• Stormtrack's forum runs on Xenforo forum software, which will be undergoing a major update the evening of Wednesday, Feb 28th. The site may be down for a period while that update takes place.

Should Chasers Report, and If So - How?

Should chasers call in reports to warning agencies?

  • Yes - it's your duty.

    Votes: 110 88.0%
  • No - let the spotters do it.

    Votes: 15 12.0%

  • Total voters
    125
This was brought up in the 2/28 discussion thread. Since I feel like those threads should be reserved for event discussion and post-analysis, I thought I would bring the subject in here. The discusion in there leads me to believe that some of the same old rifts are still floating around between chasers, nets and mets - so I wanted to talk about it.

Warning: I'm going to go ahead and issue a High Risk on this thread for potential volatility.

First - here is the breakdown of what I believe on the subject, so we are clear:

*I still believe in reporting to the NWS. Not all the time, and not every time. But I do believe in it. If not during the event, or if I feel like the spotters have a good handle on what is going on, then I won't report at all until after the event, and then just with an email to the WCM with photos and what-not.

*I believe that ground truth reporting should be clear, concise and above all, accurate. When I call in a report I try to be as accurate as possible under whatever circumstances I'm confronted with.

In situations that are during the day and clearly lit, it's easy to stay calm and call in pure ground truth observation. But I've got to say that at night it's a whole other ball game, and my reports are filled with words like 'maybe' and 'possibly' and 'I can't quite make out what is going on at the ground'. Accuracy is still important, but unless a chaser happens to be sitting ten feet from the tornado, they are not going to be making out the same detail that is visible during the day. If, however, I feel like a situation is dangerous enough for some reason ... I'm getting clues that the storm is posing an imminent threat, then I will make sure my reports are STRONG enough to get that point across to whoever is looking at radar. My craziest report ever was on the Savannah tornado last year, but I had just barely survived a close encounter and had just witnessed peoples' lives being shattered right in front of me, and I was definitely rattled.

Going back to using 2/28 as an example, had I been on the storm as it produced initially near Colony - judging from the photos I've seen - I probably would have called in a 'very large tornado' at the least. But then I don't know ... because I WASN'T THERE.

I think the chasers who were there initially were AWESOME for calling in ANY reports, to TV or to the NWS. In fact, I think it's downright heroic and the ones who took the time to do it should be thanked for their service to the communities in the path of this thing. I got on the storm by the 3rd or 4th tornado and felt like the spotters had time to get up and operating by that point, so I really didn't feel the need to report at all. To me, it's not even my responsibility in the first place and I just do it out of a courtesy or sense of duty at times. Why? ... being that the NWS does not recognize chasers, has no official ties to chasers, does not train chasers per se, and refuses to acknowledge chasers until the time comes that chasers are the only ones calling in reports because the nets aren't on the scene, in my mind NOAA takes the position for the most part that chasers are a menace and prefers to turn their heads until they need something from them. So why should I bend over backwards exactly?

For me, EAX has been terrific. I know them, they know me, and I am confident in them. I have no problems calling anything in to them. Even if I'm mistaken on something and they need to rectify my error in judgment, I will still keep reporting, not because of the NWS, but because I feel responsible to the people around me. And in the middle of that extremely helpless feeling we get while watching nature's most powerful fury, it's the one little thing I can do. I just want to do something, whether it matters or not.

At this point I can honestly say that I've seen just about every shape, size and magnitude tornado this earth has to offer. I've been there under the storm base while the spotters are still getting their rigs ready. I've traveled with the storms through every little community on the way, leaving spotters behind each time, and just hoping that the next little town with 200 people has at least SOMEONE with a ham radio that will call in reports for them.

