Tornado Intercept Vehicle stops in Rochester - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Tornado Intercept Vehicle stops in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- When severe weather strikes where do you head? One group of storm chasers hops in their one-of-kind vehicle with hopes of driving right into a tornado. That vehicle made its way to Rochester Monday.

It is more than just a heavy duty truck. It's basically a tank with bullet proof windows and all!

It's called the Tornado Intercept Vehicle or TIV. It's eight feet tall, 26 feet long and weighs more than 14,000 pounds. It also has two steel stabilizing spears that can pierce the ground at a depth of 42 inches in just 23 seconds.

To date it's been through six tornadoes. Despite its state-of-the-art design, it can only handle tornadoes rated at EF-3 or weaker.

Meteorologist and Storm Chaser Brandon Ivey says they're utilizing the instruments on the vehicle to be able to collect data and send to scientists to get more accurate tornado warnings and help protect the public.

The traveling group is also promoting the movie Tornado Alley featuring some of the footage gathered. That will play in the Omnitheater at the Science Museum of Minnesota beginning on September 28.

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