Chasing in year 2015 (???)

Mike Johnson

OK, now that things have slowed down, I ask this question:

What do you think the future of storm chasing holds? Lets say in 10 years - which will go by real quick.

The basis for this question centers around all the books, discussions and oddities of late - including the commercialization of chasing and the issues of safety, equipment, etc. Will the interest in storm chasing die off or will it become more popular?

Something to ponder.

Unless I win the lottery, I don't see me chasing any differently than I have since 1996. A car, a vidcam, a scanner, a sort of forecast, and whatever other help I can intercept between leaving the house and approaching the storm.

Hopefully I'll be a little better at it in 10 years
By that time, two-way broadband will be accessible at reasonable cost with at least the same coverage of todays cellular. This will permit live video slow-scan all the time and broadcast quality on demand from any mobile chaser of moderate means.

Alas, there's a big market for reality tv news, and a big payoff for the chaser who is tapped for a live feed. Multiply the competition among the broadcast stations for live reports by a factor of about 100, throw in the inevitable bunch of yahoos, thrill-seekers, and fruitcakes, and it could be quite a show! :roll:
Hopefully I'll be a little better at it in 10 years

LOL! Amen, brother!

I think the biggest thing you'll see is wifi internet access the same you have with two-way satellites now...except this will be true high powered wifi delivered via a "stratellite". Check out this company trying to make that happen: (and yes, I do own stock in this company just as a disclaimer). If/when this becomes reality, say goodbye to ThreatNet. Now, chasers will have good wifi internet connections anywhere they roam thus eliminating cell tower gaps and regional monopolies. We'll see of course if this comes about. I think it will. If it does, I believe "virtual chasing" will quickly become popular and will add an element of the "profit chasers" to contend with. More data will also result in more chasers on the road and greater convergence around storms. You think it's bad now....just wait. The popularity of ThreatNet has resulted in alot more chasers able to quickly adjust and intercept the big storm of the day.

The other thing is outrageous gas prices. I certainly would not be surprised at all to be paying nearly $4/gallon for gas. Say goodbye to the big SUV chase vehicles unless you are Bill Gates. ;-) Japan is now producing fuel cell operated hybrid vehicles and this is the way of the future. So, maybe in 10 years (optimistically of course) we won't have to worry about it. If gas gets over $3 gallon, I can guarantee you that fuel-alternative vehicles like this will get LOTS of funding and 10 years may not be as far-fetched as you think.

Of course, global warming may end chasing for most of North America completely as the upper ridge sets up into Nebraska in early April and by May sending the jet stream into the arctic circle. Talk about bad road networks. ROFL! Just kidding....I hope.

Also in 10 years, Shane and I will have gathered quite a few more gray hairs too. ;-)

Interesting thread!!!!
Chasing in 2016

I'll still be chasing storms, hopefully with alot more experiences under my belt, some new "toys" etc. in 2016 unless god forbid I die or become paralyzed; if I do become paralyzed I would appreciate it if someone would take me chasing with them :) :lol:
I will still be chasing in 10 years without a doubt. I agree with most of you that storm chasing will only grow and become more populated as the technology gets better. Internet access while chasing has greatly improved over the last couple of years and it will only get better. Getting internet anytime, any place, and anywhere is coming in the near future which will make chasing much more enjoyable and successful. Not much really changes with chasing other than the technology aspect of it I guess. Steve I agree with you about the gas prices. I think the govt. will be pushing us to get more economical/envir. safe cars in the future (they may be trying to do that now as I think about it). I am a relatively new chaser and am very excited to learn more and more about storm chasing. Heck, I may be chasing until I am 60 lol.
I hope that will see my first tornado ever before year 2015. Never seen it, so hopefully in the next 5-10 years (depends how fast Santa bring me enough $ :D ) I will go on chase in Plains for few weeks. 8)
I think chaseing 10 years from now will be about the same. You'll get the people who think it works like the movie twister. They will get out there and find out how boreing and costly it can be and never see anything so they quit. When I started back in 1996 i had 2 other freinds who were all about it. After 2 years I was down to 1 who was still doing it. Now in 2005 I am the only one out still chaseing. I think you will have one or two here and there that actually stick with it. And as for me in ten years, well since today is my birthday and I would be 38 I still see me chasing! As for the weather, I think we won't see really anything under an F3. I think we will even get to open up the F6 catagory. With the way global warming is starting to effect everything. I got to thinking back on some of the storms this year and just about everyone of them that I can think of (meaning the one on the media) that I couldn't chase seemed to produce a wall cloud! Kind of makes you wonder?!
Chasing won't grow in popularity as much as we think, global warming won't have as much of an impact as some think (or maybe it'll have entirely different impacts than we expect), gas prices won't be quite as high as we think, technology won't be quite as good as we think, we'll still have boom years and bust years, marginal days that go ballistic and seeming no-miss days that can't put one cumulus cloud through the cap.

