The dangers of storm chasing.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MacNut, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #1
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/02/us/midwest-weather/index.html

    They know the risks when they chase and for the first time experienced chasers have died while protecting the lives of others.
     
  2. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #2
    While I'm sorry they became the victims of what they were chasing, I question how much protection the role provides. My feeling is that behind everything is the trill of seeing something like this up close, ideally as this example shows, not too close, and getting some good pics. I do acknowledge that some chasers do scientific work, but I wonder what the percentage is, versus the thrill of the chase? Were they caught in a traffic jam or something like that? (thought I heard something about it.)
     
  3. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #3
    There was only one road where the storm was and not many chances for escape. All of the chasers said that the storm double backed and was one of the worst storms they have even seen. Yes there are a lot of thrill seekers, actually I would love to go out on a chase one day. But there is a lot of important research that comes out of chasing as well as helping the NWS issue warnings. I do think they got complacent in chasing and there are too many amateurs out there. Plus the roads were packed with people.
     
  4. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #4
    From what I read the storm changed directions at the last second and they weren't able to get away in time.

    There are definitely many of these storm chasers who do it now just for the thrill or just so they can have the coolest pictures on facebook, and that's extremely reckless and dangerous, and when I first saw that storm chasers had been killed, I expected it to be one of those groups, but that wasn't what these guys do.

    These guys were legit scientists and meteorologists who have been chasing tornados for 20+ years. I believe one of the articles I read indicated they were trying to place ground-based doppler radar units right in the path of the tornado (literally like the movie twister) to try to get more measurements inside the tornado.

    While you can't directly attribute these guys work to saving specific lives, there's no doubt the work that them (and the other legitimate scientist chasers) do has saved countless lives in the past few decades by advancing our knowledge of how the storms form and work and increasing warning times. Tornados like the EF5 that hit Moore used to be much more deadly in the past even though the areas they hit were much less populated than they are now. The work these men and their colleges have done has increased warning times from literally a minute or two when the tornado was basically already on top of you to the 10-15 minute warning times that Moore had which allowed so many people to get into storm shelters.
     
  5. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #5
    Storm chasing might be the wrong term. Weather spotters are trained to spot the early stages of a severe storm and be able to distinguish a funnel cloud. Being a trained spotter they tell us, don't risk your lives when spotting. While I don't live near tornado alley I have never seen a tornado up close. Not that we don't get them up here they are just very hard to spot. There will aways be a need for people to hunt these storms and send early warnings. Now we can do without the yahoos that just drive around taking pictures of them for the thrill of it.
     
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #6
    I've met Tim Samaras. Came to my department in the past. RIP
     
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #7
    That couldn't have been a pleasant death. But they died while performing a valuable service, and they loved it. If there is such thing as an honorable death, I think these three have achieved it.
     

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