Yet another article on the large numbers of storm chasers, dangers and the effect on scientific studies.

Jun 1, 2008
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Chattanooga, TN
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Well it's Fox News, lol!

I also try to let the researchers do their science. However I have never run into a situation where we needed the same space.

Finally, we lost the storm? Please! It's called forecasting. One ST member (this thread but not me) got Magnum approaching from the east. Works great when one forecasts!
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Newtown, Pennsylvania
From the article: “...the Oklahoma Highway patrol documented one casualty from the Mangum touchdown – stemming from two vehicles operated by storm chasers rather than the elements themselves...”

What incident is this referring to? I don’t recall hearing anything about this...

It’s human nature for a professional in his or her field to bemoan being overrun by amateurs; I can understand that, and it is easy to see that the number of vehicles on the road does make it harder to do what they are trying to do. On the other hand, it kind of ticks me off: You’re blessed to have been able to make a career out of chasing and research, but don’t tell the rest of us we can’t enjoy it as a hobby. And who knows how many younger people may get inspired to become the next Erik Rasmussen; everybody starts somewhere, and that passion should be nurtured.
 
Hahahaha. Told you so years ago. Where were these researchers when the idiots were first promoting bad behavior on the highways, on TV shows and in social media — resulting in about 90% of today's current circus and the extremely aggressive, social media-driven chasing behavior. They did not have the balls to "rock the boat" or chastise their own. The only researcher with the guts to try and address it was Doswell. I took a first class pounding when Storm Chasers came out and argued it was going to change the way people chase. So I don't want to hear any whining from researchers. Welcome to the back of the line.
 
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Jul 16, 2013
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Joplin, MO
Hahahaha. Told you so years ago. Where were these researchers when the idiots were first promoting bad behavior on the highways, on TV shows and in social media — resulting in about 90% of today's current circus and the extremely aggressive, social media-driven chasing behavior. They did not have the balls to "rock the boat" or chastise their own. The only researcher with the guts to try and address it was Doswell. I took a first class pounding when Storm Chasers came out and argued it was going to change the way people chase. So I don't want to hear any whining from researchers. Welcome to the back of the line.
Yeah I kind of laughed at the irony of the situation, scientists griping about the herds of storm chasers out there yet it was Dr. Joshua Wurman and even dragged Vortex 2 into being involved in Storm Chasers which popularized storm chasing. I'm not sure what they thought was gonna happen by continuing making storm chasing mainstream. And I clearly remember Sean Casey taking a beating about the reckless operation of the TIV on chases, remember one video showed them passing cars going uphill. I called him out on that and he blocked me on Facebook. If nothing else, they contributed to this allowing one of their very own scientist be a part of a TV show popularizing storm chasing, now they want to cry about it. You can't have it both ways, folks; popularize it, then cry because it's become too popular.
 
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Sep 25, 2006
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Minneapolis, MN
It's funny he admitted he used to be the exact thing he is bitching about now.

Also, how many vehicles did Vortex 2 have in its operation? I'm sure they all made the congestion better...
 

Jeff Duda

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Oct 7, 2008
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Hahahaha. Told you so years ago. Where were these researchers when the idiots were first promoting bad behavior on the highways, on TV shows and in social media — resulting in about 90% of today's current circus and the extremely aggressive, social media-driven chasing behavior. They did not have the balls to "rock the boat" or chastise their own. The only researcher with the guts to try and address it was Doswell. I took a first class pounding when Storm Chasers came out and argued it was going to change the way people chase. So I don't want to hear any whining from researchers. Welcome to the back of the line.
That's just not true at all. A lot of researchers commented on the non-researchers in the past, but they didn't rely on social media to get the word out, and so typically you didn't hear from them. Chuck Doswell got his word out through a personal website (that not all researchers have) and a lot of them probably felt like it wasn't their business to tell non-researchers not to chase (because they knew everyone had a right to be out there). Thus mostly only students like me ended up hearing that side of the story from them.
 

