IMAX film maker Sean Casey has dedicated 10 years and thousands of dollars into what's now iconic in the storm chasing world - it's the T.I.V/TIV2 - Tornado Intercept Vehicle.  Special page on this incredible project.




Meteorologist and storm chaser


In memory to Matthew Hughes, member of The Storm Report who died on Wednesday May 26th, 2010 at the age of 30. My thoughts and prayers for his family and friends...
R.I.P. Matthew Hughes (1979 - 2010)







The new TIV2


(IMAGES  USED WITH PERMISSION FROM SEAN unless otherwise credited)

The new TIV is bristling with enhancements.  Originally a Dodge 3500 with the 6.7 Cummins dIesel engine. It has all wheel drive, floating, independent rear axles for stability.  Hydraulic 'shields' that lower around the base of the vehicle to allow the severe winds to flow over the TIV to reduce the wind picking the TIV up.  (Although an EF4-5 would toss it) but they would not be expected to be inside something that dangerous one would hope but mainly to stop debris penetrating the vehicle itself, the outer shell is 2,1/2 inches thick!. 

The turret also now rotates smoothly a full 360 degrees so Sean can capture incredible tornado images safely and from any angle.  New instruments have been installed to assist Josh in relaying vital data to them whilst they are ahead.  It reminds me of the bat mobile in the latest Batman movie - probably a good thing considering it's purpose - it needs to get to places other vehicles can't.

Byron Turk (part of the Discovery chase team and TIV navigator) produced some of these photos and in fact Byron is also a film maker, editor, producer and has been assisting the TIV to document Sean Casey's IMAX cinematography duties. You can check out Byron's site here





The pinnacle moment!  Sean gets his inside the tornado footage and Vortex2 obtain 40 minutes of tornado data - unprecedented in tornado science research!





    Sean Casey - TIV Chief and Champion Storm Chaser
    "I was on Christmas Island for six weeks filming red crabs mating and migrating to the seashore to deposit their eggs in the Indian Ocean. The island had a large enough population to support a public library but was small enough to give me 'island fever.' So I'm doing a lot of reading, because the crabs are slow to mate this year for some reason or another, and one of the books I've checked out is on storm chasing and the idea hit me to go out to the Midwest with an IMAX camera and see how hard it was to film tornadoes. On the very first chase day I was hooked and have been going out each year for the past nine seasons. Every year I got more comfortable with the act of chasing tornadoes and each year I had the desire to get closer. So I came up with the concept of building a vehicle that we could actually drive into a tornado. With the TIV we could film the action up close where all the drama and power is found and do so in the relative safety of a 16,000-pound armored vehicle."
    Ronan P. Nagle - TIV Driver
    "My first experience with tornadoes was during the 'super outbreak' in April 1974. Huddling in my grandparents' basement with the emergency broadcast tone sounding on the TV is one of my earliest memories. In 2000, I spent two months chasing tornadoes and it was love at first chase. Since then, storm chasing has been something that I look forward to all year long. This season will be my 7th season, 5th with the TIV/TIV2. I had to miss a few years, as I was starting my production company in NY. That's when I figured I needed to come up with a way to combine my profession and my passion for storm chasing. In the fall of 2005, I teamed up with Original Media (the production company that makes the series) to pitch the show to Discovery, and the rest is TV history."

    "Last year was hard dealing with TIV2, but it reminded me a little of the first year in TIV1, the 'shake and bake' year, when Sean and I had our fair share of problems. Among other things, we had a fire in the vehicle when all of the batteries, we had mounted in the back of the 'passenger compartment,' flipped on each other, and in the last moment we had to crawl past the noxious fumes only to discover that every wire had fried! As luck would have it, the first person to pull over to assist turned out to a gentleman that did specialty wiring for hot rods. He took us to his home, put us up for three days and rewired the entire vehicle! In all my years, we have been fortunate enough to come across amazingly generous people wherever we go!"

    "I love adventure and doing things that only a few people will dare to do. When I tell people what we are attempting to do with the TIV, they assume we're crazy, but I feel it's a calculated risk that is worth taking. During the other 10 months of the year, I live less dangerously working as a producer in New York."
    Byron Turk - TIV Navigator 
    "Born in Georgia and raised in California, I studied film in sunny Santa Barbara at UCSB. While initially interested in music and movies, my life would be changed forever when a former teacher of mine, Jackie Apodaca, passed my name along to her friend Sean Casey who needed help on his IMAX movie. A summer of storm chasing later left me with a new friend and a new obsession. Hooked on the adrenaline rush and desire to conquer the ultimate challenge, I eagerly and perhaps foolishly join Sean in his quest to achieve the unachievable: Intercept and film the perfect tornado. I also enjoy conversations with the meteorologists where they try to teach me what the clouds mean… they try ever so hard. Lack of good judgment has led me through four years and counting of this adventure. After last year's struggles, I am looking forward to a newly rejuvenated TIV2 and helping Sean film his IMAX movie this year. In the off season I work as a freelance filmmaker, play the guitar in my apartment, and like to eat cold soup right from the can. The Byron Fever … Catch It!""