Chasing down a storm chaser
Sat, 04 Aug 2012 23:27:19 GMT —
Storm season has been mostly mild for the Tri-States this year, but Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers have found plenty of severe weather to pursue.
Jimmie Leonard, or "Pappie," the driver of the show's tornado chasing car made a stop in Quincy on Saturday.
Pappie and "the Dominator" both impressed local fans.
"This car is a piece of science fiction that's become reality. It has hydraulic suspension on it to raise it up and lower it. It has rams to anchor it to the ground. It has special ground effects on it to help suck it down to the ground when we get in the eye of the tornado. It has Dorothy, which is an air cannon mounted on it that provides us with the opportunity to put instruments up into the storm so we can get readings back from those," Leonard explained.
The impressive-looking automotive is coated all over with a special protective layer. The liner was designed by Line-X specifically for the storm chasers.
"Reed Timmer of the Dominator Storm Chaser did testing before Line-X actually sprayed the Dominator with the material. They shot 2x4's out of a cannon at 200MPH and it did not penetrate the material, it didn't go through it," Chuck Carlson, owner of Line-X of Quincy said.
The safety layers have allowed the Dominator storm chasing team to take the car directly into severe weather.
"The main target of this weather chasing is to save lives. We want to get out there and warn people of the potential dangers of tornadoes and, hopefully, give them that added time to get in their safe haven. We can always rebuild, we cannot rebuild lives. We're trying to save people's lives with early warning," Leonard said
Gem City Ford and Line-X of Quincy hosted the Dominator.