Dorothy’s inaugural season
And that brings things back to Dorothy. Dorothy’s modifications include many of the features that have become familiar to television viewers. Panels slide to the ground to prevent wind from getting under the vehicle. Thick windows help protect those inside. A pair of gull-wing hatches can pop up from the sides, where a video camera can be mounted to record the storm.
There are some unique features that fit the network’s online presence. A pair of GoPro cameras on the front corners should give Dorothy the ability to stream live video. Computers and other equipment are still being added — a mobile forecasting center is part of the vehicle — but it’s clear she’s a utilitarian vehicle rather than something built for comfort.
A second vehicle joins Dorothy during chases. It’s a smaller SUV, a more traditional chase vehicle. Like Dorothy it’s wired for the internet. But it’s nowhere near as armored.
Dorothy will make a handful of public appearances in the coming weeks. There’s still a little bit of time before the severe weather season really gets going, and the ISCN wants to show her off.
Friday was like Christmas in a way for the team. They got to show off their new equipment and the enthusiasm was hard to contain. At one point Sharpe clambered inside and popped his head out of the right hatch with a huge grin. Jontz, Cooper and Auel repositioned both vehicles a couple times, moving them for the best picture angles.
And those bright, fluffy clouds floated by as harbingers of spring. While nobody knows precisely when the chase season will hit full swing, everyone knows it’s coming.
And the ISCN can’t wait to get Dorothy into the field.