Anyway - here's my point with all this (I think). The problem isn't so much with the reports out there - it's actually with the relationships. The breach between chasers and spotters and their respective relationships to those on the warning side has gone on for years and years. We sweep it away, we don't talk about it, we ignore the jabs that the spotters take at chasers for being reckless and irresponsible, yadda yadda yadda. Meanwhile chasers will just keep making intercepts, keep learning about severe weather, and keep calling in reports - whether anyone officially wants us to or not. Even though they feel not only ignored - but downright persecuted at times. Is it any wonder why I feel no need to report at all sometimes?

ok ... have at it ...
 
Last edited by a moderator:
I am very new to chasing, but it is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I believed becoming a spotter was the first and most ethical choice before I did anything in chasing. I have tried very hard to study this stuff so I don't end up being viewed as a chaser that gives some of the more experienced chasers (like you Mike) a bad name.

That being said, I have always maintained this process in how I want to approach storm chasing and storm spotting. I feel like my number one commitment is to my family, so if there is a strong risk of tornadoes around my home, I will not go far. From there, I feel like the local NWS forecast area is my second priority, and if all is relatively clear I have no problem going abroad.

The last spotter training course I attended recognized the fact that they do not encourage storm chasing, but the did say that they have given them valuable info. They made it clear that they did not encourage any in attendance to chase storms locally and that we were better off being spread out anyways.

My thought is this: If competent chasers continue to offer NWS offices good info and show that we are going out of our way to provide a service things will turn around. I realize there are local idiots and even experienced, but overly aggressive 'chasers' out there that will give us a bad name. I have not run into as much opposition as many of you have, so I cannot speak for the more experienced chasers. My 2 cents.
 
We should do it everytime if we have no clear knowledge that the situation has already reported. Even if the NWS office or EMD you are reporting the situation takes your report with a grain of salt, at least you have done your part to try to make a difference.

Yes, we would like to be as accurate as possible, and sometimes reports can be inflated (by BOTH chasers and spotters), but I think the idea of helping get the warning out is most important. As Mike said, ground truth is important, and more sets of eyes can make all the difference.
 
Well hmmm. my opinion might piss some folks off but here it goes.

In the last 4 yrs I have seen somewhere around 17 tornadoes maybe actually a few more but cant be for sure.

I have learned something new each chase I have been on be it strategy of interception, Storm structure and characteristics, etc...

I went to a storm spotter training class in 2006 and we sat down and began to listen to the speakers. The first one was an older gentleman that was the head of the Johnson County, Ks Spotter network.He started off his pitch for spotters to come aboard. He prefaced that it was a boring job and that it is someimes exciting but mostly un-eventful. He then said it had been 12 yrs since he had seen a tornado. I then nudged my other half Susan and said lets go....

My point was this fella had nothing to tell me I hadnt already seen or done last year in 2005 and not 12 yrs ago.

I feel comfortable stating that many spotters and of course this really depends on geographical location have probably not even seen a tornado. Im sure many of us here have been on storms when all there is are some VSC ( very scary clouds ) and some scud and they are reporting possible tronadoes and we are thinking what???? [img/] Marty Feldman Smiley

Another example: Im on a storm in Iowa in early 2006 ( March ) And we are following a storm with possible tornadic potential but it still really doesnt have its act together yet.. We are following it.. The local law enforcement is in the back of a pickup looking through binoculars in the other direction of the storm with possible potential. I was dumbfounded wondering what the hell he was looking at. Then i realized he was just, well dumb.

We followed the storm a few more miles and as we got ahead of it I stopped the car and deployed my equipment. Along comes this clown and says "excuse me sir, do you realize you are right underneath the wall cloud? This isnt safe at all" I laughed and said why, yes I do. In fact I drove all the way from Kansas city to sit underneath this wall cloud. Then I told him I have Baron weather in the truck and this storm despite what he thinks doesnt even have its act together. I asked him what data he had, he remarked snydly I have a Ham radio linked to the NWS office.. I said well good luck with all that.. Now go away and hassle someone else.

