On May 31, 2013 an exceptionally large and
powerful tornado formed near El Reno, Oklahoma. Up to 2.6 miles in diameter, this tornado
produced winds near 300 mph, ranking with some of the most intense tornadoes in history. This tornado exhibited an unusual penchant for changing both speed and direction:
Forward speeds ranged from nearly stationary to over 50 mph while the direction of movement
spanned over 360 degrees, looping over Interstate 40. This made safe observing at close range
almost impossible. The high-precipitation character of the parent
thunderstorm made viewing very difficult for storm spotters and chasers. All of these factors
combined to produce an incredibly dangerous situation in which many storm observers were
forced to flee for their lives. Unfortunately, not everyone made it out. Among the eight victims this storm claimed
were well-known storm chasers Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young – as well as
at least one other storm observer. In view of this tragedy, we deem it important
to document the lessons that this storm has pressed upon the chasing and spotting community.
We hope that this documentation will reduce the risk of another such tragedy. Friday, May 31st Severe weather has been in the forecast for days. But where? And would a tornado threat
exist? It is early morning. Forecasters are convinced
that a potent combination of atmospheric ingredients will set up over central Oklahoma. Tornadoes
look likely – in an area that has already seen more than its fair share of wicked weather. On May 20th, a rare EF-5 tornado ravaged Moore,
Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City. This tornado took the lives of over 20 people,
and left hundreds injured. Similar to the 20th, a large, slow-moving,
upper-tropospheric trough is positioned over the Plains.
The southern periphery of this trough features an intense mid-upper tropospheric jet, which
has initiated strong southerly low-level flow. Very rich moisture is moving toward the Plains.
In the middle troposphere, strong westerly winds are transporting a cool, dry layer of
air over the warm, moist layer to the east. The overlap of these two air masses is creating
a zone of conditionally unstable air over the Southern Plains and the Upper Midwest. Conceptually, conditional instability is similar to the hot air balloon. Hot air is less dense
than cold air at the same pressure level, so the balloon rises. This force is known
as buoyancy. Gravity acts in the opposite direction. If buoyancy is greater than gravity,
an upward force is created Instability can be measured from weather balloon
data. These balloons rise through the troposphere, creating a vertical profile of temperature,
humidity and winds. During the early evening, a weather balloon
is launched from Norman, Oklahoma, revealing a vertical profile of the troposphere. The
environmental temperature with height is in red. The parcel temperature, analogous to
the hot air balloon, is the dotted line. Notice that the parcel temperature is much greater
than the environmental temperature. This means that air originating from the ground will
rise with great force once the environmental temperature is cool enough. The total difference
in the two temperature traces is known as the Convective Available Potential Energy,
or CAPE. The area between the two temperature traces determines the value of CAPE.
All of this energy is contained by a warm, dry layer of air known as the “the cap”.
This layer of air originates in the Desert Southwest. It prevents thunderstorm development
through most of the day, generally until peak heating. When it breaks, it breaks explosively
– similar to the effect of removing a lid from a boiling pot of water. The combination of rich, Gulf moisture with
cool, dry air above has led to the development of extreme instability. CAPE values reach
as high as 6000 j/kg in SW OK. A surface low pressure has formed over southwestern
Oklahoma, backing the flow in central Oklahoma from south to southeast. In addition to strengthening
convergence in southwestern Oklahoma that may lead to the initiation of thunderstorms,
this is also increasing the turning with height in the troposphere, leading to stronger vertical
wind shear. In the middle troposphere, winds are from
the west and southwest – generally above 40 kts over the Southern Plains. Combined with the backed surface flow, this
has led to the development of deep layer shear more than 40 kts. Given the extreme instability,
conditions have become more than sufficient for rotating thunderstorms. To illustrate,
we turn to the paddle wheel. If water at the top a paddle wheel is flowing quickly, and water at the bottom is flowing
slowly, the paddle wheel will tend to rotate. This effect also occurs in the atmosphere,
since air is a fluid. Here is an image from a developing thunderstorm on a day when tornadoes
occurred nearby. The winds at the top of this towering cumulus are much stronger than at
the bottom. This causes the developing storm to lean downshear. Unseen by the eye are numerous
horizontal circulations. The formation of supercell thunderstorms –
from which tornadoes develop – begins with these horizontal circulations, created by
differences in wind speed and direction with height. When a developing thunderstorm updraft encounters
a circulation, the circulation is tilted upward by the updraft into the shape of a horseshoe.
This creates circulations spinning opposite directions. The northern circulation spins
clockwise, and the southern spins counterclockwise. The wind pattern often favors strengthening
of the southern circulation, while the northern circulation tends to dissipate. The southern
updraft continues to strengthen as an adjacent downdraft forms -created (in part) by precipitation.
This precipitation is wrapped around the updraft, creating the characteristic hook echo. A supercell
is born. The stage is set for intense supercells. A
stationary boundary – generated by previous convection is positioned over Interstate 40
in central Oklahoma. It is adding fuel to the proverbial fire: it is simultaneously
enhancing the low-level shear while creating a focus for convective initiation at its intersection
with the dryline. Visible satellite imagery shows partly cloudy
skies in central Oklahoma, warming the air near the stationary boundary, providing power
for explosive updrafts. It is 4 p.m. The atmosphere is primed for
the development of intense thunderstorms. Radar shows a number of attempts at thunderstorm
initiation west of Oklahoma City, but as of yet, nothing has developed. However, on the ground, cumulus clouds are seen towering high just west of Oklahoma City,
indicating that thunderstorms will initiate soon. Storm chasers are beginning to
converge in the small town of El Reno, as the location of key boundaries strongly hints
that it will be ground zero. Around 4:30, the capping inversion – the
