Storm Chasing Fever - Blog - Storm Chasers - TIV 2 | Dominator 2
Storm Chasers - TIV 2 | Dominator 2
Oct 09, 2011
Storm Chasers has experienced an increase in popularity premiering in its 5th season on Discovery. Sean Casey and Reed Timmer are the main characters that have designed armored vehicles known as The Tornado Intercept Vehicle - TIV 2 and The Dominator 2 - D2. If any storm chaser decides to roam the plains in the spring to find a tornado you're more than likely to see one of these vehicles out in the field. In this blog post I have posted photos of both vehicles I managed to capture the past couple of years.
TIV - TIV 2
The first time I saw Sean Casey was the week of the famous Quinter, Kansas Tornado Outbreak in May of 2008. He now rides in his upgraded vehicle, the TIV 2, but it was his first original vehicle known as the TIV. I remember the large, beastly tank coming up over a hill on a dirt road towards us. My chase partner and I were chatting with a van full of chasers from Mississippi State as one student screamed, "There's the TIV from Storm Chasers!" Everyone in our vicinity took their eye off the possible tornado in the distance and instead started to videotape the TIV roaring up upon our location. I could only imagine if I had one of these back home in Wisconsin to drive around. I'm not sure if law enforcement would allow for such a vehicle to be allowed on the road, but I haven't heard the TIV or dominator 2 have permit issues.
Sean Casey was probably amused by all the attention while he looked out his window in the back seat at the storm chasers on this day. I remember the TIV sounding like a garbage truck as I've read the transmission has a job of carrying over 16,000 pounds worth of armor for tornado protection. The gas mileage must be a pain in the arce! In 2009, I saw the TIV in Missouri but it was his new vehicle called the "TIV 2" which is now shown on Storm Chasers. The old one had been rusting and breaking down but yet the TIV 2 was having its issues initially as shown on Storm Chasers, Season 3. From the look of things, it appeared to be better designed than its predecessor with new armor and better mobility.
In 2010, I saw TIV 2 numerous times. I was lucky to chase the Bowdle, South Dakota EF4 Tornado on May 22, 2010. My chase partner Shannon, spotted the TIV 2 heading towards us on highway 47. It sprayed rain water all over our windshield as it was flying past us to reposition for an intercept to our east.
One of the most popular Storm Chasers, Reed Timmer, drove past us chasing the Oregon, Missouri Softball Sized Hail Storm in 2009. Yet again in South Dakota his team pulled up next to us just after the large tornado hit Bowdle. The Dominator and the discovery vehicles were planning another intercept on that same storm, however, I heard they got stuck in the mud on a dirt road.
His vehicle, "The Dominator" is a large, red tank designed to withstand strong tornadic winds. You watch these vehicles on the show Storm Chasers and think it's somewhat odd, but when you see it in person almost every chaser seems to be drawn to it. They now have an upgraded version called the Dominator 2 or D2. In 2011, I failed to see both D2 and TIV 2. I was only able to chase in Nebraska for two days on marginal setups where those teams would have been reluctant to chase.
I'm sure in 2012, many storm chasers will have a chance to see Dominator 2 and TIV 2. The average Joe might question the purpose of these vehicles, but it's pretty simple. According to Reed Timmer, his mission is geared towards tornado research, by driving into them to collect meteorological data. Sean Casey is in pursuit of the tornado from the inside of his TIV 2 to film with an IMAX 3D camera. The real question is, who will come out with a new, better vehicle to drive into a tornado? Time will tell. Storm Chasers is shown on Discovery every Sunday night at 10 pm ET.
Dominator 2 - Tipton, Oklahoma Tornado Intercept
Storm Chasers including the Dominator 2 had an encounter during yesterday's November Tornado outbreak near Tipton, OK. Here is some new video just posted from TVN.