Silver Lining Tours vans rolled in Kansas

Jul 5, 2009
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Newtown, Pennsylvania
@Skip Talbot I finally had some uninterrupted time to sit and immerse myself in your video. What an unbelievable amount of time and effort you put into this. It is truly a great contribution and service to our community. Thank you so much for doing it. I look forward to watching it again, there is a lot to absorb here. Thanks again for sacrificing your personal time and investing it in this work. And thanks to all those who contributed their experience and content, this would not have been possible without you.
 
Jun 1, 2008
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Trimble MO
www.jondavies.net
I put together a short video to clarify the radar evolution of the May 28 supercell southwest of Lawrence, which I contend was different than what Talbot presents. The interaction of both mesocyclones and their merger needs to be emphasized, and I show the progression to be similar to the Hesston-Goessel storm, as my ground survey suggested.

For anyone interested, the video is at:
 
Edit: Sorry for the double post (as I just got updated Jon shared this as I was typing.)

Meteorologist, Jon Davies, has graciously put out his official analysis video regarding May 28th 2019. I have shared the media link below (I hope correctly) which details some very interesting information, and highlights. But probably more importantly, I feel is more representative of the actual situation and weather features during this event. Link below:

 
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cdcollura

EF5
Jun 12, 2004
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It all comes down to one thing = SITUATIONAL AWARENESS (almost a "magical phrase").

Skip did a stellar job at analyzing this event. Personally, I was on this setup but did not head east to that storm due to the fact it was HP and probably difficult to chase (opting to blast west and catch the tail end of the Beloit storm Skip was on / missing most of it). Not an easy day to say the least.

I'm happy no one was killed on this day, which was certainly not for the faint of heart!
 
Jun 16, 2015
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quincyvagell.com
Thank you for sharing an interesting perspective, @Jon Davies.

For the record, I would like to bring attention to a few things.

Note that at 5:58 p.m., with an error of less than 60 seconds, SLT passed my location, as confirmed by video I shot and detailed accounts by both Jon Davies and @Skip Talbot. For the sake of discussion, the blue circle below represents the co-location of myself and SLT, just a few minutes before the incident in question. Note that moderate precipitation has well overspread the north-south aligned CR-1029 by 5:58 p.m. This matches up with my ground observations. Around 5:57 p.m., I stopped to pull off CR-1029 to evaluate the situation, as rain was beginning to fall. As rain reached a moderate intensity by the next minute, at 5:58 p.m., I knew that I needed to get northeast to stay ahead of the situation and avoid decreasing visibility within the high precipitation supercell.
0558.png

By 5:59 p.m., while I was traveling north, looking to turn east at the next available route, rain was now falling at a heavy intensity, winds were increasing and I knew that it was critical that I shifted east as soon as possible. Below, I think it is safe to say, based on my observations and radar data, that the heaviest precipitation shield (heavy rain) was in the process of passing over CR-1029 within the 5:59 p.m. minute.

The schematic below by Jon Davies shows "heavier precipitation" lagging to the west, while implying at at 5:59 p.m., "lighter" precipitation was only just beginning to reach SLT's location. Maybe we can discuss this, as it seems to contradict radar data at the same time. I understand that "lighter precipitation" is correct as a legal term and does not necessarily mean "light [rain]". Even with that being the case, objectively, the "heaviest" precipitation at 5:59 p.m. was falling on CR-1029, or in other words, falling over both my location and SLT's location at the time. This is when visibility was very low, even while a rain-wrapped tornado was still a few blocks to the southwest.
radar_graphic.png

Based on 5:59 p.m. radar data, "heavy" precipitation associated with dBZ >50 was observed in all directions around me, including several blocks to my east, where the graphic above may have a perceived implication of light precipitation, if any precipitation at all.
 
