This Armored Car Was Designed Specifically for Chasing Tornadoes

The Iowa Storm Chasing Network tracks severe weather across the state of Iowa. Not everyone in that network stays in offices. One team rides around in their new tornado-chasing vehicle: Dorothy.

Like the main character in The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy will go into the heart of a storm. It's a heavily modified Ford E-350 van. Brennan Jontz and Dan Auel, who are members of Team Dorothy, built it.

They added sheets of steel to the van body and covered the exterior with Linex, a material that is literally bulletproof. Jontz and Auel hope that the skirts will prevent the wind from pushing the van over, as well as protect the tires from flying objects. The windows are half an inch thick and will hopefully protect the crew.

The team hasn't tested Dorothy yet, but they plan to the next time that a tornado rolls in.

(Photos: Iowa Storm Chasing Network)

-via Jalopnik


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This isn't the first. Check out the TIV from IMAX filmer Sean Casey and the Dominator line from Reed Timmer at Tornadovideos.net. Both have made very impressive tornado interceptor vehicles.
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I can't be the only one who believes that a tornado will suck this up and spit it out if they get too close. The video would be awesome, and their heirs would profit from it's distribution.
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