Stormchaser Builds Armored Auto To Enter Tornado.

Half Weatherman, half Road Warrior, Sean Casey wants to drive a home-made armored auto into a tornado.

I don’t know whether to salute his courage, or wave bye-bye to his #ss.

If he gets back, though, he’ll have one heck of a piece of film. :slight_smile: :cool:

A late model Herkeimer Battle Jitney.

IMHO when he hits a big twister he’s gonna be, if you will pardon the expression, fooked. The construction…eegh. If I welded up a piece of crap like that my father would disown me. 1/8" steel is not plate, it’s sheet metal. The weight may sound impressive but I predict that he’s going to be on Mr Toad’s Wild Ride when he hits a big one.

So, I should go with the Bye-Bye Option?

naah, don’t worry about it, it’s a crapbox ford, it’ll break down before it even reaches the tornado…

the first thing he should have done was use a reliable truck as a base to build off of, not some piece of dren ford crapbox


Farscape’s alternative (read: allowed on network TV) cuss word. Usually means “shit” from what I can tell in context. It’s a great word, really flows off the tongue.

This is the type of vehicle you would want to drive into a tornado, not some jury-rigged sheet metal POS. Gotta love those wacky Soviets enginneers.

He can chase all the F1 and F2’s he wants.

After that, he will look like tinfoil.

We can judge his relative intelligence with his next move. If he adds a remote control to the vehicle and tests it first, the man may be pretty smart. If he just gets in and aims for the next tornado that comes along, well then he isn’t so bright.

I wonder if the camera will survive?

I thought it said in the link that he did drive into the tornado. Twice. But he didn’t get the shot due to rain.

Ayuh, 'scape was great for sneaking “colourful” words past the censors, after all, they can’t object to that word as it’s a nonsense word…

An F4 hit here 10 years ago. There were lots of weather chasers as well as others with video cameras (this tornado makes most of the recent tornado shows like seen on Discovery Channel). This was one of the better documented tornados on record, according to some of the shows I’ve seen.

People who study tornados scrutinized these videos and noticed a frac truck (like a semi truck cab and chassis, but with very heavy pumps mounted on it) circling the tornado at about 100 feet, doing about 100 mph. They said this was the first time they had seen anything that heavy and were able to identify and track it. I have a pic of it after it came to rest, smashed flat.

Lots of pick up truck-sized vehicles were destroyed, a few of them seen circling in the debris cloud, as well.

That’s pretty much what I expected. As Cecil said in the context of where to position oneself in a crashing airplane, “It doesn’t matter which end of the banana enters the blender first”, and that’s pretty much what the inside of a tornado would be like for this guy.

Duke, was that the Pampa twister? It it they highlight a pick-up sailing through the air, although it appeared to be far higher than 100 feet.

I’m thinkin’ this IMAX film will likely have an In Memory segment at the end.

lieuYep, that’s the one. The pick ups and cars did get quite a bit higher, the frac truck didn’t get as much altitude.

I work in the “industrial complex” that was wiped out. We were in a different building back then, right by where the tornado developed, and watched it move through the industrial district and into town. That building was not touched. Even as close as we were (about 100 yards from where it passed by our business), it was hard to tell just exactly what it was tearing up. It was a lot bigger than the pics make it out to be, and in person it didn’t seem that big until you realized it was already a mile away. We moved into this building since, even though it was much larger, tornado damage reduced it’s value.

If you watch those tornado shows, you can hear the sheriff saying, “It’s heading right for [Duke’s Place of Employment]”, but it missed us. In the confusion, nobody thought to shut the sandblaster down. He blasted right through it all, oblivious to the fact that a tornado was just right over there.

Earlier that afternoon, I saw a long, thin rope coming out of the clouds and told a couple of the guys I saw a tornado. They laughed and told me I was full of it. When the main tornado started to form, it was at first about 4 or 5 little wispy tornados that then gathered into a big one. I was looking out my window and saw the wispy ones and told the laughers, “Not THAT’s a tornado”. About 30 seconds later, it was already huge and appeared to be directly on top of us.

The tornado followed a creek all the way from where it started, not sure if that’s common or not. It started pretty much right in the creek (Red Deer Creek) and followed it into town, all of the damage in town was along the creek, and it left town at the Country Club, still right on the creek. Another tornado formed between Pampa and Hoover, again right on the creek (it runs through Hoover) and moved on East.

After it was over, we all went to the bar. The power was out in town and they were giving away free beer while it was still cold.

A buddy of mine made a cameo on a different tornado film the same day. A chaser crew was filming at Hoover. My buddy had heard there was a tornado in Pampa and was racing home from work, coming from the east of Hoover. He was driving through rain and didn’t know there was a tornado right in front of him. He passed the film crew right at Hoover and you can hear them say, “That idiot’s heading right into the tornado!”. And he was, but it cleared off enough by then that he could tell he would likely miss it so he kept it floorboarded and got by.

Fun day. I was also on Lake Meridith the day the tornado hit Fritch in '92. We were picnicing on a beach on the far side of the lake from where we launched and saw the storm coming. We had already made it about half way back across the lake when the Lake Patrol ordered evacuation, and were luckily close to the front of the line at the boat ramp. We got out of there before we actually saw the tornado, by the time we got back home we heard Fritch was hit.

We get a lot of tornados, another big one in '82. None this year, so far.

The cab of the 18 wheeler I drove weighed 20,000 lbs by its self and I have seen more than one of those tossed around. With only 13,780 lbs, especially spread out in that much volume, I don’t think I would be looking for any F4 or 5 tornados anyway.

Wow, good stories Duke of Rat. Hm… we should start a thread devoted to severe weather experiences.

Saw the aftermath of an F5 in north Alabama once. The earth was dredged up and plowed. No buildings stood. Sometimes even the foundations had been ripped up. I remember seeing a bank vault standing in a debris field, and a crane fishing a dump truck out of grocery store…from where it had been picked up and tossed through the roof.

This guy’s vehicle is so toast. I suppose he could stand smaller twisters, but never a true monster storm.

Guy, we gotta talk. I was with Gearhart on Price Road in '82. I too went west of town to a rise and watched a rope until DPS ran me off with a loudspeaker. Driving back towards town, I watched a huge complex drop a vortex right over town and distinctly remember thinking that I was watching people die. Turns out it tore hell out of a city park and moved on. Our new building that we were to move into in 6 weeks was flattened. The next day we drove out and it was nothing but slab, twisted rebar and scattered debris for 1/3 of a mile. We chased the twister towards Canadian until it petered and we limped back, trying to find gas amoungst filling stations all devoid of power from downed lines.

My poor Mom… she called right as all this was starting and I told her the Civil Defense alarms were going off, skies were green and I had to go. Didn’t call back for 6 or 8 hours. I shoulda been shot.

Still, damn good times, to be sure. Heh, likely I saw your '82 twister.