Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hobbies, Anyone?

Along with thinking about the upcoming hurricane that is focusing in upon New Orleans, where my aunt lives (Katrina is expected to hit the city in a very major way about 2pm Eastern on Monday, barring any shift in weather patterns, and the city has been ordered to be evacuated. This may be the "big one" for the Big Easy, the storm which has always been feared. New Orleans basically sits in a bowl, geographically, and a huge storm will almost certainly flood and devastate the city), I had also been reminded by this weather event about something I have thought of perhaps looking into and trying out; something that sounded quite interesting to me. This thing is a hobby called "storm chasing". I learned about this while watching some documentaries on TV awhile back. What storm chasers do, is basically chase after storms of all sorts. The documentaries I viewed were done in Colorado and also Kansas, I believe (which seems to be a flat, excellent place to chase storms, tornados, etc., as Kansas seems to have a lot of them). Regular, every day people, hobbyists, you might say, in trucks, vans, or other types of vehicles, would at first monitor an upcoming storm, and then eventually follow it down a road, or even at times go into one. They would also monitor and measure the rain storm, tornado, etc., with a variety of meteorological measuring equipment in some cases, or just just visually observe the storm and/or tornado and its effects at other times; relaying info back to a homebase via ham or CB radio. I think that at least some of these storm chasers arrange to provide valuable data to the National Weather Service and other govt. agencies, in some instances.

For some strange reason, this sounded like great fun to me; to chase a storm out on a flat, lonely highway or rural road, and to go right on up to the very edge of it in order to monitor and experience it. To travel to the very periphery of a powerful storm and to then meet it head on, while hopefully also getting through it and living to tell about the experience. Of course, good storm chasers always calculate the probabilities of extreme danger before going out, and they don't go out if the risks seems excessive.

I'm not sure exactly what this says about me, but I know that it sounded exciting, at least from my current armchair level. I think I'd like to try this out someday; perhaps going out at first with a more experienced storm chaser, in order to see what it would be like in actuality. Would anyone care to join?

I have an extra raincoat.


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7:11 PM  
Blogger green apple said...

Hey- you should drive across country with me. Seems like every time I drive old route 66 I get chased by storms traveling through Texas!!! I have had a few really funky experiences with lightening too. I guess I am a magnet for storms!

7:29 PM  
Blogger willowtree said...

Hehe, Frank you already have a volunteer!
Ive seen storm chasers on TV. I always think...those people are out of their minds. I can get in enough trouble doing nothing much. Why in the world would I go seeking trouble out?
Totally love my boring life. I'll have to remember that the next time I complain about it.
Keep safe while youre chasing those storms. Something tells me you will get around to it one day.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Trouble is my middle name.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Åñèè§å said...

u ride motor bikes late at night lol now u want to chase storms lol may the force be with u..... :)

3:21 PM  

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