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Thanks for your excellent analysis, Jon. I am sorry to see the dissension this incident is causing among storm chasers. There aren't many storm chasers I have known longer or that I have more respect for than Jon and Skip. I appreciate the efforts both of you have put into helping us understand this storm and, more importantly, to improve training and online resources so that chasers in the future can be safer. I think after looking at both videos that, in terms of what actually was going on with the storm, both analyses are pretty similar - two mesocyclones, a fairly long-track initial tornado with the initial meso, then a merge that led to a very large intense tornado. Other than terminology, the only real meteorological disagreement I see is the comparison with the Joplin tornado (on that I can see both of your points, though chasing-wise, I tend to agree with Jon that for chasers the situation would be quite different, and besides that, Jon was there in the Joplin case, so he knows what it was like from a chaser's standpoint). But that said, Joplin is peripheral to the main discussion here. Overall, Jon's and Skip's analyses of the meteorological nature of the event are pretty similar, and offer similar cautions to chasers in the vicinity of HP supercells. I.E., don't put yourself in the path of one unless you have a good escape route and time to use it. I hope that is what chasers learn from this incident, and I hope that once the passions that have been stirred up by this event pass, chasers who disagree on the aspects of this incident that relate to SLT can see the many points that they agree on regarding the meteorology of the event, and that whatever divisions this has stirred up can heal.
 
Jan 16, 2009
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It sucks this has become a battle of sides ... but I think talking about this and the decisions made that day by all of us that were there will help people think first about their safety and not just getting a tornado. Both videos give you something to think about and I appreciate both of your views.
 
Sep 5, 2019
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As an SLT tour guest that day, I feel compelled to respond to Jon’s video, which goes out of its way to disparage Skip Talbot while attempting to shift the focus away from SLT. Skip didn’t make “accusations.” He conducted an independent impartial analysis -- without any cooperation from SLT -- and made reasoned findings that were meticulously backed up with photos, videos, data and other information provided by chasers, tour guests, etc. SLT, which has been anything but transparent and forthcoming, was given the opportunity to participate. It declined to do so. Skip "spoiled" his presentation’s educational value by singling out SLT? Seriously? The only chase vehicles hit and overturned that day belonged to SLT. Only SLT drove south into the path of the tornado. As a tour operator, SLT was responsible for the lives and safety of 30+ people in 4 vans. Twelve people were hurt, one seriously. If the tornado had missed SLT, this thread and discussion wouldn’t even exist. Scrutiny of the decisions and possible mistakes made by SLT is essential for an understanding of how to avoid similar mishaps. Want to avoid becoming the focus of a storm chasing safety video? Don’t run into a tornado.
 
Jun 1, 2008
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Trimble MO
www.jondavies.net
Thanks for the comments from everyone.

There are two different sides where posters line up on this issue, and continuing to argue back and forth just goes in circles, leading nowhere. So this will be my last post about this for awhile.

I do need to say that Skip Talbot's training work is very good, and rightly brings careful attention to HP spotting and training, which is lacking in most spotting materials. In my video I wanted to get a more straightforward radar analysis out there to make sure the merger aspect of May 28 was well documented. I do agree we need to focus sharply (and probably relentlessly through repetition) on changing the tendency to flee southward through surging wet RFDs, which can be very dangerous. I was always taught in spotting to "get south or southeast" to stay away from danger, so that's not something we're going to be able to change overnight regarding HP supercells, and we need to understand that.

My main suggestion for Skip would be to let his work speak for itself and keep repeating it, instead of taking an accusatory tone that calls specific people out when none of us really know what someone's thinking was in the moment. Some of us still have difficulty recognizing structure in rapidly evolving HP storms (myself included). I certainly need to continue working on that. Again, repetition and focus in training materials are key. Talbot can consider getting away from off-putting accusations in his material that tend to hurt the message. I'll be more aware of that in the future in my own material, too.

As John Farley rightly sums up, maybe we can all just focus on getting the message out - don't put yourself in the path of any part of a HP supercell unless you have a good escape route and time to use it. Thanks for the discussion.
 