layer of warm air that often suppresses storm development in the Plains – breaks in a northeast
to southwest line about 50 miles west of Oklahoma City. Several storms rapidly form, reaching heights well above 50,000 feet. Still, considerable
uncertainty remains concerning which storm, or storms, will dominate. This storm, approximately 15 miles west-southwest
of Calumet, quickly develops mid-level rotation. Radial velocity shows a weak – but classic
– rotational signature, about 10 miles west of El Reno. At the ground, storm observers note a rapidly
rotating wall cloud just south of the interstate. The National Weather Service issues a tornado
warning. Unconfirmed reports of a large tornado are hitting the TV airways. Just as this storm is approaching maturity,
another storm develops to its south, merges and begins to rotate. Shortly after 6 p.m., a vigorous circulation
develops rapidly 10 miles southwest of El Reno. From the ground this circulation is seen as
another large, rapidly rotating wall cloud. Within two minutes of its development, a ground
circulation develops. The El Reno tornado has begun. The tornado immediately shows strong multiple-vortex
structure. The Tempest Tour group is located southeast
of the tornado – a traditionally safe spot – if a tornado is moving northeast. The tornado does not initially appear to deviate
from the expected motion – to the east. It also doesnít appear very close: an illusion
created by the low-hanging cloud base. Subvortices appear as well. But instead of moving left
to right, they appear to move closer to the photographer. The tour leader begins to
sense danger, and signals his tour members to come back to the vehicle. The tornado does
not appear very large, but the entire circulation is almost a half-mile across. The tourists
frantically make their way back to the vehicle as the tornado rapidly closes on their location.
The tourists enter their vehicle, and are barely able to escape – the widening tornado
can be seen from a rear-view camera. It is about 6:06 p.m. The Tempest Tour group
is making their escape just south of the tornado. Meanwhile, Brandon Sullivan and Brett Wright
are stopped along Chiles Road, just south of Reno Street, filming the developing tornado
to their west. The tornado appears to be a half-mile away,
which should leave enough time for a safe escape. What they don’t realize is that the
tornado has expanded to 3/4 of a mile wide, and the forward speed has increased to 35
mph. The edge of the tornadic wind field is close – and closing. Realizing the danger,
Sullivan and Wright begin to pack up their gear. Sullivan and Wright head south. They realize
the tornado is much closer and they make a frantic escape. They are overtaken by the
outer edge of the tornado. They survive without injury. Meanwhile, Dave Demko and Heidi Farrar
are observing the tornado a few miles to the north. Demko and Farrar are in the notch – the space
in between the large hail to the north and the tornado to the south. The storm is high
precipitation in character, and so it is difficult to see the tornado – especially from the
north. Not knowing the exact size and movement of the tornado, they begin to worry about
where to go. They agree to bail west. While Demko and Farrar are observing the widening
tornado from the north, Skip Talbot and Jenn Brindley are observing the approaching tornado
from the east. The time is 6:13 p.m. From their location,
the tornado is difficult to see because of the rain. Talbot notices very fast-moving
rain curtains – very close – and decides it’s time to bail east. From Talbot and Brindley’s location, the
condensation funnel is faintly visible The visible funnel is approximately 0.3 miles
wide. The tornado width – based on mobile radar data – is about 1.6 miles in diameter, noted by the
red circle. Thus, the area occupied by the full tornadic windfield is more than 10 times
larger than its condensation funnel. In this modified version of Talbot’s video,
you can see how large the tornadic windfield is compared to the condensation funnel. Now realizing the imminent threat, Talbot
and Brindley retreat east on 15th Street, the tornado keeping pace at a blistering 45
mph. While they are fleeing, Ray Bohac and his
crew are following the tornado on Reno, just a few miles northwest of Talbot and Brindley. They watch as the large tornado intensifies
in front of them. It is 6:15. The tornado is difficult to see, enshrouded by rain and
debris. Suddenly, two more tornadoes appear: satellites. These tornadoes are 1/4 to 1/2 mile
from the edge of the main tornado. These tornadoes spin about the main funnel in a counter-clockwise
orbit. It is 6:18. A Weather Channel crew, led by
Mike Bettes, is racing south down HW 81. Meanwhile, Richard Henderson is trying to beat the tornado
to the east, his progress delayed by a chaser traffic jam. Near the intersection of 15th Street with
Highway 81, the tornado appears as a wall of condensation. Mikey Gribble shoots video to the west along
15th Street as the Weather Channel crew is frantically attempting to get past the tornado
a mile to his west. They do not make it. While the Weather Channel is attempting to
outrace the tornado, Richard Henderson continues east on Reno, hoping to beat the tornado to
the east. Hindered by the blinding rain and powerful winds, Henderson stops. With brutal
force, the tornado overtakes him. He does not survive. The lead car of the Weather Channel crew is
hit by a sub-vortex within the larger tornado, and their vehicle is rolled almost 200 yards.
The car is badly damaged, and all airbags are deployed. Amazingly, all of the team’s
crew members have survived with non-serious injuries. As the Weather Channel crew is getting hit,
Dan Robinson is heading east on Reuter Road, just west of Highway 81. He briefly considers
heading south, but realizes there isn’t enough time. The tornado is moving fast – much faster
than expected. Robinson decides to continue heading east on Reuter. Unknown to Robinson at the time, a white Chevy
Cobalt is following him. In it are Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young. As Robinson crosses HW 81, he approaches Alfadale
Road and realizes that something is wrong – terribly wrong. The time is 6:20. Rain curtains – associated
with the tornadic circulation – begin to envelop his vehicle. The winds become much
stronger, too Though the main condensation funnel is still
a mile away, Robinson is overtaken by the invisible edge of the tornado. Robinson’s
4-cylinder vehicle struggles to go eastward against strong east and northeasterly winds. The wind slows down Robinson’s attempt to escape the
approaching tornado. Visibility is very low, as dust and precipitation
bands periodically hide the road in front of him. The tornado is just to Robinson’s
south. To make matters worse, the traction control on his Toyota Yaris engages, reducing power to his wheels. Robinson struggles
to stay on the road. Not long after passing Radio Road, Robinson clears the future path
