Enter the “Take a Ride on the Wild Side!” Sweepstakes

February 23, 2012

Houston is no stranger to severe weather.

Thunderstorm in Northern Oklahoma

Within the past few months we’ve experienced both a drought and flooding.  Hurricanes and ice storms have shut the city down for days. Most residents have a story about witnessing extreme weather conditions, from hurricanes to tornadoes, but never quite like this…

Tornado Alley 3D opens March 9 in the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre!

Ride along with filmmaker Sean Casey of the Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers series and researchers of VORTEX 2 as they bravely capture dramatic and destructive tornado footage in this fascinating film.

Casey uses a fleet of customized vehicles that can withstand the most threatening weather  – allowing them to go right to the heart of a tornado and even document the birth of a tornado with a 70mm camera.

Tornado Intercept Vehicle

On March 12, you can meet Casey and his Tornado Intercept Vehicle!

From 9:30 – 11 am, the TIV will be parked at the front entrance of the Houston Museum of Natural Science and Casey will be available to meet visitors.  While you’re here, check out Tornado Alley 3D  – showing at 11:40 am, 12:30, 3, and 3:50 pm – Casey will  introduce each film.

Want To Ride in the TIV?

Enter to win a ride with Casey in the Tornado Intercept Vehicle at approximately 4 pm on March 12!

To enter, tell us about your strangest weather experience, your favorite episode of Storm Chasers, or your thoughts on Houston’s weather – just leave a comment on this post between February 23 and March 8!

The winner will be selected randomly and contacted on March 9, 2012.  For official contest rules, please click here.

The winner will be contacted by email – so don’t forget to leave that information in the comment entry field – don’t worry, your email will be kept confidential.

Authored By Nancy Lauletta-Bowen

Nancy came to HMNS in 2006. As the Promotions Manager, she is responsible for developing and executing museum events such as VIP Nites, Big Bite Nite, Snow Flurry and more. Additionally she partners with local businesses and organizations to cross-promote or sponsor these events. Her interests include traveling, fashion, indie music, and her dog, Wyatt.

80 responses to “Enter the “Take a Ride on the Wild Side!” Sweepstakes”

  1. Shay says:

    Strangest weather experience – I grew up in Houston and most of my family lived closer to the coast. When hurricane Alicia came through, there were about 25 of us in my parents house, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I was 9 years old and remember my cousins and I built a fort out of sheets in one of the bedrooms while terrified of the wind and rain beating the outside of the house. When you looked out the window you could see the pine trees almost completely bent over touching the ground, then calm and sunshine with the eye, and then the backside of the storm. At night it was scariest of all, as the shadows of the trees played across the wall!

  2. Dona Lopez says:

    I guess our favorite episode of Storm Chasers is all of them! My 5 year old is obsessed with this show. He always sits with his little toy laptop and checks the radar for storms right along with you guys. I love that he has a show that is both educational and exciting. He would rather meet Sean than Iron Man! And to ride in the Interceptor Vehicle, well that would just be his idea of nirvana!

  3. Ashley Ann Luckey says:

    Ever since I was a little kid, I have always been fascinated by tornadoes. After tropical storm Allison, I always thought every airplane I heard was a tornado and would freak out. One of my biggest goals to achieve in life is to see a tornado up close and personal. There has been one RIGHT behind my house before.. but it was too early in the morning to see it. Was scary finding that out after school!
    I was so happy to hear that Storm Chasers was finally on Netflix. I have been watching it non-stop for the past week now and I just can’t get enough of it. My favorite episode would definitely have to be the finale of Season 2 where Mr. Sean Casey actually filmed inside of a tornado. (Which I am SUPER stoked to see it in 3D!) I also love the little “Imax film” clips that were put in to the series randomly of certain, beautiful tornadoes. Mr. Casey certainly has an eye for detail when it comes from working behind a camera. Especially IN a tornado. That is just phenomenal. I am a photographer myself and look up to Sean Casey as an inspiration.

    Definitely once I get the money and the time… and the car… I want to travel to Tornado Alley to get some footage of my own and hopefully photograph beautiful tornadoes. Houston just doesn’t cut it! Haha.

    P.S: Sean Casey’s daughters are absolutely adorable! 🙂

  4. perlita mata says:

    wow houston weather is so bizzarre! like today is windy and chilly and yesterday it was warm and awesome! you just never know what ur gonna wake up too unless u watch the weather the night before but even then sometimes its not exact lol.. but overall i love my houston weather!

  5. Hi! I grew up in the Texas Panhandle, Amarillo, smack dab in the middle of the big tornado area. I have stories, oh yeah. And I’m terrified of tornadoes too. My strangest incident was when I was six. I was the oldest and my mom had taught me that if the sirens went off, I needed to pull my brother and sister under the baby bed with the pillows and blankets and hide. She was gone to do laundry and we were with a sitter when that very thing happened. The sitter’s father came and took her home to the storm cellar and left us there, me, age 6, my brother age 4, and my sister who was 2. I grabbed the pillows and blankets, dragged the siblings, and we were under the bed when my mom rushed in (she came straight home at the siren sound). She pulled me up on a chair and showed me the tornadoes playing out in the distance. When I close my eyes, I can still see them.

    My favorite episode of Storm Chasers? That’s harder, I’m a big fan. It’s between when Sean finally got the footage for the IMAX and the run into Mississippi when they drove into the demolished town and were helping.

    I’ve been in Houston since 1991. It’s hot, humid, and different than I’m used to. I went on the great “bug out” for Rita, took 17 hours to get to Killeen and friends. But the most interesting weather was living through Ike here in Friendswood. My husband used to chase for OU when they were calibrating the Doppler back in the late 1970s. He stood out on the porch during Ike and watched it for a long time. I was so scared I took sleep meds and went to bed. It’s funny, tornadoes scare me to death because you don’t know they are coming until they drop but hurricanes scare me more because you watch them come for you and you feel helpless.