As an SLT tour guest that day, I feel compelled to respond to Jon’s video, which goes out of its way to disparage Skip Talbot while attempting to shift the focus away from SLT. Skip didn’t make “accusations.” He conducted an independent impartial analysis -- without any cooperation from SLT -- and made reasoned findings that were meticulously backed up with photos, videos, data and other information provided by chasers, tour guests, etc. SLT, which has been anything but transparent and forthcoming, was given the opportunity to participate. It declined to do so. Skip "spoiled" his presentation’s educational value by singling out SLT? Seriously? The only chase vehicles hit and overturned that day belonged to SLT. Only SLT drove south into the path of the tornado. As a tour operator, SLT was responsible for the lives and safety of 30+ people in 4 vans. Twelve people were hurt, one seriously. If the tornado had missed SLT, this thread and discussion wouldn’t even exist. Scrutiny of the decisions and possible mistakes made by SLT is essential for an understanding of how to avoid similar mishaps. Want to avoid becoming the focus of a storm chasing safety video? Don’t run into a tornado.
Jeff, while I am genuinely VERY VERY sorry you faced this incident, truly. I feel like everything isn’t being told. And for the sake of the exacts, IT NEEDS TO BE. I’m sorry, but if you are going to continue the talk of being transparent then why not be transparent yourself?
I feel pretty certain that a retired attorney such as yourself would understand that it would be easy to hold a possible biased position on the subject. I’m sure many would agree.

But of more concern is that just today, your very name was brought up while I was declining to do an interview on this matter. The “media outlet” explained that contact had been made and you were interesting in selling the video back on
31, May 2019. I declined to comment or give any interview but I was informed of the intention/interest to sell the video in detail.
Respectfully it begs the question to you: why the interest in selling the video if this was/is such a hardship and life changing experience for you?
I ask with an open mind, but it boggles my mind how someone who was so affected by this but yet want to or are intersted in selling the video.

If we are going to continue the complaint of transparency, I think we are walking a fine line.
 
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May 1, 2004
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I put together a short video to clarify the radar evolution of the May 28 supercell southwest of Lawrence, which I contend was different than what Talbot presents. The interaction of both mesocyclones and their merger needs to be emphasized, and I show the progression to be similar to the Hesston-Goessel storm, as my ground survey suggested.

For anyone interested, the video is at:
Hi, Jon, thanks for taking the time to offer your views in this video. I meant what I said on Shawna’s Facebook post. I deeply respect you and have always looked up to you as a mentor. That doesn’t change even though I strongly disagree with facets of your analysis. That disagreement is why I made my own analysis and video presentation. Folks are welcome to discredit or ridicule me because this isn’t about my ego, or about accusing SLT. I honestly believe that lives literally depend on this. I stand by my claim that SLT made fatal errors that could have been avoided using visual structure identification. At 6:01 pm when positioned at that small church, SLT should have driven north into an area that visually contained no tornado, instead of driving south into an area which is characteristically typical of containing a rain wrapped tornado. If we don’t address that maneuver for the error that it is, people are going to die.


Identified below are times in your video that are main points of contention that are also crucially important from a chaser safety stand point, or times in which I’ve been misquoted or misrepresented:


0:44 “There were two mesocyclone… Talbot minimizes the northern one and its impact on the evolution of the storm.”


The “northern mesocyclone”, as you’ve identified it, plays a critical role in the evolution of and later development of the Lawrence EF4, which I covered extensively. At the time SLT was operating, however, this area of the storm was not the primary threat to storm chaser safety and should not have been visually identified as such, regardless of whether it was initially convergence on an inflow band or broad scale rotation from a new supercell cycle. This is the main disagreement that I can identify here, and it’s a critical one, because chasers continuing to operate under SLT’s and your interpretations and guidance are at risk of repeating these mistakes resulting in additional injuries or deaths. Arguing the technicalities of the “northern mesocyclone” without identifying the comparative magnitudes of the threats posed, misses the overall point of why SLT was impacted by a tornado and how that impact could have been avoided.



