Storm Chaser films near death experience

Stan Rose

EF5
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
512
Location
Pueblo, Colorado
"I'm luck to be Alive"

This popped up in my Youtube feed this morning...don't know Chris but it aint often you see chasers post their nearly deadly decisions on social media, at least not this close to being fatal. He was very lucky.
What really got me about this post though was the conclusion. The chaser concludes by saying his mistakes were to lose situational awareness and not execute safe escapes when it was clear he was in danger.
Obviously mistakes, and whenever something like this happens, that is what we hear from other chasers.
What I'd like to know is the reason for wanting to get that close. I've never had the desire to risk my life while chasing, so it's completely foreign to me.
Is it really just for the 'thrill of it" as Chris implies in his comments, or is it driven by some need for social media attention and whatever (little) money flows out of that?
I suspect his post will just encourage more people to try to get closer, cause let's face it, it is dramatic video and it *will* get attention and it *can* be monetized. So what is the mistake made?
 
Agree with Todd. It is harder to drive into a tornado than drive away from it--especially a relatively small hose. Yeah, they can be erratic and people do some stupid things when under pressure. However, there were at least 2 different escape options once he realized he had stayed there too long and he chose option #3 lol.

At least he thanked Mom and Dad for rescuing him...
 
At least from what I could see in the video, they drove toward the tornado with no visibility of it as it was getting wrapped in rain. I don’t think it had anything to do with situational awareness. Loss of situational awareness is when you don’t know what’s happening. They knew it was there and went the wrong way. Really don’t know why they went that way… It was just a stupid decision, not a loss of situational awareness.
 
"Learn from my mistakes..." No kid, you should've learned from Tim's mistake... if you hadn't done that, what in the world makes you think anyone is going to learn from your Redd-wannabe dumbbutt.

I've been hearing a lot of chatter on this the last few days. There was a point that the "new generation" is too young to know about what happened to Tim, Paul, and Carl. I think that's the biggest load of BS. For better or worse, it's chaser lore now. How anyone would even think about getting into chasing and not know about that incident is beyond me. That's the incident you should know and have learned from before you even step foot into chasing. Not the idiot decision making of some dumb punk, and that's exactly what this was, clearly due to inexperience.

No one cares he totaled his car... no one cares he didn't have video running... he's probably lucky if someone other than his mom and dad cared enough he walked away from that. Then he goes and has a "sense of humor" about it... there's nothing funny about this. In fact, it's a giant slap in face to the guys everyone one of these kids walks away from this and had the audacity to brag/poke fun at it. I don't wish death on these guys, I truly truly don't. But it's not fair... it really is not. And no, it's not "natural selection"... he's still here. It feeds the beast of "oh, nothing will happen to me."

High Risk Chris, whom up til a couple days ago, I had never heard of, is just another Reed-wannabe. I was digusted at his antics in the first minute of the video just him yelling and screaming like an idiot. He took a high risk and got away with it. Now he'll collect 15 minutes of fame, whatever money and followers he gets, collect a group of enablers, and the cycle will continue until one of these punks do get killed.

I hate it...but it is what it is... if no one learned from Tim, Paul, and Carl in the last ten years, they sure as $h!t ain't learning anything now.
 

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His biggest mistake I think was being in the path in the first place. On top of that, he waited way to long to hit his escape route, and his so called escape route led right back into the path of the tornado. Folks, stay out of the path and use the zoom function on your preferred equipment.
 
Positioning on fast movers is the key to even getting a glimpse of a tornado. This kid put himself in front of the meso in order to see it, and had no business doing so. There are a very few chasers that I know of that have the skill and experience to do this, and he is definitely not one of them. My personal chasing style leads me to miss many tornadoes because i am not a core puncher nor do I like to position myself to the north of the tor/meso, but I have seen hundreds with my chasing strategies. Now if you want to play in the cage, go for it. But make sure you have the experience and presence of mind to be able to escape when necessary.

Now, to all the "zero meter" crowd (which I believe was this kid's intention IMHO), why even try? You just end up with a destroyed car and potentially much more. I simply do not get it. I suppose Storm Chasers on the 2007 vintage started all this zero meter stuff, but it boggles my mind.
 
I've never heard of that guy before that guy before reading this thread. (& I'll admit I watch a reasonable number of storm videos on YT)

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So this now makes Three chasers just in the past couple weeks who's almost gotten themselves El-Reno'ed by getting too close...
At this rate if these crazy guys keep it up, scary thing is one of them might not "walk away with only minor injuries".
 
Positioning on fast movers is the key to even getting a glimpse of a tornado. This kid put himself in front of the meso in order to see it, and had no business doing so. There are a very few chasers that I know of that have the skill and experience to do this, and he is definitely not one of them. My personal chasing style leads me to miss many tornadoes because i am not a core puncher nor do I like to position myself to the north of the tor/meso, but I have seen hundreds with my chasing strategies. Now if you want to play in the cage, go for it. But make sure you have the experience and presence of mind to be able to escape when necessary.