Jeff Duda

Resident meteorological expert
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Oct 7, 2008
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Westminster, CO
www.meteor.iastate.edu
yet it was Dr. Joshua Wurman and even dragged Vortex 2 into being involved in Storm Chasers which popularized storm chasing
VORTEX2 was never associated with the Discovery Channel series. Josh Wurman's role in the TV series was through his involvement with the TIV. That was a collaborative effort in order for Wurman to get in-situ tornado wind speed data to supplement what he was getting 10-50 m AGL from his DOWs. I distinctly remember the StormChasers show displaying Wurman declaring his agreement only to help get the TIV into a tornado provided Sean put an anemometer on the TIV (which he did, and perhaps other instruments) and let him use any data obtained by those instruments in the event of an actual intercept.

The issue with Wurman is he owns his own private research firm, CSWR, which is soft-funded, meaning he has to find outside sources for funding to pursue research. I believe Discovery only supported his research in 2008, before VORTEX2 commenced. He was not part of the paid talent/cast in 2009-2010 when VORTEX2 operated. If he appeared on the show it was only tangentially, as he was off with VORTEX2 by that time and no longer officially affiliated with the series.
 

Jeff Duda

Resident meteorological expert
Staff member
Oct 7, 2008
3,013
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Westminster, CO
www.meteor.iastate.edu
From the article: “...the Oklahoma Highway patrol documented one casualty from the Mangum touchdown – stemming from two vehicles operated by storm chasers rather than the elements themselves...”

What incident is this referring to? I don’t recall hearing anything about this...
Keep in mind that the term casualty also refers to injuries sustained, not necessarily fatalities. But yes, the author was probably trying to beef up the language to make a lower-end incident appear more significant.
 
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Jul 16, 2013
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Joplin, MO
VORTEX2 was never associated with the Discovery Channel series. Josh Wurman's role in the TV series was through his involvement with the TIV. That was a collaborative effort in order for Wurman to get in-situ tornado wind speed data to supplement what he was getting 10-50 m AGL from his DOWs. I distinctly remember the StormChasers show displaying Wurman declaring his agreement only to help get the TIV into a tornado provided Sean put an anemometer on the TIV (which he did, and perhaps other instruments) and let him use any data obtained by those instruments in the event of an actual intercept.

The issue with Wurman is he owns his own private research firm, CSWR, which is soft-funded, meaning he has to find outside sources for funding to pursue research. I believe Discovery only supported his research in 2008, before VORTEX2 commenced. He was not part of the paid talent/cast in 2009-2010 when VORTEX2 operated. If he appeared on the show it was only tangentially, as he was off with VORTEX2 by that time and no longer officially affiliated with the series.
My opinion remains the same. Storm Chasers was so long ago, and I didn't watch a whole lot of it, so him leaving the show prior to VORTEX 2 was buried in my foggy memory. Doesn't take away the fact that Wurman associated with a show that popularized storm chasing when he, himself, is a scientist.
 
That's just not true at all. A lot of researchers commented on the non-researchers in the past, but they didn't rely on social media to get the word out, and so typically you didn't hear from them. Chuck Doswell got his word out through a personal website (that not all researchers have) and a lot of them probably felt like it wasn't their business to tell non-researchers not to chase (because they knew everyone had a right to be out there). Thus mostly only students like me ended up hearing that side of the story from them.
I feel this is true to some degree, but the overall philosophy at the time was to ignore the developing problems. They may have said things in private, but it's like whispering "fire" in a theater -- if indeed there is a fire. Now, they have no problem speaking out publicly blaming many of the people I respect on this site (even the screwballs) when it was mainly one individual who created the current "let's get into the circulation" theory of storm interception -- encouraging chasers to aggressively emulate the same highway behavior to be in the circulation. I guess it's easier and safer now to broad brush everyone who chases, since it won't offend a single individual. How many of these "researchers" contacted the TWC, sponsors, show producers and others connected to the "issue" back then to complain? Zero.
 