0:55 “Done in a cooperative spirit… yet singles out SLT…”

Indeed it was a collaborative effort done in a cooperative spirit, much like previous analyses of the El Reno storm. Numerous chasers donated their footage to the project, much of which I was openly critical of in terms of positioning, identifying dangerous maneuvers such as core punching and threats of impacts from rain wrapped tornadoes. “It’s very fortunate there weren’t additional storm chasers accidents on this event” I stated. Folks were cool with that because this is about everyone learning from their mistakes, even my own mistakes.


I asked Roger, Caryn, and other SLT staff for their help or contributions, but they chose not to participate. I don’t fault them for that. But you can’t say I didn’t go through the effort of including their view and material for the sake of having the best understanding of this event.


My presentation was not specifically for SLT, you or me, just as my El Reno analyses were not for Mike Bettes. I know it may come off as a personal attack given SLT being the subject of the incident, and the personal investments people have put into this situation. But it is indeed my intent to help other chasers and spotters going forward. I have nothing against Roger and Caryn in the past, have no reason to attack them, or anything personally vested in this other that my own passion for storm chasing. It honestly pains me to level these criticisms, but the safety message is just so much more important than folks’ feelings and pride. I just don’t want to see other chasers and friends get hurt or killed on future events for the same avoidable mistakes.


Unlike my analyses of El Reno, in which I covered multiple chaser groups, on May 28, SLT was the only group of chasers to be rolled by a tornadoresulting in serious injuries. That’s why I and others so heavily focus on their actions in particular. My presentation is about giving chasers the tools they need to avoid SLT’s mistakes on future events, using SLT’s mistakes as an example. Failure to identify SLT’s maneuvers as avoidable errors is dangerously reckless.


1:32 Significant convergence is noted in the velocity scan depicted there and no tight couplet is yet apparent. Instead, wide angle shots facing to the west show typical HP structure which chasers should have used to avoid a rain wrapped tornado.


1:39 The “large visible mesocyclone” has not been demonstrated to be the rotating feature you’ve labeled as a circulation here. Chasers’ shots before and after this time indicated right to left motion of an inflow band converging into the RFD to the south. Additionally, the outbound half of the northern circulation and convergence shown on Doppler velocity likely extended well into the RFD core to the south. The circulation labeled on Vagell’s frame here should extend south to indicate this.


2:04 The tornado was known to chasers and it was reported before SLT was impacted. I acknowledged this in my presentation, so I’m not sure why you do not. SLT also likely noted the intense velocity couplet, per reports I have from their clients. Overall, this is a minor technicality since SLT may not have seen or noticed the report before impact, but it should be pointed out.


2:19 The Red and blue circles to the left indicate a vastly more dangerous part of the storm than the red circle to the right. The left region represents a potentially rain wrapped tornado. The region on the right visually contains no tornado. This distinction can be made at a glance using established visual structure identification practices. Chasers failing to make this distinction risk injury or death, and presentations aimed at chaser and spotter safety should highlight this or they miss the overall point.


4:58 Both circulations are within the large comma head on reflectivity, and the comma head corresponded to large scale structure of the supercell. Helping chasers avoid that comma head circulation and its rain wrapped regions should be the aim of these presentations.


5:39 Your analog is consistent with the ones I presented, including the 16 June 2014 Pilger/Wakefield storm, 11 May 2014 Beaver Crossing, NE storm and to a lesser extent the 22 May 2010 Bowdle, SD storm. The Pilger example is a great example of a cycle resulting in a merger. The latter two events show smaller circulations arriving from the inflow band to the north, spinning up into tornadoes on the point of convergence on the rear flank gust front, before settling under established rear flank structure to the south. I suspect that this latter case is what happened with the Lone Star/Lawrence storm. Multiple possible evolution scenarios are plausible here, including that there was indeed only one mesocyclone on this storm the entire time. This should not detract from the overall safety message and critical clues that visual structure identification afforded.


