Posts Tagged ‘storm’

Storm chasers also asking “How’d it happen?” to Samaras team

( From an article  in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram) by  G.Thomas Windsor

 

I stared at pictures of a storm chase vehicle twisted by the El Reno, Okla., tornado that took the lives of Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras and Carl Young.

Though I didn’t know them, it struck a nerve. “If it could happen to one of the best of them, then …,” is a thought we who chase are surely pondering.

There will be debates, calls for the regulation of chasing and rethinking of the practice itself.

The challenge is the very wide spectrum of people who are chasing. Most are making an important contribution and aren’t reckless thrill-seekers. Tim Samaras and the others with him dedicated their lives pursuing answers, and they played a valuable role in gathering data to warn the public.

There’s now the familiar “why did it happen?” questions being asked.

Tim’s lifelong quest was to “better understand some of the final mechanisms for tornado genesis.” It’s the “how does it all come together?” question.

There’s also the “how does it all come together?” question involving such tragic fatalities.

• There can be rush-hour and chaser traffic jams (I’ve been in those): too many chasers in a small area with fleeing public.

• Though law enforcement officers work hard saving people’s lives, it’s been reported that one officer was blocking a possible exit road when disaster struck.

• Like an expanding storm, there is also an appetite for ever more dynamic footage. The chaser and the media are subtly taking greater risks and have grown accustomed to the new norm, of the incredibly dangerous.

A severe weather event is chaotic, unpredictable by nature. It is a coming together of many different things in the atmosphere. The tornado at El Reno took a sharp left turn; statistically, many don’t. It just so happened to rapidly grow into the widest tornado ever recorded.

 

Article published in Earthzine magazine

Author (stormchaser) Tom Windsor’s  article  on Storm Chasing, Chaos and Climate  was published  in EarthZine online magazine this year.

In it he  relates  his own journey of exploring (chasing) the science behind climate change. “This is an essay on his time as an up-close observer of extreme weather systems, and his recent conversion from climate change agnostic”.    ( EarthZine is an online source for news, articles, information and educational materials about Earth Science )

 

 

 

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.”

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