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Amateur storm chasers cause headaches for emergency spotters

Mr. Morris, a tremendous thank-you for your response.

I am happy to see something positive come from the discussion. And as a gesture of appreciation, I am pledging to finally get my HAM license and begin participating in storm reporting on that medium across the USA. I think I can speak for all chasers in that we look forward to working together on this for the common goal.
 
This new piece in the Times Record News reveals why the articles were written in the first place:

http://www.timesrecordnews.com/colu...e6-3284-2135-e053-0100007f1173-375897481.html

I think it's time attention be turned away from the Wichita County ARES and onto Lynn Walker and the Times Record News, the true villains behind this story. A new blog post from me is coming soon.
Well, yes and no. As of today the Wichita County ARES group has renamed themselves to Wichita County Skywarn in order to get around the "open net" requirement. So nothing has really changed here.

We need the NWS to step in on a nationwide level and require spotter nets to be open just like ARES.

Justin
NV8Q
 
Wow, Dan that article you referenced about storm chasers is nasty. Probably the worst I've seen. That reporter is certainly double downing on his bias and hatred. My blood is boiling but I'll wait until I can provide a calmer and more insightful response.

Bill Hark
 
I can't even... o_O

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I have no idea how they can care so much about keeping their group closed like this. Seems quite telling to me that many Skywarn groups and EM people came out in support of Daniel Shaw.
 
OK all, I need some help with this one. I need every example we know of of a spotter being impacted by a tornado, including injuries and deaths. Here are two that we know of:

May 4, 2007 - Police Officer acting in a spotting capacity impacted by Trousdale-Macksville, Kansas wedge tornado (the second major tornado after Greensburg). (fatal)
May 10, 2008 - Firefighter for Seneca Area Fire Protection District impacted by the Picher, Oklahoma tornado just after it crossed the state line into Missouri (fatal)

One of the central claims in these articles is that chasing is dangerous in comparison to spotting.
 
This new piece in the Times Record News reveals why the articles were written in the first place:

http://www.timesrecordnews.com/colu...e6-3284-2135-e053-0100007f1173-375897481.html

I think it's time attention be turned away from the Wichita County ARES and onto Lynn Walker and the Times Record News, the true villains behind this story. A new blog post from me is coming soon.

Where do you even begin with this gem? Trying to educate people is a lost cause...

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When I read the Lynn Walker parade of stupidity and insults, I was going to write about how I was going to cave in his false teeth when I saw him. Instead, I just feel sorry for him and others like him. It's painfully obvious that he does this in an attempt to make himself feel better about himself and feel important by criticizing others.
Many of us are chasers as well as spotters. Ask yourself this question. You know people who just spot and are not chasers. How does their knowledge about storms and stuctures compare to your own? Who would you prefer to rely on in weather related situations?
I firmly believe the spotters who complain about the chasers and do not want their input, do so because "being the only game in town" as far a reporting on a storm, makes them feel important. This is only the minority of spotters.
It kind of reminds me of a few firefighters with their radios. It seems almost sometimes that they just sit their making up stuff to say on the radio whether it's relevant or not just so they can talk on the radio and feel important. There are people like that in all walks of life. Unfortunately we have to deal with these sorts of people now that happen to be spotters and want the storms to themselves to feel important.. I wish they could find a new way to soothe their self confidence.


Sent from my iPad using Stormtrack mobile app
 
It will be interesting to see how this works. Experienced chasers are one thing but when you have inexperienced non-chasers jumping on skywarn frequencies to chat and call in bogus reports the entire system could fail. This is why is was initiated to begin with. But I doubt there are enough bogus ham radio operators to overwhelm the system regardless.
 
What a complete clown this Lynn Walker is... I am very thankful that Dan has the resources and energy to respond to this guy. I must stop typing now before I get into trouble.

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Regarding making nets open, a couple of points.

