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Tue May 21, 2013, 03:04 PM

Storm chasers - is it time for them to stop?

Twenty some years ago, there were very few films of tornadoes. Back then, storm chasers provided very important information for those attempting to design early warning systems. But today, aren't storm chasers mostly the worst kind of lookie-loos? People trying to get out of the way of tornadoes or officials trying to assess damage shouldn't have to deal with people who are driving wildly around the country side in order to film disaster porn.

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Storm chasers - is it time for them to stop? (Original post)
hedgehog May 2013 OP
Walk away May 2013 #1
hedgehog May 2013 #5
Daemonaquila May 2013 #12
csziggy May 2013 #2
HappyMe May 2013 #3
premium May 2013 #4
winter is coming May 2013 #6
hedgehog May 2013 #9
premium May 2013 #14
laundry_queen May 2013 #17
Logical May 2013 #10
loli phabay May 2013 #20
Daemonaquila May 2013 #7
Nye Bevan May 2013 #8
CBGLuthier May 2013 #11
GreenStormCloud May 2013 #13
Blue_Tires May 2013 #15
newfie11 May 2013 #16
Bluenorthwest May 2013 #18
fishwax May 2013 #19
Nimajneb Nilknarf May 2013 #21
11 Bravo May 2013 #22

Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:06 PM

1. How are they having to deal with them?

I didn't realize they were a big problem.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #1)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:11 PM

5. I've seen numerous videos taken by people in speeding cars looking at a

tornado and trying to drive behind it or around it in order to get dramatic footage. I can't believe that safe driving is a high priority, and am surprised that collisions haven't been reported. Having additional joy riders on the roads around a tornado path can't be a good thing.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #5)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:16 PM

12. "Surprised that collisions haven't been reported."

 

Ergo, non-issue x 10. Maybe worrying about a REAL problem would be better?

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:08 PM

2. Most of the storm chasers are far gone by the time the recovery is begun

In some cases, the storm chasers have provided valuable confirmation of tornadoes on the ground, their direction, and the extent of the damage.

But they don't tend to hang around to get in the way of damage assessment or rescue and recovery operations - they are generally following the storms and could be in a different state by the time the people doing that arrive.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:08 PM

3. I still think that they can provide

useful info.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:09 PM

4. If officials are assessing the damage,

 

isn't the storm already past? When was the last time a storm chaser got in the way of people trying to get out of the way?

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:11 PM

6. I don't see any reason to stop the storm-chasers who are meteorologists.

And I don't see any practical way to stop the ones who aren't. You gonna take the time to ticket somebody, when a tornado's bearing down on you?

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #6)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:14 PM

9. I agree that no cop is going to be going out there to ticket drivers

at that time. I'm simply asking if we should reconsider how we think of storm chasers.Do they really do anything productive any more, or is it mere thrill seeking?

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #9)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:19 PM

14. What would you do?

 

Make it a crime to chase a storm? How would you enforce it?

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #9)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:23 PM

17. Most of the meteorologists out there are conducting research.

Usually, the videos and photos are usually part of the same team (meaning the photographers travel with the meteorologists), as it can be useful to see how the video compares with the data collected.

There ARE 'amateur' storm chasers that do it for the thrill. Some are extremely educated, and some are just morons. It's hard to know where to draw the line, or how on earth you would enforce said line if there WERE one. Some seasoned storm chasers DO complain about the road congestion caused by amateurs while chasing storms but I'm at a loss at how you can regulate it. So, for now, I think it's best to just leave well enough alone.

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #6)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:15 PM

10. Believe it or not some chasers know more about tornados....

 

Tan many Meteorologists. Some are experts on tornado's because if a life time casing them.

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Response to Logical (Reply #10)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:28 PM

20. this plus how many meteorologists are out there, enough to cover every cell

 

These amateurs provide early warning for many communities, they dont just film it they call it in with relevant info that gives early warning. Hell we even had a tornado in the shenandoah a couple of years back and it was an amateur who called the sheriffs office and gave advance warning that allowed the responders to get moving. Luckily no one was hurt but that call was appreciated and could have saved lives.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:14 PM

7. Nonsense.

 

Whether they're storm chasers whose job it is to provide valuable on-the-ground info to county and local officials, or just hobbyists, it's not anyone else's business. This is such a non-issue. If someone wants to be in harm's way, whether in front of a storm or climbing a treacherous mountain, it's nobody else's business.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:14 PM

8. If you have a link to where a storm chaser "got in the way" then maybe.

If not, then perhaps they are providing a service.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:15 PM

11. Most of our storm chasers are coordinating with the tv stations

Their reporting is very valuable and they know better than to get in the way.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:18 PM

13. There are two types of storm chasers - professionals and disaster tourists.

There are still professionals who chase storms, and use some very sophisticated gear to get various readings of the internal structure of such storms as they develop.

And there are folks that just want to take some video of a tornado and have an adventure to talk about. They are the ones that are in the way.

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Response to GreenStormCloud (Reply #13)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:20 PM

15. +1

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:22 PM

16. The ones I see here in western NE and CO are not the looky loo types

They have cars with radar on top and a weird looking car that looks like a tank. I have seen them headed south once and there was a convoy of about 4-5 cars.
That was here in NE.

Another time they once passed us headed for somewhere in CO.

I also saw one of those tank cars in Chryenne Wy.

I have no problem with them.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:26 PM

18. No

 

nt

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:26 PM

19. storm chasers are pretty much out of the way when the time comes to assess damage

In the meantime, chasers still provide valuable information, both in the form of documentation of the storm and in the form of keeping news organizations informed about storms developments. The networks in Oklahoma, for instance, all have professional storm chasing crews, but they also get info from amateurs and hobbyists who are out chasing storms. As storm systems develop, tornadoes can pop up almost anywhere, and the networks' professional crews can't be in all places at once. These chasers are out there for a variety of reasons: to learn, to get practice, to hopefully be able to spot something early in order to provide footage and information. Certainly a sense of adventure plays into it for many/most, but I don't think that is bad.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:29 PM

21. The pursuit of knowledge sometimes compels people to take extraordinary personal risks.

 

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue May 21, 2013, 03:42 PM

22. I could not disagree more. Storm chasers such as Reed Timmer ...

and others provide real-time eyes on the ground, which assist local news teams in providing residents with immediate and precisely localized warnings. Calling it "disaster porn" is misinformed, at best.
Disaster, or "storm porn" consists of every fucking network morning news show broadcasting live from the scene on the morning after, as their stars elbow each other out of the way in order to ask survivors questions like, "How do you feel?"

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