Author Topic: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety  (Read 27254 times)

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Offline Karina Roberts (slavegirl)

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #15 on: 11 October 2007, 04:08:53 PM »
omg, that would have scared the crap outta me the closest i have been was Boondall where there was a strike bout 8oo metres away i went for cover after that lol didnt hear the buzzing it was more like a sharp crack then all my hairs went up and whamo there was the strike behind the tree's i'll admit a huge cheer went up from all the ppl milling around outside (all of us were there to see manson)
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bullygirl

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #16 on: 12 December 2007, 08:14:42 AM »
[/font I believe that Australia is grossly misinformed when it comes to Tornado Safety. Many people would love to turn around and say that Australia doesn't get tornadoes, but my experience says otherwise. I have personally been in two tornadoes, and have witnessed two from a distance. They were terrifying. Nobody in their right mind would want to be in a tornado, unless it was for research purposes. I hope that the Aussie storm chasers can shed some much- needed light on the subject of tornadoes in Australia.

bullygirl

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #17 on: 12 December 2007, 08:18:04 AM »
A crazy thing happened when we went to see Twister at the cinema in Busselton. A big storm hit, knocked out the power, and a tree over the road blew down. We weren't able to see the movie, after all that.

bullygirl

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #18 on: 12 December 2007, 08:40:29 AM »
When the tornado in Merredin hit in 2002, I knew exactly what to do. I was standing at the kitchen window, and I looked out and saw a mass of dust, grass, and cardboard boxes flying around. Now in the bush like that, you get used to dust, and stuff like that, but something about this storm felt different, kind of alarm bells in my head. I crossed the room, and saw out of my loungeroom window, my husbands Volkswagon flying past the window, and my son's plastic play castle also flew by. As soon as I saw that, I grabbed the kids, and went into the hallway away from the windows. The noise of the storm was deafening, My baby daughter was screaming, and I had to look at her to know that she was crying, I couldn't hear her, the wind was so loud. When my husband got home from work , he told me a story of his own, he was in the lunchroom at work when he saw it coming, and he ran and closed the doors of his work, which just happened to be a war grade hanger, and the twister peeled the tin off one corner of it.It also was able to move a forklift sideways, it dumped a van on my husbands car, and a car trailer was found in the tree. There was one man that was injured , the twister picked up the shed he was in, and then dropped it. He was taken to Perth via the flying doctor.

Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #19 on: 13 December 2007, 02:29:39 PM »
Welcome to the forum bullygirl.

I recall your stories during the lengthy conversation some time ago. Certainly an interesting and well documented event of a tornado. Do you recall or have you been able to determine the date of the events?

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
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AaronFarquhar

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #20 on: 09 September 2008, 09:03:12 AM »
Hey Guys,
                What kind of things can you do to your vehicle to assure a safer drive while chasing a storm? well i know as one person said your tyres at around 40psi is good for the wet which gives more traction, But what about things like your windscreen in hail storms? is there some type of special glass or hard plastic that you can use to protect your windscreen? or maybe some type of wire cage covering the glass? what do you guys think? Aaron

Offline Mike

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #21 on: 09 September 2008, 10:18:00 AM »
Go with the manufacturers specs for tyre inflation - that's the best rule of thumb.  Going too hard on PSI can actually make it worse due to aquaplaning and you get a 'smaller footprint' from the tyre on the road if you've cranked up the PSI when there's actually no need to do so when carrying the same load and wrecks your wear ratio anyway!.

I've never seen hail bigger than pea size up here but there's certainly huge hail in the eastern states.  You should never cover the windscreen with any kind of perspex or other plastic coating as it will only obscure your view even further, something you don't want.  As for covering it with some kind of non-shatter film - that's illegal anyway since your only escape exit may be the windscreen and you/rescuers need to be able to smash through it.

Most people just make up some sort of mesh screen - you can get mesh screens for your car from camping or outdoor/4wd outlets but with most cars they're not an off-the-shelf option that's easily available and you'd have to make one up yourself.  It would be somewhat a waste anyway because if the hail is that large it's going to dent and even break the mesh and if it dents it severely then it would only take a direct hit in the same spot to crack your glass.

Broken windscreens/windows are victims of large hail and most folk just replace the glass - although if there's big hail within the core you probably should not be in that zone anyway for your own safety.  Better to follow the storm or wait until that area no longer poses a danger and then drive closer to collect/photograph the hail.

Of course it's not always a visible thing when the heavens let loose...so the best rule of thumb is collect the hail later once it stops hammering down.  Your car would be a tad messed up with all sorts of damage from large hail .

There's no secret or special things to do with your car - remember to keep it out of harm's way and you don't want to be spending money which you don't need to as far as storm mods.  Keep it roadworthy i guess - the safer the better and the cops won't ping you either. :)
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Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #22 on: 09 September 2008, 01:03:51 PM »
In terms of tyres, ensure you have good tyres and change them when they are anywhere near losing the tread.

As to windscreens, unlike the United States where there is more freedom to make some form of modification, I guess you have to weigh out the options of what is available to secure vehicle legally and what you want to achieve in storm chasing. Most people do not wish to enter the hail cores as it can really get quite dangerous - reduced visibility, powerful winds, traction problems, inexperienced drivers and so forth. In the end, staying out of the storms is the best option and taking cover for most chasing and it is more relaxing. Always of course take a pair sunglasses in case you get caught in a hail core with hail large enough to shatter windows - the flying glass getting in your eyes is a dangerous hazard.