    Pick me, please? And I hope I can bring my husband, who misses chasing.

  6. Anna Carson says:

    My strangest weather story is when I was 10 I lived on the Island of St. Lucia. Hurricane Allen hit the island. We had to sleep on the floor instead of our beds. I woke up and all was quiet and decided I would get back in my bed. Mom came and checked on me and told me to get back on the floor. I had woken up during the eye of the storm. When we awoke the next morning the damage was horrible. Big cinder blocks picked up off our balcony and carried down the mountain. Big Oil containers at the sight where my dad worked flattened like pancakes. Needless to say we had to fly out of there cause there was not any electricity. We had to fly home via New York because of this Hurricane. When we finally made it home to Houston we were tired but happy to be home. Then we drove to LA and boom hit by the same hurricane again.

  7. Melissa Pierce says:

    I have been a weather fanatic since I was a little girl. I love watching the weather channel especially during Hurricane coverage. I love the show Stormchasers. My weirdest weather moment is when I lived in Michigan and witnessed Thundersnow.

  8. Benjamin Fuller says:

    Sean might not like my favorite episode of Storm Chasers, as it was the Yazoo City tornado episode in Mississippi. Reed and his team helped south of Yazoo when the violent tornado ripped a hole across the state. They were still in a bit of competition, so to speak, at the time.

    It’s actually my favorite because I was a part of this event, so I felt the same adrenaline rush. My friend and I drove from Mandeville, LA to Jackson, MS to chase storms that morning, which was a high risk day in April of 2010. We saw the Yazoo storm gearing up along the LA/MS border and decided to floor it up I-55 to intercept it. We got ahead of this monster just SW of Durant and watched it for about 3-4 minutes on an elevated overpass. We moved east on 424 to avoid it as it raced towards us. We didn’t realize that 424 was a winding forest park road!! We almost got caught by the tornado as branches broke and were thrown in our path as we headed east on this road. Fortunately, it weakened and pushed just north toward Durant as we sat nervously saying our possible goodbyes.

    I’d like to meet Sean and share stories about past events.

  9. Holly says:

    My thoughts on Houston weather:

    A few weeks ago, for the second time this year, Houston was put under a tornado warning, and, once again, it turned out to be a big honkin’ disappointment. My boss made me take shelter on a lower floor in a room without windows so I wouldn’t get sucked out into Oz or impaled with debris. But did the roof come off? No. Were the windows even cracked? No. The so-called warning was all a big tease. No flying cows. No TIV. Nothing exciting at all.

    Because I can’t afford to quit my day job and go gallivanting around the prairie all spring (and because the my car is to the TIV what Dorothy is to Linda Hamilton) The closest I will probably ever get to a tornado is sitting in the TIV if I win this contest. So if given the opportunity, I will soak up the chasing excitement in the TIV’s seat cushions via osmosis through my butt.

    Fingers crossed!

  10. Brandon H says:

    My favorite episode was “Dixie Alley Outbreak.” Amazing to see the power of the tornadoes that day. Unreal.

  11. Michelle French says:

    Up until Seven years ago, I lived in the Dallas area. Last May, when I was visiting my parents, the tornado sirens went off. When my sister and I looked out the window, we saw rotation in the clouds. I’ve never seen that before. My 5 yr old son is obsessed with tornadoes and loves watching Storm Chasers. I’m entering for him because it would make him soooo happy 🙂

  12. Ashley Chastain says:

    My favorite or scariest weather experience was when I was a child on Lake Norfork in Arkansas. My family and I were camping that summer. I remeber my Dad spotting a tornado across the lake. We watch cross the lake heading towards Missouri. About 15 mins later sirens started at our camp site. My dad put all us kids in a van lol. We watch from the inside as my dad and uncle tried to save our two room tent. We had to be on the outer bands of the tornado. I can remember all of the stuff flying off the picnic table. Everyone was safe, well except for that two room tent. I have so many favorite episodes of Storm Chasers. Whats stuck in my head right now though is when Sean and the TIV intercept a RAINBOW!!!! Dominating!!!!

  13. Lindsay McCafferty says:

    The strangest weather event for me was a funnel cloud on the day of my 10th birthday party. I’ve lived in Rosenberg all my life and I’mm no stranger to dirt devils but this funnel cloud would have been a lot bigger than a dirt devil if it had touched the ground. Needless to say the funnel cloud broke apart quickly which was good at that time because I was very frightened of storms when I was younger. If it had happened at the present time I would have been out filming it.

  14. doug plant says:

    stangest weather moment was watching a tornado while at work at a walgreens in houston, it wasnt very close but i was just in awe of it from a distance. Just as quick as it appeard it disapeared

  15. Bioleta Reyes says:

    My fascination with mother nature began when I was four. I was having morning cereal watching out the window and seeing how the wind twirl and whirl the leaves around. My dad wanting to go to work. My mom telling him “Just in case you have not notice there’s a Hurricane in progress.” It was when Hurricane Alice hit the Houston area. He still open the door swoosh came in the air. We lived in a home garage everything that was falling on the roof we could hear. My curiosity set in I was fascinated at what destruction wind and rain can do. I saw the neighbors tree getting whip around til it snap and fell. Then there was a boom on our roof we couldn’t go out till everything calm down. Turns out a branch from a tree that fell on the back neighboors home missied us by inches. I still remember that day as if it happen yesterday. Since then I haven’t stop looking up at the sky. Mother nature is fascinating yet so destructive

  16. EdT. says:

    Strangest weather experience – when I was living in Sugar Land, my son noticed that there was “a tornado out there”. I scoffed, then looked where he was pointing – and told the family to get in the bathroom, because there was in fact a funnel cloud heading our way! We hid there until I was certain the tornado was gone, then went outside. I felt a gentle tug at my hair, looked straight up – right into the rotation! My reaction: darn, and I don’t have my camera with me. My wife’s reaction: “Get inside, dummy!”


