‘Storm Chasers’ pass through Albion

Storm ChasersWith dark storm clouds hovering over Northeast and North Central Nebraska last Thursday, a crew of about 35 people and 13 vehicles stopped in Albion last Thursday afternoon, June 5, on their way north.

The group, often called the “Storm Chasers,” is part of the Center for Severe Weather Research based in Boulder, CO, working with scientist Josh Wurman.

They are well-known from their appearances on the Discovery Channel, which often features close-up shots of tornadoes and the destruction they leave behind.

Their most unusual vehicle (above photo) is the TIV, a Ford F-450 truck that has been covered with steel plating and features a dome on top for filming. It weighs 16,800 pounds with people and gear, and gets 10 miles per gallon.

This vehicle was made to withstand 150 mile-per-hour winds , so it can actually sit in the path of a medium strength tornado while technicians record data and shoot video. Most of the other vehicles are also equipped with scientific gear.

The crew has spent plenty of time in Nebraska and Kansas this season, where there have been an unusually high number of severe storms.