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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pushing the envelope

So it looks like there will be a few new "tour groups" starting up this coming spring. Two in particular have sparked my interest and I am very much looking forward to seeing how they do.

One is being put together by a couple of very well known, high profile chasers. These guys really know what they are doing both in terms of data and being able to read the sky. It will be interesting to see how they handle "guests". One has gotten my unofficial chaser death pool first place vote for 3 years in a row. Whoever is riding with him automatically gets slots 2 through 4. If he has a twelve passenger van, it will be a clean sweep. He gets incredible shots and I absolutely love what he does, but definitely breaches the safety zone I keep while chasing. This isn't a knock at all as I have a ton of respect for him but it is just a little too extreme for me. His guests will get their money's worth and probably soil some undies along the way.

The other is a "who in the XXXX are these guys?" outfit. I guess anyone who can find someone dumb enough to sign up for a tour for over 2 grand is smarter than I. Amazing what you can get by with when putting up a fancy SUV decked out with all the technology available and ZERO real time experience. Sounds a little exciting huh? Getting in close to nature's fury with a guide glued to a laptop and cell phone and has more fingers than experienced chase days. HOLY CRAP...I think I just sXXt myself! Oh, and for good measure throw in a bunch of pics which were STOLEN from other chasers and post them on the website to help dupe some people who have more money than brains into letting this ass clown call the shots. Wow...

So, push the envelope. Closer means better. Right? Tough choice. Go with the experience and the semi-psychotic behavior which accompanies it or trade it for a nice ride, pretty radar displays and Bozo the butt clown as the tour leader?

Man, am I glad I do what I do. Anyhow, here is the Holmes comet again. My lenses suck for doing stuff like this but it is still fun to watch. This is a crop (obviously) with a 1s exposure at f5.6 at 200mm. Still kinda cool. Wonder if this thing will ever grow a tail?


Matt Granz said...

Great blog! The fact that storm chasing is becoming big business and the competition want to keep upping the ante and get closer and closer to the action is a scary scenario... from what I hear it is already a crazy scene with all the chasers who come upon strong cells together and that the possibility of being run over is far more likely than being flung around by a twister.

It's definitely going to be interesting watching what happens in the next couple of years as more and more people start to pack the central states during the season. I myself am planning on being one, but I had this goal for close to 15 years now.

All I hope is that there will be no big tradegy in the upcoming storm seasons... the lawyers will immediately descend and kill off opportunity for the true believers.

~ M a t t

mnwxchaser said...

Hey Matt -

I agree with you the biggest danger being the traffic. We all saw what happened on May 22nd this past season and I wish I would have been at the Nickerson event on April 24th. In both cases the main roads were CLOGGED with chasers, yahoos, locals, LE...you name it.

It will be interesting to see what kind of drama unfolds next season. Maybe the higher fuel prices will at least give the illusion of few chasers as there will be 2 or more per vehicle?

Tony P said...

I can assume whom the crazy chasers are. They wont be able to get that close with tourists, no way. I bet eventually they will give it up due to that frustration. They can sell out their chase tours on personal past footage alone.

mnwxchaser said...

Again...this isn't a knock on "the crazy chasers" wink wink. The point you bring up Tony is really good. I wonder if they will hold back or still go balls to the wall. In either case, it doesn't effect me. I have a great working relationship with the "main culprit"...what he does just isn't my thing. That ugly thread on Storm Track is related to this. I think R put it best. The revolution has begun. The old regime is done...

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