• Stormtrack's forum runs on Xenforo forum software, which will be undergoing a major update the evening of Wednesday, Feb 28th. The site may be down for a period while that update takes place.

TIV: Two Tornado Intercepts Already?

I talked to one of my friends who was associated with the TIVs and he indicated that the TIV had indeed penetrated a tornado. From what I understand, the TIV group penetrated a bonafide condensation-to-the-ground tornado. Apparently, a Nat'l Geographic camera crew followed too closely and also found themselves in the funnel. As I understand it, there is a Nat'l Geographic special about this in the works.

Gabe
 
I haven't seen any video or media coverage of this, even if it did happen. You'd think after all the attention this TIV thing gets for just "being there" we'd have all seen this incredible acheivement on television by now. I know I've seen this thing rolling around out there a ton of times, most times further from the tornado than I am. I would think that if they actually accomplished their goal, we might be privy to this information.

Otherwise, the TIV thing is pretty much played out IMO. No one cares anymore, except those groupie chicks Mark Svenvold wrote about.
 
Originally posted by Shane Adams
I would think that if they actually accomplished their goal, we might be privy to this information.

That's a good point. However, sometimes media groups (such as Nat'l Geographic) make deals with groups like the TIVs to give the research group financial support in exchange for exclusive media rights (I'm talkign about major media groups, not local media). That is, no other media group is allowed to interview the group, etc. until a set time (usually after a television special or whatever). I imagine that this is probably the case with this group.

Gabe
 
Originally posted by Shane Adams
I haven't seen any video or media coverage of this, even if it did happen. You'd think after all the attention this TIV thing gets for just \"being there\" we'd have all seen this incredible acheivement on television by now. I know I've seen this thing rolling around out there a ton of times, most times further from the tornado than I am. I would think that if they actually accomplished their goal, we might be privy to this information.

Otherwise, the TIV thing is pretty much played out IMO. No one cares anymore, except those groupie chicks Mark Svenvold wrote about.

I've noticed Nat Geo tends to hold publishing things until they're polished pieces. T. Samaras shot video for them from like 8 different angles inside of a tornado, and they didn't publish it on TV or in their magazine for many months.
 
Looks like the answer so far is...no one has seen them enter a tornado. With all the other chasers out there and the enrollment on Stormtrack it seems to me unlikely we would have all missed it. As Shane mentioned we all see them in the field from time to time. I saw them late on June 11th at Wayside, and then late on June 12th west of Hamlin.

Hmm, that makes me think though. They weren't too late on June 11th. Sure they had missed a few of the initial tornadoes but they got up north of the intersection of Ranch 285 on hwy 207 east of Wayside. A large wallcloud was very near the ground up there that eventually got wrapped up. I went up there for awhile, but when I saw it wrapping and another area of rotation approaching from the SW I bailed briefly south to get out it. A lot of chasers got caught in this including Gene Moore. He told me it was a rough ride. It's possible that large wallcloud scouring near the ground could loosely be called a tornado. Plus, later I had left and was going to try and go around the canyon to the south and east, but I came back and believe I could see another large tornado back in there as it was getting dark. So, it is possible they are referring to one of these.

There were quite a few chasers up there though and they would have witnessed any special intercept. Perhaps they are referring to being wrapped up in the bear cage with the other chasers. That would esplain why their camera crew was stuck in it with them. There was only one way out and I saw it and took it early enough to avoid it.
 
TIV Intercept

Wsa travelling with the TIV (as part of another chase group) on June 12th, and can confirm that they did have the intercept (I also have their radio traffic about the event on a video clip). A National Geographic crew was caught up as well as described above by Gabe. Probably the reason you haven't seen any footage yet is because it'll be part of some upcoming National Geopgraphic special (mooted for October?) or some footage that will be used in an IMAX setting.
 
TIV Intercept

From the pics I have from June 12th, the tornado TIV intercepted was the last of 6 touchdowns we sighted from the same supercell - their intercept was with a really late tornado on the west side of the storm after we had chased five earlier separate touchdowns from several rotating wall clouds moving to the east - it was a big rope-like tornado snaking almost at a right angle then down from of the back of the storm (my pics of this are from the east looking to the west into the sun - it was relatively weak compared to the earlier tornadoes, but still strong enough to shift the National Geographic vehicle 30 degrees sideways, in the midst of metal drums circling in the air in the vortex
 
Re: TIV Intercept

Okay, just for clarification, what exactly are we defining as an "intercept?" Did they punch right through the middle of the suck zone and live to tell about it? Were they on the immediate periphery of it? Were they simply hit by the rain wrap?

