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Old 02-13-2007, 04:51 PM  
PinkFloyd PinkFloyd is offline
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Storm Chaser: Give It A "Whirl"

As I've mentioned in other threads, for the last 22 years I've been active in storm chasing... I've recieved several messages from people on here, inquiring about it...

When I first started, my belief was to get behind it and follow it as closly as I possibly could -- the tornado that is... Well; after finally getting afew brain cells added in my head, and attending several storm seminars, I realized that it was more than just that...

I've been hooked up now with several radio and television stations within my area, for the last 18 years... Whenever I recieve an alert on my cell phone, all the "chasers" in my area report to their assigned zones... My zone runs about 50 miles either direction of my house...

If I see any reported activity -- wether it's a funnel cloud just developing -- or one on the ground -- I will call in the location of the tornado to the stations that i feel is threatened by the oncoming storm... Generally; most tornados will travel in a north/northeast direction...

My biggest fear is going out after dark... It's very hard to spot one, and about the only time you might see one is during a lightning flash... You will use your ears more than your eyes at night...

Another tornado hard to spot, is a "rain wrapped" tornado... This tornado is generally surrounded by a down pouring rainstorm... Spotting this is very difficult...

You MUST know all the roads you will be traveling, and if you don't -- you better have a map with you... There's been afew times when I've gone down the wrong road, and there's only one way out... And that's trying to out run it on a road where you have no idea where it leads you...

Very seldom do I have time to take video or photo's of the storm unless I have someone with me to do it for me... Occasionally I will set in a spot where I know one will pass within a mile of me... The closest I got was last year... I was within probably with a 1/2 mile of one just south of my house... I was running into it, trying to get behind it, so then i could turn around and follow it... I just let my emotions tell me the wrong thing to do... I should have just set still and let it pass by...

So; for any of you interested in doing this, keep looking out for storm seminars coming to your area... They will not teach you how to do this, but you will have a better understanding of the impact tornados have...

For you in small rural towns, get hooked up with your local fire departments... Most of them go out and act as spotters and first responders...

Your first few will scare the living hell out of you, but within a few more, you will be all pumped up and ready to get closer even yet... And most and foremost --- be safe --- not stupid !!!
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Old 02-13-2007, 04:54 PM   #2
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is offline
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Cool post and good info...Ive always wondered who does that and how you got involved
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Old 02-13-2007, 04:55 PM   #3
crazycoffey crazycoffey is offline
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Old 02-13-2007, 05:00 PM   #4
PinkFloyd PinkFloyd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycoffey
I thought I was nuts

It's not bad... Largest one I saw was in 2004... It was 7 miles east of my house... It was 3/4 to a mile wide, and had wind speeds of over 200 MPH... They said it was an F-4... I'm saying it was an F-5...

The countryside is STILL torn all to hell to this day... Three people died that night just east of me...
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Old 02-13-2007, 05:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkfloyd
keep looking out for storm seminars coming to your area... They will not teach you how to do this, but you will have a better understanding of the impact tornados have...
So, seminars are as tricky as tornados.
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Old 02-13-2007, 05:13 PM   #6
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When I was a kid we used to chase them twisters..seen as many as 6 in one nite..tornado alley sekansas ...
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Old 02-13-2007, 05:26 PM   #7
PinkFloyd PinkFloyd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger
So, seminars are as tricky as tornados.
Ummmmmmmmmm... No...



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Old 02-13-2007, 05:27 PM   #8
PinkFloyd PinkFloyd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogblaster
When I was a kid we used to chase them twisters..seen as many as 6 in one nite..tornado alley sekansas ...

I saw as many as 17 on one day in 2004...
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Old 02-13-2007, 05:34 PM   #9
Easy 6 Easy 6 is offline
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I totally understand the thrill & desire to get close to those, i just question the wisdom. Few things in life match the spectacle of an awesome storm, but i wouldnt do it unless i was in one of those weighted down & armored trucks that the pros use.
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Old 02-13-2007, 06:06 PM   #10
crazycoffey crazycoffey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkfloyd
It's not bad... Largest one I saw was in 2004... It was 7 miles east of my house... It was 3/4 to a mile wide, and had wind speeds of over 200 MPH... They said it was an F-4... I'm saying it was an F-5...

The countryside is STILL torn all to hell to this day... Three people died that night just east of me...

I understand a need is there, just crazy is all, IMO. I know it's kind of backward, I've been trained to take a gun and a few buddies into a building with a nut who also has a gun and I think what you are doing is crazy.

But at least neither of us are jumping out of an airplane.
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Old 02-13-2007, 06:09 PM   #11
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Personally, when I see a caravan of cars a mile long heading out to chase the tornado, I can't help but hope that all of those people catch it.
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Old 02-13-2007, 06:35 PM   #12
Archie F. Swin Archie F. Swin is online now
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Many Natl Weather Service offices host spotter/SKYWARN seminars which are very informative, and an absolute must if you're considering becoming a spotter.

Here's the KC area spotter talk schedule
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Old 02-13-2007, 06:43 PM   #13
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How is all this funded? If I had to guess I'd say university or research grants but still curious.

Thx for the info
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Old 02-13-2007, 07:31 PM   #14
PinkFloyd PinkFloyd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock
Personally, when I see a caravan of cars a mile long heading out to chase the tornado, I can't help but hope that all of those people catch it.

I'm glad I work alone then !!!


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Old 02-13-2007, 07:33 PM   #15
PinkFloyd PinkFloyd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otter
How is all this funded? If I had to guess I'd say university or research grants but still curious.

Thx for the info

Majority of the "major" storm chasers are funded thru universities... Oklahoma University has one of the top research teams in the U.S... They are always on tv...
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