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Tornado Walls

A college physics professor has an idea he hopes will cut down on tornadoes in the midwest.

He wants to build several giant walls, including one along the Kansas/Oklahoma border.

Jamie Oberg checked with experts about the idea.

Here in the U.S. we know these are not a matter of if, but when.

Tornado alley, it's a topic of a federally funded study by one physics professor at Temple University, who says these can be stopped with walls.

The theory is three great big walls, 1,000 feet tall and 150 feet wide from east to west in tornado alley, would be able to stop threatening tornadoes from forming.

But one University of Kansas professor has his doubts.

"He talks about the idea that tornadoes form from this clash of air masses, which is an over simplification, actually."

Here's a map showing where Professor Tao says the walls would run east to west, one in North Dakota, one along the border of Kansas and Oklahoma, and the third in south Texas and Louisiana.

"Tornadoes form well away from these strong boundaries. And they form, often times near dry lines for example on the western parts of the state.

"To give you an idea of just how tall we're talking KCTV5's tower here is 956 feet tall, 1042 feet with the antenna. Now just imagine something that tall, 150 feet wide along the Kansas and Oklahoma border."

"It's going to be a tough sell. I would I need to see some evidence to be convinced."

University of Kansas atmospheric science Professor David Mechem points out Tao's research will be presented in front of his fellow physicists and not meteorologists.

"I don't think it's an idea that will work."

"In the grand scheme of things, I think it's a gimmicky idea, I think it gets attention, but very hard sell."