I hope to be at a position in profession and life where I can go much more than now.
Incipient researcher here...

With the steps taken to address data sparsity both at the ground and in the atmosphere combined with increased computing power and another decade of intense ground observation of storms and busts, areas declared "high risk" will be seen more frequently, but will be of smaller geographical extent. This means more frequent chases closer to home for many of us outside the Plains.

Warning of severe thunderstorms will improve, as the lifecycle of individual blobs of yellow and orange will be reliably predicted. A heavy shower in Oklahoma City could precipitate severe thunderstorm warnings from Tulsa to Joplin, and tornado alerts for individual towns and counties along the path. This means hordes of locals lining up along the Interstate to see the tornado develop.
Originally posted by nickgrillo
I'll still be chasing storms, at the age of 26, and hopefully my photography skills will have matched Mike Hollingshead, and my videography skills will reach Blake Naftel's. :)

Nick will be 26 in 10 years...I wish I was 26 again. Man, do I feel old now. I'll be 40 in 10 years. :D

I agree that cell-tower-based, hi-powered wifi ("hiwifi"? You heard it here first folks!) will be in widespread use by 2015. Combine that with the increased resolution of phased-array radar that may be in place in some areas, and chasers will have an incredible amount of live data at their fingertips.

TWC will have to spin off a subsidiary channel devoted to a 24hr live feed from Roger Hill. And Jim Leonard will own the world's only "Jazzy" senior personal scooter with hail dents on it. :lol:
Originally posted by Dave Lewison
[Nick will be 26 in 10 years...I wish I was 26 again. Man, do I feel old now. I'll be 40 in 10 years. :D

Heck, I will be 47 by then and yes, I will still be out chasing!
As far as mankind manipulating the weather I do believe that mother nature will always have a way to show who the boss is.
Technology has moved at such a amazing pace if you look at the previous ten years. I wouldn't even venture a guess what will be out there in ten more years, provided that mankind hasn't sent it back to the stone age by then.
Death will cause legislation

I enjoy prognosticating as much as the next chaser. Twenty years ago I though I knew everything when I was 18. It is kind of funny how the older yet get the smarter your parents are. I have lived in Tulsa, OK 13 years. I’m using these periods to better scope my prediction so bear with me.

I have scared myself and others have greatly scared me this season. There are a lot of people in pursuit of atmospheric fury™ that probably should not be. I won’t go into particulars, but I have seen a lot of stupidity.

I truly believe that we are on a collision course. A chaser will kill another chaser or even worse a civilian. This will likely not be a shooting or stabbing. It will happen on a rain slicked road and an unsafe driving decision that will end tragically. Someone will die, not by atmospheric fury â„¢, but because of a driving mistake. We call them accidents for a reason. Accidents can be prevented. I think we all need to examine our driving and probably back it down a notch.

This forecasted death will unleash a media firestorm and consummate legislative action. There will be a rush to judgment to identify the responsible from the thrill seekers. Those that enjoy this hobby should consider how they can prove that they are responsible. In some sick way I welcome this big brother era. It will reduce the congestion. I have, can ,and will, take, and pass; federal, state, and local licensure requirements.

In 2015, the Department of Public Safety will have authority over pursuit of atmospheric furyâ„¢. Clean up our act or it will happen. Prior to chasing, I was an active skydiver with a class A USPAA/FAA License. It too was a time consuming and expensive hobby. Skydiving has one additional feature. It is a self cleaning oven. About fifty people die each year because they were stupid. The FAA is fairly conservative in where they locate drop zones so as not to kill civilians. Until you have mastered the art of skydiving , a drop master is technically in charge of you. Upon successful completing a series of progressively harder obstacles you will be granted your license. You are then 100% responsible for you. As a chaser, you are 100% responsible for you. You are unlikely to kill someone else as a skydiver. You are somewhat likely to kill someone as a chaser.

As Phil Esterhaus adjourned the roll call each week on Hill Street Blues "And, hey - let's be careful out there."

-Bob Hall