Today was a down day. Sean needed some audio of him interacting with Josh for the Discovery Channel and Josh figured the probe team needed some exercise, so all the probes drove out into rural Kansas for "Tornado Intercept Practice."
How do you practice intercepting a tornado? Well, first of all, you need someone to play the part of a tornado. Today's tornado will be played by the CU probe pickup:
Then, you line everyone up...:
And then send them off into the distance. Then, the coordinator (Karen, I believe), gives the "tornado" the go, and the tornado truck drives down the road towards the probes at around 20mph. The probe teams then scramble to deploy in front of the tornado before the tornado arrives and "kills" them. Once the tornado passes by, they rush back, recollect the probes, and try to get ahead of the "tornado" to redeploy.
Meanwhile, the TIV gets into position to intercept the "tornado".
Sean watches the "tornado" approach down the road:
....and successful intercept!
This may all seem a bit silly, but the reality of it is that they're relying on this kind of practice to keep them sharp for when it counts -- and when it counts, there won't be much margin for error. The probe teams deploy probes when the tornado is only a couple of minutes away. Mistakes could be fatal. So they drill and they drill and they drill.