storm chasers

Status
Not open for further replies.

Hooligan

Member
Joined
May 15, 2002
Messages
1,217
Location
Clark County, Nevada
is there away to listen to alabma storm chasers online? I would love to hear them during bad weather
I dunno about doing so on-line, but with a scanner, it's be pretty easy if you're in the area.

How about using a scanner's SEARCH function during severe weather in your receiving range.


Also, while they are not supposed to be "chasing" severe weather, most counties have a ham radio net for local certified Skywarn spotters to report severe weather. Often the Skywarn net uses the same repeater as the local Amateur Radio Emergency Service net, so you could probably find the right amateur repeaters via doing a Google search, or simply searching the 2-meter ham band during a severe weather watch or warning.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2009
Messages
179
Location
Marion County, Iowa
I dunno about doing so on-line, but with a scanner, it's be pretty easy if you're in the area.

How about using a scanner's SEARCH function during severe weather in your receiving range.


Also, while they are not supposed to be "chasing" severe weather, most counties have a ham radio net for local certified Skywarn spotters to report severe weather. Often the Skywarn net uses the same repeater as the local Amateur Radio Emergency Service net, so you could probably find the right amateur repeaters via doing a Google search, or simply searching the 2-meter ham band during a severe weather watch or warning.
Not sure about Alabama, but here in Iowa It depends on the location for the Skywarn nets. In my local area the repeaters are 2 meter but that's mostly the Southeast corner of the state. The rest of the state is majority 440 for the skywarn nets
 

rdale

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Joined
Feb 3, 2001
Messages
11,380
Location
Lansing, MI
Also, while they are not supposed to be "chasing" severe weather, most counties have a ham radio net for local certified Skywarn spotters to report severe weather.
I'm not sure I understand the first part of your comment - if the spotter is in the northwest part of the county and the storm is coming into the southwest, he'd be pretty stupid not to chase it down south. Sitting up north and reporting blue skies while a possible tornado is coming into the county 10 minutes away is a waste of resources.
 

n5ims

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,723
Most of the Skywarn nets I'm on or monitor have folks that are sent to locations near the path of the storm to report on conditions. These locations are ones where there's nobody that regularly checks into the net live and have good roads to allow easy (and often multiple) paths to escape from dangerous situations. Many also have some protection from hail available to them like gas station awnings, etc. Most locations are used regularly so the business owners know and understand why that strange car is parked there.
 

Hooligan

Member
Joined
May 15, 2002
Messages
1,217
Location
Clark County, Nevada
I'm not sure I understand the first part of your comment - if the spotter is in the northwest part of the county and the storm is coming into the southwest, he'd be pretty stupid not to chase it down south. Sitting up north and reporting blue skies while a possible tornado is coming into the county 10 minutes away is a waste of resources.
A good Skywarn net ideally has numerous trained spotters signed-in & are deployed throughout the area of responsibility. I've taken the basic & advanced Skywarn spotter training dozens of times over the past couple decades as well as been NCS for many Skywarn nets & the distinction between Skywarn Spotters & Tornado Chasers was ingrained in us each time by the NWS and local emergency management staff, more so after the movie "Twister' came out in 1996. The NWS Skywarn program doesn't encourage or want people "chasing" tornados, nor does a city or county emergency management agency under whose auspices a Skywarn net is being operated. Your example is stupid, as a spotter reporting blue skies in the NW part of the county can be important data, plus by holding-put there that spotter can report changes.
 

burner50

The Third Variable
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 24, 2004
Messages
2,102
Location
NC Iowa
A good Skywarn net ideally has numerous trained spotters signed-in & are deployed throughout the area of responsibility. I've taken the basic & advanced Skywarn spotter training dozens of times over the past couple decades as well as been NCS for many Skywarn nets & the distinction between Skywarn Spotters & Tornado Chasers was ingrained in us each time by the NWS and local emergency management staff, more so after the movie "Twister' came out in 1996. The NWS Skywarn program doesn't encourage or want people "chasing" tornados, nor does a city or county emergency management agency under whose auspices a Skywarn net is being operated. Your example is stupid, as a spotter reporting blue skies in the NW part of the county can be important data, plus by holding-put there that spotter can report changes.
I go where I want to. NCS takes reports... Spotters need to have the flexibility to keep themselves in a position to stay in view of a situation.

