Author Topic: Why I decided to start chasing.  (Read 1779 times)

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Offline Silverwolf

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Why I decided to start chasing.
« on: February 11, 2015, 02:09:38 PM »
Good evening everyone. I should try and explain my passion for the whole chasing thing in this little story. It all probably began, when I watched Twister with bad Russian dubbing on VHS around the age of eight, or nine. Wonderful movie, and I really fell in love. Sadly I also developed a hard case of brontophobia and didn't pay much attention to weather, as I lived abroad. Returning to Russia, around 2008 and nine we had a series of severe weather events. It all culminated in me reading up on storms and cloud features related with them. Helped combat my fear of thunderstorms as well! Then one summer day in 2009 I spot this huge wall cloud that was looking quite nasty, as if it was ready to drop a funnel cloud on us approaching from the West / South West.

Besides warning my neighbors, who wouldn't hear of it I also gave a call to our national emergency services. I explained to them ,that I was a weather amateur and I had spotted a dangerous feature, that could rapidly evolve into a tornado. Sadly the voice on the other side said that the whole situation was completely bogus, and I should hang up lest I be charged for making a false call to the emergency service. There wasn't even talk of warning the public, or activating the few rusty sirens we had around town! I was quite upset and disappointed, that I couldn't get through anywhere else either. Alright, the wall cloud went off on its merry way and I gave it little thought until I learned of this alter that day http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Krasnozavodsk_tornado I firmly believe I watched the beginnings of that EF3 twister and that much of the damage and casualties could have been prevented if my call in was given some thought at least!

So from then on I got rid of my brontophobia and was smitten by the urge to spread severe weather awareness around Russia. Which is quite hard considering that our Doppler and Public Warning Systems are still in their infancy. Ever since that day I've been fighting, mostly alone to get public access to the raw radar data, that I know our Government has. I've finally had enough and now I could use some help and support for my cause. That is why I turned my eyes to this community, where I believe I would find some fellow-minded people and Friends in general. Thank you for listening to my story, I hope it made any sense whatsoever! Please feel free to leave questions and comments. I always enjoy a good discussion.

Offline ValentineWeather

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Re: Why I decided to start chasing.
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2015, 06:52:12 PM »
Nice story, my best friend has a dog also with brontophobia. The dog can hear thunder from faraway, way before humans so starts quivering out of the blue. Then we look around and sure enough we see the thunderstorm many miles away. 
Randy

Offline Silverwolf

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Re: Why I decided to start chasing.
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 06:33:01 AM »
Nice story, my best friend has a dog also with brontophobia. The dog can hear thunder from faraway, way before humans so starts quivering out of the blue. Then we look around and sure enough we see the thunderstorm many miles away.

Poor dog! Thank you for your kind words Valentine. Right now I'm trying to acquire a lightning locator for an attempt to barter its data against that of the local weather service. Before teh storm season starts our local community of StormChasers could really use some raw Velocity and Reflectivity data. Sadly Blitzortung is down and they don't sell any more devices :(

Offline jmcmurry

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Re: Why I decided to start chasing.
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 07:39:00 AM »
Sadly Blitzortung is down and they don't sell any more devices :(

It will only be a few months until the new version of their hardware is available.  Be patient, it is worth it.

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Offline Silverwolf

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Re: Why I decided to start chasing.
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 09:47:22 AM »
Sadly Blitzortung is down and they don't sell any more devices :(

It will only be a few months until the new version of their hardware is available.  Be patient, it is worth it.

- Jim

I am quite sure it is! I figure if I wait longer the local weather guys are going to find another lightning detector and leave me without any possibilities to further stormchasing in Russia :( Which would be a huge disappointment.

Offline sacreyweather

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Re: Why I decided to start chasing.
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2015, 12:27:42 PM »
Hi Silverwolf,

Welcome to the forum!!!! 

An awesome story.  Hope you and others are able to change the minds over there of your importance in doing chasing.

I have one question regarding the lightning detector.  Are you wanting a stationary detector like Blitzortung or a mobile/portable lightning detector to take with you when you chase? I know there a few chasers here that have a computer with a Boltek lightning detector in it.

John
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Offline Silverwolf

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Re: Why I decided to start chasing.
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2015, 12:43:57 PM »
Hi Silverwolf,

Welcome to the forum!!!! 

An awesome story.  Hope you and others are able to change the minds over there of your importance in doing chasing.

I have one question regarding the lightning detector.  Are you wanting a stationary detector like Blitzortung or a mobile/portable lightning detector to take with you when you chase? I know there a few chasers here that have a computer with a Boltek lightning detector in it.

John

Thank you for the comforting words John!

I am aiming for a stationary one, I know a bit of soldering and a bit of ham radio, sadly the Blitzortung project seems on hold until summer maybe. The thing is, I haven't told many of my plans yet. I plan to barter the lightning detection data with the Russian MetOffice for Doppler access. If I delay for much longer, they might find some development of their own. The Russian Government isn't very willing to share its new toys. Even if it's simple Level 1 Vel. and Refl. data. I don't own a car either, and the road network is lousy here. As much as a mobile Boltek would be wonderful its output would be hard to channel towards the MetOffice, eh?

I've been engaged in spreading awareness for severe weather. Battling the misconception that twisters only happen in America. Trying to get a Public Warning System in place to help save lives and property. I even met with the largest TV network leaders last summer to see if they would have a mobile van for us and a TV operator to go chasing. Nobody seems keen o this idea at all! I don't have any official Meteorology education, all is self-taught, seems you need a paper to show you're a "Somebody" here in order for your voice to be heard, much less considered. There's not much I can do alone either, I got a contact inside teh radar office, but he doesn't have much leverage to release data to the public. He's a simple programmer who is employed by the MetOffice to code Doppler related workstations. Occasionally he'll send a screenshot to me of a suspected Mesocyclone from their DoublePol radars. If I ask nicely.

There are a ton of old folks in the Weather Service who still draw their forecast maps by hand and using 60'ies Soviet Forecasting methods. No idea of weather models, or Public Cooperation on the level of SkyWarn. The EMERCOM service is utter crap, just look at the design of our Doppler page! Although we have a few functioning sirens in my town people are utterly unaware what to do in case they sound. There are no tornado shelters either! On top of all that dreary information people who are aware of modern technology and in a position of power would very much like to keep it and instead sell off Doppler access for thousands of dollars, resisting any attempts to dislocate them from their warm spot. Neither would they hear my reasoning of how silly it is to withhold the date, which the Russian Taxpayer paid for! This all is making me utterly upset! So I tend to get a bit ranty, I do apologize for that.

 

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