Silver Lining Tours vans rolled in Kansas

Sep 25, 2006
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Minneapolis, MN
I think if you are chasing by yourself or with a friend, being within a mile or two of a large/wedge tornado is a risk left to the person chasing. When you have vans full of paying clients who 1. don't know the danger they are in and 2. don't have much say in how close they get, it might be a good idea to give yourself a little more room between the tornado and your group. I know Hill is a great chase and his company has a great reputation, but there have been times where I thought to myself while watching their streams that they looked to be closer to a tornado than I would expect a tour group would be considering the liability he would be under if something went wrong.
 
Jesse brought up a good point about being too close. I would not consider his images to be "too close." Maybe the problem lies in the definition. For an individual chaser, who does not have the responsiblity for others in the vehicle, who cares -- get as close as you want, but take responsibly if something goes wrong and be ready to pay the price. If you have the responsibility of driving a van load of people near a confirmed large and destructive tornado, "too close" is what? If you are placing yourself in the direct path of a fast-moving, PDS wedge, then "too close" may be defined differently, even if you are five miles away. If you are willing to take the risk of getting stuck in convergence traffic as a violent tornado is near-by, should that be considered too close?
 

Todd Lemery

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Jun 2, 2014
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One positive note, if they can keep this out of the mainstream media for the next 48+ hours it will make life a lot easier for everyone involved as the news cycle moves on.
I hope it stays quiet as far as the main stream media as it should. As I type this though, there is probably someone at a major newspaper typing their story about crazy storm chasers trying to drive themselves into 1/2 mile wedges just for thrills...
 
Mar 2, 2004
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Wichita, KS
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Sadly, nothing is probably the correct choice here... as we learned from El Reno, nothing...

It's no accident that we are starting to see more high-impact incidents in recent years (deadly storm encounters, fatal crashes, now two tour vans flipped by tornado). And as I stated above, it's not a result of crowds or newbies... it is the veterans, the longtime chasers, the experienced.


Fixed that for you.
Furthermore, I will not be surprised if their bookings go WAY UP for next year.

Very glad that no one was more seriously injured or killed. Also, cue Alanis Morissette when you read:
"Confluence of events could spell chaos" for storm chasers
 

Mark Blue

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Feb 19, 2007
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I don’t need to be told that a waiver is not going to do much, if anything for SL. Other posters were speculating about whether they required one, so I just confirmed that they do having been out with them 3 times. Nothing more, nothing less. I don’t want to be drawn into a debate that they don’t mean squat because I agree that they’re not worth the paper they’re written on.
 
Mar 31, 2016
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What is so interesting here is the "I told you so" crowd to the sudden "I am a lawyer or I know one".
I hope we understand that with more traffic, interest, and plain jackwagons this was coming.
I'm surprised about the amount of "bitching" from a small 6000+ website.

This community has changed in a negative way (on the entirety) . I thought we were weather analysts, scientists, researchers, and REAL storm chasers. Read posts on Discord, and our Forums...lots of complaining, with no solutions
 
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Rosalind Skitt

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Jan 25, 2019
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There are a host of complications that could result from this, including rental agreements and State / Federal law. Beyond the legal or civil possibilities, this will likely result in some form of regulation, or at least start the debate again. My wife is an attorney who use to specialize in corporate and private motor vehicle law. She’s told me more than once that insurance and rental companies have had meetings and discussions about chasing. I trust the injuries were minor, but once attorneys get involved, everything will change. This will be the last year I’m taking clients with me. Not because of this event, but between the crowds changing liability awareness and risk, it’s not worth it.
Totally understandable.. I don't know how you guys can get through the L.A. type congestion the big storms have created now...
 

Rosalind Skitt

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Jan 25, 2019
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I hope it stays quiet as far as the main stream media as it should. As I type this though, there is probably someone at a major newspaper typing their story about crazy storm chasers trying to drive themselves into 1/2 mile wedges just for thrills...
Which, unfortunately, the hook surfers are doing... exactly....
There's been an incredible amount of luck out there. 500 cars, 1 mile stretch of road, 1/2 mile wide twister.... it's a mix that can't sustain. Especially when everyone keepa wanting to get closer, or leapfrog each other in order to not have another car in the frame. Hopefully I'm wrong....
 
