‘Tornado Intercept Vehicle’ captures amazing video inside Kansas tornado

Posted at 3:21 PM, May 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-28 15:25:24-04

tornadovehicle SMITH COUNTY, Kan. – A couple of storm chasers recorded video in Smith County, Kan., from inside a tornado Monday afternoon.

Brandon Ivey and Sean Casey were in a specialized tank-like vehicle called a Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV).

They say the winds were blowing between 150 and 175 miles per hour.

That was strong enough to blow open a hatch, blow open a door, and rip instruments off the top of the vehicle. But it did stay on the ground.

The National Weather Service received reports on Monday of 16 possible tornadoes in Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado.

Smith County is in north-central Kansas, about 95 miles northeast of Hays.

The vehicle is a custom made steel body mounted to a Ram 3500 chassis; it’s curb weight is 14,300 lbs. and it has 1.63″ bulletproof windows. Hydraulics lower the suspension/vehicle to the ground where a rubber shield around the edge/base acts like a suction cup to hold it down. The vehicle also has spikes that are hydraulically driven into the ground to further anchor it. Aerodynamic design allows wind to pass over and around it with minimum lift.