I have found some very rigid organizations, and they're pretty much worthless... NCS is a control freak who hands out location assignments, and you're supposed to go sit there.

But then again, I never have been very good at following directions.

Since when is reporting blue skies acceptable? IDK what irks me more... Blue Sky reports, or chasers with more lights than an ambulance.
 

burner50

The Third Variable
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 24, 2004
Messages
2,102
Location
NC Iowa
here in Iowa It depends on the location for the Skywarn nets. In my local area the repeaters are 2 meter but that's mostly the Southeast corner of the state. The rest of the state is majority 440 for the skywarn nets


Wha????

Did I miss a memo?

I guess I've been doing it wrong...
 

Hooligan

Member
Joined
May 15, 2002
Messages
1,217
Location
Clark County, Nevada
I go where I want to. NCS takes reports... Spotters need to have the flexibility to keep themselves in a position to stay in view of a situation.

I have found some very rigid organizations, and they're pretty much worthless... NCS is a control freak who hands out location assignments, and you're supposed to go sit there.

But then again, I never have been very good at following directions.

Since when is reporting blue skies acceptable? IDK what irks me more... Blue Sky reports, or chasers with more lights than an ambulance.
You don't sound like a very good spotter.

The NCS is usually the one who is interfacing with the NWS & local emergency management officials, and has a bestter understanding of what trained resources are where (not all are using the ham net), so someone just 'freelancing' around & people who deliberately just head to where the 'action' is instead of maintaining some discipline in order to have good coverage throughout the area of responsibility are the knuckleheads who are out & about to satisfy their own needs, as opposed to the public-service of Skywarn spotting.

Exactly when Blue sky reports are acceptable depends on how the local Skywarn net is run. Usually the lowest level net condition allows for any unusual reports, and clear-skies can be unusual if the weather phenomenal is otherwise reported to be county-wide. Knowing where the severe weather isn't, can help in knowing where the severe weather is. Thank you for taking the time to ask the question, Jay.
 

Hooligan

Member
Joined
May 15, 2002
Messages
1,217
Location
Clark County, Nevada
Not sure about Alabama, but here in Iowa It depends on the location for the Skywarn nets. In my local area the repeaters are 2 meter but that's mostly the Southeast corner of the state. The rest of the state is majority 440 for the skywarn nets
I think that's pretty unusual, as 2-meters is what the overwhelming majority of US amateurs have at least one base/mobile/handheld radio for, and thus 2-meter band is usually what's usually chosen for primary & back-up repeaters for Skywarn/ARES/RACES nets, sometimes with links to other bands or tactical use of systems on other bands.
 

burner50

The Third Variable
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 24, 2004
Messages
2,102
Location
NC Iowa
You don't sound like a very good spotter.
NWS and EMA seem to think otherwise. In fact the local EMA is borderline obsessive in his adoration of us... Then again... Our EMA is one guy... He is the entire department. Any volunteers he gets are valued. Ones who are willing and eager to obtain training to assist are close to heroes to him.

The NCS is usually the one who is interfacing with the NWS & local emergency management officials, and has a bestter understanding of what trained resources are where
No, I interface with NWS either by radio, NWSChat, ESpotter, or if I'm really desperate, Spotter Network.

(not all are using the ham net), so someone just 'freelancing' around
So why is the Ham NCS concerned with them?

people who deliberately just head to where the 'action' is instead of maintaining some discipline in order to have good coverage throughout the area of responsibility are the knuckleheads who are out & about to satisfy their own needs, as opposed to the public-service of Skywarn spotting.
I maintain discipline and order. I stay in a position that keeps me safe yet in view of a situation so I can be aware if something dangerous develops. If something dangerous develops, I take a brief moment to squash the adrenaline junkie inside me and double check my position, then I call in and report the situation, my position, and the events estimated position relative to where I am. Sitting still in the wrong place with absolutely zero visibility is a good way to get killed. If you cannot see a tornado dropping right in front of your eyes because you're getting hammered with torrential rain does nothing to satisfy the "public-service of Skywarn spotting". Our repeater is owned by the county EMA and he dictates who is in charge of it. They are named trustee, and it is a closed machine. Thats not to say we maintain strict lists of who is allowed to use the repeater, but it does give me some authority to eject the "knuckleheads who are out & about to satisfy their own needs".