My fellow chasers and I that I rub elbows with are some of the most well educated folks in the field when it comes to severe weather. Why?? Cause we simply observe alot of severe weather. Most if not all have excellent understanding of storm structure and dynamics.

So if "Some" at the NWS thinks lowly of us that would be their mistake. Maybe they should sit at the office and field their scud reports from in-experienced spotters.

However; I know some folks at NWS and they dont have this attitude. They would take chaser info over spotter info any day.

My 2c
 
My thoughts echo those from Mike. I recall a met from the Springfield, MO NWSFO at the Norman conference a few years ago complaining during a talk he wasn't getting chaser reports during a particular outbreak so I know those reports are welcome. I suspect liability issues are what keeps the NWS from fully endorsing chasing. I do sense a little friction from the spotter nets regarding chasers and don't really understand why. After plenty of whining pertianing to chaser reports from a certain Minnesota SkyWarn net I vowed never to join SkyWarn. I'll stick to "mobile spotting". I personally feel a couple hours of training is simply not enough for Average Joe Spotter. I still see perplexing features after several years of chasing. The Hallam storm/tornado nearly took out a couple spotters because they were not getting info to get the hell out of the way. I still hear too many shelf/rotor clouds reported as wall clouds and scud from underneath reported as funnels. Because of the latter I began calling SkyWarn "ScudWarn". The program is better than nothing but needs improvement. Chasers do a great job filling in rural area gaps. I let the spotters report the small stuff, particularly in urban areas. I'll buzz the NWS when a tornado is brewing, urban or rural. My tornado report to OAX on June 13, 2004 was the first one and was quickly relayed on TV. The public does put more stock into a tornado spotted warning more than a tornado indicated warning which makes the report extremely important.
 
Along the lines of what Fred posted...I think it's a chaser's civic duty to report any severe wx when at all possible. This can be as simple as a quarter sized hail report or a tornado, etc. It has been my past experience that even if other reports have been called in, that my report will help them gain a little extra details that maybe were left off the other report...or may have been slightly off on the accuracy. It is true that visually confirmed severe wx reports are invaluable to help get the warnings out to the public, and to help the NWS to have a solid proof for their warning verification. Since most NWS offices do have 800# available, there really is not a reason to not call them with a timely report. It takes just a minute usually and that one minute is very much appreciated by the NWS who can turn around and crank out a warning or severe wx statement. Of course as a chaser, there may be some exceptions & challenging obstacles to hold up or delay a report (especially in the early spring). I must also add that some offices are more appreciative than others when it comes to calling in reports. I have run into a few that have blown my report off, so I have asterisks marked by them. They'll get an e-spotter report.
 
My question would be, why not?

I'm sure someone will have some response to a story about the NWS not believing them or something... but if you see something that could threaten property or life, why not at least TRY and report it? I'm not sure why one would think "Nah, I'll just let someone else get it".

If your house was on fire, and your neighbor saw it would you be thrilled if they had the same response?
 
Unless I have heard for myself on the ham radio that (whatever) is being reported already, then I will go ahead and call in a report to whichever NWS area it is most of the time. That said, there are a couple of NWS offices I won't name that were incredibly rude and condecending to me and I will NEVER call in to them again. I do however have local TV station numbers for those areas I will call.

As far as experience goes.....it's really a matter of exposure. Who is going to have more experience? Someone who does something 2 or 3 times a year for a couple of hours as it passes through their county? Or someone who aggressivly engages in that activity at every possible opportunity, often driving thousands of miles to do so? Obviously the second person is going to be more experienced. And probably more knowledgable to.

I know for me, if I am going to travel 3-500 miles from home I am damn sure going to do my research to have the best chance at being successful. Next time you see a local spotter....ask them what the dewpoint high is expected to be in their area that day. I bet they can't tell you 99% of the time.

I find usually in an area, there are a small handful that are really on the situation and gung ho about their spotting and well aware of the overall situation. Then there are the rest... that basically just like to get their call sign on the net.