Now, to all the "zero meter" crowd (which I believe was this kid's intention IMHO), why even try? You just end up with a destroyed car and potentially much more. I simply do not get it. I suppose Storm Chasers on the 2007 vintage started all this zero meter stuff, but it boggles my mind.

I completely agree, and thats' why I posed the question about motivation. Cause I don't think it was an 'unintentional mistake' as he claimed, or even 'inexperience' mentioned by Tony L above (although I agree it was stupid) Seems to me it was a very conscious decision to get as close as possible for the 'money shot' and then pass it off as a bad decision later. So if that's the case, is there any solution to keep people alive? Maybe like Tony said it is just inevitable, you can't censor media. I guess just making people aware of how dumb it is, stigmatizing it, is all you can do. Someone like Reed should probably do that.
 
I admit my own situational awareness was not stellar during my Keota intercept on March 31 (with the storm unexpectedly cycling right in front of me minutes after I got onto it), but because I was deliberately giving the initial tornado a wide berth I still had some margin for safety when the new tornado formed much closer to me. I could see it had clear left-to-right motion and would cross Highway 92 to my west. I knew I absolutely did not want to get into a situation where I was racing down the road a few hundred feet from the tornado, debris striking my vehicle and no confident escape route.
 
I admit my own situational awareness was not stellar during my Keota intercept on March 31...

The only thing not stellar was keeping your vehicle facing west on the north side of the road instead of doing a U-turn and parking on the south side before getting out to film. But that’s easy to critique in hindsight, when you come upon a tornado in progress the natural urge is to get out and film/shoot ASAP and with a ready spot available (which is not always the case) you took it. But since you didn’t get too aggressive you still had a buffer when the second tornado spun up, albeit less margin for error if that one took a bad turn and even less if a third one spun up:


Watching the video of @TonyB at the 21 second mark it looks like a third was possibly in the making but never transpired, if it had it likely would have happened very close to my position and I wouldn’t have had a clue because I was transfixed on the second tornado while still keeping tabs of the first tornado with no thought that a third tornado could happen simultaneously.

It’s another reminder about tunnel vision and keeping your head on a swivel and taking that extra precaution when choosing a spot to park, if possible. Makes me think of Rozel and how shocked I was when I saw video from a chaser filming from a distance that showed I had a tornado at my six as I was filming the EF-4.

As for High Risk Chris I’m glad he’s okay and while I may be wrong I think he was just a kid in way over his head and was overtaken by panic. He had a near death experience and I think it will likely have a positive impact on how he chases (if he chases) going forward.
 
The only thing not stellar was keeping your vehicle facing west on the north side of the road instead of doing a U-turn and parking on the south side before getting out to film. But that’s easy to critique in hindsight, when you come upon a tornado in progress the natural urge is to get out and film/shoot ASAP and with a ready spot available (which is not always the case) you took it. But since you didn’t get too aggressive you still had a buffer when the second tornado spun up, albeit less margin for error if that one took a bad turn and even less if a third one spun up:


Watching the video of @TonyB at the 21 second mark it looks like a third was possibly in the making but never transpired, if it had it likely would have happened very close to my position and I wouldn’t have had a clue because I was transfixed on the second tornado while still keeping tabs of the first tornado with no thought that a third tornado could happen simultaneously.

It’s another reminder about tunnel vision and keeping your head on a swivel and taking that extra precaution when choosing a spot to park, if possible. Makes me think of Rozel and how shocked I was when I saw video from a chaser filming from a distance that showed I had a tornado at my six as I was filming the EF-4.

As for High Risk Chris I’m glad he’s okay and while I may be wrong I think he was just a kid in way over his head and was overtaken by panic. He had a near death experience and I think it will likely have a positive impact on how he chases (if he chases) going forward.

Haha, I did in fact turn the car around and pull it to the south shoulder a few minutes later. You can see me at 1:12 in this video:


I'm just annoyed with myself for losing track of the fact that a cycle had occurred and the old tornado was still going on as a rope to the south of the highway (it had become shrouded in a dust cloud that the new tornado appeared to emerge out of from my perspective). Could have been bad if it had pulled some shenanigans like accelerate cyclonically around the periphery of the new mesocyclone as has been known to happen (ex. Pilger). Fortunately it just followed the new tornado to the northeast before bending a bit to the left (due north) in typical occlusion fashion.
 
This has been an issue for a little while, but it seems more and more people are hopping on the zero meter train as of late. It seems most major chases this year have had someone caught in a bad spot or zero metering, and it gets the spotlight. I fear that because it is getting more publicity, more people are going to try to get as close as possible, and not take account for their safety or the safety of others. I feel like people forget that they have influence, especially veteran chasers, over younger folks like myself. I'm not getting on anyone in particular, but this is an issue all across the WX community. And if people keep making the same mistakes, someone is going to get seriously hurt or killed. It's a miracle people have walked away from these situations unharmed so far.
 
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