of the core flow – with winds now approaching 300 mph. Less than a half mile behind Robinson, a powerful
subvortex is swinging northwest toward Reuter. In the direct path, the TWISTEX crew is riding
out the storm alongside the road near a creek. The vortex briefly stalls over their Chevy
Cobalt. It tumbles over 5 times. They do not survive. The tornado continues to head north. The forward
speed of the tornado slows down to less than 10 mph. The tornado becomes increasingly wrapped
in rain. Meanwhile, at 6:41, Skip Talbot spots another
tornado approximately 5 miles to the southeast of the main tornado. This tornado, though, is spinning clockwise,
or anticyclonically. Though only a couple hundred yards in diameter this tornado is
powerful, with peak winds approaching 150 mph. Finally, at 6:43 pm, the tornado dissipates
near the intersection of I-40 and Banner Road. Several lessons have re-emerged from this
tragic event. It is our hope that these will lower the probability of another chasing or
spotting tragedy. First, tornado motion is always unpredictable
– even for big tornadoes. They don’t move in straight lines or at constant speed. And
it’s often difficult to tell where a tornado is moving.
The El Reno tornado changed directions over 360 degrees. Thus, if you were close, there
was no safe spot, regardless of what direction the tornado had been moving.
Additionally, the range of speeds in the El Reno tornado was enormous – from nearly stationary
to over 55 mph. Near Highway 81, the tornado doubled its speed – from 25 to 50 mph in
5 minutes. If you can’t see the tornado – as was the
case with Dan Robinson and the TWISTEX chase team north of the tornado – you may be in
mortal danger. Sudden turns can and do happen. Tornadoes can expand rapidly. From 6:05 to
6:10 – when Brandon Sullivan and Brett Wright stopped to shoot video along Chiles
Road – the width of the tornado increased from 6/10 of a mile to 1.2 miles wide! Making
a close approach to a tornado can be very dangerous – and potentially deadly. A tornado is often larger than its condensation funnel – in some cases, much larger. Skip
Talbot’s view of the tornado at 6:13 demonstrates this quite well. The tornado appeared to be
1/3 of a mile wide, but the tornadic wind field was well over a mile wide.
In the case of the TWISTEX group, it is quite likely that they thought they had more time
to escape the tornado than they actually had, since the outer edges of the tornado were
not visible. However, the easterly winds inside the uncondensed tornadic circulation were
powerful enough to hinder their escape on Reuter, resulting in tragedy. When big tornadoes occur, they are often accompanied by other tornadoes. These additional tornadoes
present a big problem for those trying to observe storms safely.
The first type is the satellite tornado. At 6:15 p.m., multiple satellite tornadoes were
observed on the west and south side of the El Reno tornado. These tornadoes generally
occur within a mile of the main tornado in any direction. Close observers are particularly
vulnerable to this type of tornado. The second type is the anticyclonic tornado. This type
of tornado spins in the opposite direction of the main tornado. While the El Reno tornado
was wrapped in rain near I-40, a powerful anticyclonic tornado – with winds up to 150
mph – developed to the southeast of the main tornado. Typically, these tornadoes form to
the right of the hook echo, a fair distance away from the main cyclonic tornado. The final
type of danger comes from new tornadoes forming in new circulations within the parent thunderstorm.
They generally form downstream of the existing tornado. The “notch” of a high precipitation supercell is extremely dangerous. It is why “core punching” – approaching the tornado from the rain and
hail – is so perilous. This is the area of the storm immediately
to the left of the tornado, and just to the right of the large hail. Those in the notch are in danger of the sharp
left turns that tornadoes often make when they are dissipating. If the tornado can be seen, successful escapes
can be made. However, heavy rain may hide the tornado. In that case, radar updates may
be the only way of knowing where the tornado is located.
But in the case of the El Reno storm, the tornado moved 2 miles north in less than 5
minutes – less than the interval of a WSR-88D volume scan. Additionally, the radar cannot
pinpoint the exact location of the tornado with certainty. So you should not depend on radar to know
where the tornado is. And even if the position of a tornado is known,
strong inflow winds may hinder a quick escape. This almost certainly was the case for the
TWISTEX team on Reuter Road. As mentioned previously, new tornadoes are
always a danger in the notch And, of course, there’s the lesser threat
of very large, glass-breaking hail in the core of the storm. In the path of an approaching tornado, a quick escape may not be possible. A lack of good
road options, poor road conditions, or even traffic may hinder a safe escape. And in the
case of the El Reno tornado, numerous traffic jams were reported. It appears that these
traffic jams may have resulted in the deaths of at least 3 people in 3 different cars. Based on these lessons, we suggest that storm
spotters and chasers place more distance between themselves and the tornado – especially on
days when parameters are particularly volatile. When the instability and shear combination
is high, the storm evolution may occur more quickly, decreasing the margin for error.
Moreover, given the rarity of the ingredients that produced the El Reno tornado, storm behavior
may differ greatly from more “normal” tornado days. For example, on June 8th, 1995, a very
large tornado accelerated to nearly 60 mph near Allison, TX, before slowing down to nearly
stationary. You may have seen videos of people who escaped death and serious injury when their vehicles
were hit by the El Reno tornado. But it’s critical to remember that in most of those
cases, the vehicles in most of were not impacted by the strongest winds in the tornado. It
is possible that this has resulted in a false sense of security within the storm observing
community. The most powerful winds in a tornado are located in sub-vortices, which are smaller tornadoes
within the larger circulation. These are the vortices responsible for leveling one house,
but leaving a house next door unscathed. Given the small area they occupy, the probability
of being hit is actually rather low. However, as the number of close encounters increase,
the odds increase that more chasers will encounter these deadly winds. This is especially true
now given the growing trend of “extreme” chasing. Remember that no footage, report, or data is worth your life. Of the 8 deaths in the
tornado, at least 4 were chasers. The number of chasers that were killed, injured, or narrowly
escaped was far larger than any other documented tornado. There will always be more storms.

