Chaser web sites good for some binge reading

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Jan 14, 2011
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I wanted to pass along these good chaser web sites that many newcomers may not have heard of, but have some quality material. All have lots of accounts and images to binge-read, and some are still actively being updated.

This is by no means a complete list, I'll be adding more. Feel free to add others you know and read!

These are listed alphabetically (the forum automatically applies the link style, preview images and link text, I don't know how to make that work with all of the links).

Scott Blair:

Dorian Burnette:

Dave Chapman:

Chris Collura:

Bob Conzemius:

Ben Cotton:

Jeff Duda:

Dave Ewoldt:

John Farley:

Jonathan Finch:

Rich Hamel:

James Hammett:

Bill Hark:

JR Hehnly:

Stephen Henry:

Roger Hill:

Ben Holcomb:

Mike Hollingshead:

Paul Knightley:

George Kourounis:

Chris Kridler:

Dave Lewison:

Rebekah Lo:

Wesley Luginbyhl:

Amos Magliocco:

David Mayhew:

Brian Morganti:

Brad Nelson:

Nick Nolte:

Stan Olson:

Jeremy Perez:

Andrew Pritchard:

William Reid:

Brett Roberts

Doug Speheger:

Paul Stofer:

Skip Talbot:

Richard Thies:

Mike Umscheid:

Jason Weingart:
 
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Perfect. I actually came on here just now looking for something exactly like this. Going along with the social media era, there are precious few chasers who still write up long-form chase accounts with pictures interspersed, and maintain them on personal websites like in the early 2000s. You, @Skip Talbot and maybe a couple others.

Actually, I was just thinking about Stan Olson, since Skip just posted on Facebook about the 20th anniversary of his first tornado on April 20, 2004, and both being from the same part of Illinois they chased many of the same events back in those days. I'm shocked Stan's site is still online, not having been updated since 2011.

When I had my brief foray into website building/HTML coding as a college student in the mid to late 00's, I maintained a page on my site consisting of a list of every time the SPC ever issued a high risk that I could find, with a collection of links to NWS WFO event summaries/damage surveys, chase accounts, and everything else I could find about what actually happened that day. The cheap hosting service I used was hacked and permanently taken offline in the early fall of 2007, but even then it was getting hard to keep up with the link rot as chaser sites moved, went offline or simply had their directories rearranged. I found myself having to go in practically every other day and fix a link, or link to the Wayback Machine archive (if there was one) if the page had disappared. Although, I like to think that the Wikipedia page List of SPC High Risk Days was at least initially inspired by/based on my work.
 
@Andy Wehrle you raise an important point about the “fragility” of online information. I seem to recall @Dan Robinson writing about that here years ago. (Credit to author Nassim Taleb for the use of the word in this context). So many bad links out there. Perhaps the information is not completely lost, but it may as well be, if it is no longer publicly accessible. (The metaphor of the tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it comes to mind…) That’s why we have to preserve the treasure trove that is Stormtrack! And another reason why social media is woefully inadequate - the information may be there somewhere, but good luck finding it years from now. (See The Impact of Social Media on Storm Chasing).

Be sure to protect your own storm documentation! It doesn’t address the public access issue, but don’t let the digital fragility of your own stuff cause the loss of important documentation and memories. Fragility is not just about the physical loss of files, it’s also about old laptops and software version changes and no longer having a way to access them. This is an issue even with more tangible media, like old VHS-C or Sony Hi-8 videotapes. Print stuff out when you can - leave an accessible legacy for your kids and grandkids, they will love reliving your adventures one day, even if they are not into storm chasing. Paper is far less fragile than video. I have to get around to doing this myself - printing my old Microsoft Word chasing journals for the past 25 years. If I can still find all of them. And my digital pictures are woefully spread out among old laptops, while at least my even older 35mm ones are in envelopes somewhere.
 