I don't question your report here. I'm just looking for a clearer picture of exactly what it was the TIV did that is being categorized as an "intercept."
 
What's more interesting to me is, the TIV wasn't ever designed with penetrating a tornado in mind. It was, from what I've read, designed to merely approach a tornado very closely and drive into some type of ditch or revene for added protection and film a tornado passing by very close to the TIV's location. Basically, the fact that the TIV was not designed for a tornado penetration is the one bit of "integrity" it's got above the more-ballyhooed, openly-idiotic Steve Green Tornado Hunter thing.

If the TIV guys are activiely attempting to penetrate tornadoes like Steve Green, that pretty much takes away any scientific merit they might have had (aided most by its association with the DOWs). Regardless of the fact they carry mounted scientific instruments, it would still be a publicity stunt to seek a direct encounter with a tornado.

Between never seeing them anywhere near a tornado (when they could've easily been), and now hearing they drove straight into one, I'm extremely unclear as to the exact mission of the TIV with regard to the literature I've read on its mission statement.
 
TIV Intercept

If you're interested in the precise details of their "intercept" why don't you contact them directly for the detail instead of idly speculating/rumour mongering here? My understanding, as is yours, is that they try to get as close as is reasonably "safe", and that IMAX is filming from that close perspective. I gather that the DOWs provide them with an assessment of how close is "safe" given the strength of a particular rotation. I don't know if they drove "straight into this one" as you say, but I was merely confirming the fact that they did intercept this one - from hearing the simultaneous radio traffic and conversations immediately after, that evening, with the various crews. I have pics of the tornado that they "intercepted" from a distance - and its unusual behaviour was apparently what caught out the Nationa Geographic crew (i.e. a horseshoe shaped path on the ground) - did it happen? I think so, from relatively close second-hand experience; did I see it by direct sight and know the exact details? No - ask them :D
 
Re: TIV Intercept

Originally posted by Peter Wharton
If you're interested in the precise details of their \"intercept\" why don't you contact them directly for the detail instead of idly speculating/rumour mongering here?

What I indicated I was interested in was the perception of recent that the TIV was trying to penetrate a tornado (contrary to the literature regarding the TIV mission statement). As for the details of their "intercept" in question, I am not interested at all.
 
if what they are saying is getting up close to a tornado and filming it is an intercept, well thats not news at all. Big deal. We have all had close "intercepts". Not always on purpose :wink: .

The author of the story is Phil Berg. He is a good friend of mine and rode with us this year for about a week in May while looking for stories to do. On a down day he drove up to Hays to interview this guy and he told me this guy said he has every intention of punching a tornado even though Phil doesnt think the vehicle would hold up. If you have ever seen this think up close you can tell the welding and construction is NOT professionally done. The guy admitted he "learned" to weld while welding it together but he said he got better as he went along. Also the door is held closed by a piece of PVC pipe slid through a ring like a sliding bolt latch. Would I trust that in 130mph winds :roll:
 
As Gabe mentioned earlier, I can also confirm that TIV possibly intercepted one of the tornadoes on June 12. It was the fifth or sixth tornado that day and was in it's rope stage. I operated DOW5 or the rapid-scan DOW as many know it, twice this year; May 1-11 and June 15-30. Unfortunately, I was not operating on the day in question. However, National Geo has some awesome video from this event. The tornado moved directly over their vehicle. They were filming this when some barrels flew directly in front of them.

As for TIV, the last time I talked to Josh Wurman and CSWR, they were trying to figure out exactly where TIV was that day. They are using their Lat/Long to see if they were actually in the core flow of the tornado, but were having some probs bc the TIV laptop was having some probs, probably bc of the rough ride and no AC in TIV!! But, from what I understand, they were very confident that TIV was in core flow that day. The 55 m/s wind was measured by a sonic anemometer that CSWR had placed on the TIV. The only non-instrumented vehicle in the whole ROTATE fleet was the National Geo vehicle. But I know CSWR is trying to exactly plot where they were with the radar data. What they are doing is analyzing the radar data is see if they can see the barrels flying by the geo vehicle. The resolution is high enough to see them and if they do see them, then they can use this along with the video to see if they were in the core flow region. Just as a side note, there was no ROTATE crew members in the Geo vehicle, just a bunch of camera people who knew nothing about weather or chasing safety. What they did that day was very dangerous and should not be attempted by any chaser.


As for the video from TIV, it is IMAX footage and won't be released until I think 2007. This video will only feature tornadoes, not like the current one, Forces of Nature, which was tornadoes, volcanos and earthquakes. The video from Geo will be released later this year, not sure of date, in a 2-hour special program about ROTATE-05 and of course featuring their intercept on June 12.
 
