Meteorologist’s Attempt To Outrun Tornado Fails Miserably

While the thoughts and prayers goes out to everyone in Oklahoma, it still needs to be documented for media consumption, especially the local outlets giving details about future tornadoes.  Hence, the reason why media outlets, like the Weather Channel, were in the field relaying updates about these tornado-creating storms.  Yet, for Mike Bettes, his coverage brushed up with death itself, as his SUV was tossed 200 yards by a twister his team was trying to outrun.

The Associated Press reported today that:

Bettes was nursing minor injuries Saturday, including stitches in his hand, a day after the SUV that he and two photographers were riding in was thrown 200 yards by a twister in Oklahoma. The Weather Channel said all the occupants were wearing safety belts and walked away from the banged-up vehicle.

It’s the first time one of the network’s personalities has been injured while covering violent weather, spokeswoman Shirley Powell said.

“That was the scariest moment of my life,” Bettes said. “I had never been through anything like it before, and my life passed before my eyes.”

He and the photographers were trying to outrun a tornado they spotted in El Reno, Okla., and failed.

Bettes said it felt like the vehicle tumbled over several times and was floating in the air before crashing to the ground.

The Weather Channel quickly posted video of the experience since the team kept cameras rolling throughout. The tape largely showed a black screen with audio of crashes until it came to rest with the picture sideways.

It was perhaps a warning sign of the dangers inherent in the trend of tornado chasers. Storm hunters driving specially equipped cars and racing to get video of tornadoes touching down have become an expected byproduct of severe weather outbreaks, and some have even gotten their own TV shows.

Earlier this week, a storm chaser video got wide exposure because an armor-plated vehicle didn’t bother trying to outrun the storm. It came back with pictures from inside the tornado itself.

That’s crazy!


1 Comment

  1. June 2, 2013  11:44 am by Becky Pate Reply

    Thank you for what you do & glad you guys came through it. I would like to see the footage again of the vehicle flipping from the Outside that was captured by the camera that had ejected from the vehicle. Where can I see That again?

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