LA CRESCENT, Minnesota (WXOW)-- The Tornado Intercept Vehicle, otherwise known as TIV 2, visited News 19 Daybreak.
This vehicle is the main mode of transportation for the Discovery Channel's popular Storm Chasers series.
The TIV 2 weighs 14,000 pounds, travels up to 100 mph, and is designed to take a direct hit from a tornado.
Mike Day is an executive producer of the film, Tornado Alley and Brandon Ivey is a meteorologist and storm chaser for Storm Chasers gave tours of this tank-like vehicle.
They're traveling around the region to promote their new film.
Tornado Alley, a giant-screen film featuring incredible, breathtaking footage from a storm chasing expedition through the "severe weather capital of the world," will premiere in the Science Museum of Minnesota's William L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater on Friday, September 28. Tornado Alley follows Sean Casey, the star of the Discovery Channel's popular Storm Chasers series, and the scientists of VORTEX2, an ambitious research project that seeks to understand the origins of tornadoes and the supercell storms that form them, gathering the most comprehensive severe weather data ever collected. The team's ultimate goal is to establish a better understanding of how tornadoes form and increase warning times to protect the people in their awesomely destructive paths.
In their pursuit of wild weather, the crew traverses an area of the country known as Tornado Alley: Oklahoma, Kansas, the Texas Panhandle, Nebraska, eastern South Dakota, and eastern Colorado. They covered 26,000 miles on their mission, armed with a 70mm camera, an arsenal of the most advanced weather measurement instruments ever created, and the now-famous Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV), a tank-like truck that Casey designed and built to withstand gale force winds, torrential rains and unrelenting hail. The footage captured on their unforgettable journey will bring viewers closer than ever before to the heart-pounding center of tornadic weather and the devastation that it leaves in its wake.
The Science Museum was instrumental in the production of Tornado Alley, providing financing for part of the film through the creation and participation in the Giant Dome Theater Consortium. Senior Vice President Mike Day is an executive producer of the film.
"Severe weather - and specifically tornadoes - are incredibly awe-inspiring forces of nature," says Day. "The footage that Sean Casey and crew were able to capture in the TIV is so perfectly suited for the Omnitheater's giant domed screen. With the pictures and sounds of severe weather surrounding them, visitors will feel the winds and rain just as intensely as they'll feel the anticipation of the chase. It's a movie experience that they won't soon forget."
Tornado Alley viewers will find themselves at the heart of an effort to penetrate the inner workings of a tornado. They'll see hundreds of VORTEX2 scientists working together to plan their approach to capturing valuable data about tornado creation, then feel the suspense as they execute their plan with severe weather conditions bearing down on them.
"Tornadoes are surreal, unimaginable," says Casey. "I wanted to witness something that I am truly in awe of. My dream has always been to get footage that's as powerful as the subject matter. There's a huge difference between filming a tornado from a couple miles away with a telephoto lens, and filming a tornado that's on top of you with a wide-angle lens. After eight years, I'm thrilled to finally share these incredible experiences with audiences everywhere."
Tornado Alley is narrated by Bill Paxton. It is a production of Giant Screen Films and Graphic Films. Major funding was provided by the National Science Foundation with additional support from the Giant Dome Theater Consortium.
After its September 28 opening, Tornado Alley will run daily in the Omnitheater. For a complete list of show times, visit www.smm.org.
Tickets are $9 for adults and $8 for children and seniors (combination tickets that include admission to the permanent exhibit galleries and the Omnitheater are also available). Omnitheater admission is free for Science Museum members. For more information or to view a trailer, visit www.smm.org.
Advance reservations are recommended and are available online at www.smm.org or via phone at (651) 221-9444. For specific directions and other museum information, visit www.smm.org.
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