Pat Shingleton for Monday, April 1, 2013

Welcome to April and April Fools’ Day. If you receive a text message to contact Mr. Fox, Mr. Lion or even Mr. Hebert, you may want to cross-check the number with the Baton Rouge Zoo. Spring weather can bring storms that are no joking matter. Stations in the “alley” have crews trained to get as close to tornadoes as possible. Cinematographer Martin Lisius was the first to capture one on 35 mm motion picture film. Dave Nussbaum previously used vacation time to spot them. Unlike the scientists portrayed in the movie “Twister,” real researchers don’t rush into the swirling vortex. At KWTV-TV in Oklahoma City, my colleague Gary England uses storm trackers as seasoned spotters, who will not track a storm without Doppler mounted tracking trucks.

Fastcast: Warm and humid.