In fairness on the other side....I have run into a few chasers that didn't know the expected dewpoint high for that day as well, but it was evident that they were "new". I guess I am blown away that anyone would venture out into a severe weather zone without as much situational awareness as possible.
 
Any chance to add a middle-ground option in the poll? Like a "It depeneds -- Report if it hasn't been reported"? I won't rehash what's been said here, but, for me, reporting what hasn't been reported is just the right thing to do. I won't force anyone to report, and I don't think I'd say it's everyone's "duty" to report. Being in the field presents an excellent opportunity to directly participate in the warning process, and helping to provide information can only help the warning process (assuming it's an accurate report).

We all can make mistakes, and I think it'd be helpful to provide some uncertainty in your report if you feel there is uncertainty. In the end, I think it's better to give more information than none at all.

FWIW, there IS some correlation between the width and intensity of tornado. So, while you can't say for sure that a 3/4-mile wedge is strong or violent, there's a better chance that it is compared to a 50-yard wide tornado (in general, not in specific cases, obviously). Now, I wouldn't report it as "strong" or violent unless I were very, very confident that it was, indeed, intense. Otherwise, I'd leave it to the warning meteorologist to make that connection. I don't have a problem describing the tornado, but, if you aren't sure, just tell them you aren't 100% confident in that assessment (e.g. it's dark and you can only use lightning as your guide). That lets the warning met, again, decide how to use that information.

I'm also not going to talk down spotters. Sure, they may not know as much, but they don't need to in many cases. If they report what they see, then, in most cases, they are doing what they are set out to do. Not everyone is going to drive 1000s of miles a year to chase. Spotters serve a purpose, though the "skill" may vary considerably (as I'm sure we know). I've been to spotter training sessions that have featured a participant arguing that tornadoes develop because the "jet stream" gets sucked downward from 30,000 feet to 1,000, then is pushed upward in the updraft. Apparently, this can lead to tornadoes... *rolls eyes*. But hey, if they measure the hail, etc, the reports can be just as beneficial as thsoe from experienced chasers.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
No doubt in my mind you should report. Sometimes it does get to be a hassle, but at least I can sleep at night. Also, the reports CAN get inflated, through translations. Here's what happened on 2-24-07 in Dumas, Arkansas. I drove in to Dumas 7 minutes after the tornado ripped through there. I did not have the number of the local NWS, so I called a fellow chaser who did have the number. I told him that I saw car PARTS in the trees, and other things. The cell towers were mostly down, the connection full of static, and he reported to the NWS that there were CARS in the trees. I also found out an hour later that there was a garage that was destroyed, and thusly..the car PARTS. So, was the report bogus? No. It certainly got their attention, and made it known, in a BiG way, that a tornado DID tear through this town, and it was serious. Had I gotten there 20 minutes later, I would NOT have reported it at all tho. I know there would have already been several reports called in. I won't call anything in at all if I don't know for a FACT what it is either. This means only a tornado I'm visibly looking at, or damage from a tornado that has JUST occurred.
 
Some good thoughts in here. Thanks for the replies.

By the way, I'm not wanting to take sides and say that this is a problem because of any specific group - chasers, spotters, or the NWS. I see everyone having the potential to add positive things to the process, but I also see the same stagnation and acceptance that everything is just ok as it is. My goal is just to highlight that there has always been a problem that is really holding us back from making progress, and there will continue to be one unless some sort of reasonable solution can be thought up at some point (who knows what that is). In the meantime it's getting harder - not easier - for chasers to try to find reasons to contribute somehow.

I don't feel the need personally to be 'officially recognized' or endorsed by the NWS. I really don't care, and that's not why I chase. But I feel like the problem stems from the fact that chasers are by and large made to feel like a third wheel in the whole process. Obviously the government is not going to endorse storm chasing. That's a given. They won't endorse people getting in their vehicles to follow storms, but they will endorse people getting in their vehicles and driving out to wait for the storm to come to them.