El Reno: Lessons From the Most Dangerous Tornado in Storm Observing History
Tagged on:                                             

100 thoughts on “El Reno: Lessons From the Most Dangerous Tornado in Storm Observing History

  • June 1, 2019 at 7:37 pm
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    So, of the 8 people killed, 4 were storm chasers? 🤦‍♂️ That’s bad PR.

    Reply
  • June 3, 2019 at 11:33 pm
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    Thank you. This was very informative. My family and I just experienced the Memorial Day Tornado outbreak in Dayton, OH. We were spared, but sitting in the center bathroom, as an EF4 passed within 1/2 mile, was an experience I hope that I never repeat in my grandson's lifetime.

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  • June 4, 2019 at 5:53 am
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    This truly was a Storm like no other that Produced a Tornado like no other. I hope that a Tornado like this never comes around again

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  • June 4, 2019 at 10:02 am
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    the tri-state tornado was the worst one in history and the most deadly

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  • June 4, 2019 at 4:55 pm
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    Thank you so much for your efforts.

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  • June 5, 2019 at 6:10 pm
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    Excellent… Definitely one if the best, and most informative videos on this subject.

    Reply
  • June 6, 2019 at 2:41 am
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    I forgot the man's name I heard this from, but a tornado is rapidly moving WIND. It's invisible, and that is what is really dangerous and scary about them.

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  • June 6, 2019 at 6:53 am
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    Should be mandatory that all chase vehicles be equipped with roll cages and 5 point harnesses.

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  • June 6, 2019 at 9:05 am
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    I just want to say I live in el reno Oklahoma and the was the first time I've genuinely been afraid of being killed in my life

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  • June 6, 2019 at 6:59 pm
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    To the folks complaining about the Cobalt, it wasn't the vehicle they normally used.

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  • June 6, 2019 at 7:34 pm
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    Credit to you for mentioning Richard Henderson. Most of these documentaries dont even mention the gentleman like he's less then human.

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  • June 7, 2019 at 7:02 am
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    I wonder if some of them could have made it if they would have moved straight South as fast as possible

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  • June 8, 2019 at 7:37 am
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    What purpose do these storm chaser serve other than to get a personal adrenaline rush? I feel that they not only put themselves in danger, but other people trying to flee the tornado. The day is coming when states will outlaw these thrill seekers. We have more than enough tornado footage!

