Reed Timmer survives wild close-up encounter with powerhouse tornado in Nebraska –

What’s it like to be inside a tornado as it’s forming? Few people, if any, have experienced such a sensation, but Reed Timmer is now one who has — and lived to talk about it after an extraordinary up-close encounter with a tornado on Friday evening.

Timmer started off on Friday with the goal of intercepting a tornado in his Dominator 3 vehicle, and by 6 p.m. CDT, he was staring a tornado in the face just west of McCook, Nebraska.

“I was unable to get back to the vehicle and couldn’t see it, so I just turned my back to the wind and hoped for the best until it passed,” Timmer said.

reed intercept

A wall of dust and debris kicked up by the tornado that landed on Reed Timmer on Friday afternoon near McCook, Nebraska.

As the twister bore down, Timmer could barely see more than a few feet away due to the amount of dirt, dust and debris whipping around. Amid the whirlwind, Timmer’s hat went flying off his head and became part of the tornado.

“[I] just intercepted the tornado on foot,” Timmer yelled after the twister had passed overhead.

Timmer was left covered in dirt, as well as the inside of his Dominator 3 vehicle, as the doors were left open as the tornado blew through.


A photo of a dirt-covered Reed Timmer after he was hit by a tornado on Friday afternoon west of McCook, Nebraska.

This was one of the biggest days for severe weather in the central U.S. so far this year, and Mother Nature shows no signs of stopping.

“Tornado Alley is certainly waking up with significant severe weather,” Timmer said on Thursday while commenting on the impending outbreak of storms. Little did he know, a tornado was going to wake up right on him.

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Twister touches down near border of Kansas, Oklahoma

The tornado that tracked near McCook, Nebraska, on Friday was one of several major tornadoes that touched down across the region.


The tornado in McCook, Nebraska, tore through fields near Highway 83. (Twitter/@grantkevin13)

Aaron Jayjack

A twister touched down in a field near McCook, Nebraska Friday, May 17, 2019. So far there have been no reported injuries. (Aaron Jayjack)


A rare occurrence of twin tornadoes touched down near Farnam, Nebraska on May, 17, 2019. (Twitter/@terrellstorms)


Twin tornadoes touched down in Farnam, Nebraska Friday afternoon around 7:20 p.m. CDT. (Twitter/@terrellstorms)

Reed Timmer

AccuWeather’s Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer caught the tornado near McCook, Nebraska on video. (AccuWeather Photo/Reed Timmer)


A tornado touched down in McCook, Nebraska amid severe weather on Friday, May 17, 2019. (Twitter/@WX_JPTRACEY)


A tornado tore through a field between McCook and Culbertson, Nebraska Friday evening, May 17, 2019. (Twitter/@Sturms112010)


A tornado spotted near Minneola, Kansas, on Friday evneing.

Blake Naftel

A tornado crossed the Oklahoma-Kansas state line Friday evening, crossing from around Forgan, Oklahoma to Meade, Kansas. (AccuWeather Photo/Blake Naftel)

Timmer will continue to track the severe weather the the nation’s heartland through the weekend and into next week, with every day bringing the risk for damaging storms and tornadoes through Tuesday.

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