Friday, June 22, 2012

Another Silly Storm Chaser Article

Geez, I'm almost starting to be ashamed of the public officials in Kansas.

Then again, things must be great in Kansas lately (I'm changing planes at O'Hare and have been away for six days) with no crime, no fires, no traffic accidents, and no heart attacks if the biggest thing Kansas public safety officials have to complain about -- and they have, many times lately -- is storm chasers. The incident in question was a month ago.

Mr. Fisher and/or the reporter seem to have their terms mixed up. By definition storm "spotters" are stationary. It is storm chasers that move. Real storm chasers know how to stay out of trouble when they are moving. Storm spotters likely will not.

Here one of the tornado warnings in question. I've circled a key phrase.
So, the key information needed to warn his community came from storm chasers. If I were Mr. Fisher I'd be making appreciative comments rather than the ones he's quoted as making.

Whether it is tornadoes like the giant F-5 that struck Joplin or small tornadoes like the one I photographed below a few days after the LaCrosse storm, it is storm chasers that often provide the vital "ground truth" needed to warn the public. 

As to the quote in the article,

One of the tour members told a Rush County storm spotter he had paid $1,000 to storm chase and he had every right to be there.

The tour member is absolutely right. Provided he/she was not breaking any law, storm tourists have as much right to be there as anyone else.

As a proud Kansas resident and taxpayer let me make a plea to local officials: Quit complaining and reach out to the storm chase community. It will make your job easier (really!), help save lives, and -- if you town becomes known as "chaser friendly" -- might but some extra tax dollars in local coffers as chasers purchase meals or spend the night at a local hotel/motel.  


  1. We have to have the chasers. I live just NW of you in another county, and this season we have had 1 tornado, and 1 funnel that local volunteer fire departments could not see, but the chasers could. The last funnel I was actually watching on a website as the FD was saying they couldn't see anything. I am NOT trying to slam the great efforts of our local fire departments, but only trying to point out that viewing location is very important and everyone can't be everywhere seeing everything. Multiple eyes in multiple places is the best chance of catching a glimpse of short lived, rain wrapped, etc, tornadoes.



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