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  • June 8, 2019 at 1:39 pm
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    Rip to the 8. ESP the storm chasers willing to risk themselves in the name of science and saving lives. RIP

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  • June 9, 2019 at 1:17 pm
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    Yea so it’s 347degrees in Texas right now

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  • June 12, 2019 at 8:03 am
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    I agree with so many of these comments… This is the only educational video I've ever seen, and I've watched thousands of tornado videos.. And this is the first that explains the way a tornado forms in an understandable educational yet still fascinatingly exciting way. He's calm yet he puts emphasis on the really frightening truths behind the science of severe thunderstorms that produce enormous tornados. Great video thank you!❤

    Reply
  • June 13, 2019 at 4:21 pm
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    Fantastic report! Interesting, informative, clear and perfectly paced. Thank you!

    Reply
  • June 13, 2019 at 8:17 pm
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    I was a weather forecaster for 35 years. I taught severe weather and analysis for the DoD's Weather Training Division, for about eight years. I worked with Dr. Miller, and Charlie Crisp at AFGWC in the '70's. I have a thorough knowledge of AWSTR-200, and can recite, at length, all of the parameters needed for type A, B, C, and D severe weather patterns, and their associated type I, II and III airmasses. This is reasonably well done. Perhaps a little big of info on the tilted UC allowing for the largest hail (if any) falling immediately downwind of the UC. Useful for the layman, to know when to get their butts inside!

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  • June 14, 2019 at 6:22 am
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    Had I been out there, it would have killed me as well. I'd have set up to the south and been caught in the strongest winds. El Reno is a humbling lesson for us chasers.

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  • June 14, 2019 at 12:46 pm
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    Stop chemtrails….✌

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  • June 14, 2019 at 1:59 pm
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    I'm sorry but y'all who chase storms need to not bring 4 cylinder cars. You might as well be riding a bicycle. Jeez.

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  • June 14, 2019 at 8:46 pm
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    WATS THE PINK ONE D:

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  • June 15, 2019 at 4:22 am
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    You should never enter a war zone in a 4 cylinder car, its a game of odds, percentages and luck

    Reply
  • June 15, 2019 at 7:49 pm
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    If the tornado funnel is .3 miles wide then how the fuck is the tornado 1 mile wide?

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  • June 16, 2019 at 12:07 am
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    LOL CHEVY COBALT ???? WHY NOT AN ARMORED PLATED HUM V

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  • June 16, 2019 at 10:10 pm
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    We got lucky that the tornado went around El reno. Otherwise it would have been destroyed.

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  • June 18, 2019 at 3:54 pm
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    It was tracking southeast and then turned left, thats when these poor guys were trapped! RIP Tim, Paul and Carl

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  • June 18, 2019 at 4:20 pm
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    We have a saying in wildlands firefighting: there is no such thing as a ’controlled burn’. Likewise, there is no such thing as a safe place near a tornado.

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  • June 19, 2019 at 9:18 pm
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    That is a ef2

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  • June 20, 2019 at 3:42 am
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    What I like is that the headers on the videos of the tornados are showing the direction the cameras are pointing in some of the descriptions. I think all chasers should note what direction they are pointing their cameras for viewer interpretation and study

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  • June 20, 2019 at 6:22 am
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    Good god. This thing was an absolute monster.

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  • June 21, 2019 at 3:30 am
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    Its real simple if u play with fire you will get burnt. If u play with ef5s your playing with death

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  • June 21, 2019 at 6:08 am
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    Why do ppl use these little cars with no power nor do they do anything to give the vehicles power🤦🏾‍♀️. I would never chase a tornado in a 4cly. What about a roll cage? No . . Nope oh ok the logic behind these chasers 🤦🏾‍♀️. This is all just for fun now and days we have enough on tornadoes TAKE COVER. I just will never understand why there aren't tornadoes shelters standard everywhere. Good document 😁

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  • June 22, 2019 at 9:40 am
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    I came for a montage of tornado videos, stayed for the science. You helped me understand a lot of what I didn't before. Good job man, superb narration and excellent ability to break down facts in a comprehensible manner.

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  • June 22, 2019 at 11:39 am
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    Chasing for fun and profit (storm tourism) should be illegal. It is most certainly immoral. If you aren't an accredited researcher or NWS affiliated storm spotter you have no business out there.

    Reply
  • June 22, 2019 at 6:38 pm
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    Here's what we have learned here at Farmer Joe's University: There's egghead science, and then there's common sense science. Egghead science says, "My formulas, my computer, and my vastly superior intellect are the master of Nature." Common sense science says, Rule #1: "Ya don't EVER mess with large wild animals, forest fires, and big storms (of ANY variety)." And Farmer Joe's University Rule #2: "Don't EVER go challenging Mother Nature in a 4-banger!"

