donley2 wrote:these guys attempted to do useful science.
But was it used, or needed? And I'm assuming most chasers do no science at all.
Many of these so-called chasers are van drivers for hire who take observers/tornado-fans as close to the action is as possible. Origionally there was "spotters" of which I'm sure there are still many and they provide a valuable service about T-storm/tornado development & activity , but the chasers represents a very wide-range of types, many of whom probably represent more of a liability than benefit (to anybody).
From a bit of spotty reading, these guys were not just the van chasers. Besides, with lonewolf's experience and knowledge, I suspect he has a more accurate assessment than those just reading reports and comments.
Another thing about the EF5 that hit Moore; it was so big that it did not look like a tornado when you were in the vicinity, it must have looked more like a big dark cloud without the typical telltale funnel element.
26mi235 wrote:From a bit of spotty reading, these guys were not just the van chasers. Besides, with lonewolf's experience and knowledge, I suspect he has a more accurate assessment than those just reading reports and comments.
I watch all of that stuff on the Weather channel and Discovery channel, and many of these people fly in from all over the country, even internationally to pay for and take the twister adventures/joy-rides in the vans. They often show them in group pics, beaming with a funnel-cloud in the background. Belive me, lots of people out there chasing the storms are litterally on vacation. Now that's not to say that some make important scientific contributions, becaise they do. But it's still pure recreational for lots of them, who whould perhaps find something else to do with their spare time and money ?
26mi235 wrote:Another thing about the EF5 that hit Moore; it was so big that it did not look like a tornado when you were in the vicinity, it must have looked more like a big dark cloud without the typical telltale funnel element.
Yup, that's why they call them "wedge-shaped" and not like the classic "funnel" shaped storm most associate with the shape of a tornado. But the storm that hit El Reno and killed the chasers was very large in diameter but rated an EF3. And what made it so dangerous was the lack of daylignt and the storm was shrouded in heavy rain showers, and in addition it had a very erratic path with uncharacteristic left-hand turns. Plus with the heavy rain, some of the roads which were unimproved meant they got blocked because some chasers got stuck in the mud.
The El Reno tornado just upgraded to EF5 and 2.6 miles wide, widest documented tornadoe in history. I was referring specifically to the Colorado "storm chaser" killed, who did have a contributing relationship with professional weather services, as being legit. It is also true there are amateur and/or commercial chasers but not in numbers adequate to cause traffic gridlock.
I saw the upgrade for the El Reno storm, but I think they've taken much of the credibility out of their whole tornado rating-warning system when they decided that a radar identified super-cell alone could now be the basis for a "tornado warning" and then they dropped the "Fujita scale" for the "Enhanced Fujita scale". And of course a la "Super Storm Sandy", they've christened this tornado a super storm. Just more of the politicalization process of extreme weather events to advance the global-warming agenda. Now of course there's no such thing as a benign tornado, but this storm was particularly dangerous and nasty because it "behaved" in such an unconventional manner and was at night, shielded by rain. But eventually they may want to consider some kind of licensing or fee-based process to get a lot of the clowns off the road, and then of course let the people who provide a genuine public service and important info gathering like the men who tragically lost their lives in OK do their work.
Forget bringing in the global warming thing. Absolutely no one that I know on the professional side calls it that, none. It is global climate change and and the issues of climate change and severe storms is a very open question, with most scientist I know of indicating it is an open issue. I am sure that partisans point to it as a result of climate changes, and it is not an illogical or unsupported proposition, just not one with the sort of established links as many other factors. [note: have a paper in Nature on climate change so I have a little relevant background and experience with those working in the area.]
I my mind, bringing this political element up as a reason to play down some element loses you credibility points. The width of the storm is certainly relevant and the breadth of Sandy and the scale of the destruction earns the description 'super' aside from any connection of someone's agenda for global climate change.
Funnel-like clouds might be relevant for assessment but it was brought up in the context of the storm possibly being confusing for some in the area because it was not so discernibly of a classical tornado shape. That might have altered the response for some.
Every once in a while, I am compelled to chime in with the observation that earth may, or may not, be warming, depending on what period of time you research, and has been doing so for millions of years, through multiple Ice Ages, before humans existed on the planet.
I do not know how is became a political issue. It is climate change, uninfluenced and irreversible by the puny contribution or efforts of man.