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Anyone Else Into Storm Chasing ?
Old 08-25-2017, 12:48 PM   #1
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Anyone Else Into Storm Chasing ?

I've always been a weather fanatic, especially when it comes to tornadoes.
I'm not a meteorologist, but I've attained enough knowledge to be comfortable chasing them.

I doubt they'll be much interest in this, but what the heck.

Sunday July 9th 2017
Recap: The atmosphere where I live (South Central Minnesota) was capped that day.

There's plenty of sites that identify area's where severe weather is most likely.
I use this one, https://www.wunderground.com/severec...?outlook=today & on July 9th, there was a large area highlighted in dark orange (enhanced risk) to the NW of me.

I left around 4:45 PM, zigzagged on a bunch of different roads until I was approximately 75 miles NW. I pulled into a field approach & watched.
Lots of little cells were trying to start up to the east & south of me, but as mentioned earlier, the atmosphere there was capped.

About 1/2 hour later, I saw two separate storms to the NW break through the cap. I followed the one furthest west. It's amazing how fast a fluffy little cumulus cloud can turn into a supercell when all the conditions are just right.
I am guessing that the time between when I saw this little cell go up, & when I started recording, (pic 1) was 30 minutes tops!

A couple things about this storm were amazing to me. One was the sound of the thunder from 7:55 to 8:05. I can only describe it as the sound of giant boulders rolling downhill. The other was the beautiful striations in the storm caused by the spin/rotation visible from approximately 6:30 & forward.
Most visible in screen-cap 6. It was simply incredible!

My only regret is that I procrastinated on getting an HD camera. I can only imagine how much better the caps/video would've looked



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Old 08-25-2017, 12:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ownyourfuture View Post
I've always been a weather fanatic, especially when it comes to tornadoes.
I'm not a meteorologist, but I've attained enough knowledge to be comfortable chasing them.

I doubt they'll be much interest in this, but what the heck.

Sunday July 9th 2017
Recap: The atmosphere where I live (South Central Minnesota) was capped that day.

There's plenty of sites that identify area's where severe weather is most likely.
I use this one, https://www.wunderground.com/severec...?outlook=today & on July 9th, there was a large area highlighted in dark orange (enhanced risk) to the NW of me.

I left around 4:45 PM, zigzagged on a bunch of different roads until I was approximately 75 miles NW. I pulled into a field approach & watched.
Lots of little cells were trying to start up to the east & south of me, but as mentioned earlier, the atmosphere there was capped.

About 1/2 hour later, I saw two separate storms to the NW break through the cap. I followed the one furthest west. It's amazing how fast a fluffy little cumulus cloud can turn into a supercell when all the conditions are just right.
I am guessing that the time between when I saw this little cell go up, & when I started recording, (pic 1) was 30 minutes tops!

A couple things about this storm were amazing to me. One was the sound of the thunder from 7:55 to 8:05. I can only describe it as the sound of giant boulders rolling downhill. The other was the beautiful striations in the storm caused by the spin/rotation visible from approximately 6:30 & forward.
Most visible in screen-cap 6. It was simply incredible!

My only regret is that I procrastinated on getting an HD camera. I can only imagine how much better the caps/video would've looked



quite crazy, but very impressive! Prefer to watch from home (on TV, that is)
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:15 PM   #3
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Nope. I prefer to avoid 'em. Have been flying for 37 years, and in an airplane, storms are really bad news.

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Old 08-25-2017, 02:44 PM   #4
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Should you have another "chaser" with you for safety? Maybe you could take some photography lessons. Can you edit out all the camera motion and zooming in and out too much? I'm not a chaser but do watch the Weather Channel and storm chaser video. Don't think I could see in person the destruction of property and lives. I do like to watch lightning and snow storms. Keep safe!
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:52 PM   #5
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Should you have another "chaser" with you for safety? Maybe you could take some photography lessons. Can you edit out all the camera motion and zooming in and out too much? I'm not a chaser but do watch the Weather Channel and storm chaser video. Don't think I could see in person the destruction of property and lives. I do like to watch lightning and snow storms. Keep safe!
Yes, it's always better to have another person with you. Even if they have zero knowledge of weather, they can at least help you watch the road. But for different reasons, none of the people I would normally ask to go along, were available that day.

I will admit that I did 'way too much' zooming in & out
By the time the 2018 season rolls around, I'll have both a High-Def dash cam, & hand-held.
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:20 PM   #6
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I've been storm chasing twice with Tempest Tours. A 10-day trip in May a few years ago left out of Oklahoma City. We saw 5 tornadoes that trip. It just happened to be the most volatile week in recorded weather history. A few years later, I took a 7-day trip with them in June which left out of Denver. We didn't see any tornadoes that trip but saw some good thunderstorms. You never knew where you were going to spend the night since it was based on where the storms are most likely to come together. Great experience. Saw lots of the plains area and stayed at a lot of mom and pop motels in the middle of nowhere.

We were warned on day 1 that we would run into three kinds of people: 1. those who wanted to join us; 2. those who thought we were crazy; 3. those who thought we were taking advantage of the misfortune of others.

Only ran into one guy in group three above. Lots in the other two groups.

Experienced storm chasers, as were our guides, actually provide a valuable service to the locals as they are able to report via live radio communications where tornadoes have formed/been spotted thereby alerting communities in their path more time to seek shelter.
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:26 PM   #7
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A couple of years ago, I took the class and became a National Weather Service Certified Weather Spotter.

After being in or near a few tornados, the last thing I want to do is chase them. I just want to be able to recognize severe weather pre-conditions and prepare to safely deal with whatever happens.
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauAnn View Post
I've been storm chasing twice with Tempest Tours. A 10-day trip in May a few years ago left out of Oklahoma City. We saw 5 tornadoes that trip. It just happened to be the most volatile week in recorded weather history.

3- Those who thought we were taking advantage of the misfortune of others.

Only ran into one guy in group three above. Lots in the other two groups.

Experienced storm chasers, as were our guides, actually provide a valuable service to the locals as they are able to report via live radio communications where tornadoes have formed/been spotted thereby alerting communities in their path more time to seek shelter.
That must've been an incredible experience!

"Taking advantage of the misfortune of others" Absolutely preposterous!
As if the storm chasers presence, somehow brings about tornadoes in a certain area, instead of vice versa.

Like you said, experienced chasers/spotters actually provide a valuable service.
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