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Storm Chasers: Too close to the storm?
, on May 20, 2010 11:19 am ET
EDITOR'S NOTE: This week, weather.com did its first web series. It was anexclusive look at the growth in the cottage industry of storm chasing. One of thebiggest issues raised was the explosion in the number of chasers and how thoseexpansive numbers are creating very dangerous conditions for everyone on theroad.After our series, VORTEX 2 scientist Josh Wurman sounded off about his concernssurrounding storm chasers during a recent chase in Oklahoma. He said the sheervolume of chasers kept his team of meteorologists from being able to gatherimportant scientific information about tornadoes. Below are his thoughts as wellas links to the entire weather.com series, "Storm Chasers: Too Close to theStorm?"
Storm Chasers: Too Close to the Storm?
Editorials from ChasersClose Enough to the Storm Getting Close, but Staying Safe
Storm Chasers: What's Next
Josh Wurman, Ph. D, CtrSevere Weather Research
There were huge crowds of storm chasers yesterday (Wednesday, May 19) and thosechasers did directharm to Vortex 2 science. There were hundreds of them andthey were traveling at the same speed asthe storm and they were preventing myability to get ahead of the storm to outflank it and to get ahead ofit and V2 has an important mission. We’re trying tostudy tornado genesis so that the warnings are madebetter. I think that’s more important than gettingclose up video of a tornado but apparently these
hundreds of chasers didn’tthink that and they wouldn’t let us by. It’s always easy to say it’s a few badeggs but no body let us by we hada hundred cars right in front of us there were chase tour companiesarmaturesout there trying to stay as close as they can to the mess cyclone and notletting the scientistsby. I think it’sreally disgraceful they’re not letting us do our important mission
Oklahoma has the most. It has big universities and there are lots ofstudents graduating from thoseuniversities who are graduating from theirclasses now and they’re out there. But there are also chasetour companies who arevery interested in the weather. I thinkit’s great people appreciate the weather, Isupport storm chasing. It’s likehiking or rafting. People are out appreciating nature but please let thesciencevehicles by. We have an importantmission. We’re trying to make the towns you live in safer bylearning how tomake better warnings
I’m hoping by saying this I will help these chasers understand andthese tour companies understand thatwe have an important mission. We’re notjust another chaser behind you. When aDOW (Doppler onWheels) is behind you with big flashing amber lights and wants to get by. We’re notout there trying to get
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