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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!


Monday, May 16, 2011

The festering sore known as Stormtrack

Will someone (Tim V) please put that sorry excuse for a weather enthusiast social club out of it's misery already? It's done. Dead and bloating in the summer sun by the day. The majority of the core (pun intended) chaser have either slipped off into their own sub-cliques or are giving the new Chasers Forum a try. I have to give some HUGE kudos to Steve Miller (OK), Scott Bennett, and the mod staff over there for having the balls to do what few (if any) forum admins are willing to do. *MAKE IT A CLOSED MEMBERSHIP WHERE YOU HAVE TO PROVE YOURSELF TO HAVE FULL ACCESS*. Does this make the approved members and the staff of CF a bunch of elitist pricks? From the outside looking in it sure does...AND GOOD!! If you have read my blog over the years, you know one of my biggest pet peeves is the noob who comes in thinking the veteran chasers are obligated to share their knowledge and techniques upon demand. Guess what? WE aren't! Chasing is a skill which is learned and not taught. Screw something up enough times and eventually you'll find out what doesn't work and most importantly what does. I highly doubt any vet with 10 or more seasons had someone to hold their hand, tell them how to shove an aircard into the PCMCIA slot on a laptop, have mommy and daddy foot the bill, then go bag tornadoes at will all in the name of serving the public.

Stormtack has been overrun by the aforementioned crowd. Or worse yet, people who talk about chasing but never get their ass out the door so much as to look at their lawn sprinkler let alone a real supercell. Putting a cool little screen name of "Storm Chaser" on your FB account doesn't mean shit. I can tell you this: people who truly are part of the chaser subculture know who is legit and who is just blowing smoke. There is a lot of EARNED RESPECT within that group and the noobs who think just because they saw Timmer and crew in the Dominator one day at a gas station and followed them for 15 miles qualifies as "being one of them" are sorely mistaken. You only make yourself look like a fool so quit pretending. No one will ever take you seriously until you prove yourself. AND...if you made an ass of yourself in the past, good luck fighting that uphill battle. Got news for you sporto: not everyone forgives and forgets over the winter. Once an ass clown, always an ass clown until proven otherwise (and it may take years to overcome a major league f-up).

True chasers live a lifestyle and don't have a hobby. Our life decisions are made with chasing in the center. Our families know it (and accept it). Our friends know it (and accept it). Our employers know it (and accept it). We have been making choices and sacrifices in our lives since the first time we stood in awe of the power of mother nature with goal being to experience that feeling again, and AGAIN, AND AGAIN....

So to those who whine about the elitists, finances or careers, do the rest us a favor and either shut up and go away or do what we did: FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN ON YOUR OWN. Oh, and while you are at it, stomp out the smoldering carcass which WAS once the real Stormtrack.



KE5WLM said...

I defiantly agree with you on this post. As part of the old school chasers who long ago (mid 1970,s chaser) broke out chasing by trial and error. I didn't even have the luxury of NOAA WX Radio, much less live Doppler Radar Feeds, Model Updates, Liver Streaming, ETC. But the one thing we had that a lot these modern day chasers lack was a good knowledge of "Storm Structure". I learned by endless hours of watching and learning. I love the new technology, but nothing will replace my earlier years of just going out and learning by trial and error.

WINGER said...


Paul said...

Could you imagine how much more expensive chasing would be with gas prices the way they are if we didn't all have GPS to make efficient decisions? I love that we are spoiled and yet some still complain. OPEC is doing fine job of separating the wheat from the chaff this season. I know for my gas guzzler, it's been tough to budget for just doing what I do local but you are absolutely correct, where there's a will there's a way. Any chaser who manages to finagle resources while still supporting his/her family is on a whole other level of dedication. Chasers without kids or spouses have no excuse :)

Ken said...

I totally agree with you, Bill, and KE5WLM. I firmly hold the belief that solid knowledge of storm structure, general storm environments, and basic forecasting are necessary - and should be mandatory - for storm chasing.

I will not even consider a chase until I've done thorough data analysis and considered all parameters, both atmospheric and geographic. Hell, I just love it all, really!

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