So at what point does the NWS accept liability? What exactly is ok and what is not? Where is the line drawn? It's ok for John and Jill who got their required two hour class last February to jump in their truck, turn on the amber light and sit by the side of the highway. But it's not ok for Joe Chaser, who has devoted years to study and experience in storm environments to get in his car with his streaming radar data and follow the storm? There's a real disparity that exists here. But because the system is refusing to see it or willing to try anything different, here we are.

PS - Jeff - I didn't want to add a third 'sometimes' category. Because that's the category we've all been satisfied with taking all this time as it is. I want there to be opinions, and I didn't think we'd get them if people could take an easy way out.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Especially if you have the ability to confirm to presence of life threatening situation then you MUST report it. Doing nothing while you have the ability to when people are in danger is a crime in Canada. It is considered here has your civic responsibility to provide assistance in the field of your knowledge when situations put people in danger. Basically, this was surely never threated in court and hopeflly will never be but I see not reporting the same as not calling 911 when you see a car accident with injured people or when you see a house taking fire with people inside.

I don't mean reporting hail that happened 30 minutes ago is so important, I am talking about when you withness what you can positively confirm as a dengerous situation it must be reported.

And this really apply when you see a violently rotating wallcloud or funnel: as a chaser you KNOW that this becomes a life-threatening situation to people on the track of a possible tornado so it becomes your responsibility to report autorities in charge of giving the alert.


Some of you said it, some spotter may not have enough experience or knowledge to do the job right. This is where chasers report become important since you may be (wo knows??) the best person to correctly report what is really going on.
 
As a rule of thumb, i almost awlays call in a report unless i hear on the scanner that the spotters for the area i am in have already made reports on the event. Speaking of 2/28/07, this event was in my back yard 11 miles north of my home, i have alot of friends and family in the area, and the county i live in (Allen) has no organized spotters or system so i feel its my duty to report in this situation. The person at ICT that took my report was very friendly and thanked me when i was done with the report. I am hoping that this was shared with TOP since the Allen/Anderson county line divides the 2 CWA'S between ICT and TOP. Guess i could have called both but i hope calling ICT did the job. From what i understand, there were many spotters out after the tornado report which is good and i have heard of no injuries or deaths in KS from this storm and thats what matters. The goal should be saving lives. Again this is my point of view, and im not trying to defame anyone else's opinion. Its just my personal preference when it comes to chasing.
 
I think that chasers should report if they have the opportunity. Every time that I experience severe weather I report it to the National Weather Service. Sure, sometimes they don't believe every word that I say, but that rarely happens. It is important to try regardless of whether they believe you or not.

One of the biggest problems that I have run into while chasing is knowing exactly where you are especially without a GPS. I sometimes don't know exactly where I am in relation to the surrounding towns, because I am not familiar with the area.

One method that I think might be very useful for chasers to submit reports is through the Spotter Network. I heard about this at the Chaser Convention and it sounds very promising. Through GPS, it monitors where you are and then you can submit a report via the Internet. I believe Tyler Allison created this network and I plan to become a part of it for the upcoming chase season. Regardless of how we report, I think all chasers should give this extremely valuable ground information to the NWS whenever possible.
 
*I still believe in reporting to the NWS. Not all the time, and not every time. But I do believe in it. If not during the event, or if I feel like the spotters have a good handle on what is going on, then I won't report at all until after the event, and then just with an email to the WCM with photos and what-not.
Pretty similar along my line of thinking. I'll call in a report if I don't think there are many spotters around. I'll also usually provide information to the NWS office after the chase (espically if it's FSD or ABR since I know people from both offices). It's not the reason I chase and I usually only do it if I feel it it is necessary. I think the job spotters do is great and I commend them for their work. Interestingly, this same issue was discussed many years ago in the pages of Stormtrack. A College of Dupage chaser was critizced for not calling in a report of a tornado and it sparked a whole furry of letters from chasers/mets and educators.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Next time you see a local spotter....ask them what the dewpoint high is expected to be in their area that day. I bet they can't tell you 99% of the time.