Hope that is a start.

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
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Offline Richary

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #23 on: 09 September 2008, 02:30:21 PM »
well i know as one person said your tyres at around 40psi is good for the wet which gives more traction,
Definitely don't do that. Read a 4WD magazine and they will all tell you to reduce pressure for more traction, whether it is crawling over rocks, going through sand or whatever. Why - because at a lower pressure the tyre bags out under the car making a wider and slightly longer footprint. More rubber on the road = more traction.

That said, check the vehicle placard and don't go under what is recommended there. Why? Because technically it is illegal and you can be booked - or even worse your insurance might not pay out. There have been cases of the cops booking 4WDs coming off Stockton Beach north of Newcastle with low tyre pressures heading to the servo to air up.

Quote
But what about things like your windscreen in hail storms? is there some type of special glass or hard plastic that you can use to protect your windscreen? or maybe some type of wire cage covering the glass? what do you guys think? Aaron

Hmmm, good question. As I kid growing up in the country it wasn't uncommon to see cars with mesh wire over the windscreens to protect against rocks being thrown up by other vehicles on the dirt roads. I can't find any ruling on a quick search of the RTA website, you might need to contact your local office to see if this is still permissible.

Offline Mike

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #24 on: 10 September 2008, 03:47:29 AM »
Booking poor drivers going to the servo to air up?  That's an outrageous abuse of power and that would be thrown out of court if one decided to fight that infringement.  They recommended that you reduce tyre pressures not only to limit you getting bogged but that it's also 'easier' on the environment on the sand ! what a ridiculous revenue grabbing stunt.  If the driver was travelling at speed then sure, that's worthy of a fine because the ability to control/brake his vehicle is reduced, so I see that point but waiting for these poor buggers as they hit bitumen ?  How rude!

 
I know from years gone by that you could easily buy mesh screens for windscreens but nowadays mostly off-road vehicles can get them.  The last time I saw a mesh screen for a passenger car was my uncle's HD Holden!  I don't think they're illegal so long as the mesh does not obstruct vision etc - you could check with NRMA or your local MVR office?
« Last Edit: 10 September 2008, 03:59:30 AM by Mike »
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AaronFarquhar

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #25 on: 10 September 2008, 09:25:23 AM »
Thanks To Everyone, You guys have really given me something to think about, Thanks for your advice and experience, Aaron

Offline TroyVR

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #26 on: 10 September 2008, 02:03:38 PM »
When stopped on the side of the road in hazardous conditions, an amber beacon plus indicator warning lights turned on is a good idea, especially if its raining heavily, has someone mentioned trucks dont always follow the lines so its best to make sure your position is known.

Offline Richary

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #27 on: 10 September 2008, 04:08:22 PM »
Booking poor drivers going to the servo to air up?  That's an outrageous abuse of power and that would be thrown out of court if one decided to fight that infringement. 

I am not sure of the law, but the people would have been running 14-16 psi on the beach probably. I normally run 16 depending on conditions. Then it is about 1km up the road through the main street of Anna Bay to find the servo. I accept that low pressures will affect the handling and turning circle (and often thought about running a portable pumping station on weekends to make a few bucks). Luckily I have my own pump and the tyres aren't big 35s so it doesn't take too long to pump them up at least to legal pressure then let the servo finish the job quickly.

As for fairness? Like years ago when you could listen to the cops on the scanner and I heard an umarked car in the local down the hill relaying the rego numbers and descriptions of cars leaving the carpark to the "random" breath test unit up the road. Decided to ring the pub and let them know about that little scam. Not that I agree with drink driving, but that definition of random didn't quite fit the bill.


Offline Mike

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #28 on: 11 September 2008, 04:37:42 AM »
Anyway...to get back on topic re safety...

An important aspect when chasing is not to inconvenience or disrupt any other traffic or passing vehicles.  Keep well off the shoulder of the road and don't drive like an idiot.  I know it's all very exciting to chase, but other road users don't know that that is what you're doing.

At night I always put my parking lights on if off the main road just to let drivers coming that I'm there.  Most often some will stop to see if you're okay, which is polite of them, and thank them for doing so.  Storm chasing is not only about getting your own photos or videos, it's also about portraying a professional attitude to what you are doing.  There's enough DH's out there claiming to be chasers who really make it unsafe for others.  So being polite, courteous and using commonsense will keep you out of harm's way and the police who may stop to see what you're doing will give you the nod of approval.  The public are much more aware of chasers these days, so make a good impression and they'll remember who you are and spread the word for you.

Be patient, stay safe!
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Offline Hardy25

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Re: Storm and Storm Chasing Safety
« Reply #29 on: 29 August 2010, 10:16:35 PM »
When im out for days on end i make use of the information found here, alot is common sense

another thing i always make sure of is if your out all day in the heat or for few days away from home
i know it sounds silly, but eat well and stay hydrated when driving or even being the person in the passenger seat make sure your chase partner is well looked after because they are concentrating on the road and sometimes not on themselves

if your the support person in the passenger or back seat also keep your eye out for potential hazards and alert your drive partner

i know these things have probably been said few times, but doesn't hurt to reiterate it =]

keep chasing and keep safe