    Reply
  • June 23, 2019 at 6:47 am
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    10:23 the way he drops, even the shot before… you know shit’s about to get real

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  • June 23, 2019 at 2:35 pm
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    Stupid fucks, thinking they can ((PREDICT)) what MOTHER NATURE is gonna do,
    HA HA HA HA !
    Weather Does Whatever The Fuck It Wants!
    I've seen this assholes say their was a tornado when their wasn't so to listen to these dicks is MUTE! (unless, they have eyes on it)

    Reply
  • June 23, 2019 at 6:50 pm
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    Poor guy is chasing a tornado in a Toyota Yaris… WTF?

    Reply
  • June 23, 2019 at 11:41 pm
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    TORNADO 🌪

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  • June 24, 2019 at 12:45 am
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    Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras and fellow storm chaser Carl Young

    Reply
  • June 24, 2019 at 4:25 pm
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    Two tornadoes! Dead man walking! ;(

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  • June 25, 2019 at 6:05 am
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    An EF-6 tornado should be designated at 300+ MPH!

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  • June 28, 2019 at 11:55 am
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    I live in El Reno Oklahoma

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  • June 28, 2019 at 9:22 pm
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    yeah weil fuck these guys for acting like Tim was some ignorant guy who wanted to see a tornado
    he was a consummate inventor and scientist who learned more about tornadoes than all those pussies with convoys of radars and data gathering equipment
    and his emphasis was ALWAYS on safety

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  • June 28, 2019 at 9:22 pm
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    yeah weil fuck these guys for acting like Tim was some ignorant guy who wanted to see a tornado
    he was a consummate inventor and scientist who learned more about tornadoes than all those pussies with convoys of radars and data gathering equipment
    and his emphasis was ALWAYS on safety

    Reply
  • June 30, 2019 at 1:06 am
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    Have a faster car than a Toyota yaris is what i gathered…..a Tahoe would fare much better in my opinion

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  • June 30, 2019 at 4:05 am
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    Great video and great info! Tornado crews need to rent an m1 abrams tank, load the cannon with all their sensors and scientific bullshit, drive right into the center of that son of a bitch and declare victory over mother nature. We have the technology, who has the cahones? 300mph winds vs 60 tons and reinforced steel… I'll take those odds.

    Reply
  • June 30, 2019 at 1:41 pm
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    One thing I never understood about storm chasers is why they always have crappy vehicles. Has it occurred to any of them to consider a vehicle that would be far better suited to that task? More power, more off road capability, etc. I mean, at a minimum have at least a turbo charged Subaru.

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  • June 30, 2019 at 6:33 pm
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    Hands-down the best video on the El Reno tornado… educational, footage from all the players involved that day, facts and figures even tips and advice all rolled up in an interesting all-around video that can be viewed and most importantly learned from. Great job guys!! And R.I.P. to the 4 tornado chasers who lost their precious lives that day along with the other 4 ppl🙏🏼⛈⚡🌪❤

    Reply
  • June 30, 2019 at 9:28 pm
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    It was said in may 2011 there would be a tornado in elreno and 4 other locations. Prediction proved to be true.

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  • July 2, 2019 at 2:01 am
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    It kind of irks me to think that there are traffic jams caused by storm chasers when you think that people that live or work in the path may be trying to escape. The last video I watched, they were driving really fast in the middle of a country, hilly road. A person driving the other direction would have likely been hit. I guess I'm part of the problem by watching them.

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  • July 3, 2019 at 12:40 am
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    Never chase monster's in a 4 banger.

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  • July 4, 2019 at 6:38 pm
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    What an impressive, beautifully made video. The layered maps and chaser positions are awesome! Thanks for posting this!

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  • July 5, 2019 at 6:22 am
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    I think there are a lot of channels that do this.

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  • July 7, 2019 at 12:25 am
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    Dan was ahead of Tim. How did Dan's Yaris remain intact? (Except for the rear window and, I think, a windshield wiper.)

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  • July 7, 2019 at 8:33 pm
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    Jesus Christ is the Son of the Almighty God Yahweh he died on the Cross for our Sins And was resurected on the third Day Jesus Christ and the Almighty God Jahweh are one We are all sinners The loan of the sin is the death Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, If you believe in him you are Saved Pray to Jesus Christ, confess your sins, ask for forgiveness, thank for food and drink and everything you have If you dont believe in Jesus Christ you will be Judged for your Sins Follow Jesus Christ and do what is right, Love one another and stop with Sin

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  • July 8, 2019 at 7:54 am
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    They never considered going north? Why?

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  • July 8, 2019 at 4:52 pm
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    I agree with most comments. This was a good video. I hope to chase one day. I have never seen a tornado personally and I really want to. I have been in 3 hurricanes with 1 being a major storm. I loved every second of it.

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  • July 9, 2019 at 8:14 pm
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    Why was this tornado downgraded to EF3? They need to revise the scale again. Not always is a mobile radar available, but when they are, it should keep the rating. 300MPH is no EF3…. Same would go to the sulphur tornado of 2016.. that literally took on the same shape and rotation intensity as May 3rd.

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  • July 9, 2019 at 8:54 pm
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    A fucking Yaris?!

