Storm Chaser: Wadda These Guys THINKIN'???
by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
edited: Tuesday, May 28, 2002
Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2002
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Conquering and capturing wild weather...
I've admitted it before, and I'll admit it again.
I am a storm phobic. Major league. Top gun. Best of the best.
I don't like thunderstorms at all. Every time there is the mere mention of thunderstorms in the forecast, I turn into the biggest chicken you ever saw...I sprout feathers all over the place.
There is NO WAY on God's green earth I could be a storm chaser.
They are dedicated men and women.
Dedicated to studying every aspect of the weather, trying to understand and hopefully, predict it (with some degree of accuracy, although here, in Texas, that's next to impossible!).
They are dedicated to their profession.
They will drive for hundreds, even thousands, of miles in specially equipped storm chasing vehicles; these vans have every gadget and doodad available to assist them in the hunt of dangerous weather. A TV (tuned to the Weather Channel, of course!!). Several radios. Scanners. A NOAA weather radio with boosters (to help when reception is poor). Video camera mounted to the dash. Portable video camera at the ready. Still cameras, film, filters, tripod, photo lab...these guys are serious photographers.
They hope to capture images that will be played for weeks to come on the National News Network, for years to come on Discover the Learning Network. Or still photos of the storm and its progeny that they can sell and hopefully retire on the income they expect to make. (That's when there are no severe storms forecast.)
You would be able to tell the videos I shot...they'd be the ones with the tornado getting smaller and smaller. EVERY TIME. Why? Not because they're dissipating, it's because I'm a-runnin' the other way!! All you'd hear is me gasping for breath in between screaming. "Get me OUTTA here!!!")
They laugh at me at work, anyway, when bad weather comes up. When it lightnings, I'm a-duckin' everytime a flash goes off. Like that's gonna help. Thunder makes me jump. When it hails, that's it, I'm a-headin' for the cooler! My weather radio's on alert standby...if that sucker goes off, everyone knows it. "What's the forecast, Karla?" they'll ask. "When's the tornado going to hit?"
I'm sorry. Like I told you, I'm a storm phobic. DELUXE.
During severe weather season, they are always on the lookout for "THE" storm. The one that will go severe, with flooding rains, large hail, frequent lightning, high winds, and TORNADOES. Of course, most of the storms they're after don't turn into the truly nasty ones; most of the time, they're doing what they do best...CHASING. What, I haven't figured out.
These guys are NUTS.
While I'm doing everything I can to get outta the way of the approaching storm, there they are, driving like manics to get into the very heart of the action. Where the "fun" is. Where the danger is. The "bear's cage." (I'm sorry...I don't like bears, either. Except teddy bears. EVERYBODY loves teddy bears!!) The rain's pouring, the hail's a-poppin' (and bustin' out their windshields...there goes the dash-mounted video camera!! "But didja see that F-8 tornado in the viewfinder!!"), lightning is chasing them all over the road, high winds are blowing them ever closer to that...DITCH!!!!.
Pure T nuts.
Spendin' all that time on the road, persuing the storms of life. (Ain't there enough storms in life, without chasing more??)
Eatin' God knows where...eating God knows what.
Stayin' at motels night after night after night...city after city after city, state after state after state...I'd be so confused, I'd get lost and forget where I was!! ("Wait a minute...I thought we were in Oklahoma, whatta we doin' in 'Joisey??")
Still, I gotta admit...anytime you meet a storm chaser, you are instantly transfixed by their adventurous tales. You could sit there and listen to him or her for HOURS. You kinda get the feeling that maybe you could do that...
Not me. I wanna be running from the storms, not chasing the darned things!!
Actually, I wanna be in a basement, UNDERGROUND, away from all the flooding rains, large hail, frequent lightning, high winds and tornadoes!
Anyone care to join me in searching for basements...in TEXAS??? (No such animal. Believe me, I've looked.)
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