Eric Nguyen's Chase
Chasing is a very safe hobby *if* you know
what your doing. I recommend anyone attempting to begin chasing to start the first
few years with an experienced chaser. There are several people out there that are
willing to take out new people, however, new people have many months of learning ahead of
them if they want any help from others. I'm talking about knowledge on
thermodynamics, basic physical concepts of severe storms, chase strategy, etc.
All material on "mesoscale.ws" is
property of Eric Nguyen. Any reproduction will not be tolerated, and will be
punished to the full extent of the law. This includes all pictures, logos, clipart, and
HTML. Incase some of you kids do not understand the above statement, you may not put
my pictures, clipart or any text from my page to your homepage. If you do not abide
by the following rules, you will be breaking a Federal Law!
I have made a FAQ list for any
*important* questions people have asked me about chasing. Some of these answered questions
are not intended to offend anyone, and I hope it does not keep you from contacting me
about chasing. Please E-mail me if these do not answer your question fully or if you have
a new question.
FAQ / Statements
1. "Can I go
chasing with you sometime?" I periodically get e-mail
from persons looking for chase partners. Unfortunately I have no desire to chase with
anyone I do not know. Chase partners requires a pair with the same views and aspects on
chasing and safety. I need to really know the person if I am going to chase with them. Now
that I'm at OU, my chasing time is very limited to only the months of May, June, and July.
2. "Are you a
professional storm chaser?" Storm chasing is strictly a
hobby of mine, I do not do it for a living. Besides, there is no such thing as a
professional storm chaser. period!
3. "How can I
get a storm chasing job?" There is no such thing as a
full time storm chaser job anywhere in this world. The on going research at NSSL
consists of employees & meteorology majors from OU, devoting their time for free to
help collect data. If you want to be a professional storm chaser, your out of luck,
there is no such thing. Some of the VORTEX people do get paid pursing storms a month
or two each year, if you
want to do this, best to get a PhD in meteorology first.
regarding a few individuals that chase very dangerously~ I
despise chasers who chase dangerously. You may need to read Doswell's and Moller's
chaser safety tips and ethical essays. A lot of us out there take safety very
seriously. Don't think your immune to car accidents. If you speed, there are
no safety implications with that unless you exceed speeds that become dangerous.
Going 90mph on a 75mph zone out in a large country road isn't dangerous if you do it
cautiously. However, driving 65 on roads with large puddles in a 75mph zone is
exceeding speeds that become dangerous! Common sense folks. And if you feel
you just have to speed to catch a storm, don't get mad when a cop pulls you over to
correct your unlawful driving.
5. "Can we chase
as a team / will you join our chase team?" I do *not*
prefer chasing in "teams". I have a small group of friends that I
periodically hook up with that also chase all over the plains. Storm chase teams
seem to be on the rise, and it appears that most of them are groups of non-chasers that
are mainly weather enthusiasts. Therefore the word "storm chaser" gets
misused quite often. I chase to learn, its something that goes well with my studies
at OU. Sometimes I like to chase alone. I don't want to have anything to do
with chase teams, nor will I link to their sites.
6. "Will storm
chasing ever be regulated if someone gets seriously hurt?"
I personally do not think chasing will ever be regulated at all.
7. "Will you
link to my page, I am the chief meteorologist at my weather center"
I will link to those that I take seriously. I see a lot of
misuse of the word "meteorologist". If your page is full of BS or
manipulative content (in other words, fake stuff to trick people into thinking your
something else) then I will usually ignore you. Period!
8. "What is a
storm chaser?" My technical definition is a person who
try's to witness the rare events of mother nature and has the desire to learn from their
own observations in which they apply toward their own study of the atmosphere. All
chasers must learn storm dynamics if they want to know what is going on. My
non-technical definition is anyone who jumps in a car to pursuit a storm on a regular
basis. I'm not going to decide who is worthy of the name, basically, if your out
there chasing storms on a regular basis, your a storm chaser. If your out there two
days a year because a tornado warning went off in your area, then your an accident waiting
to happen (there are of course, exceptions). Chase knowledge builds on experience.
9. "Do you sell
your video to the media?" Mostly, I like to keep my hobby as a hobby, not a money maker. In a few years I plan on making a DVD of
past events and sending them to a few productions companies. Truthfully, I get more
out of my slides then I do video. Over half of my video tapes have never been
watched before. I usually just come home and add them to the pile. Slide
photography is what I cherish the most.
10. "Where is tornado
alley?" There are no official borders since this term was
used to describe the areas that were heavily attacked by supercells and tornadoes on the plains. I finally found a Tornado Alley Map
online that has the description of tornado alley perfectly! First
off, tornado alley is basically east of the Rockies and west of the tree's of the
eastern plains. This is the area that is affected the most by supercells and
tornadoes. Thankfully this area is mostly treeless and flat.
11. ~Statement regarding
those that chase chasers~ There are a some people out there
that I call DOW chasers. It is quite easy to pick them out. A DOW, UMASS
Mobile Radar, or NSSL vehicle pulls over, and the DOW chasers pull over. When the
research vehicle drives off, the DOW chasers are there to follow. This is very
dangerous and ignorant chasing. Please, chase on your own, don't rely on others to
take you to storms. This isn't directed toward people driving behind DOW's, I get
stuck behind them sometimes. Once they pull over or turn off, I keep going to get
away from the clutter. If I can I stay away from them at all costs so I don't get
stuck behind a traffic jam. If your out often you can see how many chasers begin to
collect near the DOW's during storm initiation. If you can, pull off at another
site. If you want a picture of them, pull over, snap one, and then be on your way.
Usually toward the end of the chase it gets out of hand on the numbers following
the DOW's. I can only be sorry for them, perhaps too much TLC exposure.
If looking for a
chase partner and are having little luck, then I recommend you check out StormTracks Who's Who in Storm Chasing
and see if there are any chasers in your area.
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