The NWS has no regulatory authority over ham nets, but they can certainly say what practices they will allow for a net to call itself "Skywarn."

I have mixed feelings about open nets, and would thing that individual NWS offices should set their own policy. The plus side of open nets has been mentioned, and Warren points out one of the problems. NWS folks develop their own ideas of how to tell if reports are valid and who is providing good ones. Skywarn certification helps (as indicated by a Skywarn number), but Skywarn training that I have taken is not enough to prevent bad reports. When I was first in Skywarn, I made a few mistaken reports myself decades ago - here in PHX where a lot of the stock Skywarn material just didn't cover our kind of weather. On the other hand, I had a real tornado report rejected because they are so rare here and radar showed no supercell (it was a strong landspout).

In summary, I don't think it's an open and shut case. Let NWS make the call.
 
I appreciate the efforts of some to get to the bottom of this preposterous situation; but I'll be at least that one guy who says: from the beginning of my active involvement in weather-watching I had decided to forsake the amateur radio route of communication when any was necessary, deciding instead that I would be using my phone to call NWS directly, or 911 barring that. I first met some ARES/RACES/what-have-you guys at my first SKYWARN class, with their Ghostbuster utility belts and all that, and it looked interesting; but what internet research into amateur radio operations I was able to do convinced me that it was a kind of neat but ultimately slowly withering hobby that grows less and less relevant with time and has a somewhat expensive entry cost. Yes - I know that many amateur radio enthusiasts having read that are wanting right now to jump in and defend this hobby of theirs and stump for the continued relevance and importance of amateur radio and mention that during Hurricane Mofo in 20whenever amateur radio nets played a crucial role during the aftermath and so forth - it's not necessary, I assure you. My impression is only my impression. But it's one that's only been reinforced with time, rather than changed. The more I hear about situations like with this net, and other old-boy aspects of the culture in general, the more I'm glad I didn't spend the money. I certainly believe there are plenty of positive amateur radio communities out there, maybe even the majority; but the toxic minority is VERY toxic - Exhibit A: the experience of Daniel Shaw - and the chance of running into a circle of jerks is good, especially when you're traveling as much as hardcore chasers like to do. The NWS and 911 will always take my call.
 
This new piece in the Times Record News reveals why the articles were written in the first place:

http://www.timesrecordnews.com/colu...e6-3284-2135-e053-0100007f1173-375897481.html

I think it's time attention be turned away from the Wichita County ARES and onto Lynn Walker and the Times Record News, the true villains behind this story. A new blog post from me is coming soon.

Lynn Walker goes so far as to say "chasers" love watching large violent tornadoes kill people.
The guy is a slime ball, a troll, and a grumpy old man, period.
 
He's a troll, and I think it best if we don't give him any clicks. His job probably hangs on getting attention, and this is how he does it. He's a classic "yellow journalism" hack.
 
Just a heads up for anyone replying directly to the Times Record News (or any media for that matter). As tempting as it is to verbally rip into the aformentioned parties, keep in mind that they can and will publish anything you say that might make chasers sound bad. Even if you type a long well-thought out email and manage to slip a little jab in there, that's the quote they will publish. You have to assume that anything you say can and will be used against you, especially since we know the writer has a history of omitting any information that opposes their predetermined narrative.

This is why I've stopped corresponding with them directly and am carrying on this debate on my blog. There, no one can pull something out of context.

Thank you everyone again for all of your support. Every little share and comment does something to help facilitate change, as we have already seen so far.
 
Interestingly enough, Daniel ran into this issue yesterday:

It's somewhat amusing, but at the same time if this had happened during a serious event with damage to life and property with a closed net in place...
 
Well played by SN - maybe they are in on the profits for that 800 # :)

But once again - best practice is NOT ham radio. He had SN running - why not submit the report that way so everyone sees it?
 
He was trying to get info on a bogus tornado report and ended up finding out about the phone number in the process.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Stormtrack mobile app
 
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