Exactly when Blue sky reports are acceptable depends on how the local Skywarn net is run.
That is correct. If it is being run by somebody who has their head partially removed from.....well never mind... Blue sky reports are NOT useful and have no place in a structured net. That is called Non Essential traffic. When there is a dangerous storm and spotters are deployed, there should be ZERO non-essential traffic.

Usually the lowest level net condition allows for any unusual reports
The Lowest level net condition? So let me get this straight... You SELF DEPLOY well enough in advance to be able to report blue skies?

clear-skies can be unusual if the weather phenomenal is otherwise reported to be county-wide. Knowing where the severe weather isn't, can help in knowing where the severe weather is. Thank you for taking the time to ask the question, Jay.
I guess I've been doing it wrong... I should have been chasing blue skies. Thats far safer and easier anyway.

A radar can tell where severe weather isnt. Lets not pretend that the NWS has no idea what is going on. You are there to give specific locations and details about a storm that may not be evident on radar. That said, If you have nothing to say other than blue skies, keep your yap shut.

If you're reporting blue skies, either you are there way too early, or way too late... You need to move. :roll:



I know the kind of spotters that piss me off the most... The ones who sit at home and watch TV, then parrot what they hear to the NWS. Humboldt County, IA had a tornado that was reported to be on the ground for 45 minutes when it was really just a funnel cloud that dropped briefly... News said it was on the ground, Ham parroted, NWS reported back to the news, who reported it again, so the ham kept parroting...
 
Last edited:

W9BU

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
6,093
Location
Brownsburg, Indiana
I know the kind of spotters that piss me off the most... The ones who sit at home and watch TV, then parrot what they hear to the NWS.
For me, it's the ones who sit at home with their eyes glued to weather radar on some Internet web site. They never seem to understand that NWS is seeing the same thing, usually before it hits the Internet and with greater resolution. If these spotters are going to stay home, and I understand that not everybody wants to go mobile during severe weather, I would much rather they keep their eyes pointed out the window.

It's also the ones who report to the net that the sirens are going off in their area. I don't care. In my county, the sirens are activated according to a well-defined protocol based on NWS warnings and EMA direction. The sirens, by the themselves, are not evidence of severe weather.

Skywarn spotters need to remember that their purpose is to report severe weather events that they personally observe. Anything else is, as you say, non-essential traffic.
 

burner50

The Third Variable
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 24, 2004
Messages
2,102
Location
NC Iowa
It's also the ones who report to the net that the sirens are going off in their area. I don't care. In my county, the sirens are activated according to a well-defined protocol based on NWS warnings and EMA direction. The sirens, by the themselves, are not evidence of severe weather.
Indeed. That is very aggravating as well.

One county near me activates their sirens for winds over 60Mph.
 

rdale

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Joined
Feb 3, 2001
Messages
11,380
Location
Lansing, MI
One county near me activates their sirens for winds over 60Mph.
Thank goodness... It drives me crazy when EMs say they only activate for a tornado, when 80mph straight line winds can do worse damage. If they have confirmed 60+ winds (NOT spotter estimates) then I say go ahead and blow them.
 

newsphotog

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
885
Location
Des Moines, IA
Thank goodness... It drives me crazy when EMs say they only activate for a tornado, when 80mph straight line winds can do worse damage. If they have confirmed 60+ winds (NOT spotter estimates) then I say go ahead and blow them.
Yep. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing burner50 is referring to my county? It was a new policy this year. I think the sirens sounded more often for winds this year than an actual tornado siren.

911 really lit up on the first siren activation for high winds. I think NWS and EMA did a great job of trying to educate the public about the new policy, but it didn't get through to the public. People were calling 911 and TV stations wondering why the sirens are going off without a tornado warning. In that case, people were thinking that EMA had spotted a tornado nearby and NWS hadn't issued the warning yet.

Needless to say, people were a bit more educated after the first siren activation for wind.

The next siren activation for high winds was less than a month later iirc... at about 2 or 3 in the morning. I bet 911 got an earful that night too.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top