Jun 1, 2008
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I believe the Waiver will protect Silver Linings in a satellite tornado situation, separate from the main wedge. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm rooting for SL. I don't know Mr. Hill but I know another early participant. They chase safely.

Silver Linings could have expert witnesses testify that the satellite tornado does not prove negligence. It's just science. Waiver holds. Rock on!
 
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Jul 16, 2013
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We need to keep in mind that this was not the result of negligence or because the road was lined up with 200 other chasers, but rather it was a satellite tornado that suddenly formed that overtook them. It can happen to any of us as they're unpredictable and the cause of why they form isn't really known. You could be a good distance away from the main tornado and get impacted by a satellite tornado; I'm not sure but this may be the first time a chaser was impacted by a satellite tornado (not the main tornado) in this manner. I think, as some has said, the main battle Roger will most likely have is with the insurance company. Either way, I have the utmost respect for Roger, he's a great chaser and does so safely and I hope nothing but the best for him.
 
Sep 29, 2011
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This would be a far more entertaining thread if the tour involved was one that's not held in high regard. It wouldn't change a single fact about what happened, but reaction would be must-read stuff.

It would take the miracle of all miracles for me to ever be hit by a tornado while chasing, because I control my situation out there through my decision making. To be impacted directly by a tornado- satellite or main - requires a very deliberate set of decisions that set up the circumstance within which being struck by a tornado is possible. I sure hope if it ever happens to me, the "community" is as forgiving as it has been with others. However, I somehow doubt that would be the case.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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....I'm not sure but this may be the first time a chaser was impacted by a satellite tornado (not the main tornado) in this manner....
My understanding is that the El Reno impact on both Tim Samaras and team, as well as on The Weather Channel crew, were the result of satellite tornados. With TWC I am pretty sure it was definitely a satellite. In the Samaras tragedy, I guess it could be a bit ambiguous, it was a satellite tornado that was actually within the outside circumference of the main circulation, not displaced from it as in the SL case.
 
Sep 25, 2006
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Minneapolis, MN
I'm not sure but this may be the first time a chaser was impacted by a satellite tornado (not the main tornado) in this manner.
There are theories that a few chasers and other vehicles were hit by a satellite (or secondary tornado away from the main meso/tornado) on 6/16/10 while trapped by flash flooding on highway 212 outside of Dupree, SD. Granted, none of the cars were flipped, but I bet being hit by a satellite/secondary tornado has happened more often than people care to confess.
 
Jun 19, 2005
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New Mexico
This would be a far more entertaining thread if the tour involved was one that's not held in high regard. It wouldn't change a single fact about what happened, but reaction would be must-read stuff.

It would take the miracle of all miracles for me to ever be hit by a tornado while chasing, because I control my situation out there through my decision making. To be impacted directly by a tornado- satellite or main - requires a very deliberate set of decisions that set up the circumstance within which being struck by a tornado is possible. I sure hope if it ever happens to me, the "community" is as forgiving as it has been with others. However, I somehow doubt that would be the case.
There are some chasers who can do no wrong... Usually after an accident you reflect and consider what should be done differently in the future. All I've read is it was an accident, un-forseeable. As mentioned it is curious how the 'best' chasers out there keep getting hit by tornadoes. Yet the ones we squabble about are those a few miles out. I really hope someone like Skip will do an analysis of this accident.
 
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May 1, 2004
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My understanding is that the El Reno impact on both Tim Samaras and team, as well as on The Weather Channel crew, were the result of satellite tornados. With TWC I am pretty sure it was definitely a satellite. In the Samaras tragedy, I guess it could be a bit ambiguous, it was a satellite tornado that was actually within the outside circumference of the main circulation, not displaced from it as in the SL case.
Both Twistex and TWC were impacted by subvorts inside the main ~ 2 mile wide circulation. Both were actually quite close to the center of the broad parent circulation at the time of impact.
 

Jesse Risley

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Apr 12, 2006
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There is a more recent academic publication on satellite tornadoes (STs) that Roger Edwards, a co-author of the paper and employee of the SPC, shared in another group. It's worth a read given that this is a topic a lot of chasers, including myself, probably fail to consider on days where the environment may particularly favor strong to violent tornadoes.

ENVIRONMENTS OF SUPERCELLULAR SATELLITE TORNADOES

18503
 
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