Go Storm Chasing!
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A new disease has been identified this year. It is known as Supercell Deprivation Syndrome or SDS. (Classic storm chasing humor that has disappeared from its original website. We found it, and preserved it here for posterity.)
Storm chasers are many things, ranging from meteorologists to photographers. Others chase for the mere curiosity of validating their own forecasts. Some are tourists on storm chasing tours. But all often earn the title of “Adrenaline Junkie” in the media.
Storm chasing is the pursuit of severe storms, regardless of motive. A chase can be as simple as following a storm near the town a storm chaser resides in. Or, it can be as complex as driving across several states.
Like most activities, storm chasing includes associated risks. Mitigation of such risks will increase overall safety through knowledge, preparation, and making good decisions.
Storms capture the imagination. Their structures and processes, while potentially destructive at times are some of nature’s most awe-inspiring beauty. While some people view anything that is potentially destructive as negative, others with positive attitudes realize that storms are natural scientific processes that will happen regardless.
On Memorial Day in 2007, a violent tornado happened in southeastern Colorado. Our storm chasing tour group witnessed the tornado from birth to its death. But, something else interesting also happened. The local cellular tower was damaged in the resulting hail storm. I attempted to call the NWS office in Pueblo to inform them a tornado was in fact occurring, but couldn’t.