Storm Chasers Built This Crazy SUV To Drive Through Tornadoes [PICTURES]

storm chasers dominator 2 tornado vehicle

Reed Timmer and Sean Casey became two of the world’s best-known tornado experts by seeking out and studying the deadly storms in the Discovery Channel show “Storm Chasers” (2007-2012).

Their adventures would not have been be possible without the right equipment — especially the right vehicles.

In a Discovery Channel video, “Storm Chasers” host Timmer gives a tour of the Dominator 2, one of their best rides.

He explains all the features — from steel plating to air cannons to extra windshield wipers — that make it the perfect ride for driving into the heart of a tornado and coming out with everyone alive.

The Dominator 2 is a heavily modified GMC Yukon XL.

It's made to withstand two key risks tornadoes pose to vehicles: flipping over and flying debris.

Surrounded by 16 gauge (that's about .06 inches thick) steel plating, it weighs in at about 8,000 pounds.

A hydraulics system lowers the car's shell to be flush with the ground, so wind doesn't get underneath and flip the Dominator over.

For extra stability, spikes near the wheels drive into the ground.

The steel plating is covered with polyethylene plastic spray, for extra durability.

The windows are made from Lexan, a durable kind of plastic.

And the windshield has two layers: an outer one of Lexan, and an inner one made of glass.

There are three sets of wipers, including one for the inner windshield, in case it fogs up.

Of course, the Dominator is made to study tornadoes, not just survive them. The radar dome on the roof of the measures upward and downward motion inside the storms.

Air cannons on the back shoot instrument probes into the air.

The probes have little parachutes, and track temperature, moisture and pressure inside the tornado.

And there's a satellite phone on the vehicle, to keep the team in contact at all times.

All of those features combine to make it the perfect vehicle for chasing, and understanding, tornadoes.

Looking for another ridiculous ride?

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