It has been over fifteen years since the movie Twister sparked an increase of interest in the previously obscure hobby of chasing storms. But in the intervening years the interest has not dropped off. If anything each year brings a new wave of chasers to tornado alley. Where once you could watch a tornado in almost complete isolation it is now not unusual to see hundreds of cars lining the roadway. Many of the veteran chasers miss the old days (understandably) and have formed private message groups and withdrawn from public discourse, and I suspect more than a few have simply stopped chasing altogether.
I have decided to simply embrace the change. If you are going to chase any way then someone might as well help you learn how to do so — and safely! The Weather Channel, the internet in general and YouTube specifically have all helped to make video of tornadoes almost commonplace. You can watch chasers streaming tornado footage live from more than one web page. And, of course, The Discovery Channel has turned a few of the chaser publicity hounds into household names. So it's natural that you want to experience that same thrill and euphoria and I can’t blame you one bit. Over the years several chasers have posted articles on different aspects of chasing, but unfortunately many of those are outdated, some are ten-fifteen years old. There has been an enormous amount of change in the technology available to the average chaser since then. To help you learn and prepare I will be posting a series of educational articles on the following topics, not necessarily in this order:
- Where to find out more about this wild hobby
- How to chase storms in (relative) safety
- How to find and select storm chasing tours
- How to select photographic and video equipment
- How to get weather data in the field
- Radio and electronics equipment mobile installation
- How to chase on a budget
- Selecting your target area
- The benefits of Amateur Radio to chasing
- Chasing ethics
- Emergency preparedness and first aid
- and more…
Welcome to Storm Chaser Central!