Re: TIV Intercept

Originally posted by Peter Wharton
Let's not let the facts get in the way of some good gossip, and idle speculation eh, Shane? :D

What's to speculate? You and about 3-4 others stated quite clearly that the TIV intercepted a tornado. Also stated quite clearly was the original mission statement saying the TIV was not designed and built with the intention of punching into a tornado.

Now that I've eliminated (for the second time) every possible reason you might have to keep hounding me about everything I say on this thread, I can only assume you've taken a liking to taking shots at me.
 
Originally posted by Justin Walker
As Gabe mentioned earlier, I can also confirm that TIV possibly intercepted one of the tornadoes on June 12. It was the fifth or sixth tornado that day and was in it's rope stage.

This is somewhat curious as I believe I witnessed most of the tornadoes that day albeit possibly not from the same vantage as the TIV crew. However I did see them west of Hamlin. They drove past a bunch of us chasers set up at an intersection west of town (Shane was there) after what most of us believed was the end of the show. There was still some small areas of rotation in the cloud and some possibly wrapped up precip material on the ground which (from memory) I suppose could have had a tornado somewhere back in there although none of us thought so at the time.

I wonder if this is when they did the intercept, or if it was earlier in the day? I suppose I could send them an email and ask directly (I think I will anyway), but just want to know if anyone else is aware of their position for this supposed intercept? Peter Wharton - you claim you were there but aren't completely sure of the status of their 'intercept' as to if it was in the vortex completely or not...do you have any pics of video grabs? What was your position and the general location of their team?
 
TIV Intercept

Thanks for all the detail, Justin - I think this detail counters what I felt was unjustified innuendo in some of the postings here about the TIV's motives, truthfulness of their report, or their "scientific merit".

I was responding to the general tenor of some of the earlier posts, sorry if you choose to take this personally, Shane - but your phrases were - "I would think that if they actually accomplished their goal, we might be privy to this information" and "that pretty much takes away any scientific merit they might have had" and “as for the details of their "intercept" in question, I am not interested at allâ€￾ – if you make unfounded assertions, then don’t listen to answers, then expect to get honest feedback.

Unfortunately, Bill, I don't have anything more in detail to offer about TIV's exact position.
 
Re: TIV Intercept

Originally posted by Peter Wharton
sorry if you choose to take this personally, Shane - but your phrases were - \"I would think that if they actually accomplished their goal, we might be privy to this information\"

What's the problem? It's obvious we weren't privy to this information, hence our learning about it second hand from this thread. Isn't it natural (and maybe a bit cautious/wise) to be a little skeptical of second hand reports?


Originally posted by Peter Wharton
and \"that pretty much takes away any scientific merit they might have had\"

Well, it would. Why should we chastise Steve Green while praising the TIV guys for doing the same thing? I have no clue what point you're trying to make with that particular quote.


Originally posted by Peter Wharton
and “as for the details of their \"intercept\" in question, I am not interested at allâ€￾

Again - what point are you trying to make here? I could care less about people driving sh*t into tornadoes, everyone and their yellow dog has been 3 feet from a tornado now. The novelty is gone.



Originally posted by Peter Wharton
if you make unfounded assertions, then don’t listen to answers, then expect to get honest feedback

My assertions were not unfounded. I said (1) it's interesting why the TIV is intercepting tornadoes now despite the fact their original goal was to merely get very close to a tornado, with emphasis on NOT driving into one. I have absolute proof of both these facts, the former of which was provided, in part, by you.

The second assertion was "if they are indeed actively pursuing tornadoes to penetrate them, than that robs them of their scientific merit", which it does. Unless, of course, you are willing to publicly state here that you fully support Steve Green's endeavor. Otherwise, I'm unsure why you are still talking to me.


Originally posted by Peter Wharton+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Peter Wharton)</div>
sorry if you choose to take this personally, Shane [/b]

As you'll see below, I didn't have a choice...


<!--QuoteBegin-Peter Wharton

Let's not let the facts get in the way of some good gossip, and idle speculation eh, Shane? :D

Don't expect me to just sit on my hands when you make snide remarks about vaild points I've made, and address them to me by name. If you disagree with them, or (more to the point in this case I believe), simply don't like them, perhaps no response would be the best reply. Given the display of heckle savvy I've seen thus far, I'd have to agree with myself.
 
