Fleet of Dominators coming out of retirement

Aug 25, 2022
Brevard County, Florida
Well, TIV 1 is returning, and I guess so is the Dominator fleet. Dominator 3 is fully functional, Dom 1 needs some repairs and Dom 2 likely needs a full rebuild. It looks like they will be used for Project Skyfall. Quoting from Reed's website, " Project SkyFall’s design purpose is to stream realtime live data from inside Tornadoes and Supercells." It looks like it's legit, the page shows the preliminary data from the Lawrence/Linwood EF4 tornado and they claim their paper is currently under peer review. I know there will definitely be some opinions about this;) Project Skyfall Dominator 3 return Dominator 1 and 2
I don't know enough about the science behind the project or if the information gathered is worth the high risk to occupants and the general public. I'll let the scientists on this forum discuss those issues. I do know that no vehicle can withstand a strong tornado, and even with ground effects, the flow can be easily disrupted (not on a level surface or hit by debris), and the vehicle, no matter how heavy or fortified is a death trap. My guess is that this project has more to do with YouTube audiences since that is where the big money is now days, not science. I hope everyone thinks this out before getting too crazy.
If you mean the technical term as defined by Weather.gov, a strong tornado is defined by being EF-2 to EF-3 strength. Dominator 1 had it's famous 2009 Aurora, NE intercept, where he measured a 138.8 mph wind gust on the roof. The tornado was rated EF-2, but the wind gust measured was EF-3 strength. Intercept Vehicles can absolutely intercept strong to even violent tornadoes. He also intercepted the 2010 Wadena EF-4, measuring over 150 mph before the anemometer got ripped off. Dominators 2 and 3 are much more sturdy, and can withstand much stronger winds. However, intercepting violent tornadoes is dangerous in other ways. You could get trapped in debris or get hit with live power lines. I think Reed should collaborate with other scientific groups that have Dopplers, such as OU or the DOW network. It's tough to discern simply using your eyes whether or not it's safe to intercept, especially with stronger tornadoes. However, I do have to agree that it is a big attention grabber. Whether he is doing it just for the views or for the science, you have to stand out from the other chasers. In this day in age, you can have the most amazing tornado footage and no one will care. I see more and more news networks showing videos from regular people posted on social media as opposed to chaser footage, because with permission, they can use that for free. Everyone has a camera in their pockets, and it is so easy to find footage now. Getting that close or even getting inside is what is going to get views, especially with an attention grabbing vehicle like that. It's tough to succeed as a normal chaser now.
I watch Reed's livetreams sometimes, so I'm kinda looking forward to seeing some from a dominator once they've been restored.

But with that said, and with some of the stuff I've seen on chase livestreams using normal vehicles in the past year or so (and I won't name any specific users), I don't know but "something bad" could end up happening if these guys keep getting so close (and driving like they are). Hope it doesn't, but people are getting awfully bold & risky....