Severe weather season has come to an end here in Tornado Alley, but the Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson is providing an opportunity to learn about meteorology, tornadoes, and the people who are crazy enough to chase them.
The Discovery Channel’s Sean Casey will be in Hutchinson Nov. 4-5 with a 16,000-pound armored storm chasing vehicle, the Tornado Intercept Vehicle 2 for a series of talks and demonstrations about weather research.
“Weather is the one thing that affects us all – regardless of your age or where you live,” said Cosmosphere President and CEO Chris Orwoll. “From toddlers to adults, people are fascinated by Mother Nature’s awesome weather events. Through his IMAX film, ‘Tornado Alley,’ the Discovery Channel’s ‘Storm Chasers’ series, and the VORTEX 2 tornado research mission, Sean and his team have brought the heart-pounding adventures of storm chasing and meteorological science right into our living rooms.”
Casey’s “Tornado Alley” will be showing at the Cosmosphere’s IMAX theater throughout the weekend, and there will be a number of other weather-related services and demonstrations. Casey will be available for autographs and photos both days.
On Sunday, AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions Senior Vice President Mike Smith will discuss weather warnings and the massive storm systems that destroyed Greensburg and Joplin.
Those attending the event can bring personal items to donate for American Red Cross Comfort Kits for local disaster victims. Items such as toothbrushes, shampoo, razors, soap, etc., are welcome.
For event details, and IMAX Dome ticket information, visit the Cosmosphere’s web site.
The drive to Hutchinson is between two-and-a-half and three hours from Topeka if you take the straight shot out west along I-70 to Salina. There are plenty of views of the northern part of the Flint Hills along the way, and Salina makes for a good halfway point to refuel and stretch your legs.
Driving back, take the more scenic route by getting on 56 Highway at McPherson and touring along one of the state’s picturesque by-ways. It takes a little longer, but the drive is lush and green in the spring, colorful in autumn. This route will take you right through Council Grove, which has a number of historic stops aside from the well-known Hays House restaurant and Cottage House Bed and Breakfast. After passing through Council Grove, you can head north to I-70 and back to Topeka, but some these local attractions just might make it worth turning your day trip into an overnighter.