Storm chasing pet peeves. What are yours?

Todd Lemery

Supporter
Jun 2, 2014
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Menominee, MI
I was thinking that if we had a thread with people listing their pet peeves, some people who otherwise didn’t realize that were driving other people nuts, might take a look at their own actions and try not to do it. I’ve myself done things that I hate when other people do them. Not intentionally, but preventable and irritating to the people I’ve bothered nonetheless.
My pet peeve is when people pull out in front of you and you have to slam on the brakes. That isn’t so bad, but when you see them look right at you and then they do it really grates me. Once again, that’s not so bad. When that same person does it and doesn’t even make an effort to get up to speed, that’s when you’ve become my pet peeve. With just a LITTLE consideration for others, that wouldn’t happen.
 
Aug 9, 2012
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Galesburg, IL
www.facebook.com
When I'm doing 60 in a 55 (just an example) and people still feel the need to ride me like I'm standing still. I won't and refuse to drive any faster than that. I've been pulled over before and gotten tickets for doing less than 5 over and I feel like the speed limits are posted for a reason. Yet some people still feel the need to do 15+ over. Why? Yeah I'm not talking about near a tornadic supercell, I'm just talking day-to-day driving, not that it matters. We should all practice driving safely for the sake of ourselves and others on the roads.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Newtown, Pennsylvania
Does it have to be just one thing? I hate when people don’t pull completely off the road, stand on the road, or put their tripods on the road. I hate when you meet another chaser and one of the first things they say is “Did you see the (insert town) tornado (earlier today, yesterday, last week, etc.)” just to brag, not knowing that they are rubbing salt in your wounds because you missed it yourself. I hate when you meet another chaser, especially an inexperienced one, and they talk with such arrogant certainty about what they think is happening or going to happen, when they really have no clue. Or when a chaser is so arrogant or self-important they don’t talk to you at all, or at least even wave or nod when pulling up right beside or behind you. Or when a group of chasers is hootin’-n-hollerin’ without regard to allowing others to be “in the moment” with the storm.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Newtown, Pennsylvania
Here’s another one: Veteran chasers who consider everybody who started just after Twister to be somehow less-authentic “post-Twister” chasers, even though (a) personally, my ability to take my first chase tour only coincidentally occurred the year “Twister” came out and I had been fascinated with severe weather for many, many years prior to that; (b) even IF motivated by “Twister,” after sticking with it this long - 23 years after the movie came out, with some pretty lean years in there - credibility as an “authentic” chaser should have been earned and the original catalyst for chasing should be largely irrelevant; (c) even IF “Twister” is what made someone first realize chasing is a “thing,” they would have to have a genuine interest in severe weather to want to try it for themselves; I mean, there are a ton of things people see on TV or in the movies that they will never have the slightest interest in trying; someone would have to have a latent interest in weather for a movie to make them want to try chasing; (d) regardless of why you started chasing, if you started in the mid-1990s, whether or not because of “Twister,” you are a veteran now yourself and deserve some respect.
 
Sep 7, 2013
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Strasburg, CO
Tailgaters and chasers who don't even slow down at those back country intersections that don't have any stop signs.

Also, lollygaggers...going 20 in a 45 and not paying attention to the fact that you're impeding traffic.
 
My biggest pet peeves while chaing are as follows.
First, I ABSOLUTELY HATE when people chase with warning lights, they are so dang annoying and distracting! I've been behind people with warning lights while inside a storm and it becomes so darn dangerous to be behind a person like that. Warning lights have ABSOLUTELY NO use in the chasing world, besides that they are for show and a "look at me" gadget. Second, I dislike seeing people with all of these "Storm Spotter/Storm Chaser/We save lives" decals plastered all over their vehicles. Like we get it you're a chaser/spotter..... Third, I really hate when people park under bridges during a hail storm. Like come on, it's 2019. Stop it. That doesn't help at all, in fact people who do that could and have caused accidents! More recently I've started to see people hide under bridges while it's just raining!
I actually wrote a blog about this kind of stuff on my website, if anyone is interested.

Do you really need those warning lights, decals, and weather stations on your chase vehicle?
 
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Peter Potvin

Staff member
May 20, 2018
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Pembroke, ON, Canada
I honestly have to agree with @Mike Thornton's statements - he covered almost all of my chasing pet peeves. The only thing I have to add onto that is impeding traffic. I hate it when people drive over 15km/h under the speed limit without a valid reason, of which I will provide some examples soon. It prevents you from getting to where you need to go, and in areas with almost no places to pass, it becomes very annoying almost to the point where you want to call law enforcement to report it (here in Ontario, you legally have to travel the speed limit unless visibility or road conditions prevent you from doing so).

Also, to add onto some other posts that mention warning lights, the only time you should be using them is when you're either responding to an emergency or are already at the scene of an emergency. I see a lot of people trying to imitate emergency services personnel, especially when they aren't a member of an emergency service. They aren't only distracting, but they're highly illegal in some areas when they aren't used for emergencies. The only reason why I see some chasers use them wherever and whenever are for visibility and as a "look at me" type of thing, like Mike also mentioned.
 
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Oct 10, 2004
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Madison, WI
Lightbars are counterproductive for visibility in rain and other inclement weather because they create so much glare. Maybe this is a different can of worms, but the same is true for legitimate emergency services/LEOs and the modern LED lightbars they use. Yes you can see the cop pulled over on the side of the road at night, but you can't see anything else around you.

Old school incandescent strobes/gyralites were fine.
 
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Jesse Risley

Staff member
Apr 12, 2006
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Macomb, IL
www.tornadoguys.com
If you're going to pull off the road or highway, do so legally and in a safe manner as prescribed by law. Furthermore, respect the procedures on how and when to safely cross a highway, even in a rural area, and stay completely off of the road otherwise. I can't count the number of times I've seen groups of people stand nonchalantly in the road, taking pictures or video, or just stroll across the highway, expecting oncoming traffic highway speeds to simply be ready to acquiesce at a moment's notice when traffic is traveling 60+ mph. I'll second the notion about drivers who pull out in front of oncoming traffic at the last second and then insist on driving under the flow of said traffic. Finally, in the grander scheme of the universe, our hobby really isn't that big of a deal to most people and the majority of people outside of the hobby don't really care about it either. Don't be overly self-aggrandizing. We have no more right to be out doing what we do than anybody else, and it doesn't elevate our position in society. Treat the natural surroundings, others and the communities-at-large that you interact with with respect.