  17. In 1995 I was working as a collector for a downtown Houston Litigation Firm. The weather went from very nice to extremely angry within hours of arriving to work. The winds became so strong that I could feel the skyscraper I was in swaying back and forth. I ran into an office to see what was happening and as I looked out the window, between the lightning and rain, I saw an edge of another building across the street crumble down. We we evacuated from the building and sent home.

    As I was driving on I-45 headed south, the traffic was moving roughly at 0-5 MPH and the rain was so heavy it was nearly impossible to see. I was getting a little nervous and anxious driving through this weather, being an EMT at the time, I knew that it was safe to pull over and ride out the storm, but I continued on.

    Getting to the overpass on I-45 and College, the wind became so severe that my car literally started to veer towards the left lane, windshield wipers remained upright, and I heard the most horrible and frightening sound of a Tornado.

    I had no idea where it was or which way it was heading. I only knew of sound from stories of my family when a Tornado took the life of my Grandfather while he was working on his shrimp boat in Palacious, TX in the 1970’s.

    I only verified that it was a Tornado over me at the time when I watched the local news report that said a Tornado touched down in South Houston from College to Hwy 3. I felt very lucky that I did not become one of its victims.

    A few years later, I was working as a Volunteer Firefighter for the Southeast Vol. Fire Department during Tropical Storm Allison, We we actually responding to calls for assistance and I noticed quick that the water levels went from near knee deep to chest deep within minutes.

    Helping others without the selfish gratification that some seek is the reason I became a Paramedic.

    You get to do what I have ALWAYS dreamed of doing. Thank you for all the data and information you risked your lives for in order to help others.

    As we arrived,

  18. Michel says:

    I grew up in Houston, and even went to college there. I remember loving the “blue northers” that moved through town on a regular basis. When I finally had my own car I used to park in a spot off Allen Parkway near downtown to watch the lightening and clouds – lying on the hood of my car. I’ve passed that love of weather on to my son.

    I live in Austin now, and the storms aren’t always as spectacular or frequent. So glad you keep coming back to Texas. Would love to ride along in the TIV – with my son. Houston is just a hop and a skip away. I even entered for the Shreveport, LA contest – do distance is NOT an issue. 😉

  19. Colin says:

    In May of 2010, my chase partner and I were in West Central Oklahoma tracking down a strong line of storms. We’d been traveling all day from Somerville, TX and, although no tornadoes touched down that day, we did get some great lightning shots. Night fell and we proceeded back to the hotel an hour’s drive in Oklahoma City not wanting to do any night chasing. While on US270 heading South toward Watonga, OK the NOAA weather radio produced its tale-tell tone and advised us that a cell capable of producing a tornado was just 10mi in front of us heading toward Watonga. We proceeded South just a couple of miles more and the lightning began to intensify. Through the lightning flashes, we could see the tornado on the ground just to our West. It was then that we made the conscious decision to turn around just as we got into the hail core. We knew that based upon the storm’s heading at that time that we’d be safe back in Seiling, OK so we went all the way back. It turned out that a tornado was, in fact, on the ground and upon returning to I-40 found some debris still strewn across the interstate. Just a couple of hours ago, we had been the chasers; now we had become the chased!

  20. David says:

    I have a bunch of favorite episodes and can quote a lot of them. The last episode with Matt is probably one of my top ones, though. I really like the part where Sean says to Marcus – “Go wherever Matt says.” It was really sad to hear about Matt and it must have been tough for all of you.

    I’m 11 years old and can’t drive yet, but I’d love to chase storms and be an extreme weather photographer/videographer. Sean has really inspired me. I’ve seen Tornado Alley 3 times and even made my Pinewood Derby car look like the TIV. I saw the TIV when it came to Austin with Marcus. That was cool. I’d really love to ride inside the TIV and will ask my parents to drive me to Houston to see it again.

  21. Theresa Williams says:

    Strangest weather I’ve ever seen….raining on one side of the road and bone dry on the other. Scariest I’ve seen would have to be a day of bad storms with green rotating clouds, guess we didn’t have everything we needed for a tornado to form.

    I can’t pick just one show or moment, it’s all spectacular. Feel bad for the lives effected by the tornadoes though.

    As far as comments on Houston weather: While I could happily live without the mosquitoes, bring on the rain!!

  22. Steve Slawson says:

    I’ve enjoyed watching storms since I was a child. And even named my youngest son Storm. And it fits him. Despite my best efforts, I’ve never seen a tornado in person, but I’ve been close. I love watching the footage of others who are in the right place at the right time. Really looking forward to seeing the show.

  23. Daniel Hasibuan says:

    My strangest weather experience was back in 1995 in my high school senior year. I was in Jakarta at that time, and being close to the equator meant that the weather is pretty much hot and sunshine all the time – usually the temperature was between 85-95 degree. Then one day the strangest thing happened, starting with the rain. Initially it was an usual rain, started with a drizzle and quite heavy shower afterwards. But after 5 minutes I started hearing cracking sound as if pebbles were hitting the windows. So I looked out, and I saw that the raindrops were actually icedrops. That was the first time in my life I saw that happened. The rain probably lasted around half an hour, and by the the it had stopped, there were piles of ice everywhere. It wasn’t long until the ice melted, given the hot temperature, but still that was the strangest weather ever in Jakarta!!!

  24. smfsprout says:

    I really like most of the episodes of Storm Chasers and don’t really have a favorite. The Houston weather is a different matter. I love the summer – sans mosquitoes – and the almost summer. Those are the only seasons we have, but it is home!

  25. Eden Manning says:

    In Houston you could be wearing a tank top and shorts and the very next day be dressed up like an Eskimo. I always loved watching Storm Chasers with my Grandma, but once Hurricane Rita came and we had to stay gone for a while I was a bit overloaded. Not only were we displaced from our home, but even my elementary school was damaged. It didn’t take me too long to start watching Storm Chasers again. I love learning about the weather.

