Saturday, April 14, 2012

Serious Tornado Chasers Line Up in Kansas


The picture above is a screen capture from the site Each little car icon represents a team of storm chasers parked and waiting for the cloud formations that are in the forecast today over Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri. The sheer number of vehicles should tell you just how serious the weather situation is today.

On the website, you can click each car and watch streaming video in real time of whatever is happening. Lots of times the guys are just driving or waiting at gas stations, but other times there are amazing weather vistas of forming tornadoes. For best results be sure to update your Quicktime and Adobe Flash Player. For some browsers, such as Safari and Firefox you need the plug-in versions.

Reed Timmer, from Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers, has also started TVN Weather Live which streams video of his famous armored tank, the Dominator .

CNN Headline News (HLN) had a great article today about life as a storm chaser:
Take note thrill seekers: Riding in the Dominator is not as glamorous as it may seem. It’s hot, then cold, then hot again. You sweat like a can of beer on a Mississippi summer afternoon. It smells (even when there’s no cow farm nearby). And it’s noisy. I’m talking monster truck with the windows down on a gravel road noisy.
Speaking of gravel roads, neither dirt nor gravel roads mix well with the Dominator. The dust kicks up and infiltrates the inside of this tornado tank, coating everything in a fine powder. Holding your T-shirt over your mouth probably doesn’t block much, but it feels better knowing you’ve made the effort to shield your lungs.
On the up side, you do get your picture taken a lot at every gas station stop, red light and even when passing someone on the freeway. People love the Dominator, and who wouldn’t? It’s an amazing sight in its own right.

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