It takes a certain kind of person to drive headlong into a tornado and a certain kind of vehicle. Bob Redell hops inside the truck that's made for chasing tornadoes.
Nearly 80 people got to experience the wildest tornado storms from the edge of their seats at San Jose's Tech Museum Tuesday morning.
The museum screened "Tornado Alley," a new IMAX film by Sean Casey, a filmmaker and professional storm chaser, and his colleague Marcus Gutierrez.
The film depicts the adventures of the duo as they spend months chasing storms for scientific data across Tornado Alley, a group of Midwestern states that stretches from South Dakota to Texas. The area is known as the origin of some of the world's most violent tornadoes.
Casey, who also stars in the Discovery Channel's Storm Chaser series, carries out his search in the Tornado Intercept Vehicle, a 17,500-pound custom-built armor-plated tank.
The tank has wind-resistant flaps, anchor spikes, bullet-resistant windows and can withstand winds up to 190 mph. The vehicle's military-style turret allows Casey's crew to capture tornadoes from 360-degrees.
"It's like the Batmobile on steroids," said Roqua Montez, a spokesman for the museum.
Casey and Gutierrez made an appearance at the museum Tuesday morning to give guests a sneak peek of the new film and an opportunity for a dozen people to ride the TIV. Casey talked about his work and the science and technology behind understanding weather, patterns and safety issues during violent storms.