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Tornado Death Toll

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By AP

Norman, OK – Forecasters say deaths hit them in pit of stomach

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) Forecasters say they are hit with a "pit of the stomach feeling" when the death toll rises during severe weather.

Tornadoes have killed more than 520 people across the nation this year, even though scientific advances allow for earlier warnings.

Meteorologists acknowledge they don't experience the tragedies the same way as those close to the victims, but say taking stock of what has happened helps them focus on ways to improve the warning system.

Andy Boxell, a forecaster in Springfield, Missouri, says Joplin damage reports came in within five minutes of the storm striking the town.