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Drought-prone cities in the U.S. West are mapping snow by plane to refine their water forecasts. It's one way water managers are adjusting as climate change disrupts weather patterns and makes forecasting trickier. Western states for decades primarily measured snow through remote sensing sites that were generally at elevations of around 9,000 feet. That helped them estimate how much water would later fill reservoirs. In mid-April, a plane equipped with lasers, sensors and cameras flew over the Colorado River’s headwaters to measure the area's snow by air for the first time. The measurements could give local officials more confidence in water forecasts.

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The tornado that damaged more than more than 1,000 buildings in south-central Kansas generated winds up to 165 mph and carved a path of destruction nearly 13 miles long. The National Weather Service said the tornado that caused extensive damage Friday mostly in the Wichita suburb of Andover and injured several people rated an EF3 on the Enhanced Fujita scale it uses to assess tornadoes. Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell said that at least 300 to 400 buildings were destroyed by the storm as part of a total of 1,074 buildings that were damaged. The Weather Service said the tornado was on the ground for 21 minutes Friday evening.

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