  26. Krista beck says:

    I grew up in Oklamhoma and my mother told me never be sacred about storms snow or tornados . I only heard the train sound once in a closet with three dogs . I am beating cancer now so I want to see the power nature can show me .

  27. Caitlin says:

    My strangest (and most stupid) weather experience was during Allison. I had just turned 18 and I remember watching the bayous rise that Tuesday. The rain slacked off for a couple days but by that Friday they were predicting the worst was about to hit us. So, being young and stupid, my friends and I decided we would go see a movie. We live in the Bay Area, so after the movie around 1am, we think it would be a great idea to head to the Kemah Boardwalk to check out the waves. By the time we got there the wind had started to kick the waves over the boardwalk, roughly 20 feet higher than they are normally. We figured it was probably time to go home. We started driving down Nasa Road 1 towards Blackhawk Blvd in Friendswood where my friend lives. The rain started coming down in solid sheets. By the time we got to Blackhawk it had already started flooding. Blackhawk is a neighborhood thru street that connects 528 to 2351. My friend lives on the 2351 side. We had to abandon our cars in a higher parking lot on the 528 side. We walked 1.8 miles at 2 in the morning to get to her house at the other end of the street. The sewer grates created a suction at the corner of all the connecting streets so my flip flops (yes, flip flops, it was summer, after all) got sucked down into the sewer on the very first street corner. So I walked all 1.8 miles barefoot in a skirt and, as I’m only 5’5, the water was up to my thighs.

    I call it my “uphill both ways barefoot in the snow” story but when I think of all the disgusting things that could have been in the water like raw sewage, rats, snakes, carpets of ants, I’m just glad we all made it to her house safe and disease-free.

  28. Nary says:

    My strangest weather experience was when we were up in Marble Falls. It was such a bright sunny day. We went out for lunch at a place called River City Grill. When came outside and all of a sudden it started to hail. No light drizzle, no heavy downpour just golf ball size hail. It interesting and scary at the same time. We had huge damaged to our car but thank goodness no one got hurt.

  29. Katie says:

    I grew up in TN, and when I was in middle school a tornado tore through out subdivision. I was lucky enough to be over a mile from the closest touch down point, and well within the house, but viewing the aftermath left a strong impression on me. To this day, I can still vividly remember riding past a house in the school bus and seeing the half of a house left after the tornado had sheared it in two. It was surreal- like looking in a broken down doll house. On the second floor, there was a section where the floor sagged and the bathtub was still there, only held in at its odd angle by the plumbing. It was a strong lesson in respect for the power of a tornado!

    My husband and I love the show, and can’t wait to see the documentary!

  30. Pat Beck says:

    I grew up in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Tornadoes were a right of passage for child of tornado alley. My earliest encounter was when I was around 8 years old. While out riding my bike a storm came up very quickly. I remember turning my bike peddles as fast as I could but making very little head way. Hard rain was hitting my face while I struggled to get home. I looked up in the sky and I saw a roof flying through the air. All I could think of was Dorothy (which happened to be my mother’s name) from the Wizard of Oz. When I finally made it home I told my parents that I saw the roof and they wouldn’t believe me. Our neighbors called at that moment and said they had lost their roof and could they come and weather the storm with us. From then on my Dorothy believed most of my flights of fancy.

  31. Jim Springer says:

    We had an office supply store in Oak Ridge, Texas, and I remember watching the sky turn green to the west of us. Shortly after that it began to drop hail the size of golf balls on the cars and trucks…a Ford Pinto lost the rear window, and the rain began to fall.
    We didn’t know it at the time, but the airport near Tomball had experienced a tornado and several planes had flipped over and a small dog was carried away in the storm….later found walking by the road.
    I will never forget the green sky.

  32. Matt says:

    I remember on a recent trip to Wisconsin eating at a supper club over looking Lake Koshkonong. All of a sudden the wind picked up and a tornado dropped down on the other side of the lake near Fort Atkinson. It was truly amazing to see the beauty and power of mother nature.

  33. PJ Lionetti says:

    We were in Nederland when Hurricane Rita hit. My sister was reluctant to leave. My 80 year Mother was sure ‘it ain’t nothing” but it was. We went down and picked them up with our 13 year old dog Mick that Mom was babysitting and we brought them to Houston. We are all native Texans and we have heard it before but this time it was real. Mom cried and she hid it and tried to pretend she wasn’t afraid but the winds were horribe and we got out barely in time. She hugged Mick our Australian Shepherd who seemed to know she needed him. We are all fine and we were lucky.
    You think you know about weather and nature but when push comes to shove…Mother Nature wins…Mom was so glad to get home and see her house was ok and my sister was ok and her busines was in shambles but she had insurance. but we were all ok.

  34. Kathy Meek says:

    Having lived all over the world, I have found that there are special weather conditions for every area of the world. In Houston, we have the hurricanes in the summer and early fall, in the spring we have the rain (we were lacking last year) and the possibility of major thunderstoms and tornados. In the winter, you would think that we would have mild winters, but Houston has its own cases of the ice and snow. When it snows, it is a special treat. We better not forget the summers in Houston are hot and humid.

    I have enjoyed taking my own personal pictures of the before and after of the major weather events, and show them to my kids. I just wish I would have kept them all during the years. My kids will say that looking at the pictures they understand that weather has its own beauty and it can be a beast, and no person can control it.

    We love watching Storm Chasers and we can not pick just one episode that is best. They all rank!

  35. Christine Kogucki says:

    my elven year old loves Storm Chasers. I can barely watch an episode with out getting so nervous. So I let my son tell me about the episodes. His favorite episode…all of them. He loves the complexity of figuring out the low and high pressures, watching the radar and then figuring out which direction the storm will go. Having grown up in Ohio, Tornadoes are a scary and devastation thing…Keep on chasing!!!

