Hey, im 18, ive been storm chasing and doing On-Air Meteorology and severe weather coverage for 7 Years. Ill be attending the University of Oklahoma next year for Meteorology…Trust me, ive been through all kinds of storm chasing situations from looking at the El Reno tornado and realizing what I thought was just a giant lowering was actually the tornado, to being blown off the road by RFD, to making silly mistakes in the weather community that I inevitably got my butt chewed on by everyone and their dog for.
That being said…My advice comes in 2 parts…
For those under driving age, my advice to you is wait until you are of driving age and have been driving for a few years before setting out on a chase…You can learn SO much by analyzing a radar screen and talking with other observers out in the field and comparing what you are seeing on radar to what they see. I did that until I was old enough to drive, however my difference is that I have a Livestreaming page where im getting green screen practice in as well as doing the severe weather coverage. Also, go to as many SKYWARN and to all of the Weather Conferences you can possibly go to…take notes, TONS of great information.
For those of Driving age and older…
I have been fortunate enough to have a chase partner that has allowed me to chase from about the time I was 11 to now, and we’ve seen a lot! My advice to those driving now…Don’t stormchase in your own vehicle…if you can avoid it. I have a Camaro and I am a lot like Reed, ill chase anything anytime any where…I don’t care…I also have a job that can afford me new parts as I break them. (its also really fun to go flying by other chasers on the highway getting to a storm (NOT ENGAGED WITH IT) but going to the target area is really fun to go flying by them on the highway knowing you are getting better gas milage and your going faster then they are.
But if you do chase, and you end up engaged with the storm A. Make sure you have an escape route. B. Know the roads C.Know what roads your car can handle at 100mph if you have to run for your life…yes ive done it in a major suburban town when I got stuck in the bearscage in the Camaro…I was doing way over the posted speedlimit…granted I was running for my life.
If you come upon an disaster area and you are first on scene, help ONLY until First Respoders arrive to your area. THEN IMMIDIATELY leave the area, LET THEM DO THEIR JOBS.
And for the love of god, DONT TEXT AND DRIVE while chasing…
Keep good tires on your car
keep good windshield wipers on your car
Know your escape route
last but not least…
If any of you guys have any questions about this, feel free to email me
Also go like www.facebook.com/northtexasweathercenter (my page)
as well as www.facebook.com/blueraiderstorms