Stormchasers have long been admired for their pursuit of extreme weather conditions such as tornadoes, providing high quality images of the phenomena and gathering essential data to help us understand their movements. However, recent upgrades have seen these mighty vehicles going one step further, heading right to the eye of the storm to capture images from inside cyclones.
The activity of storm-chasing is clearly not for amateurs or drivers eager to demonstrate their bravado. Stormchasers vehicles are not ordinary vehicles, but heavily modified for the purpose, as is the case with the world-famous 'Dominator' - a modified 2007 Chevy Tahoe equipped with bulletproof sheet metal, a roll cage structure and the windows reinforced with transparent lexan to protect them from flying debris. This modified vehicle was used to capture incredible images from inside a Goshen County, Wyoming tornado for TornadoVideos.net, using a rooftop camera shielded inside a reinforced glass bubble.
Needless to say, your average car is not going to be able to withstand the enormous forces of a tornado, and the best advice is always to get as far away as possible if you see cyclones strike. It's not just the whirlwind itself that can be damaging, as it's almost always accompanied by other adverse weather effects, such as thunderstorms and rain or hail. Even if you get some distance from the tornado itself, that doesn't mean there won't still be powerful and damaging wind.
Protecting yourself and your loved ones is vital in the event of a tornado, but escaping in your car is not a guarantee of safety. Falling hail and debris could damage your windshield or worse, and a windshield repair quote will be the last thing on your mind as you struggle on disorienting, slippery roads away from the cyclone. If you know a sturdy structure that can withstand the effects of a tornado, the best advice is to take refuge there until it passes.
If you do go out chasing storms, make sure you're in the company of someone who's experienced, as they will likely know what to do in the event that something goes wrong. Generally speaking, you should be safe as long as you keep your distance and ensure there's a clear and open escape route. Chasing storms does not mean exposing yourself to unnecessary dangers, and as for capturing images and helping meteorological understanding of tornadoes, this is something best left to the experts and their customised vehicles.