  36. shannon says:

    My greatest weather experience was getting to a ride-a-long with a friend who worked as a cameraman for a local TV station. We got to go and get footage of a local tornado. It was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced outside of giving birth. I have always been interested in weather since Hurricane Alicia way back when. I stood outside and watched as the eye went right over us. I remember that Alicia was the first storm that they issued the land fall probabilities. That was pretty cool. I have lived through a few hurricanes and tropical storms and other crazy weather. It always awes me to see the destruction and the beauty of weather even if they go hand in hand.

    My 12-year-old daughter wants to go to Texas Tech and study to be a storm chaser. I think I might have rubbed off on her a little. She was so excited and scared during Hurricane Ike. She would not go to sleep because she did not want to miss a minute of it.

  37. laura says:

    I guess I would have to say the strangest weather experience was having it snow in Austin two years in a row. Central Texas is not a common area for snow so I was pretty impressed!!

  38. Tricia Monteau says:

    Favorite Episode… without a doubt……DEDICATION.. The last episode with Matt Hughes, and the fact that Sean let him lead them to that phenomenal intercept. Such emotion, and the entire show could not have been scripted to actually show Matt’s invaluable knowledge and that Sean let him take the lead!.. Kudoo’s to Sean!

  39. Luke Trahan says:

    The strangest weather I ever seen was in Almagordo, New Mexico. We visited White Sands, New Mexico in Dec and all of the sand dumes where covered in snow! How crazy is that.

  40. Timbo says:

    The oddest weather oddity I’ve ever experienced occurred during my stay in Arizona for 4 years, whereupon, on the day before I was to leave, Tempe suffered complete blackout caused by a sudden and quick-moving haboob.

    I went outside to try to take a picture of the event, and ended up getting a lens and mouth full of sand. It was amazing and astounding.

  41. Allan Eddy says:

    Houston Weather!? What do we always say….. If you don’t like Houston weather than just wait around a while. It is always changing and always unpredictable. Thanks for this opportunity.

  42. Leslie says:

    Having lived in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas Panhandle and North Dallas most of my life I have been able to witness many tornadoes and probably hundreds of cloud rotations, some of them I still remember. I still watch the skies in Houston when storms come in looking for the cloud rotations. Don’t see them as much here. One of the more memorable for multiple cloud rotations that spiraled down but did not touch ground was in Lubbock in 1979. This was the storm that devastated Wichita Falls later that day. I remember walking across the Texas Tech campus and there were several at once coming down from the sky. Everyone stopped in their tracks to watch them before they went back up into the clouds. Going to college in Lubbock we used to do our own storm chasing too.
    My family’s house in Kansas was emptied by a tornado leaving only the walls and my favorite climbing tree laying over one wall. Having seen so many bad tornadoes and storms, I know the damage they can do. Because of this and my fear of tornadoes I created a tornado safety class that I have been giving for 10 years and my kids know exactly what to do in any kind of storm and how to watch the clouds. As part of my research I’ve also talked to some local weathercasters about tornadoes and to one of the consultants for “It could happen tomorrow” TV documentary about a simulated F5 tornado that hits Dallas.
    The scariest tornado storm for me was when I was driving from Lubbock to Oklahoma City and a storm with a tornado on the ground was behind me and coming towards me. The storm caught up and it was evening. There were cars mostly vans blown over on the side of the road. I did see a large tree blowing by in the air in front of me at one point and lots of unidentifiable objects. When I saw the movie Twister later I had flashbacks to this event. Still get chills thinking about it.

  43. Jon Gwaltney says:

    been waiting for Sean to hit wisconsin and whever that happends i would LOVE to RIde in the TIv it Has always been my favorite and i Know that TIV I was completely built by sean…. Tiv II not too sure of but would love too take a ride and learn the history of it and a VERY huge fan also a Skywarn weather spotter for this area 🙂 prolly be so excited wouldnt even know where to begin asking questions but would love to see the tiv excuse the spelling but either case Great luck to those in texax that get that ride 🙂 good for you HI SEAN!!

  44. Bridget says:

    My favorite episode of Storm Chasers is probably the one when Reed was in the middle of the tornado and had the windows blown out and he had his eyes all cut up. I haven’t ever been in a tornado – I was born after the Wichita Falls tornado in 1979. That episode though had to be the scariest possible thing to see and much scarier to experience, I’m sure.

  45. Nathan says:

    My craziest storm chasing experience actually involves the TIV and Dominator. As a student at Texas A&M and a meteorology major, I had the opportunity to join the student chapter of the American Meteorological Society and the storm chasing club.
    On one particular chase, we headed west of Ft. Worth, Texas to a target area between Throckmorton and Graham. While waiting for storms to fire in Throckmorton, as well as snacking and gassing up our chase vehicles, the Dominator pulls into the gas station. We chat with Reed Timmer and take our nerdy photos with the Dominator, then let him go back to his preparations.
    The appearance of the Dominator was a good sign, it meant we (mostly undergrads) were in the right place, as determined by more experienced, reputable chasers. Storms start firing east of Throckmorton, so we take off in pursuit. Cutting to the chase, the storm dies before dropping a tornado, so we stop to watch it die…right next to the TIV! More nerdy pictures ensue, as well as chatting with Sean Casey and his crew.
    I can’t say I saw a tornado in my time with the Texas Aggie Storm Chasers, but this chase was one of the most memorable. Thanks to Reed and Sean for their insight and hospitality when some curious storm chasers stopped to say hello!

  46. Bre Whiteley says:

    I have several small strange/scary weather stories, but I’ll just share two.

    I grew up in south Houston, 30 minutes from Galveston, so we went bay and offshore fishing all the time. One trip out, we actually saw a waterspout off in the distance. It was far away enough not to worry, but was very ominous.

