Posted: 10/11/07 12:37 PM
Great story i found on Edmunds.com about a hummer h2 that is used to chase storms and tornado's.
Source: Hummer H2 Tornado Chaser
Kathy and Phil Henry lead a team that supports this mixture of amateur and professional storm chasers in a black Hummer H2 outfitted with an array of electronic gear to track storms.
On the perimeters of the super-cell storms, hail smashes windshields and heavy rain causes flash floods and drops visibility to zero. It's important to have a vehicle that's built to take it.
The Henrys report that their Hummer H2 will not hydroplane on flooded roads caused by the flash floods that accompany some of the storms. The deep grooves in the truck's huge BFGoodrich tires keep the H2 from skating like Brian Boitano across puddles that trip up the standard all-season rubber carried by the Dodge Durangos, Ford Explorers and Jeeps that trail in the Hummer's wake.
The Hummer H2's small window openings make the Henrys feel they're less vulnerable to the hail that often falls to earth at 70 mph, some of it large enough to knock out a pedestrian. The open air can become an inhospitable atmosphere when hail develops, as hot air on the ground lifts dust particles so quickly and so high that they freeze, then descend as hailstones. Rarely does a chase vehicle make it through a season without needing a windshield replacement.
The Henrys' black Hummer shows the scars of four years of tornado season damage — its roof is deeply pockmarked with hundreds of hail dents, the front grille has hundreds of chips from debris and this year one of its GPS antennae was destroyed by a direct hit from hail.
Inside, the passenger's airbag is disabled so that the large LCD of a laptop can display weather-radar images overlaid by a navigation system. Mobile broadband and a satellite telephone with a modem keep the Hummer connected to weather radar services, and to a network of storm spotters also using the same services. The odometer shows 120,000 miles, most of it from chasing storms in Tornado Alley. And the cops love it.