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  • July 10, 2019 at 3:37 am
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    This video should be a mandatory watch for beginning chasers and "weekend warrior" chasers. A few months ago, during one of the big outbreaks here in the SE (seems to be pretty common now) my family and I got caught trying to drive from Waynesboro GA to Albany GA. We spent the 7 hr drive (should have been less) dodging developing cells throughout GA, couldnt go towards Dublin and Macon due to constant forming rotations. Dodged one that hit north of Hazelhurst (got pics but it was never reported), dodged what I'm sure was one outside of Fitzgerald (strong North to South cross winds toward a clay colored cloud to our south with frontal line moving ENE)…I had to get the wife to pull over and let me drive, she was getting too shaken up after dodging the first warning outside of Waynesboro. We could tell when something was wrong because our dog would start going crazy in the back of our SUV. We continually had to cut SE to dodge rotations/warnings, until we saw a hole to fly through on the radar.

    What I learned that day:

    1 Let your driver drive and make your driver the calm one. They will be the one you count on most. Experience with rough terrain and poor environmental factors is paramount. My wife doesn't like to speed and gets worried in the rain. Dont think you're missing out by driving, THAT is the important job. Other jobs in a crew can fail and put you in a tight spot, but a good driver may save you when all else fails.

    2 Tech WILL FAIL. That day, google maps failed us and almost got us hurt. I was having her keep up with warnings and radar, while I was trying to navigate. Now, all we had were smart phones…not the greatest imagery there. Google maps stopped showing town names and road labels. I couldnt tell where we were, only where cells were headed. I was having to watch the clouds and use signs, the old fashioned way. Basically, know your areas before heading out. Study your region and its roadways.

    We were within a 1/2 mile from the long track F3 that hit SW GA (Albany area). Things went from, "yeah, that is definitely rotation," to "oh hell, it's on the other side of those trees!" VERY quickly. Matter of 30-60 seconds actually. If we would have been in its path at all, we would have been stuck. It instantly tore down powerlines and poles a full 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from the actual funnel and blocked roads. You are NEVER 100% safe, unless you're not there at all. Never let your guard down.

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  • July 11, 2019 at 3:47 am
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    That’s why you should live in northeast Oklahoma

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  • July 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm
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    Well at least this one didn't happen under Trump's Tornado watch, or he would have been blamed for the deaths of some of the weather media

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  • July 11, 2019 at 11:39 pm
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    Perhaps some of you out there can explain this to me and if so, thank you. How do we know the Twistex team decided to "ride out the storm" as the video suggests? By Dan Robinson's own admission, the Twistex car was right behind him as they continued on to Reuter Road, and after reviewing his footage did note they slowly fell behind. Yet I've not heard any source provide a concrete explanation as to why this happened. Was there audio of the discussion Tim, Carl and Paul may have had just before being overtaken that explained this? It's all been speculation from what I know. Did they hesitate as Robinson personally thinks? Did the car have a mechanical failure of some kind? Side note at 16:05 there is an error. The Bettesmobile was not the lead car in the Weather Channel convoy, that was a car driven by Kevin Parrish. Mike Bettes's car was second, followed by a SAT truck.

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  • July 12, 2019 at 4:26 am
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    Excellent video and information! Excellent teaching tool! And thank you for remembering those lost during this powerful storm.

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  • July 12, 2019 at 5:52 am
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    In tornado valley, the tornado chases you.

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  • July 12, 2019 at 6:12 pm
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    man to bad the tiv 2 wasn't there for the tornado it would be pretty cool

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  • July 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm
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    Having studied Meteorology as an amateur for about 50 years, I found this YERY educational, informative, and a hundred times better than anything one sees on the evening forecast. 🌪🌪🌪

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  • July 14, 2019 at 10:45 am
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    So if there is no rfd with a storm. Is that storm using all that unexpended energy in the up draft?

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  • July 14, 2019 at 9:22 pm
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    I still want to know where the storm is, an approximately where the tornado is, so I can seek shelter. I do rely on the radar, but I get from this video, that the radar doesn't show everything, and that the tornado is larger than the condensation cloud, and that individual vortices are orbiting the center of the tornado.

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  • July 14, 2019 at 10:22 pm
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    Fantastic documentary account of the el Reno tornado. Four things that strike me as potential safety measures that professional storm chasers should consider adopting. One get a powerful car capable of speeds in excess of 100 mph. I am not saying I want to see storm chasers driving at those speeds on public highways but when it is a matter of life and death then I am okay with it. It's clear, under powered cars are a serious risk to storm chasers. Two, professional storm chasers should have roll cages built into their vehicles and employ NASCAR safety features to protect them if their cars get tossed, features which would prevent physical injury and dangers like breaking one's neck. NASCAR neck gear prevent such injuries.. Three, there are bulletproof, clear laminates that can keep glass from breaking. There used to be a Canadian company called ACE that provided this type of clear laminate to the military that could stop a 50 cal. bullet. They also applied it to the metal skin of the vehicles. And last but not least, Number Four, every professional storm chasing vehicle should equip their chase vehicle with the same portable radar that sailing yachts employ. They are not cheap but they provide excellent, real time pictures of emerging weather and physical objects (like debris fields and large hail). Each of these measures could save lives in extreme situations.