    Another scary weather moment in my life was during my first year of college and my brother’s last year, in Abilene, TX. My brother has always wanted to be a meteorologist, but decided to go another way. He thought he had enough knowledge to go storm chasing, so we went out after a huge storm. We were driving up a mesa with rain pouring down, lightning striking close, and roads turning into mush. We learned that day that we are definitely not qualified to do such a thing as chase a huge storm. Even though I look back on it and realize how dumb we were, the adrenaline was still amazing! I wish I could safely go with experts to chase storms, but a ride in the TIV2 would suffice. =)

  47. Meagan Shrader says:

    I am your BIGGEST fan ever!! I’ve tried to get an opportunity to go on a stormchasing ride, and I’ve always wanted to do it. My mom and I share that for sure, she loves storms just as much as I do. I always hope for thunderstorms here in Oklahoma and I love when we have them. They make my day, and I’ve always wanted to go chase a storm. I’ve even begged my mom to go out in our SUV and watch them. I love seeing lightning and thunder, and having the adrenaline rush of the possibility of a tornado.It is a dream very high on my list to ride in the TIV2.

  48. James D. Thomas says:

    The strangest weather event I have ever experienced must have been Hurricane Ike. It was far from a life-threatening storm, however the memories will last a lifetime. I remember specifically the long, sleepless September night when the winds howled, the rain came down in sheets, and the lightning illuminated the night sky. As for my favorite episode of Storm Chasers, the episode when the team traveled to Tuscaloosa, AL contained powerful images of a life-altering tragedy for those folks. The image of the tornado itself was haunting, but even more vivid was the path of destruction left behind the twister. I have loved viewing Storm Chasers every Monday night (in the fall) and cannot wait to see Tornado Alley!

  49. Margaret H. Devine says:

    My great-nephew and I would love to ride in the TIV. We love watching Storm Chasers & are both fascinated by tornadoes.

  50. Margaret H. Devine says:

    I finished reading what is required in this comment. I guess to me the worst weather I experienced in Houston was during Tropical Storm Allison. I have never seen as much rain come down in such a short amount of time. I truly never expected to stand on the North Shepherd overpass over I-10 and see a Budweiser 18 wheeler floating in water that was only about a foot from the bottom of the overpass.

  51. Edward B. Morgan Jr. says:

    The strangest weather I ever saw was a funnel cloud in Houston over a bayou off Braeswood. I was in the car with my mother and sister and we were terrified to see a dark, ominous rotating cloud that did not drop but caused everyone on the road to stop in fear.

    I am a huge fan of storm chasers, I have so many favorite episodes. One of my favorite episodes is when the TIV went into its first storm and elevated storm chasing to a new level! Also, one of the most memorable shows were the one when the storms hit last year and seeing the storm chasers become first responders. I got chills watching that episode.

  52. Katie kitto says:

    I was at school one day and I heard a siren and it was a tornado watch we stayed in duck and cover for about one hour and thirty minutes. Then the lights went out.We read for a hour.Then our emergency light went out.We drew in the hallway for 5 hours. Then the light came back on. We went home. I remember stories of funnel clouds appearing. What I remember most is when our trampoline flipped into our neighbors backyard.

  53. Kelly S says:

    We love Storm Chasers. We were introducued to the show from a DVD included in a Christmas gift that my 6 year old son received. The gift was a Discovery Kids Extreme Weather Tornado Lab and it had the first episode of Storm Chasers included. My son especially loves the show and is watching all the episodes. Storms Chasers has sparked his interest in weather and everyday he looks at the radar on the Weather Channel app searching for super cells and we bought a rain gauge that he checks daily. He is planning on building a replica of the TIV and is currently collecting materials. My son really loves all the episodes, we can’t pick a favorite. He would love a chance to ride in the TIV.
    We recently moved to Houston, just in time to see the river and lake full of water and then watch it all dry out from the drought and then return to full levels with the returning rains. Seeing how much damage this past drought caused and how much time it took to do that all that damage made me realize that severe weather comes in all forms.

  54. Alice Castle says:

    During Alicia, everyone stayed home to wait it out. I was having breakfast and was looking out the window as the pines in the backyard bent back and forth, like they were dancing. The wind was blowing strongly but the sky was pretty clear. Then one pine didn’t bend back but snapped and fell acoss the yard and towards the house and then another tree snapped. I waited for the crash, shouting at my husband to move out of the bedroom. Later, when we went outside we saw the trees had fallen at an angle and laid acoss the backyard and down the side of the house. We walked around our neighborhood looking at the damage, dodging fallen trees that were blocking the road and all the near misses. Neighbors were already out with their chainsaws clearing the streets of fallen trees.

  55. Rob Harlow says:

    Grew up in the northern Texas panhandle and used to watch the twisters dance across the plains. I was up at a high school reunion and pulled in to get gas. There were 4 different storm chaser teams at the station filling up. Not a good sign for weather that day – it turned out pretty rough but no twisters.

  56. Zach Abeyta says:

    Wildest encounter had to be when the Hurrican came to Houston and all the craziness that followed!! It was an adventure at home, in the car to San Antonio and when we got back and helped everyone clean up!

  57. James Sides says:

    I love watching storm chasers!

    One of my wildest memories involve a trip down I-35 near Denton. My dad was driving our 15 passenger van full of kids on the way home from a long trip. The weather was rough with lots of ran and wind. We were all tire and hot as the air conditioner was not working. When all of a sudden lighting hit right between our van and the car in front of us. My dad swerved the cars all around us stopped and we stared at the burnt mark on the pavement…my ears rang and we all sat silently for quite a while. Wow! What beauty and power!

    My other memory was being left to take care of my younger brothers and sisters while my parents went on a trip. Hurricane Ike came while they were gone…we got out before the storm but the power of the storm and the realization of needing to protect the children was amazing. I watched in amazement at the storm hit the Houston area.

  58. Santa says:

    I have to say that Houston seems to have some very unusual weather. One day its cold and rainy and the next its VERY VERY Hot and sunny! These last few yeats its been more unconsistant , when we are suppose to be in our hurricane season we have a drout and when we expect it to be dry it rains for days!But I love my home town!

