“About to run out of gas”. We’re guessing these are words you really don’t want to hear when you’re going head to head with a twister.
Fortunately, things turned out ok for a storm chasing crew filming a tornado in eastern Colorado last weekend.
Famed chaser Reed Timmer and team were perilously close to the EF2 twister that quickly grew in size and crossed an interstate just outside of Wray (west of Denver) on May 7th. You can hear the driver shout his concerns about running low on fuel at 3:30 in the video.
Then at 4:32 you can see what looks like more storm crews driving even closer towards the tornado as it crossed the highway.
It is pretty extreme stuff and to state the obvious, this is of course never something you should do on your own. This is incredibly dangerous even for trained, professional storm chasers. There’s a debate going on whether even they should be doing things like this.
At least five people were hurt in this storm.
Instead of chasing a tornado yourself, here’s what AccuWeather says you should do if you’re caught in severe weather:
- Never try to outrun a tornado. They can travel over 60 mph in any direction they choose. Driving on a 90-degree angle away from the tornado is a good strategy to follow in order to distance yourself from the tornado.
- If you see a tornado developing where you are driving, the best thing to do is to pull over and evacuate your vehicle. Seek shelter in the nearest sturdy building or storm shelter. If you can’t find one, find the nearest ditch or low-lying area and crouch low to the ground covering your head with your arms.
- Don’t hide under your car. The wind could potentially roll your car over.
- Don’t use underpasses for protection. They may seem like a safe place to hide, but they’re far from it. Winds from a tornado can accelerate through the small places of an underpass causing the potential for the underpass to collapse or your vehicle to be blown away.
Stay safe out there!