6:27 “Is there some similarity?” Yes, but you’ve identified the inflow band curling into the gust front, on which there is no apparent tornado or tight low level circulation yet. It is the point of convergence into the rear flank gust front that is the likely spot for an additional significant tornado here, not regions further north under the inflow band.


6:30 “Although Talbot does not acknowledge it, there was indeed a danger area…” I did, multiple times. I said it’s possible for tornadoes to develop on rotating lowerings in the notch, even though one is not apparent here prior to SLT being impacted. I also stated that tornadoes are possible on the inflow band portion of the storm, and that it’s common for supercells to cycle in this location. I also said numerous times that severe weather is common in this part of the storm and that it is indeed a dangerous part of the storm. Don’t misquote me. I’ve tried very hard not to do that to you. Instead, the take home lesson here is that the area to the south is *more dangerous*, not that the area to the north is not dangerous.


6:55 “Bear’s Cage” term usage. The term is chaser slang and I acknowledge I may be applying it differently in some cases than other chasers do, even differing from Doswell’s original usage. However, I offered a detailed explanation of its usage along with numerous visual examples. As a storm chaser safety lesson, my usage is consistent in its application and purpose: to visually identify the most dangerous part of the storm associated with the mesocylone. The circular core of RFD on that HP represents the precipitation wrapping around the mesocyclone. SLT themselves noted the rainy RFD to their south was “wrapping”. That RFD was indeed the footprint of a large and deep mesocyclone aloft. You can call it whatever you like, but the goal here is helping chasers identify and avoid this region.


8:00 The comma head you’ve identified here is the consistent structure associated with both tornadoes that chasers should be most concerned with identifying and avoiding. The premature and evolving structure to the north is of concern too, but again, it’s the area to the south that is the most important and the most dangerous threat to chaser safety.


8:20 Comparison of positioning around the Lone Star and Lawrence tornadoes is valid because both tornadoes were contained in the same general portion of the storm relative to both the presentation on Doppler reflectivity and visual structure. Asserting repeatedly that the area to the north was a primary or separate mesocyclone does not refute the idea that it was instead an area of Doppler velocity indicated mix of convergence and rotation, consistent visually with the structure of an inflow band.


8:40 The structure is higher contrast in the lower frame, but the same pattern of supercell structure is still very apparent in the above frame. Chasers should have been able to recognize that at the time. If they could not, they lacked situational awareness and should not have been there in the first place.


9:04 “Talbot makes none of these distinctions” re: roads are better near Lawrence and Highway 59. In the route planning section at the end of the video, I did note that most chasers headed for highway 59 as the safer intercept option, and also noted the dangers of the road grid near Lone Star Lake. I extensively refer to quality of roads and route planning conditions in my previous safety lessons videos to which I also referred chasers. Again, please don’t misrepresent me here.


9:25 The comparison to Joplin is valid because it identifies a pattern of behavior *by many chasers* that needs to be corrected. Even if done for different reasons by different people, it’s the same maneuver Bettes attempted on El Reno: a north south transect of the rear flank core on a poor visibility HP. And the end result for SLT on Lone Star was the same as for Bettes on El Reno: a rollover accident with broken bones. The RFD core was indeed identifiable in other chasers’ shots on the Joplin event. If it was not identifiable by you or SLT, then a dangerous lack of situational awareness had been ongoing for some time as SLT was located within the tornado warning polygon for ~20 minutes prior to fleeing south. We need to recognize these incidents as patterns of dangerous mistakes, or more chasers are going to be injured or killed.
 
