My annual call for SKYWARN footage

Oct 15, 2007
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Oklahoma City
Fall is officially here! Although the 2008 "storm season" is winding down it's far from over. We have seen some amazing, significant, weather events this year and once again it’s time for my annual call for SKYWARN video. Each year I request video from storm spotters, chasers, the news media, and the general public (as seen on YouTube and Break.com) to use in my free SKYWARN classes. The footage you folks provide helps illustrate severe and non-severe weather phenomena, storm spotting techniques, and the dangers associated with spotting. And more importantly it's fresh video and keeps the audience attentive. I'm already scheduled to speak in Dallas, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and Elkhart, IN, next spring. Those of you that have seen one of my talks (please chime in) can appreciate how much material I require to cover all this material and keep it interesting. Trust me, it's not easy lecturing for an hour or two in a dark room an hour after people have eaten a big lunch. Without you I could make these classes happen!

Tornadoes are interesting and tend to make up the majority of what I see in most people’s highlight reels. I like tornadoes and I can always use more footage --especially of the complete life cycle and video of the same tornado shot from different angles. I’m really interested, however, in the stuff that typical spotters (not chasers) are likely to encounter and possibly get confused by. I'm talking about things like shelf clouds with “shark’s teethâ€, log-hanging scud, swirling around and otherwise chaotic skies. I need footage from poor-visibility situations including looking at phenomena through rain, haze, local obstructions, at night and from a distance. I need footage of ambiguous features. Is it a funnel, a tornado, scud, smoke? I also need footage of severe weather in urban areas and of people communicating reports via phone or radio.

I’m also interested in dangerous situations involving the weather, hazards at the scene, and irresponsible actions by spotters, chasers, and the general public.. This can include things like improper/excessive use of warning lights, reckless driving, parking dangerously, walking around downed power lines or too close to flash flooding, being caught in giant hail, driving through high water, and weather-related accidents. I want new and experienced spotters attending my talks to understand the challenges and dangers of storm spotting. They need to understand that things aren’t always obvious and that many storm features can look alike. They need to understand that their own actions as a spotter should never pose a greater threat to themselves or the community than the weather they are observing. I also enjoy showing footage showing "oh s**t!" moments. This stuff really helps drive points home --whether I'm talking about a close lightning strike or a chaser standing on the highway almost being run over by a driver not paying attention to the road.

If you have any footage you are willing to share with me please contact me at chris@siu.edu. My preferred formats are DVD, mini-DV tape, or .AVI, .MOV files. Note, this doesn't have to be footage from 2008. If you've got something you believe others would benefit from I'm interested in hearing from you. I provide on-screen credit at the start and finish of my talks but prefer not to superimpose names over the video during the talk because I feel it’s too distracting. When people have questions about a particular clip I always point them to the original clip provider (you). If you wish to remain anonymous (some people let me share their mistakes as long as I don't say who it is making the mistake) I agree not to mention your name. Video used in my talks is never redistributed or aired on TV. It's strictly used in my live talks. I have no handouts, no web page, no DVD sales.

In the past couple of years I’ve asked people if it’s OK for me to share video contributed to my project with my local National Weather Service. If you have no objections with me sharing your video with NWS please indicate this in your correspondence.

Again, think about new spotters and what you think they really need to know. Think about storm chasers and any messages you think they need to hear. Think about yourself and stuff that has confused you and which you think your footage and explanation would benefit others.

Thanks in advance for contributing to SKYWARN education.

..Chris..
 
Dec 18, 2003
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Lubbock, TX
daviddrummond.com
I’m also interested in dangerous situations involving the weather, hazards at the scene, and irresponsible actions by spotters, chasers, and the general public.. This can include things like improper/excessive use of warning lights, reckless driving, parking dangerously, walking around downed power lines or too close to flash flooding, being caught in giant hail, driving through high water, and weather-related accidents.
I've got tons of video of me using my warning lights improperly, excessively, rudely and all the other adjectives I can come up with if you want it Chris. Might save you the trouble of taking pictures of me next time anyway.
 
Jun 9, 2004
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Visit site
I've got tons of video of me using my warning lights improperly, excessively, rudely and all the other adjectives I can come up with if you want it Chris. Might save you the trouble of taking pictures of me next time anyway.
I honestly won't comment on what the hell that was about...but I think Chris has a point (and maybe you too David, I can't pick up on sarcasm on these interwebs!): I've seen plenty of stupid things with lights and other stuff. I've come upon many of chasers with recognized, "pull-over" colored lights (red, blue---including the infallible OKC-media chasers!) and pulled over (obviously, I'm a dumb ass...because, obviously, emergency services are a joke :rolleyes:). Maybe if some egotistical folks out there didn't feel it necessary to feel like cops or "heroes almighty" ("because I got Alltel, GR2AE and I've seen 2 tornadoes!") he wouldn't have room to talk. Further I've seen chaser video of people picking up POWER LINES, I'd be even further critical...but that's never happened, ever, even in a highly acclaimed storm chaser documentary.

If I misunderstood the exchange above, apologies...but I get a little riled at stuff like that. I will say, Chris, I might have some footage (including folks just driving along towards a tornado), I could be able to help. Just give me a PM and I'll describe scenes I have in more detail (including people just popping a squat near a perfect pull off...with a picture)
 
Jan 7, 2007
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Clearwater, KS
I don't shoot much video but I have a few time-lapse video clips on my website here. You are free to use them for Skywarn training. I have a few other clips of the same storm if you find them useful.