Category 6 coming in 2021!

rdale

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Warren Faidley

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I have to say I have nothing against Timmer personally. He seems like a nice enough guy and he's no doubt the most aggressive and successful commerical / PR chaser since I had my limelight in the 1990's. We do share that. I also respect the fact that he earned a PhD in meteorology, which is impressive. I think people sometimes misinterpret my opinions regarding participation in such shows as a personal attack, but that is not true.

This is why I almost always put the blame fully on production companies, not the participants. The production companies should know the difference between Jackass Show-style antics vs. constructive research by devoted professionals, backed up by institutions and legitimate endeavors, e.g., VORTEX and NCAR projects. They encourage extreme chasing because the average viewer thinks that is what chasing is about. Driving your vehicle into a dangerous hailcore or cruzing though a tornadic circulation for social media shi_ts and giggles is not science. Shame on National Geographic if they do end-up presenting any such stunts to the public as some form of legitimate scientific pursuit.

I will however, offer the same advise to National Geographic that I did to the TWC: These stunts could get someone killed or seriously injured.
 
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Mark Blue

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Feb 19, 2007
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Reed & Co. better hope the updated hurricane forecast for the Atlantic season holds water because the plains chasing this year was hit or miss as far as documentary-quality material is concerned. Canada chasing was decent this year but inaccessible due to the pandemic and closure of the border. It’s a wait and see approach for me right now. Thanks for clarifying Warren, we appreciate it.
 

Warren Faidley

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Yes, I can only imagine they will have to use a lot of third party / stock footage to make the show work, including the Campo-grade tube in Canada yesterday. (8-7). I'm really surprised NG would risk a crew going out (e.g., flying) during COVID and I wonder if they will receive any backlash? I do believe any production crew covering a Cat 4+ had better be very careful and use their own common sense / avoid being put in a bad situation for drama.

I had a Discovery crew following me during Frances in 2004 on Juno Beach, FL and they nearly drowned after being swept out into the ocean. I told them multiple times NOT to follow me into the storm surge because a: I'm nuts, and b: I had a flotation device. They did not listen and I turned to see them go completely under the waves. They were lucky to live but destroyed a $250,000 rental camera. The picture below was taken just seconds before they were swept away by the surge and off-shore gusts. I only mention this in hopes news / production crews will develop break points as to how far they will go in order to cover aggressive chasers.
 

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James K

EF3
Mar 26, 2019
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Could be an interesting show (or atleast there'd be the cool-ness of the storms.)
Obviously won't be watching it though since I don't have cable or satellite.
 

Michael Towers

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Jun 28, 2007
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I’ll be watching. I still miss the days of Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers series....
A lot of folks knocked that show but I enjoyed it much the same I do anything related to severe weather. As for Timmer he’s a polarizing figure and while I’m not a big fan of histrionics he’s a damn good chaser who’s been able to parlay his passion into fame and some degree of fortune. Kudos to him for living his dream and maybe someday in addition to his fame as a chaser he’ll gain more recognition as a scientist as well. As for the new show sounds like it might at least have some entertainment value, I’ll give it a watch.
 

S Klein

EF0
Jan 11, 2020
10
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Colorado
Bleh. I closed the article as soon as it said Reed Timmer was going to be the talent on the show.
And all I had to do was read your comment to realize it's probably not something for me lol

I have to say I have nothing against Timmer personally. He seems like a nice enough guy and he's no doubt the most aggressive and successful commerical / PR chaser since I had my limelight in the 1990's. We do share that. I also respect the fact that he earned a PhD in meteorology, which is impressive. I think people sometimes misinterpret my opinions regarding participation in such shows as a personal attack, but that is not true.
Timmer may have a PhD, but he hasn't really contributed anything beyond what the community of spotters has already been contributing for ages. Tim Samaras was a better meteorologist than Reed, and he didn't even have a degree in meteorology. He didn't even build the rocket he launched in Kansas, someone else did, and arguably the TIV isn't much more impressive than a rich high school kid's tuner car, and I'm not even sure he contributed to that. He literally does this to brag about living in Twister, he named the rocket Dorthy for f*'s sake, and as someone who saw an actual tornado before I saw that movie I find it rather insulting and irritating, and he's emulating Jonas of all characters he could want to be. 😂 I don't care if you hold 16 PhDs, it doesn't give you the right to be a narcissist; if he was really that good of a chaser he wouldn't need to secure outside funding to chase full time and yet still manage to capture proportionally far fewer tornadoes than the hobbyists who chase a few times per year. Reed is a washed up Reality TV star who got a degree to appear more classy and intellectual. He's obviously good at promoting himself, and I'll give him credit that that is a talent of its own, but I will never be able to take him seriously as a "scientist."

i'm guessing he'd have to publish some science first before looking for more recognition... I enjoyed the old series too - but it's been a good number of years and he still hasn't published any of the radar or rocket data that was promised.
I will give credit where it is due, he did publish some of the raw data on Twitter. He put in hard work tweeting the data Mark Simpson recovered off the rocket he built himself after Matthew DuBois recovered the rocket
🤣
 
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Warren Faidley

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The biggest problem is that other PhD's or respected individuals in the field of meteorology never speak up, with the exception of Mr. Doswell. Production companies like National Geographic or Discovery only act to promote and legitimize potential irresponsible behavior -- which only breeds more bad behavior from those who emulate it.

