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Tornado Alley Premieres on the Science Center’s Giant Screen

It is one of nature’s most dangerous and violent forces. It spares nothing in its path and is the ultimate manifestation of destruction most never want to experience first-hand. Now witness one of the world’s most frightening spectacles from the safety of the Orlando Science Center on Saturday, March 24. Tornado Alley premieres on the giant screen of the Dr. Phillips CineDome during a day of special screenings, activities and Q&A’s with severe weather experts.

Tornado Alley is an explosive giant screen adventure that takes viewers on an epic chase through the severe weather capital of the world.

Narrated by Bill Paxton (Twister, Titanic, Big Love), the film follows director and star Sean Casey (from Storm Chasers on the Discovery Channel) and the scientists of VORTEX2, the largest tornado-research project ever assembled, on separate missions to encounter one of earth’s most remarkable events – the birth of a tornado. Whirling above the human drama are the storms themselves, magnificent forces of nature revealed in breathtaking detail through the magic of the giant screen.

Filmed across America’s Plains states where three-quarters of the world’s tornadoes occur, Casey and his crew race after storms in TIV-2, a seven-ton armored “tornado intercept vehicle” engineered and built by Casey to withstand the impact of the gale force winds at a tornado’s core. The goal that drives Casey into relentless super-cell storms? To navigate the TIV-2 directly into the heart of a tornado and capture its beauty and destructive power on film – up close and personal.

Leading researchers Karen Kosiba, Joshua Wurman and Don Burgess, along with the scientists of VORTEX2, are also on a quest to penetrate a tornado’s inner workings. But their methods – and their manpower – are different. The most ambitious scientific mission of its kind, VORTEX2 is comprised of more than a hundred severe-weather researchers from all over the world. Like Casey, the VORTEX2 team must weather the challenges of the road and face nature’s elemental power on their quest to collect data throughout a tornado’s entire lifecycle. Their hope is to better predict where and when tornadoes will strike, and to provide warnings that give those at risk a few more minutes to protect themselves and their families.

Over the course of Tornado Alley, science begins to reveal the unseen architecture of nature’s most elusive weather phenomenon. And viewers, for the first time in film history, are taken straight into the heart of an actual tornado. This unforgettable, visual journey tracks the paths of a renegade filmmaker and team of dedicated researchers – two very different kinds of storm chasers whose ultimate goal is nonetheless the same: to unlock the mysteries of earth’s most violent storms.

Tornado Alley is a production of Giant Screen Films and Graphic Films. The film is directed by Sean Casey and co-written by Sean Casey and Paul Novros. Major funding has been provided by the National Science Foundation with additional support from the Giant Dome Theater Consortium.

The film will premiere during a special event on Saturday, March 24, which includes appearances by Dr. Karen Kosiba, Senior Research Meteorologist at the Center for Severe Weather Research and one of the scientists featured in the film. She will be joined by WFTV’s Severe Weather Center 9 Team, including Chief Meteorologist Tom Terry and Meteorologist Brian Shields. They will be partnering with Kosiba on a panel discussion on the science of tornadoes and hosting Q&A’s following film screenings at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Members of the Severe Weather Center 9 Team will also be on hand throughout the day on March 24, answering questions and doing presentations in the Science Center’s weather exhibit located on the 4th Floor. While the Severe Weather Center 9 Team will only be available on premiere day, Kosiba will also be at the Science Center on Sunday, March 25 to introduce Screenings and answer guest questions.

Following its premiere, Tornado Alley will settle into its regular slot in the Science Center’s Dr. Phillips CineDome through Summer 2012. See the film with admission to the Orlando Science Center, which costs $17 for adults and $12 for youth (ages 3-11). Tickets also provides access to all the Science Center’s films, exhibits and live programs. For more information on the Orlando Science Center, please visit or call 407.514.2000.

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