Storm Chaser Recalls Getting Blasted By Gigantic Goshen County Tornado

This story first appeared on Cowboy State Daily

By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

When it comes to meteorologists, there’s no one better than Don Day. 

He is the gold standard of weathermen. We are proud to feature him daily on Wyoming’s fastest growing digital newspaper (which you can subscribe to — for free — here).

The one thing that Don doesn’t do, however, is go out and chase tornados like the guys in the movie Twister.

Perhaps we can get him to do that this tornado season if we try hard enough.

If not, we’ll have to watch our second favorite meteorologist, Reed Timmer. 

Cowboy State Daily followed him last year when he was tracking tornadic storms in Wyoming and it was fascinating.

Our friend Doc Holliday at MyCountry 95.5 is a fan of Timmer as well.  He pointed out that Timmer shared some classic Wyoming tornado footage three days ago. We checked it out. It’s fantastic.

If you love storm chasers — and we do — you’ll love this clip of a Goshen County tornado on June 5, 2009.

As you may recall, we did a story on the Wyoming wind two days ago noting that not one community in Wyoming had a wind gust topping 100mph so really, in Wyoming terms, it was just breezy.

Timmer’s video from 12 years ago was the real stuff. They recorded a wind gust that is classified as “catastrophic” — a real Category 5 hurricane wind speed. 155.2mph.

The banter between the tornado intercept teams is entertainment and frankly unbelievable.

“The driver at the time nearly overshot the tornado but thankfully it turned southeast and made a direct impact on Dominator 1,” Timmer said, recalling the day.

By the way, “Dominator 1” is the name of the tornado chase vehicle. Of course, it’s named Dominator.

These guys aren’t interested in merely taking video of tornados. They want to “get in” the tornado.

When they sense they can “get in” the tornado, you can hear them yelling: “We gotta go! We gotta go!”

Then they stop their vehicle right in its path and the craziness begins.

“Roll up the window! Roll up the window!”

“We’re in it [the tornado}!!”

As the tornado departs and they escaped somehow, you hear one team member laughing maniacally and then saying: “Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? That was insane!”

Awesome stuff. How they stay alive is a mystery. But they do and this video was shot nearly 12 years ago.

Next up, Don Day needs to build a transparent, tornado-proof pod and — just like the movie “Twister” — when the Dominator gets right next to the tornado, Don gets catapulted into it.

Then he could do his daily podcast from inside tornado. It’s a good idea.

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