I'm not sure if media and production companies are hookwinked, ignorant or know what they are doing. I suspect it's a combination. Can you imagine if they asked a respected researcher, like Dr. Bob Ballard for example, to get on a jet ski and buzz some hurricane waves while screaming like a 6th. grade schoolgirl? Or how about having the Hurricane Hunters do some low passes over a storm surge for shi_s and giggles. There is professional -- and there is ______.

Not being a PhD, I can only assume there is some form of mutual, professional respect or maybe college allegiances that discourages people from speaking up. If I was a genuine researcher and saw irresponsible behavior I would be livid and embarrassed. There are many people who have devoted their lives to severe weather research who get zero recognition.

I do agree that Tim Samaras was a credit to chasing. We discussed (in great detail) the issues with Storm Chasers on Discovery -- especially after I chastised him for participating, and after I turned down offers for appearances because I did not want to be associated with the lunacy. He had hoped to bring a more realistic and respectable angle to the show.
 
The biggest problem is that other PhD's or respected individuals in the field of meteorology never speak up, with the exception of Mr. Doswell. Production companies like National Geographic or Discovery only act to promote and legitimize potential irresponsible behavior -- which only breeds more bad behavior from those who emulate it.

I'm not sure if media and production companies are hookwinked, ignorant or know what they are doing. I suspect it's a combination. Can you imagine if they asked a respected researcher, like Dr. Bob Ballard for example, to get on a jet ski and buzz some hurricane waves while screaming like a 6th. grade schoolgirl? Or how about having the Hurricane Hunters do some low passes over a storm surge for shi_s and giggles. There is professional -- and there is ______.

Not being a PhD, I can only assume there is some form of mutual, professional respect or maybe college allegiances that discourages people from speaking up. If I was a genuine researcher and saw irresponsible behavior I would be livid and embarrassed. There are many people who have devoted their lives to severe weather research who get zero recognition.

I do agree that Tim Samaras was a credit to chasing. We discussed (in great detail) the issues with Storm Chasers on Discovery -- especially after I chastised him for participating, and after I turned down offers for appearances because I did not want to be associated with the lunacy. He had hoped to bring a more realistic and respectable angle to the show.
Ha, I can probably count on one hand the numerous times I've seen Dr. Doswell in person or online voice his opinion on something and it not be critical. I'm not saying anything bad about the man, but when he speaks up, it's usually not good. Many people in and out of the field know him, and he's accomplished a lot, so when he speaks up, people listen. Typically, not many people are going to listen to Joe/Jane Researcher about their opinions on someone else in the field, especially when it comes to this particular situation. There's a number of well-respected severe weather researchers that could speak out against this TV series or offer better ways of doing it, and the masses/media companies are going to be like "and who the hell are you?"

As a meteorology PhD, there are other meteorology PhDs I see and question how they have the degree for a variety of reasons. I personally have no desire to openly denounce them unless they're actively spreading damaging or life-threatening misinformation about the field or a topic within the field. Unless I've not been made aware of it, there is no allegiance that prevents researchers/PhDs from speaking out against each other. There are some disciplines within meteorology that are absolutely ruthless, savage, and competitive. Usually there's not a need to speak out, as one's quality and amount of research and achievements (or lack thereof) will speak for or against them.

As for Dr. Timmer and his PhD, my only thought is why he bothered to get/finish his PhD given his career choice. If I recall correctly, his dissertation has nothing to do with severe weather, and he certainly didn't need to get a PhD to do what he's doing. However, his reasons for getting such a degree could be well beyond what I and others see on the surface, so I will not judge him for it. The only potential damage I see his actions doing to other PhDs/researchers is this constant message of needing to get a single vehicle/probe into an actual tornado or storm and that unlocking the secrets to tornadogenesis or why storms are getting worse. Acquiring data in this exact manner provides more of a "wow" factor than anything else and will be far from sufficient for providing enough information to "save lives". There are many other researchers who do not do research in this manner that have much more of an impact on that front. That doesn't mean field campaigns are worthless, as those that have been well executed have acquired some great and helpful data, but they're far more complicated than how they're portrayed on TV. Humanity is beyond the point that providing better warnings on any type of weather is going to do much more good. I'm not saying data collected from the field won't help, but I personally feel the social science-side of weather research is going to help more when it comes to saving lives.