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“Tornado Alley” blows into NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ new 3D Theater

UPDATED 10/24/2011

RALEIGH — Meet “Storm Chasers” star Sean Casey, get an up close look at the Tornado Intercept Vehicle and experience “Tornado Alley” on the big screen when the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences opens its new WRAL 3D Theater on Saturday, October 29.  

“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 this event on 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.

Sean Casey has directed a number of television documentaries (and even some music videos for the Violent Femmes) and stars in the Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers” reality series. To capture the extraordinary, first-of-a-kind footage in “Tornado Alley,” Casey not only had to learn how to enter a tornado, he had to design a vehicle that could take him there. In 2008, Casey introduced Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV) 2, built for one express purpose: to house and shuttle Casey’s camera (he and his crew call it “an armored tripod on wheels”). Built on a Dodge Ram 3500 platform, and surrounded by bullet-resistant windows and an armored steel shell, the 7-ton TIV2 has a third axle for six-wheel-drive capability, a modified 6.7-liter turbo-diesel engine, a 92-gallon fuel tank and a top speed of more than 100 mph. Both Casey and the TIV will be at the Museum all day Saturday.

Tickets for “Tornado Alley” can be purchased on site (same day only) at the Museum Box Office: $4 for Adults, $3.50 for Senior (65+) / Student / Military, $3 for Children (2 to 11), $2 for Friends of the Museum members. The movie is shown Monday–Saturday at 10 and 11am, 12, 2, 3 and 4pm, and Sunday at 1, 2, 3 and 4pm. General admission to the Museum is free. “Tornado Alley” will be running through early 2012 with other features to be determined. The WRAL 3D Theater is made possible through the generous support of WRAL and Capital Broadcasting Inc.

The WRAL 3D Theater is made possible through the generous support of WRAL and Capitol Broadcasting Inc.

Publish Date: 
Monday, October 24, 2011