  59. Kimberly Baldwin says:

    Strangest weather I’ve experienced was in Austin, TX, many years ago. I lived in a very small house in Tarrytown. One evening we were expecting thunderstorms and the wind was rising rapidly. I remember hearing what sounded like a train and thinking how strange because there were no railroad tracks in the vicinity. It got pretty loud but nothing really happened. The next day I drove about a block deeper into my neighborhood and turned onto a neighborhood cross street and saw what looked like a tornado’s path of destruction…trees uprooted, debris lying in the street and yards. Though a tornado was never mentioned on the news, I had a really creepy feeling that a “small” one had passed through about the time I heard the “freight train”. It was only the next day that I realized I had quite possibly dodged a bullet. From then on, I pay attention to noises and sounds that are out of place!

  60. Laura Johnson says:

    My scariest time was in Illinois probably 10-15 years ago. I was driving about 40mph down a road and it was raining hard and wind was blowing hard. All of the sudden I felt like the car was floating off the ground. I was still pushing the gas but going absolutely nowhere. It was not quite the same feeling as hydroplaning. It literally picked my car up a few inches and set it back down after about 10 seconds. The longest 10 seconds of my life.

  61. Steve J says:

    A friend recently suggested that Texas must be having menopause based on the changing weather. I remember comforting family as multiple storms hit our house. I also made the mistake of traveling during a storm and asking my wife over the phone “How far is the water from getting into the house?”

  62. Angela Townsend says:

    I was on I10E in Louisiana heading to Florida 5 years ago and was in heavy traffic. We were at a complete stop in the middle of nowhere for over an hour when clouds started to roll in. The way the wind was blowing and the clouds moved was a little frightening. About 10 minutes later we knew why. To the right there was a large break in the trees and miles of power lines. We watched as the tornado touched down and started coming directly at us. A few people ran from there cars trying to find shelter but there was nothing around us. Most, including us, stayed put in our vehicles. Thankfully the tornado went back into the clouds before it made it to the interstate. Ever since that day I watch the clouds and the weather a little closer before I get in the car.

  63. Ric Rosser says:

    My favorite episode was Under the Vortex because I like to watch Texas tornados. I love to get out in hurricanes,tornados any dramatic weather. In Texas the weather can change in an instant, go from calm to insane in a flash.

  64. Leo Medina says:

    Houston is the city for strange weather

    I came to Houston 10 years ago and I really enjoyed its almost tropical weather with lots of sunshine and rain. I just don’t like flash floods and afternoon rains especially during the hurricane season. I was barely here for a month when I first experience heavy afternoon storm that completely darkened the skies. I was terrified driving when all of a sudden I couldn’t see anything on the freeway. I pulled over and parked at a gasoline station until the storm has passed. I’m glad I did that and escaped the accidents and traffic mess that followed. I’m glad I have never been close to a tornado ever in my life and I hope I never will. I can only watch them through the Storm Chasers and that is scary enough for me!

  65. Jack Flesher says:

    I remember back in late 1980s a line of severe weather approaching Houston. Back then I was a volunteer firefighter and we got a call about a tornado around 242 and i45 area. We responded towards area to assist if needed. We followed the storm and were lucky no major damage but at that time it was pretty neat following it.

  66. Jimmie Captain says:

    The strangest weather…In 1992 my family had just moved to Channelview, Texas. I was 13 years old when we moved there and excited that we moved into our new home. This particular evening was differnt..didnt know why but it was. I remember my stepfather said he was leaving to go somewhere. I had noticed that outside had looked differently. It was like a sudden color change in the sky and it had gotten dark. It had been cloudy and raining all day but this greenish gray-black was something out the ordinary. My stepfather came right back and said he had forgot something. I looked outside again, and as i looked the lights went off and noticed some of the trees outside seemed to be leaning. All of a sudden we all heard this loud roar and whistle as if a train or something was coming threw the neighborhood. When my stepfather noticed and heard it, he immedieatly said ‘its a tornado get to the bathroom”. Me, my mother, my 3 year old sister and my stepfather ran to the hallway bathroom near my bedroom. Soon as we closed the door….COMPLETE DESTRUCTION. We were bunkered down in the middle of the bathroom closed eyed, praying and scared. We are listening to all the noise and destrution going on around us. Like a monster is in our home knocking things around. This bathroom window breaks and shatters injuring me and my father. I had the deepest cut which i still have on my back to this day. A wound to remember. For those few seconds seemed like forever…when it stopped I looked up, it was raining in our house and we had no roof anymore. The house was destroyed but the bathroom we were bunkered in.

    Funniest episode…cant really say cause i love them all…i think one of my favorites is when Sean makes a rhyme about the RED SHOE…knowing Reed took the design from Sean.

  67. Chip says:

    I hope to be able to take advantage of an incredible ride in this vehicle.

  68. Evan M. says:

    We were at the Houston Rodeo and the clouds were swirling and the clouds were gray and bellowing out of the sky. I told my parents that there was going to be a tornado and begged them to leave the carnival as the wind was blowing so strong. I was very very concerned and they had to hold me because I knew there was going to be a tornado. They eventually gave in and took me and my three siblings in to the coliseum. Then we made our way to our car and went home.

    Later that night Mom heard the news say that there were tornado warnings and realized that again, I was intoned with the barometric pressure and weather conditions. This has been evident because I am super-aware of the weather and started to study it three years ago, when I was 3 1/2 years old. I love The Weather Channel, Jim Cantore and all my friends and teachers know me as having a “thing for weather”. I go to weather camp every year at the weather center downtown and indulge in the information. Weather is awesome!

    7 years old and boy, would I love a ride in the TIV! I asked Grandma for a TIV last year and she really disappointed me when she could not produce one for my Birthday!