Sep 5, 2019
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But of more concern is that just today, your very name was brought up while I was declining to do an interview on this matter. The “media outlet” explained that contact had been made and you were interesting in selling the video back on
31, May 2019. I declined to comment or give any interview but I was informed of the intention/interest to sell the video in detail.
Respectfully it begs the question to you: why the interest in selling the video if this was/is such a hardship and life changing experience for you?
I ask with an open mind, but it boggles my mind how someone who was so affected by this but yet want to or are intersted in selling the video.
If we are going to continue the complaint of transparency, I think we are walking a fine line.
Rather than attempting to address the substance of my comment, you chose to respond with an untruthful and bizarre tirade against my character. In a private message, I gave you the opportunity to provide more details since I had no idea what you were talking about (I didn't approach a media outlet to sell a video on May 31 or any other time), but, rather than doing so, you once again deflected by attacking my character. Resorting to innuendos and insults in response to my substantive comments about SLT and the incident of May 28 isn’t a defense of SLT; it’s an acknowledgement that you have no defense. This thread is intended for a serious discussion of the mishap and its aftermath, and I should be able to express my thoughts on that topic without being subjected to a smear campaign. I expect a retraction and an apology.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Newtown, Pennsylvania
Even *IF* Jeff L. did try to sell his video, I do not see any validity in Lanny’s comments. How does trying to sell video make Jeff “biased”? Why would that require him to forfeit his right to offer commentary on SLT’s actions that put him at risk? How does trying to sell video negate his claims of pain and suffering?

So much handwringing over biases, we ALL have biases of some sort or another. I guess I had better disclose that Jeff L. and I live in the same town and had a beer together one night, before people accuse ME of being biased too. Heck, maybe I am, I found Jeff to be a nice, humble, intelligent and levelheaded man, and enjoyed hanging out with him.
 
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Mark Blue

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Feb 19, 2007
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Not to get off topic but you can go through the various forums, click the header/filter for # of replies and research it that way. A gut feeling would be somewhere in the middle.
 
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Sad thing is..... I really thought after people got in front of the El Reno monster, and / or attempted to dive south, the lessons would have been learned. I'll never forget chasers who were directly involved, laughing and joking about the narrow escapes, especially considering the level of tragedy. I'll bet by next spring, the red dots on Radar Scope will be tempting HP shear regions once more. Regardless, I am glad to see knowledgeable chasers stepping up to create these video presentations. If they save one life, it's all worth it.
 
Rather than attempting to address the substance of my comment, you chose to respond with an untruthful and bizarre tirade against my character. In a private message, I gave you the opportunity to provide more details since I had no idea what you were talking about (I didn't approach a media outlet to sell a video on May 31 or any other time), but, rather than doing so, you once again deflected by attacking my character. Resorting to innuendos and insults in response to my substantive comments about SLT and the incident of May 28 isn’t a defense of SLT; it’s an acknowledgement that you have no defense. This thread is intended for a serious discussion of the mishap and its aftermath, and I should be able to express my thoughts on that topic without being subjected to a smear campaign. I expect a retraction and an apology.
Jeff,
My apologies for not responding sooner - I have other things that are obviously more important and have been purposely “unplugged” from social and this forum.
That said, here is my response to you (please read it in detail as I have no desire to repeat myself as I’ve done so many times in this thread.)
Also, if by some chance you need help jogging your memory regarding the DM - I can post it if needed. I know sometimes I forget things in the stress of the day so I’d be more than happy to help you if needed.

I’m not going to apologize nor retract anything. I’ve no need to. You sent me a DM with a threatening and demanding overtone. Threatening that “you’ll give me a chance to respond privately before you reply to my post publicly” wanting to know details . And that’s not threatening?