It's tough dedicating the time to keep websites up to date and also invest in off-season preps and deal with the grind of chase season itself. So I have a huge amount of admiration for the few people who are able to consistently pull this off, especially those who long-form document a chase event soon afterward when the rest of us are trying to recover and get back to normal life. Reading chase accounts from the early 2000's was hugely formative in developing my interest in chasing and education around forecasting and chase strategy. And it's definitely motivating to know some folks still visit my site...I have some updating to do!

As for archiving what's soon to be lost to the impermanence of the internet, I have a bookmarklet saved that allows me with one click to archive anything to the Internet Archive and I've made heavy use of this for past weather events. There are a number of easy ways to archive content listed here: Save Pages in the Wayback Machine – Internet Archive Help Center Once it's archived you can save the archive link and starting linking there when the original content disappears.
 
tough dedicating the time to keep websites up to date and also invest in off-season preps and deal with the grind of chase season itself. So I have a huge amount of admiration for the few people who are able to consistently pull this off, especially those who long-form document a chase event soon afterward when the rest of us are trying to recover and get back to normal life. Reading chase accounts from the early 2000's was hugely formative in developing my interest in chasing and education around forecasting and chase strategy. And it's definitely motivating to know some folks still visit my site...I have some updating to do!

I definitely get it. I used to do long-form chase accounts for a chaser audience (even posted to the WX-CHASE listserv back in the day!) *and* a more personal, mainstream journal to share with family and friends, without the road details and meteorological stuff (or, if I did mention meteorological stuff, I would explain it). I would even write up a journal for down days, to document the whole trip. Now, I have trouble finding the time on a chase trip. I’m down to one document summarizing the whole trip, with some isolated posts of individual chases on ST. For 2023, for the first time I haven’t done either 😔 . I still have some written notes, so I do hope to catch up at some point. Not sure anyone on ST cares about 2023 chase reports at this point (and I don’t think family and friends ever cared 🤣), but I’d like to do it for myself to keep the annual chain unbroken. For 2022, my son’s first chase trip, I put together a book for him journalizing what we did every day, even if it was a down day, and included pictures.

Somehow chasing trips seem busier as the years go on. Maybe it’s all the time spent analyzing crappy setups and driving all over the place for marginal risks. Maybe it’s work getting more demanding, and having to keep up with things even though I’m supposed to be on “vacation.” Once I get home, as you said, it’s about getting back to normal life. I’m always upset the trip is over and the next chance to chase is a year away; the last thing I want to do is make the transition to real life even harder by reliving the excitement of chasing or ruminating on disappointments and bad decisions by writing about it.

I’ve never been good at organizing pictures and videos though. I still have years of pics still on the smart card of my DSLR. Without taking time to download them to a computer first, I can’t even post them to ST. I do most of my ST posts on an iPad anyway, but even if I take pictures on my iPhone while chasing they are not easily available to me on my iPad when writing ST reports, until I get home and synch everything up.
 
As for archiving what's soon to be lost to the impermanence of the internet, I have a bookmarklet saved that allows me with one click to archive anything to the Internet Archive and I've made heavy use of this for past weather events. There are a number of easy ways to archive content listed here: Save Pages in the Wayback Machine – Internet Archive Help Center Once it's archived you can save the archive link and starting linking there when the original content disappears.

Isn’t that still dependent upon online storage though, and therefore ultimately still at risk of loss?
 
I updated this post with more sites and organized it alphabetically. I'm including ST members as well - even though many of us already know them, I figure newer members and visitors might not. Again, if you know of others or if I missed anyone who has a site with chase logs, please chime in and I'll add them to the first post.
 
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Good to see Mike Hollingshead still has a site up, although it hasn't been updated in a while. For a long time it was at extremeinstability.com. I remember when in the mid-2000s several of his photos of mothership supercells were Photoshopped onto beach scenes and circulated via e-mail chains as photos of the latest hurricane du jour (particularly Katrina) making landfall. One of the first weather-related viral hoaxes in an era when social media was in its infancy.
 
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