Sunday, May 11, 2008

How Chasers Become The Chased - May 10, 2008

On Saturday May 10, 2008 a group of four chase vehicles went to intercept tornadic storm moving into the area. These storms were wrapped in heavy rain, which made them nearly impossible to see from the eastern side. My chase partner and I moved south out of the path of the main storm, and ended up in an area where the view to the west was completely obstructed. Then we ended up in a situation that didn't look so good when mother nature decided to introduce a second tornadic storm to the south of the first one. A third tornadic storm north of the original one also came into play. Because of this, all four chase vehicles ended up in a situation similar to the one I outlined below.

Part 1 - The Chase

Part 2 - The Chase

Part 3 - The Chase

Part 4 - The Chase

While we can't control mother nature, we can be well trained and be part of an excellent SkyWarn communications network. These two things allow us to make solid decisions to stay as safe as we can. Without both of these, May 10th could have turned into a bad deal. Thank you to the National Weather Service and the SkyWarn folks who work to get information out there, which in turn allows those of us out mobile to stay safe.

The great loss of life is very sad. Those of us who volunteer our time for the SkyWarn program do it to get information back to the NWS so the public can be warned of impending danger. While the storms that killed so many were preceeded by lead time warnings, it didn't seem to help some. It's my hope that the efforts of the volunteers who provide information back to the NWS saved some lives on May 10, 2008. If one life was saved because of the information provided, it was worth it.

My prayers to those who were not able to get to safety and were impacted by these storms.

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