Published May 28, 2013
A violent tornado ripped through Smith County, Kan., on May 27, 2013. Storm chasers Brandon Ivey, Sean Casey and Herb Stein were on the ground to intercept the tornado and capture footage.
The crew shot the footage from within a specially-designed tornado interception vehicle called a TIV2, which was built to withstand extreme winds. The vehicle has several unique safety features, such as the use of unbreakable, polycarbonate glass and hydraulic spikes which anchor the vehicle into the ground.
According to the crew, wind speeds were recorded at 150 to 174 miles per hour before the tornado ripped the instruments from the vehicle. If confirmed, this would give the tornado an EF-4 rating.
As of midday Tuesday, the National Weather Service was conducting damage surveys across parts of the area. No official tornado intensity rating or path information has been released.
"I've never seen footage from inside a tornado of this magnitude," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Jesse Ferrell said.
"This should fulfill Sean's dream. Even with the TIV, he's lucky to have survived to tell the story."
Disclaimer: Do not attempt. Storm chasing is extremely dangerous and can result in severe injury or death. The TIV2 was designed to withstand a tornado's winds; a normal vehicle would have been destroyed.