Would the researchers/academia types speaking out 2 decades ago really have changed anything? Lets be honest.
Storm Chasers started in 2007 so it was not that long ago. I truly believe if they (researchers and others) had taken a more aggressive stance towards the issue, it would have helped. The main problem at the time, which still exists today, is that no counter-point of chasing philosophy was ever presented to the public and future chasers. It was all about misleading reasoning for chasing and getting into the circulation at all costs. No other viewpoint was ever presented on Storm Chasers, on TWC, etc. If it was, it was a sidebar to the reckless behavior. Some people were standing up, but the media ignored it. TWC partially destroyed my career when I took a stand -- but time proved me right.

I am living proof that "forcing someone to eat a poop sandwich" works. About 20 years ago, the New York Times illegally used one of my tornado illustrations and re-captioned it as a "real image," from Oklahoma. I took a pounding from the chase community and the NSSL (It was connected to a story about the NSSL). Although it was not my fault, I had my agent destroy every single illustration / artwork in their files. Now days, when people do far worse, there is NO maltreatment, so they are encouraged to continue their actions and influence others.
 
Mar 30, 2008
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Norman, OK
www.benholcomb.com
Maybe I am an exception to the rule, but nothing I saw on storm chasers or TWC or any of these other places made me want to get closer. It was your images back in the 90s that got me interested in wanting to chase storms, but I was already interested in weather before then. I always thought the TIV (was a big deal along with the show as I was getting into chasing in 2007/2008) was a coffin on wheels.

Then I got close with another chaser, And then by myself. And I lived through both. Then the Bowdle field incident, and I just keep getting closer and closer. I'm not trying to influence anyone. I'm not trying to sell video - much to the contrary, i'll give everything away for free with a reverse embargo that if they use my video they can't buy any from other chasers, only use the free stuff. I don't have an agent or anything else. I just enjoy angry violent weather up close.
 
Maybe I am an exception to the rule, but nothing I saw on storm chasers or TWC or any of these other places made me want to get closer. It was your images back in the 90s that got me interested in wanting to chase storms, but I was already interested in weather before then. I always thought the TIV (was a big deal along with the show as I was getting into chasing in 2007/2008) was a coffin on wheels.

Then I got close with another chaser, And then by myself. And I lived through both. Then the Bowdle field incident, and I just keep getting closer and closer. I'm not trying to influence anyone. I'm not trying to sell video - much to the contrary, i'll give everything away for free with a reverse embargo that if they use my video they can't buy any from other chasers, only use the free stuff. I don't have an agent or anything else. I just enjoy angry violent weather up close.
Yes, but from what I've seen you know what you are doing. You are also honest about what you do. You are like a number of experienced chasers who can get as close as they want and unless something happens beyond your control you will survive. You would not be the kind of chaser trying to promote getting too close for the wrong reasons. I don't have a problem with that but I hope you don't get injured or killed (by a tornado or explosives...lol). My problem is with social media chasers who have perfected the "Fake it till you make it," technique. If they would simply come out and say: "I just love getting close because it's exciting." 'It gets me attention because I feed on attention and publicity makes me money." "I acknowledge it encourages others to do the same thing in a competitive manner and may kill people" (or already has). "Science is a sideline to make me look legitimate so I'm special." "Becuase I'm special I've got priority over other chasers and deserve to be at the front of the line." That is the distortion that is currently encouraging more people to chase for the wrong reasons. Until the people with the power to voice their opinions (including researchers) address and chastise the idiots, nothing will happen. Simply blaming every chaser is unfair.
 
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Mar 30, 2008
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Well there are definitely a lot of those out there without any tornado pictures who dub themselves on social media as extreme chasers, blah blah blah. I guess I'm a pretty live and let live guy if it's not affecting other people. Obviously I wouldn't bring a van load of tour guests with me.

I also don't really want to be in others' way, but at the same time I pay my taxes, and it sure is a lot more than most chasers I know since they are always broke/poor and can't hold a job for long. I know that's extremely generalizing, but it's been my experience so far.

I truly think the only real recourse we have is to run dashcams/etc and call out the reckless behaviors.... but the real last call out was the CSWR DOW truck passing on a double yellow line.... So really who are we angry at again?