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  • July 15, 2019 at 6:14 pm
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    Les son to Jakich zart ze Strony niemcow

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  • July 19, 2019 at 9:53 pm
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    I hate that you said this wasn’t worth them losing their lives, this information will save thousands of people, I believe when people die to help save others it’s the greatest gift I person can give. He wasn’t just chasing storms he was a SCIENTIST.

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  • July 23, 2019 at 12:40 pm
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    Finally, the science behind the hype. Thanks for doing this vid.

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  • July 24, 2019 at 6:22 am
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    Why don't these full time chasers have roll cages in their vehicles? "If" you chase tornadoes every year (regularly, like many of these chasers), I don't understand why they don't have a roll cage in their car (just like what is required at the drag strip when your car can run the 1/4 mile in less than 11.5 seconds. A roll cage would save lives and they are relatively inexpensive for the protection they offer. "If" I became a serious tornado chaser, I would get a roll cage put in my car, truck, or SUV. A roll cage would have saved these chasers lives. It prevents the cabin of the vehicle from crushing you. In addition, better seats and seat belts like the ones required in drag racing. I know the average person isn't going to do this. But the full time chasers (scientists), I don't understand why they don't?

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  • July 25, 2019 at 2:55 am
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    Lesson learned: Don't go chasing tornadoes.

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  • July 28, 2019 at 4:33 am
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    All u supposed scientists and nobody questions how a storm just appears in a unified line, w clear frequency patterns in it… WeatherWar101 if u want real science

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  • July 31, 2019 at 5:14 pm
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    Very sobering but educationally entertaining video. I just hope our valuable storm-chasers take note of your findings, advice, wisdom and wise words.

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  • August 1, 2019 at 2:46 am
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    Powerful documentary. Thanks for creating this.

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  • August 9, 2019 at 1:34 am
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    This is a brilliantly produced and highly informative and important video — thank you for this. I was particularly interested in the information about energy density expressed in J/kg — I've never seen any weather phenomenon described with respect to energy like this. I would like to see a more detailed explanation of what this energy is and how it relates to storm power or effect.

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  • August 10, 2019 at 2:26 pm
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    DO NOT RIDE OUT A TORNADO IN A CHEVY COBALT!

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  • August 11, 2019 at 12:33 am
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    I know this was an attempt to gain sympathy for chasers who have passed but I felt none.
    These idiots put themselves in harms way and deserved their terrifying grisly fate.

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  • August 11, 2019 at 4:20 am
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    Superb video.

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  • August 11, 2019 at 6:32 pm
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    11:20 did anyone else think that fly was on their screen? I jumped a little

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  • August 13, 2019 at 10:18 am
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    The lesson is simple: don't storm chase. It's pointless, it doesn't advance science, and it's a behavior only pursued due to a combination of arrogance, thrill seeking, and self-promotion. These guys had it coming.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 8:51 pm
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    theres literally a tornado going on right next door as i watch this

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  • August 17, 2019 at 3:58 am
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    Is that Pecos Hank narrating?

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  • August 17, 2019 at 5:18 pm
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    Why auto captions?

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  • August 22, 2019 at 1:00 pm
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    live this video how everything goes. rip tim his son other guy. but that chance u take chasing honestly u never know. never take day for granted could be your last.

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  • August 26, 2019 at 5:36 pm
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    "No footage or data is worth your life" Tell Basehunters that one. That kid puts everyone's life in danger simply for the photography. What an idiot!

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  • August 31, 2019 at 7:30 am
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    Storm chasers think they know what tornadoes are doing but they don't, time to understand that nature decides what she wants to do, not what you want, I've always known that. Glad I'm an Ohio Valley storm chaser that knows this threat

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  • September 1, 2019 at 5:07 am
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    "Tornado hunt" truck: NO ROLLCAGE, NO BULLETPROOF GLASS, NO PUNCTURE PROOF TIRES, NO REINFORCEMENTS, NADA. yup. Toyota Yaris on STREET TIRES, TRACTION CONTROL ENGAGED… A cobalt… Basically, a bunch of unprepared yahoos. Sorry, not trying to be an ass, and RIP, but yeah.

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  • September 3, 2019 at 2:49 am
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    its not trope its trop say it right

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  • September 3, 2019 at 7:59 pm
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    Great job narrating! I remember this. Of course I’m watching many videos since I’m in Melbourne FL anxious about Dorian’s approach 😬

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  • September 3, 2019 at 10:54 pm
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    What I learned is to not go storm chasing. I value my life.

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  • September 16, 2019 at 6:59 am
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    Install drag racing roll cages! They're for crashing at 150mph or more.

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  • September 16, 2019 at 4:43 pm
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    "oh his toyota Yaris" me, owning a Yaris ohhhhhh shit.

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  • September 20, 2019 at 7:13 pm
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    The airport user its radar to stop it. This isn't new but kept secret because they don't want to spend money on huge radar stations everywhere and insurance companies need your fear to make money.

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