Tornado Alley

Note: This film is not currently playing at The Franklin Institute.

Note: The Tuttleman IMAX® Theater offers a 2D IMAX® experience.

A Thrilling Journey Into the Heart of the Storm

Join Storm Chasers star Sean Casey and the researchers of VORTEX2, the most ambitious effort ever made to understand the origins and evolution of tornadoes, on this heart-pounding science adventure. Armed with a 70mm camera, a fleet of customized vehicles designed to withstand gale-force winds, torrential rains, and unrelenting hail, and an arsenal of the most advanced weather measurement instruments ever created, the stars of Tornado Alley take audiences on a thrilling quest to experience a tornado's destructive power at point blank range. Experience the adrenaline and the science of nature's most dramatic phenomena!

Traversing the "severe weather capital of the world," Tornado Alley documents two unprecedented missions seeking to encounter one of Earth's most awe-inspiring events—the birth of a tornado. Filmmaker Sean Casey's personal quest to capture the birth of a tornado with a 70mm camera takes viewers on a breathtaking journey into the heart of the storm. A team of equally driven scientists, the VORTEX2 researchers, experience the relentless strength of nature's elemental forces as they literally surround tornadoes and the supercell storms that form them, gathering the most comprehensive severe weather data ever collected. This science adventure reveals the beauty and the power of some of our planet's most extreme—and least understood—weather phenomena.

Use the links below to learn more about the National Science Foundation's VORTEX2 project that is featured in the film.

About The Tornado Intercept Vehicle

"Tornado Alley" tells the story of stormchaser Sean Casey's quest to film the inside of a tornado. In order to get safely into position to do so, he designed and built his Tornado Intercept Vehicle which he nicknamed TIV.

The TIV began its life as a standard Dodge 3500 pickup truck before being enhanced to withstand tornado-force storms. To protect the safety of the team inside, Sean added bulletproof glass and armored steel plates. The turret at the top was designed especially for the IMAX® film camera that he would use to film tornadoes.

The TIV also has weather instruments mounted on it, including a wind direction vane, an anemometer, and barometer. Sean consulted with severe weather experts to see which instruments would be most useful and to decide where best to mount them on the TIV. The instrument mast that sticks up from the top of the TIV holds the instruments which collect data including wind speed, temperature, relative humidity, and air pressure.

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Rated: G
Runtime: 42 minutes

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