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A tornado has disappeared in Oklahoma. A sandstorm has vanished in the Gobi Desert. What, or who, is behind it? Team X investigate in Storm Chasers. Project X er en leseserie med nivådifferensierte småbøker. Bøkene er organisert i temapakker med fem bøker i hver, og inneholder både skjønnlitteratur og sakprosa. I hver temapakke møter du vennene Cat, Ant, Max og Tiger på spennende eventyr i kjente omgivelser fra elevenes hverdag. Bøkene appellerer både til gutter og jenter. Project X følger nivåene til Oxford Reading Tree.

ISBN 978-82-03-34227-1

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Theme: Unexplained l Storm Chasers l Tasmanian Terror l WOW! Explained l Ultimate Takeover l Can it Really Rain Frogs?

J. A. Henderson

Read English with Aschehoug

Jon Stuart

03/04/2012 12:26

S t or m Chasers

J.A. Henderson Illustrated by Jon Stuart

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24/04/2012 14:41

Chapter 2 – The storm brews

Dani Day watched the multiple screens that lined the wall of the control room at NICE headquarters. On each monitor were sections of the globe, overlaid with temperatures and graphs. 9

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“Something’s wrong with the weather,” she said. “You’re telling me.” Tiger sighed. “If it would only stop raining I could go out on my skateboard.” “I mean the world weather.” “We know that too,” Cat yawned. “You gave us a lecture about climate change the other day.” “Well it’s important,” Dani frowned. “Burning fossil fuels, methane from livestock, the destruction of rainforests. It all affects the atmosphere …” “… which causes climate change and that means stuff like the polar ice melting.” Ant finished her sentence. “If it keeps up we better start saving for a boat.” “There are plenty of ways to prevent man polluting the atmosphere. That’s one of the things NICE is investigating at the moment.” Dani tapped buttons on her console. “But this problem is a lot weirder.” A map of the USA filled the screens with one of the states outlined in red. “That’s Oklahoma. Part of America they call Tornado Alley.” Dani zoomed in on the state. She tapped some more instructions into the computer and a file about tornadoes appeared on the screen.

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Description: Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. They happen during thunderstorms and appear as rotating, funnel-shaped clouds. Wherever the end of the vortex (spiral) touches the ground it creates massive destruction. Speed:

Near the centre of a tornado, winds can spiral around at more than 480 kilometres (300 miles) per hour.


Tornadoes take place in many parts of the world. They are most common in the United States of America, in states including Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Florida.


Tornadoes vary in size from only a few metres to over 1000 metres wide.


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“There was a tornado in Oklahoma yesterday,” said Dani, “Only it vanished.” “But tornadoes lose energy and break up anyway.” Ant was keen to show off his knowledge. “Not this time,” Dani corrected. “One minute it was tearing up the countryside. The next it was gone. And look at this.” The screens switched to a map of the Gobi desert. A mass of brown was swirling round the southern tip. “This is a satellite recording of a sandstorm taken a few days ago,” Dani said. “It’s a couple of kilometres wide.” The children watched the sandy veil drifting menacingly over the landscape. Then it disappeared. “Well that is unusual.” Max raised an eyebrow. “Were there any witnesses?” “Nope. In the last month four tornadoes, an electrical storm and this sandstorm have vanished without trace.” Dani rubbed her tired eyes. “They all took place in isolated areas.” “That’s a bit of a coincidence.” “Isn’t it just?” Dani gave a wry grin. She switched the screens to a satellite view of a jagged coastline, partly obscured by a circle of shimmering silver. 14

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“That’s a minor cyclone. Happening right now in an uninhabited part of Panama. If there is a pattern to the disappearances then this is a great candidate.” “I can guess what you want us to do,” Ant smiled. “Use the X-gate to teleport over there and record what happens.” The X-gate teleport allowed Team X to get anywhere in the world in seconds. “As if the rain here wasn’t bad enough,” Tiger moaned. “Can we take umbrellas?” “You won’t need them.” Dani gestured over to the teleport launch pad. “I’ve sent the Driller on ahead.” The Driller was a stout, silver micro-vehicle. “You’ll be completely protected. It’s the sturdiest vehicle we have and I’ve modified it to withstand any type of weather,” Dani said proudly. “It’s your Storm Chaser.” Dani typed the coordinates into the teleport launch pad. The X-gate shimmered into existence. “What are we waiting for?” Max strode towards the portal. “Let’s go chase a storm.”


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The children materialized on a patch of boulder-strewn marshland, near the Driller. The sky was slate grey, despite the tropical heat, but there was no sign of any storm. “It’s already gone,” Tiger complained. Though he hated to get wet, he always enjoyed a good adventure. “Looks like it,” Max agreed. “We may as well signal Dani to take us back.” “You kidding?” Tiger said, “I’ve never been to Panama. There must be something fun to do. “Depends on how much fun you find rocks.” Cat wiped her forehead. “It’s like a sauna out here.” “We could climb up that hill. Can’t be more than a kilometre away.” Tiger headed in the direction of the incline. “If we get to the top we can reccie the territory and all that secret agent stuff.” “I suppose it wouldn’t do any harm,” Max conceded. “We could take the Driller,” said Ant. “It would take ages in that,” pointed out Tiger. “Let’s leave it here.”


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Project X - Storm Chasers