I find usually in an area, there are a small handful that are really on the situation and gung ho about their spotting and well aware of the overall situation. Then there are the rest... that basically just like to get their call sign on the net.

I think David brings a good observation to the plate. I've been involved with local spotting groups that fall on both ends of the spectrum, and each group had members that fell on both ends of the spectrum. Some are checking models and outlooks three days out, while others don't know why a watch is issued when their wx radio goes off. I question the effectiveness of having spotters who fall in the latter group, but you know what, I have made the choice to get involved to try to change that.

I stepped up to volunteer to coordinate our local spotter group here in Riley county. I felt it was time to help educate these folks who didn't have the knowledge in weather to go along with their knowledge in ham radio. We communicate heavily via e-mail leading up to an actual event, and I've posted discussion well in advance of the past two systems including links to SPC, NWS Hazardous Outlooks, my forecast, and thoughts about being ready for callout. Am I wasting my time sharing this information and my thoughts with a group of spotters? I say absolutely not. It's further education and proactive thinking to get involved. I would encourage every chaser to get involved with a local spotter group if you have something to offer. It doesn't mean you have to be tied down during a severe weather event ;)
 
It sounds like I am in the minority here, but I guess it all depends on how things are going for me at the time. If I am chasing by myself (which most of the time I do), I may not have time to do everything I need to do and call in a report, unless it's heading for a town, in which case I do usually go ahead and call. If I happen to have a partner, then that is a different story. I ususally do have enough time to make a report, however, even in that secenario I won't call in hail or wind, just a tornado touchdown. I'll let the local spotters worry about the hail and wind reporting.

With that being said, I usually do make a report via e-spotter of all the severe weather that I observed after the event.

That's just my 2 cents worth, but I figure, I have spent a considerable portion of my time and income for chasing related things, and I don't want to miss photographing a tornado, because I was on the phone.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Well my turn to chime in and piss some people off,I know this isn't on topic but it is being mentioned in this thread.I am also a Spotter but I also do some chasing when time allows.We have an 8 week course that out spotters go through as well as the mandated NWS training.So as i'm reading this I see several folks on here basically bashing the spotters.I thought this site was to share weather related info to others that have the same passion,since when did it become StormSnob?Everyone has to start somewhere and this site was one of mine,but to talk trash about others that might not have your knowledge is just wrong.I'm a spotter first and a chaser second.Somone needs to watch John Q Public's back and i'd like to think we could all work together to get reports to the public either via NWS or local stations.I guess i'll just jump in my truck, turn on the amber light and sit by the side of the highway.Some of you need to get your heads outta your asses.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Well my turn to chime in and piss some people off,I know this isn't on topic but is is being addressed.I am also a Spotter but I also do some chasing when time allows.We have an 8 week course that out spotters go through as well as the mandated NWS training.So as i'm reading this I see several folks on here basically bashing the spotters.I thought this site was to share weather related info to others that have the same passion,since when did it become StormSnob?Everyone has to start somewhere and this site was one of mine,but to talk trash about others that might not have your knowledge is just wrong.I'm a spotter first and a chaser second.Somone needs to watch John Q Public's back and i'd like to think we could all work together to get reports to the public either via NWS or local stations.I guess i'll just jump in my truck, turn on the amber light and sit by the side of the highway.Some of you need to get your heads outta your asses.

Jason, something you need to realize is that while your group may have an 8 week training course, there are many across the country (yes even in the plains) that all the get as far as training is attending a basic SKYWARN class put on by the NWS.

It's not bashing, just an observation. Some areas/groups are VERY thorough on the training, some areas a basic SKYWARN talk once a year is all there is.

