Posted at: 09/10/2012 9:19 PM
Updated at: 09/10/2012 10:17 PM
By: Dietrich Nissen
Storm Chasers Showoff Vehicle
(ABC 6 News) -- On Monday afternoon, the stars of the Discovery Channel’s popular show, “Storm Chasers”, stopped in Rochester. The group's using the show's popular vehicle to promote their new film called - Tornado Alley.
"Wooooooow," said fans gathered outside the Rochester Public Library as the famed vehicle from Storm Chasers rolled up.
"It's really cool, it's big, it's very tank like," says one fan.
"Pretty cool. It's wild," said others.
Despite weighing 14,500 pounds, the Tornado Intercept Vehicle (T.I.V.) can reach speeds as fast as 100 miles per hour. It's also able to withstand wind speeds as strong as 165 miles per hour.
"We've actually been in an EF-3 tornado before where we measured 150 miles per hour winds," says Storm Chasers meteorologist, Brandon Ivey. He says this truck costs around $80,000 dollars.
"It's basically a big tank on wheels that allows us to drive into some of the weaker end tornados," says Ivey.
The T.I.V. houses dozens of tools and a turret specially designed for an IMAX camera. But even with its gargantuan size, the vehicle's not impenetrable.
"The vehicle shakes, typically your ears will pop, kind of like when you're traveling on an airplane like how you get that pressure build up," says Ivey. "We're pretty safe and cautious about what kind of tornados we'll drive into and what we won't. Ya know, too much debris in a tornado is definitely a no-go. Too violent? We'll get close but won't drive inside."
As for Monday's event, it was simply a chance to meet the show's stars, like Ivey, and for fans to touch something they've only seen on television.
"All the contraptions and the gadgets on it look pretty good," said an admiring fan.
The group is touring Minnesota and Wisconsin to promote the new Omni theatre film. This film opens at the Science Museum in Saint Paul on Friday, September 28th.