Archive for April 2011

A “Thousand Points” of Citizen Weather Data

Today there is an exponential growth of global “social” weather communities.

When I first started storm intercepting 15 years ago, my connections where national. Now I might run into a few guys from Germany or from Europe on storm vacation tours (like last year). I periodically communicate with a meteorologist in India who has done work on early typhoon warning systems. I might chat with a chaser in Australia and ” shoot the breeze” on a social weather forum.

Read the rest of this entry »

Storm Chasing and Chaos Theory

Does the very act of storm chasing affect potential storms in the future? According to Chaos Theory the answer is yes. Imagine someone this month (January) down in the Australian outback speeding down a dirt road, moving towards a nice storm off in the distance. In the rear of their van a micro low pressure system is formed in the drag, as the dust swirls into a vortex and vanishes in the mirror. As this parcel of air dissipates and slowly makes its way around the globe ( let’s say 7 times by late spring ) it interacts with the much larger atmosphere. As air masses collide in the great plains this spring, the results will be somewhat different if this chase event had that not happened. (These are the kind of important thoughts one sometimes wonders during the looong wait till spring convection. According to some books I’ve been reading this scenario could hold true.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oldest Historic Account of a Supercell ?

Approximately 2500 years ago the biblical prophet Ezekiel wrote an account which I think contains some details that are now only understood in light of modern meteorology. Though he was certainly describing more than a natural storm in the text, he wrote about a great cloud and “a whirlwind coming out of the north.”

Read the rest of this entry »