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