Top five dangers of spotting

Jason Foster

Just joking a little

Top five dangers for Spotters....ah....

1. Flying wheels from a big, ugly tank-like chase vehicle.
2. Radiation from the DOW.
3. Someone being blinded from all the blinking lights of the spotter's vehicle.
4. Forgetting your skywarn Badge and not being allowed in the damage area.
5. Actually spotting something.

I know that was a little harsh, but posted in good fun.
 
Jun 11, 2004
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Oklahoma City Ok.
DANGERS of Chasing 1. Traffic, DOW trucks parked in the middle of the 2 lane, Yahoos, 1st year college chasers , Terrified locals who went to see the "tarnada" and got caught up in it. and those who werent paying attention. 2. Lightning 3. Floods (INCLUDING MUDDY ROADS THAT ARE TRASHED) 4. Night chasing too close to the action..(im guilty) and reformed. 5. Relying on 7 minute old radar scans...(guilty again..and reformed) read the storm structure, back up your visual with radar from multiple sights if possible . 6. Winds in all forms...tornado, RFD , micorburst 7. Chasing an HP rain wrapped beast that often morphs and hide their winds in blinding precip and monster hail. NO VIDEO OF A STORM IS WORTH YOUR LIFE.
 

Jason Boggs

Alan, you forgot reckless media chasers, hell bent on getting the shot. ;)
Hey now, I resent that remark! :D Us media chasers get a lot of fame and fortune to go hellbent to get that shot! ATTENTION: ALL SPOTTERS...Watch for me out on the plains and get out of my way so I can get that shot and get back to the station!!! Of course I'm joking here.
 
My top 5 dangers are as follows:

1.) Inexperince in the field/bad reporting.

2.) Wet roads/hydroplaning.

3.) Having the locals park thier vehicles in the middle of a busy road just to jibber jabber as you are safely pulled off the side of a road.

4.) Getting hit by gorilla sized hail.

5.) Although rare, getting struck by LTG. Most spotters stay in thier vehicles so in theory for the most part they are protected unless they are keying up the mic.

I did not list getting hit by a tornado because statistically your odds are slim.
 
Jan 1, 2009
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Canyon, Texas
Well based on my chasing these would by my top 5 dangers.
1. Lightning
2. Hail/corepunching
3. rain wrapped tornadoes.
4. flashflooding/flooded roads
5.straight line winds
 
May 8, 2004
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Central Oklahoma
Visit site
The officer killed in Kansas in 2007 by a tornado was not a sheriff's deputy, he was a police officer from a town (Macksville) close to Greensburg. Here is a link to the information since no one seems to be familiar with it:

http://odmp.org/officer/18871-police-officer-robert-(tim)-buckman

There used to be a picture online of his patrol car post-tornado, but I can't seem to find it now. It looked pretty bad.

Back on topic, I remember a couple of years ago the NWS included chasers as hazards to spotters in Skywarn classes. I was kinda pissed the first time I saw that in a presentation, because chasers are simply over-distracted drivers. If the NWS wanted to include distracted drivers as hazards to spotters in their presentations, then why not include all distracted drivers? I could see the NWS point, but I disagreed with it.

I noticed that this year they removed that part of the presentation. If memory serves, the warning to spotters about chasers in NWS presentations ran from about 2006-2008.

Speaking from experience, I spotted from 2000-2003 and didn't know a damn thing about severe weather. It was only in 2004 when I began chasing that I started learning anything about storms.

So I'd say the following three are most dangerous to spotters:

1. Inexperience
2. Road hazards
3. Lightning
 

Tom Johnson

Top 5 Dangers

IMO:
The Top 5 Dangers of Spotting are
5) Making sure you have a vehicle that's capable of pulling off your mission.
4) Not only cars/trucks, but anything that is on or near the roadway. Either
You can stay or get off the Road (By intent, inattention or blown off by
wind, OR the same may happen with other vehicles and the "debris" that
may be placed in your path (or hurled directly at your head).
3) Not knowing your geographical location AND your proximity/location
as it relates to
A) The Weather in General and
B) The Storm you are tracking or Spotting
2) Being a Human Lightning Rod
1) Being Ignorant: not being Educated & Informed about what you are
doing, how to do it properly, and not being RESPECTFUL of the Weather.

Overall, I'd say Being informed & Awareness

Tom Johnson
Texarkana, AR
 

Jason Foster

Are you saying that not having a ham radio is a danger if you are spotting or chasing?
Yeah....I too wonder about that statement. I actually don't think people need to get a ham radio license to chase...in fact...I hate chasers who only get their license in order to chase/spot. It's just as easy to phone in or use other means. Ham radio is a communications hobby, and chasers tend to lack the necessary protocol and skill when using ham radio. I speak of the many...but not of the whole on this. It is not a necessary tool, there are many other tools that accomplish the same task without becoming a ham.
 
Mar 21, 2005
1,190
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Kearney, NE
Now THAT was funny, Jason:

Top five dangers for Spotters....ah....

1. Flying wheels from a big, ugly tank-like chase vehicle.
2. Radiation from the DOW.
3. Someone being blinded from all the blinking lights of the spotter's vehicle.
4. Forgetting your skywarn Badge and not being allowed in the damage area.
5. Actually spotting something.

I know that was a little harsh, but posted in good fun.