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Twisters movie hits theaters in July, meteorologists react

Many meteorologists and weather enthusiasts have at least a slight obsession with the 1996 film “Twister”; some claim to have watched it six times or more. It’s something of an anthem for the weather community, and perhaps the first time weather nerds have been portrayed as “cool” or adventurous in a major motion picture.

Now, nearly three decades later, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures are preparing to release “Twisters” on July 19. The first trailer for the film was released during the Super Bowl on Sunday, and meteorologists are having a hard time containing their excitement.

“The trailer looks amazing!” ” wrote Reed Timmer, extreme meteorologist and star of the former Discovery series “Storm Chasers.” “It looks like a realistic depiction of up-close tornado chasing and extreme science in the field. The tornadoes look realistic and I love the focus on the legendary tornadoes. Timmer mentioned an apparent reference to the violent twin tornadoes that struck Pilger, Neb., in 2014.

“Twisters” is a standalone sequel to the original, meaning it will build on the backstory but have a self-contained plot, according to Vogue Magazine. It stars Daisy Edgar Jones and Glen Powell.

It’s not officially known if Helen Hunt, who starred in the original alongside the late Bill Paxton, will make an appearance.. That said, she was noticeably absent from the trailer.

The caravan pursues groups fighting for position as they track tornadoes across the Great Plains. There are one or more brushes with death when the hunters venture too close to the tornadoes. Some scenes were filmed in Oklahoma, including Chickasha, El Reno, Okarche and Cashion, last spring and summer on a budget of about $200 million, according to the Oklahoman. reports.

The upcoming film is already attracting the attention of real storm chasers across the country.

Rick Smith, a warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Norman, Oklahoma, says his office was loosely involved in consultations for the film.

“I am naturally interested and excited to see how this all plays out,” he wrote in an email. Smith has been closely monitoring Oklahomans since 2002 and has led the issuance of warnings for hundreds of severe weather events in the heart of Tornado Alley.

Ryan Larmeu, a meteorologist at KEVN-TV in Rapid City, SD, was equally enthusiastic.

“A movie about tornadoes: so of course as a meteorologist I’m going to watch it. It’s not even a question,” he said in a message.

But he and others wondered whether “Twisters” may be too close to the plot of the original film.

“During the trailer, it looked more like a remake of the original than a follow-up film,” he wrote. “So it’s discouraging.”

Some on social media wondered if “Twisters” would encourage even more people to flock to the increasingly popular sport of storm chasing, which in recent years has caused traffic jams and contributed to accidents and casualties.

“This will make the fighter convergence a million times worse” tweeted Jennifer Starkstorm chaser and meteorology student from Texas.

Aubrey Urbanowicz, chief meteorologist at WHSV in Harrisonburg, Virginia, said she wished the trailer had included more real-life storm chasing footage from past storms.

“My first impression is that it looks too much like computer graphics,” she said. wrote on X. “There are many real images, which do not need to be faked. I’m sure I’ll watch, but I don’t have high hopes.

Many who saw the trailer couldn’t ignore the depiction of the main characters sheltering under an overpass. This poses a huge safety risk during extreme weather conditions because winds are actually channeled and accelerated under a bridge span.

“There are strong reactions to the trailer within the weather community, particularly with a scene that appears to show characters sheltering under an overpass,” Smith said. “Trailers showing a bunch of brief action shots don’t always give us the full context to understand what’s really happening in a scene, and I think we just have to wait and see how it looks in the edit final in July before doing so too. upset.”

Larmeu, on the other hand, was unhappy with this scene, even in the trailer. “I don’t think such things should be shown in a major motion picture, much less in a trailer shown on America’s biggest television event,” he wrote.

Other meteorologists felt the film should simply be enjoyed for its entertainment value. Violeta Yas, meteorologist at NBC New York, encouraged colleagues to “enjoy the ad for about an hour before people start dismantling the most insignificant technical details”.

At least one storm chaser couldn’t contain his excitement.

“THE PEOPLE I AM BEYOND Ecstatic” wrote Jennifer Brindley Ubi on X. “It confirmed all my great hopes and expectations. I absolutely can’t wait. The studio, production and effects team care a lot about this and it’s evident in this trailer that they’ve done a spectacular job. It looks AMAZING! »

Jason Samenow contributed to this report.

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