I've run into to many great spotters over the years across 10 states and countless thousands of miles. Many spotters are my friends. But the reality of it is, you pick a random spotter on the side of the road, more often than not they won't have the knowledge that would help them (and those receiving their reports) better. The funny thing is, even spotters recognize this when they are honest about it. The few really good ones you have in each group complain about the "it's getting dark and raining" reporters as well. This goes for spotters and chasers as well. The more knowledge about storms in general you have, as well as about the setup for the day, the better your report is going to be.

I occasionally attend a SKYWARN meeting, heck I've spoken at a couple of them. I can tell you that every single SKYWARN meeting I have ever attended without exception, including one very well publicized one on the planes that I won't mention specifically, I have heard chaser bashing to some degree or another. I know of a couple of SKYWARN spotter groups that want ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with storm chasers.

Personally, I never understood the animosity between spotters/chasers/combination of the two. Nonetheless, it exists and I don't know if it will ever go away.
 
After the Happy, Texas tornado, I found out that two people died when they stayed in their mobile home even after their only son had fled for a shelter with his aunt. I didn't call in a report that day because I knew that Sam Barricklow had already done so, and I also watched the tornado touch down and heard the long siren's wail begin at that very moment. Listen, they had enough time to make a small picnic lunch and take it to the shelter before that tornado arrived. As a result, I was and remain pissed at those two parents for orphaning their son for no good reason. But if I hadn't known a report was called in, and then had not bothered to do so myself, then instead of resenting their stupidity, I'd be full of self-loathing and worse.

"Let the spotters do it" is a false option. I've been around many tornadic supercells with nary a spotter in sight or on any frequency. The other chasers and I were the only ones watching. No, we're not legally obligated to call anybody.

But imagine if you saw something that killed somebody and you had neglected to call NWS or check into Skywarn because your ego had been bruised in some prior exchange or you felt the gratitude and recognition you received on the internet were insufficient. Maybe you're the kind of person who that wouldn't bother, but I bet you're not.



Who gives a **** if certain Skywarn controllers are chilly to our reports? Let the blood be on their hands, the nitwits. The way I see it, we’re still obligated to try.

I've had NWS staff blow me off. The first cold core tornado on 4/10/05 must have seemed so unlikely to the radar operator that he chose not to warn despite my detailed description. But once I make the call, if they make a bad choice and fail to warn and that somehow increases the chance for injuries or death, then yes it sucks and I feel badly for the victims, but I did what I’m trained to do and what our expertise as stormchasers gives us the privilege—and, in my mind, the duty as fellow human beings— to offer.
 
Not really sure why all the debate really. There are some who will chase and not call in, while others are in constant contact with the media, spotter groups, ham radio relays, etc.

For me personally, I started off just doing this as a hobby, but keep in mind this was way even before the use of cell phones (I'm dating myself here), and then in the 90s, I was involved in both TV and radio reports. Now, I just do it for the enjoyment when I can.

Obviously, if I see something that I feel warrants a report, I'm going to call it in in. But to each, their own, eh?
 
But imagine if you saw something that killed somebody and you had neglected to call NWS or check into Skywarn because your ego had been bruised in some prior exchange or you felt the gratitude and recognition you received on the internet were insufficient. Maybe you're the kind of person who that wouldn't bother, but I bet you're not.

I really think that you hit the nail. This is the reason I was looking for in all this, and it's really the only one that makes any sense. It's totally right - and in my mind provides all the motivation a person needs.
 
No real debate going on..it's just an affirmation statement by chasers that the right thing to do is hoped for...but may not be possible in every chase situation. The goal is to make sure that residents of an affected area are given proper warning...that is backed up by solid and timely in the field reports. I'll do what I can to help the cause...and to make sure not to assume anything while chasing. In about 3 weeks, the spring action will be returning so chasers have your NWS 800# lists ready !! ;)
 
Back
Top