My post was clear in my feelings of sorrow for you as well as having an open mind. I made that statement in verbatim. I asked a question that was not out of line, again “with an open mind”.
There was no hidden agenda. That’s not the way I work, nor who I am - what you see is what you get with me. As such, there was no character attack or even the remote question of your character. It was simply a question regarding the transparency that you seem to be demanding. I was NOT untruthful in ANY WAY. In my private response to you, I mentioned the Washington Post interview, the additional interviews....I mentioned these because you know what media I am referring to. Again, if transparency is key, then my point is that it needs to be mentioned. You mention character attacks - it seems to me that Roger, Caryn, ( SLT as a whole) and ANYONE who may be friends with them or do support them have been the recipients of these “character attacks” In other words - if someone may not agree with Skip’s “assessment”, disagree in part or in whole with you, or dont agree that there should be a lynching, then we fall prey to character attacks. That’s the sad reality. Especially when many of us feel empathy for all parties involved. This includes empathy for you.
I am more than familiar with what this thread is for and what this forum is for. This isn’t my first rodeo. But I loath what this thread has turned into. You mention you should have the right to express your thoughts on the matter without a smear campaign. You are 100% correct....just as I should be able to share/post my thoughts on the subject without a “smear campaign”. Calling me a liar when we both know the truth is the pot calling the kettle black.

Look, Jeff, no one is “out to get you” or defame you, make you look bad, or even question your position. While I don’t agree with the demeanor you have shown or the thought process you have, I do respect your opinion and genuinely feel for you and ALL PARTIES involved. It’s a tough situation. I thought I made this exceptionally clear from my very first post in this thread.

Again, just for clarity sake - I was asking a question about the video because you seem hell bent on transparency. Look, it’s your video, you can do with it what you want. I really don’t give a damn one way or the other. It’s not my business, it’s not my video.
Not my circus, not my monkey. I was just asking “with an open mind” because I felt there was and is a lack of transparency.

Think what you want, do what you want - it has no bearing on me. But please don’t call me a lair when we both know the truth and then speak of smear campaigns and expect an apology.


Back on the topic of Skips analysis. I think it was great for basic spotter training type material overall. I commend him for his diligent hard work and all the time and attention he put into it. He did wonderful job until it became personal. That’s just my thoughts though.

As far as the meteorological aspects, obviously many inconstancies which I conclude may be due to simply not understanding the meteorological process ongoing at the time. There were inconsistencies with radar observations mentioned which led to ultimate incorrect assumptions mentioned. Honestly, I felt like we were dealing with a penis measuring contest from Skip. Entropy is Entropy - and science really doesn’t care how big your Johnson is.
BUT I support what he was trying to do. Ultimately it was a great presentation until it became personal.

So in closing, I must also say that I felt and believe that the video turned into a strong personal attack unfortunately. And then was highlighted more-so by everyone who commended him for doing just that. A shame really.

That’s my 2 cents for whatever it’s worth. Now if you’ll excuse me, I may not be in the forum for a few days as deer season starts tomorrow and I will be hunting.
 
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Jun 19, 2005
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I'm fairly new here. Where does this rank among most contentious or longest threads in ST history?
Failure to admit fault and some claim no fault
Old chasers vs young chasers
Competing buissness competitors
Differences in opinion on radar interpretation
Long standing insurance/business questions may be answered or litigated
Failure to learn from past mistakes
Defense of friends
Academics vs Professionals vs Hobbyists
Predicted or forseeen accident coming to life
Educational opportunity for other chasers

This thread has so many angles to it...
 
Oct 26, 2007
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On the issue of chasing HP storms, FWIW, I was south and southeast of this monster HP, shooting video and stills, and although at one point I was fairly close to the early tornadoes, I could not see anything but very heavy rain. I also knew that I was going to stay well to the east/southeast of it, because of the hidden tornado. To chasers that are fairly new to this hobby----There will be other tornadoes to chase in the future. Keep that in mind. BTW, I have been chasing storms almost as long as a good friend of mine-- Jon Davies.
 