I wonder if this is when they did the intercept, or if it was earlier in the day? I suppose I could send them an email and ask directly (I think I will anyway), but just want to know if anyone else is aware of their position for this supposed intercept?
If my memory serves me correctly, I believe the intercept occured on F-M 1228. I don't know the lat/long, but it is north of where 1228 turns NW, I think less than a mile from the intersection on 1228 and 2320.

EDIT: Here is a link to the map from June 12, I believe the X is the intercept point. http://www.cswr.org/projects/rotate/rotate...p-2005-0612.PNG
 
I'd have to agree with some of Shane's points - well except about the intercept part. Notice I started another thread just about this. It isn't a big deal I'm just curious.

Shane brings up the point that their mission is to get close, but not penetrate a tornado. From a few websites I visited I concur. It does appear they claim they don't want to penetrate but if something accidentally does happen they want a vehicle which is safe.

Also, what is the true mission / motivation of the TIV? I don't claim a lot of knowledge here and that's why this thread is interesting. Are they really about research, or was this some 'gimmic' originally started by the guy in California who learned to weld while building a vehicle that looked a lot like the spaceships he drew as a kid? Did he build the thing and then look around for backing and support? Obviously he eventually became involved with SPC and the DOW Teams to assist. Perhaps there were benefits of having a TIV vehicle for DOW that this vehicle fulfills? It seems it's main purpose is to shoot high quality video from inside or very near a tornado (IMAX), but there are some sensors on it - possibly to assist in DOW experiments and severe meteorology research?

Seems to me that NSSL with the planned IMAX movie, and DOW / TIV joint venture all probably got together and decided that the video, data, and publicity along with money from publicity might help funding for their projects and allow them to get some more quality video that they help control and pinpoint via gps coordinates mixed with radar signatures of the local storm environment.

I guess I can see some of the syncronicity of doing this together, but it does still seem to a certain degree that any manned vehicle penetration of a tornado albeit NSSL sanctioned is a bit of a publicity stunt - hence agreement with Shane here. On the other hand, historically there have been similar dangerous technical missions such as NASA moon shots that technically are very dangerous, but could also be construed as a type of publicity stunt. The Apollo space program was very well advertised / commercialized and raised money and even had political cold war type national ramifications and objectives.

Maybe I'm starting to ramble here. I guess what I'm thinking is I don't know how this all started, and maybe it really is a gimmic or a stunt in a way, but perhaps it could have merit even if it is a stunt as Shane ascerts.
 
It does appear they claim they don't want to penetrate but if something accidentally does happen they want a vehicle which is safe.
From talking to Sean Casey himself, he very much intended to penetrate a tornado that is weak, that is where the DOW's come in. They give them an up to the second update about the intensity of a tornado or location in the case of a rain-wrapped tornado. They will not try a penetration of a violent tornado, for obvious reasons.

Also, what is the true mission / motivation of the TIV? I don't claim a lot of knowledge here and that's why this thread is interesting. Are they really about research, or was this some 'gimmic' originally started by the guy in California who learned to weld while building a vehicle that looked a lot like the spaceships he drew as a kid?
As you can guess, the true motivation of TIV is to get IMAX footage of a tornado up close or in it. They could not care about the research value of this at all. They just want the "shot."

Did he build the thing and then look around for backing and support? Obviously he eventually became involved with SPC and the DOW Teams to assist. Perhaps there were benefits of having a TIV vehicle for DOW that this vehicle fulfills? ...but there are some sensors on it - possibly to assist in DOW experiments and severe meteorology research?
Sean built the TIV with his own money for the sole purpose of getting the video of inside of tornado. He has no backing or support. He has the money to do this from the previous IMAX movie Forces of Nature, not the one with Sandra Bullock, and his internet business. As a side note, as far as I know, the is no association with SPC or NSSL, just CSWR.

The main benefit of having the TIV vehicle is the money it brings with it. Sean helped fund ROTATE this year I know, don't know about others, I would assume so though. NSF of late has seemed to only fund the analysis of data and such, not the actual field projects that gather the data sets. The killing of VORTEX for 2007 is a good example of this. This is why CSWR has turned to Sean for support.

Other benefits of TIV is the fact that CSWR fitted it with some instruments for basic thermodynamic measurements. CSWR will use this data in their analysis of the event. The main purpose of ROTATE this year as the lowest level winds, so it is important so have a vehicle that is taking measurements (wind, temp, Td, etc..) very close to the developing tornado. This is another reason that CSWR takes advantage of TIV. Here is CSWR's statement:

The main focus of ROTATE-2005 will be obtaining extremely high resolution winds in the lowest levels of tornadoes, by deploying close to the tornadoes, as opposed the dual-Doppler deployments typical of past years.
 
Back
Top