    (Written with Mom’s help)

  69. Marisol Solis says:

    Strangest weather experience? Definitely Hurrican Ike in September 2008. I was pregnant at the time and on intravenous therapy. As the rain poured down and the wind howled, the roof on the house started to lose shingles. Thinking we might have to evacuate the house, I ripped out the IV and got ready to run! Luckily, the storm subsided and we didn’t have to leave. We were very fortunate and lucky compared to other Houstonians!

  70. Laurie Leopold says:

    Strangest Weather Experience. Just married, living in Caldwell Tx. I traveled to Austin for school 1-2 days/wk. One late afternoon driving back home I could see real bad weather in the distance. From Houston, living in College Station and for a bit in Caldwell, I became use to bad thunderstorms, hail, and the occasional mild tornado. This was way different. I saw colors in the sky, clouds, and even the edge of a storm system so big I never knew where possible. I could see a distinctive edge where one side was the storm and the other a clear blue sky. It was the devastating tornado that hit Jerrell in 1997. I could she the very edge of the storm as I drove around it. I knew I was safe, but at the same time I could also tell that storm was huge and powerful. I didn’t know the extent of that storm system until I got home and saw the news.

  71. Janet Stilwell says:

    My weirdest weather experience happened in Killeen, Texas. I spent a part of my childhood in a west Texas town called Colorado City where you could see tornadoes on the horizon fairly regularly during the summer months. They were usually so far away, there was no reason to worry, and when they were close, there was a shelter in the backyard. So, when there was a tornado warning in Killeen, it didn’t concern me that much. I was a teacher at an elementary school, and the school had been in tornado drill mode much of the day. My classroom was in a portable building on the parking lot, and I had left an incredible amount of work to do out there. All I could think about was the amount of time that would be wasted if I didn’t get the stuff inside the main building with me. I waited with the administrative staff at the door until they let me go. I raced out to my portable and grabbed my work. Then I ran to my car to get something out of my trunk. As I turned around my workmates were signaling frantically for me to come inside. I could see that they were saying something, but I couldn’t hear anything. I ran to the door and two of them forced it open for me and it pulled it closed. Breathlessly, they asked if I had seen it, but I had no idea what they were talking about. Apparently there had been a tornado in the pasture just beyond the parking lot. I had no clue. I’m kind of glad I didn’t.

  72. Weather experience –
    I commute to work on the East Sam Houston Tollway over the Houston Ship Channel. One day, I was coming home from work when threatening weather was approaching. The clouds were so low I literally felt I could reach out and touch them; very dark and ominous. There was an interesting formation almost directly over the Beltway. As I drove toward it, I could actually see the circulation right over my head! It was fascinating, and I wanted to watch! However, being in an unarmored vehicle, I had the good sense to drive on home.

    The movies are OK, but I like watching Storm Chasers because it shows real people and authentic work/research.

  73. Dee Locke says:

    My 5 1/2 year old is so fascinated with tornadoes and storms. Every time we go to the Library he has to get books about them. I know it would be a thrill of a lifetime if he could ride in the TIV. We are taking him to see Tornado Alley during spring break.

  74. Victoria Craig says:

    Growing up in the Gulf Coast, we experienced many tornadoes coming through town. I was always terrified of them and would jump every time I would hear the train… One afternoon when I was in high school, I was sitting in the hallway reading a book, when I saw a tornado form and touch the ground in the back yard of our school. It was so new that the tornado warning sirens hadn’t been turned on by the city. Luckily, it went the opposite direction of our school and fizzled quickly. And… It didn’t really sound like a train, which made me feel more at ease in the future.

  75. Margaret vanWagner says:

    My late husband and I loved watching your show and trying to predict if you would or wouldn’t find something on that particular outing – of course, you did – that was the show. The closest I have come to a twister is when one pulled a tree out of our yard and dropped it in the pool – all this happened while standing at a sliding glass door with a 2 year old in my arms – we were certainly blessed that it just kept on going and did no damage to the house at all.
    A ride in your vehicle would be awesome – but, I want to go on one of your trips!

    Margaret vanWagner

  76. Cindy Carreau says:

    Hello, my name is Cindy. I forgot about living in tornado alley. I moved back home to Harvest, Alabama in 2010. I was raised in Huntsville but had lived in Houston for 18 years. On April 27th I was reminded of what a tornado warning means and the destruction it can bring. After several warnings with the sirens. My sons and and I noticed something falling from the sky, we ran and looked closer it was baseball cards. Another siren sounded so wegot back on the porch for what seemed like 10 or more minutes of nothing but the sound of loud thunder and lightning in the background of a almost green eirry sky. All at once my ears kinda popped and it was silent, my instinct said omg boys get into the pantry. My boys being boys said oh mom you are over reacting, I screamed get your asses nthe pantry,NOW. Well it was over in less than 5 minutes. I looked into the backyard ebryone of our 12 trees were just laying on the ground. Almost about to cry I step outside, and it was then I realized how lucky we had been. As I looked out in Anderson Hills in Harvest Alabama the neighborhood was almost demolished. We still had a home. But 70% of my neighbors didn’t. We were spared and my sons saw for the first time why I had always freaked out and heeded the warnings because I grew up with many tornado warnings. But as history has it I had not seen such devastation as April 27 2010.


  77. Mary Durkop says:

    I hope Sean sees all the posts. I have followed him since he had his very first show on tv when “Storm Chasers” did not exist and he was trying to film a tornado. Today my husband saw the TIV and I got a picture!! For all the weather observers that will only get to see his film, thank you. I have lived through hurricanes from Carla to now but I hope never see inside a real tornado except on IMAX.

  78. Sean says:

    The kits teach how to build your own solar panels and wind turbines for the renewable green energy.

  79. learn more says:

    Hello there, Could I grab the image and implement it on my blog?

  80. Caroline says:

    Sure thing, so long as you say it was courtesy of us here at HMNS!

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