Jeff, I agree. I am sure May 7 was bad (I wasn’t there), but I think it’s easy to say “worst ever” just because it was most recent. Same reason people say “best structure I ever saw” just because it was yesterday, the memories are fresh and the excitement is still there; same reason current popular songs make the “top 100 rock songs of all time.”I feel like a lot of the folks posting on this thread were not here in the 2008-2011 period. In particular, northwest Missouri on 7 June 2009 and central Oklahoma on 19 May 2010. Now that was epic chaser convergence! I have not seen anything quite that bad except for maybe on 16 May 2015 going east from Tipton, OK.
Interestingly enough I managed to avoid large groups of chasers that day right up until said north/south intersection. That got hairy for little bit. I was either on dirt roads a good portion of the time, or on paved highways several miles away. Up to this point, my experience has been that the largest concentration of chasers is always on the same stretch of paved road closest to ground zero, so to speak. Usually 1-5 miles. The numbers fall off rapidly after that.I didn't find the Tulia chaser convergence too terrible but there were certainly a lot of chasers (and others) there. The part that made it worse was the eastbound option at the stop sign where you had to choose north or south, and getting through that intersection was pretty interesting with the storm bearing down like it was.
Up until this storm I would have said never (other than my mood), but this was the first time I ever felt endangered by the chaser convergence. I went from just a couple of chasers to a few miutes latter being stuck at a stop sign behind 3 cars and a line of traffic with no one letting anyone in for almost 5 mins with the storm bearing down on us. Add to the fact that many in the line where in a panic, it was like a heard of stampeding bulls. As chasers I think sometimes we become too comfortable with storms until one day something supriseses us and we take a step back and have a little more respect for the storm. This chase has taught me to have a little more respect for chaser traffic.The big question I think everyone needs to step back and ask is how many times has convergence significantly affected your chase?
True - re: polygons - but you have to be pretty close to do that - and ideally you're on the storm before the polygon. I just think there are more icons than there are folks who really know what they're doing...and at least some gravitate to the other icons.After Tulia, I almost think folks leaving their icon on is a good thing - that way I can see the crowd and avoid it. It would be quiet a surprise if you though only a couple of chasers where on a storm and it turned it to be hundreds in a traffic jam. Having said that, I rarely turn on the display of other chaser's icons, so I wouldn't know anyway. Even if folks turned off their icons, you would still get warning polygon chasers.
Seems to me to pretty much sum it up. Once the news gets out there is a potential tornado producing storm in the area, the masses come out with cell phones or whatever else and head in that 'general direction' and then just start to follow around whoever looks like they might know what they are doing. (Okay, it's a theory, that by appearances might be at least partially legit). That seemed to be the case on the Chapman day all along Highway 70 at every exit. Yokels galore, who might never have 'chased' their entire lives had plenty of time to get out - given how long it was on the ground (though the convergence in that situation was not 'impossible' (but at the exit ramps at times it was close). There was another situation in far NE Kansas along the Missouri River, I seem to recall it was 2009 , that the Weather Channel was calling impending disaster all morning long in their broadcasts (I saw them earlier at the motel in Nebraska airing)... the hordes were lined up down one hill and up the other as far as the eye could see. In one regard it seemed some were Chasing the TIV.I honestly think the bulk of the mob just follows the crowd and have no idea what they are doing.
Nothing wrong with this IMO. It might surprise you that not everybody on this forum is a chaser. We have discussed this before that there are three main categories of storm enthusiasts:Once the news gets out there is a potential tornado producing storm in the area, the masses come out with cell phones or whatever else and head in that 'general direction' and then just start to follow around whoever looks like they might know what they are doing.