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Posted at 1:00 PM ET, 05/13/2008

Projectile Automobiles

By Jason Samenow

Watch the video below to understand why it's a bad idea to be in your car when a tornado strikes. This incredible video was captured by a surveillance camera from an equipment company in northern Alabama on Thursday according to the National Weather Service.

By Jason Samenow  | May 13, 2008; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Thunderstorms  
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Posted by: madison | May 13, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

One interesting quote from the weatherman:

"That was probably an F2. If it were an F4, the winds would have been six times stronger." (Perhaps not exact wording)

Is that true? It seems a little hard to believe that an F4's windspeed should be 6X faster than an F2.

Posted by: mcleaNed | May 13, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

S&M Equipment Company. What a great name.

Posted by: Jamming | May 14, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps he meant the energy associated with said wind speeds between an EF2 and EF4 (which would be the difference between 155-160 mph vs 210-260 mph....not even close to a factor of 6x).

Posted by: D | May 14, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Oops, that should have read between 115-160 mph for an EF2.

Posted by: D | May 14, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

So let's say that you're caught outside with no shelter at all. Is it better to be in a car or not? At least a car will give you some protection against wind-blown projectiles (like other cars). OTOH, hitting the ground when the tornado picks you up and throws you like a pebble in your SUV is going to hurt pretty bad.

Posted by: Erika Froh | May 14, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Erika: My understanding is that it's better to find a ditch or low spot and cover your head than be in a car during a tornado.

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | May 14, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

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