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Mark Blue

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Okay guys. This is where it stops because you aren't going to be able to resolve this rift by writing extremely long posts back and forth. You each have valid points but it's getting way off topic again and I don't care to delete a slew of posts when I wake up in the morning. Take it to PM, email, wherever, but this thread is going to remain on topic or we'll close it for good. Discuss the meteorological aspects of the storm, ask intelligent questions of Jon, Skip, and Quincy who spent inordinate amounts of time in their analyses, lessons learned, how we can move forward and save lives, even if only one like @Warren Faidley mentioned.

When Roberto Duran threw his arms up and said, "no mas" everyone knew he meant it. Don't underestimate the seriousness with which we're taking this matter.
 

Todd Lemery

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Jun 2, 2014
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Menominee, MI
There’s been a ton of great points made in this thread and it won’t be the last thread we have like this unfortunately. I just hope I’m not a major participant in the next one.
After all that’s been said I can boil it down to one thing for me, regardless if I’m alone or have others in the vehicle counting on me. It’s just to really be careful around HP messes. Sometimes it just might make sense to let the storm go than to try and make a bad position work. It’s just so damn hard to get a good view on an HP storm anyway when you have a limited road network and all the other monkey wrenches that get thrown your way.
I can’t rely on radar to keep me in a good position and I’m human so I’m not going to see all of the subtle clues through the rain when I’m up close and personal. Every time there’s a tornado related incident, although it’s sad and unfortunate to those involved, all of the analysis and back and forth bickering raises awareness and makes people like me think a little bit more.
Thank you to all who have contributed to this thread and maybe, thanks to you, the next time there’s an incident I won’t be involved because of it.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Newtown, Pennsylvania
Like @Todd Lemery , I am going to be more careful around HPs as well. I have never been a particularly aggressive chaser that tries to get into the notch of an HP, and I can recall at least one time in the past when I avoided a southward escape option that would have risked passing in front of the bear’s cage before it crossed the road. But there have admittedly been times when I was in the bear’s cage, and I always thought I was reasonably safe even in the rain as long as I had visibity. One takeaway from Skip’s video (thanks to contributed footage) was the realization that you could be “in” a tornado without seeing much of anything that would provide a warning. There was a segment in the video (sorry, don’t feel like going back right now to find the time stamp) where the chase is in the rain and a wind shift is the only warning of tornadic circulation. And then of course @Jeff Lieberman ’s video where there is just a vague shadow barely discernible among the overall gray of the heavy rain, too late to react to. That for sure is going to remove the false sense of security I have had in situations where I was in the bear’s cage and thought I was safe only because there was visibility in the rain and no immediately apparent rotation or lowering right over me or ahead of me.

I don’t feel I am particularly aggressive, but I have definitely wasted too much time staying near an HP looking for a safe way to potentially get in and see something, complete futility like a moth bouncing around a lightbulb. Completely useless, neither inside the notch nor outside far enough to enjoy structure. From now on, I am going to focus on the structure in these scenarios.

Of course, all HPs are different, and there is a continuum of “how HP” the storm is. The important thing is to be especially careful on the days with the highest parameters, particularly extreme CAPE / high dews / low LCLs, the types of days where the large, complex monsters with multiple areas of rotation become likely, setups like El Reno and Lawrence.
 
I should say I don't avoid HP's 100% of the time. They are higher risk, mentally exhausting and low reward for me. I usually stay tucked into the SW quad and hope for a morph, e.g., HP to Classic or another fun event (hail, lightning, flooding, etc.) Occasionally, tornadoes are visible from this vantage point, but they are usually low contrast. I once lucked out with a HP near Lubbock when a crazy landspout dropped out of the flaking line. The traffic jams now days, totally solified my desire to limit HP interceptions. Since I'm big on EMS volunteering now days, I have no problem blowing off a storm if I can assist with a disaster, although I don't follow storms to find a disaster. There are **usually** secondary targets on big HP days, especially if you can predict when and where the flow offers classic or LP cells. I have nothing against chasers who want to pursue HP cells, but as someone once told me, "Chase to live another day as there will always be a better storm."