Author Topic: How did you get interested in weather, storm chasing or meteorology?  (Read 23268 times)

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Offline Mike

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Thought I'd start a new topic -Hope it's in the right forum and apologies if it's not!)

When i first became interested in storms and their structure it was just a matter of not knowing anything about them - nothing at all - the storms come and they go.  I find it fascinating that after reading literature, conversing with experienced storm chasers, reading the forum here that ones perception of storms becomes so fascinating!

Now we have to look for CAPE, wind shear, wind speed, humidity, heat and the best thing of all using our eyes to actually watch something start out as a parcel of air grow into a full-blown mature storm or supercell. 

I was out today chasing and although there were just rain producing Cbs i was just observing all parts of the Cbs and just noted the types of inflow, updraft strength, rain curtains at the vertical and at 45 degrees at different stages - the mind boggles at how it all happens!

I really would like to read of others who have just started out (and from the more seasoned chasers) as to what their views are on this topic.  I've known a guy up here who thought he knew everything about storms just because he's lived here for 35 years, but when i talk to him about them he's just blown away at just how complex the storms are, how everything affects them at different latitudes - I can say that without the forum and those who run it our knowledge of such things would be a lot different.  I think we should all give ourselves a pat on the back for passing our observations onto the Met offices around Aust, they really do appreciate it and from what I've given as a spotter to the Met office here on storms that cause damage in my area they really do take note of what we see and report.

As i said, I'd like to read the replies re this topic, i'm sure there's others who have similar views for us all to read!
Darwin, Northern Territory.
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Lightning Research 2010/14

Offline Mike

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RE: How did you get interested in weather, storm chasing or meteorology?
« Reply #1 on: 30 December 2006, 05:25:24 AM »
Well, John seems have passion!  Cyclone Tracy did it for me.  I was young when visiting unknown cousins in country Vic when this guy turns up in a lime green Pontiac firebird (the old fastback twin headlight jobs) and it was trashed!  It had gouges and dents, smashed windows and Coke cans holding the windscreen up.

 Well, as it turned out this Greek fellow had driven down from Darwin after that fatefull night!  He gave us five kids and mum a lift back to Adelaide ( i think they hit it off for a while mum and he)  A cramped but interesting drive home and I now know why whenever we drove through populated areas and into Adelaide why people were staring at us looking shocked!  They must have thought that this poor bloke had 5 kids and the missus in this car and we all had driven down after the cyclone!

So from there at the tender age of 10 i decided I'd look into what happened up there (here) and it wasn't until i was 22 when we moved up here for a spell that my interest in storms grew.  22 years later  i moved back to Darwin and I'm probably none the wiser - but at least I've taken the effort and done some homework and educated myself!

I think the most fantastic thing to see is watching the towers grow so fast and all the cloud base scud being rotated and sucked into the inflow area - it's actually watching it develop which gets my attention.  Probably why I want to visit Oklahoma and do some tornado chasing - I've seen footage of rotating supercells and my mind just goes numb!  It just doesn't happen that way surely?????????!!!!!!
« Last Edit: 05 January 2007, 06:07:58 PM by Jimmy Deguara »
Darwin, Northern Territory.
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Lightning Research 2010/14

tohnanon

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Re: How did you get interested in weather, storm chasing or meteorology?
« Reply #2 on: 05 February 2007, 04:43:29 PM »
Well I am a newbie at this science of weather, but have been an observer since a child. My mum used to always say quiet kids the weather is on (the news) and point out to us her attempts to read the weather maps. I would put more trust of her motherly instincts than the weather reporters. 
The first storm I remember was around the early eighties in Altona Melbourne, where we went to the beach for the afternoon and got caught in a hail storm. This mass expanse of a wall of water you could watch coming across the bay from towering clouds was quite freaky for a kid. The beach was totally clear in five minute with people taking cover from the wind and downpour.

Since then I have observed the clouds and always looking to horizon for signs of build up and spent a lot of time staring at cloud formation - a lot of people confusing this as daydreaming.

I have never been storm chasing but wish to some day start and this web site has given me much knowledge and inspiration to understand more the act of nature that has had man wondering since the dawn of time.

I am now in NT and the activity in the skies amaze me everyday and I will be still daydreaming as long as I can see.

Thanks to everyone who contributes to this site and I am sure this will give the world new understanding on the acquired knowledge that is contributed.

Thanks
« Last Edit: 06 February 2007, 08:23:46 AM by Michael Bath »

signal1605

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Re: How did you get interested in weather, storm chasing or meteorology?
« Reply #3 on: 16 February 2007, 10:28:02 AM »
Hi blokes,
I'm also new on the scene - From 1983 I learned to grow out of my extreme fear of thunderstorms, after I experienced first hand, some of what a really vicious large hail storm can do to 3 suburbs of melbournes outer east. Since seeing first hand baseball sized hail pelting against the south east facing glass windows of a primary school room during a hailstorm that devastated Croydon, and parts of Mooroolbark and Mt Evelyn in 1983, and seeing the ice chunks on the ground after the event, it made me realise, I was born to study severe weather.

I may not be "up with the lingo" of the more experienced professional storm chasers, but sever weather captures my imagination.

In my time in learning about storms, I have seen 2 small scale tornadoes live (both of F0 status) , one in Eastern Melbourne (83), and one over the Western skyline from Mooroolbark (which hit Sunbury and Airport West) in 2002.

I'm a bit more of an armchair observer, but my passion is to experience it live more often in the future (including going on one of the tours that some of you have hosted).

Maybe some on here can provide me with information on where to go to be involved in one of these tours both here in Oz and also in the US.

Peter J
(L-plated storm observer/soon-to-be chaser)

Offline Jimmy Deguara

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Re: How did you get interested in weather, storm chasing or meteorology?
« Reply #4 on: 16 February 2007, 10:37:06 AM »
Welcome all and I hope others come out of the closet so to speak to give their version of this intriguiing interest. For more on US trips, please discuss in this forum topic:

May/ June 'Expedition' dates - US Tornado Alley Chasing

Regards,

Jimmy Deguara
« Last Edit: 16 February 2007, 05:34:06 PM by Jimmy Deguara »
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Offline Mike

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Re: How did you get interested in weather, storm chasing or meteorology?
« Reply #5 on: 18 February 2007, 04:58:41 PM »
Howdy 'signal 1605' - (a name would be nice)

You will find a plethora of information from armchair enthusiasts to full-blown professional chasers here!  I'm far from being a professional chaser myself, but with the help and information that was provided using this forum and the absolute patience that all the forum members hand out you'll be educated beyond belief!

I wish i had found this forum years ago because the wealth of information and answers to any question can be found here!  So much so that my 14 year old daughter knows more about thunderstorms that her entire school thanks to the information obtained from me via the forum!  So there you go those who initiated the forum....you've educated not only my daughter but thousands more! 

I guess i'm qualified to say welcome (due to the amount of obscure posts i do!) and yuo've come to the right forum to get information re storms and weather in general!!!

Mike
Darwin, Northern Territory.
StormscapesDarwin.com
Lightning Research 2010/14

Offline enak_12

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Re: How did you get interested in weather, storm chasing or meteorology?
« Reply #6 on: 19 February 2007, 04:53:43 AM »
Well this is my story,

I dont really remember exactly what sparked my interest in the weather but the first storms I can remember are from the age of about 4-5 years old when living in Coramba. I remember one afternoon watching what was probably 3cm hail falling in my backyard and then running out to grab them and eat them with my brother. I also remember walking home well running home from school during a storm with lightning crashing down around me.

I had also always been fascinated by weather documentary's when I was growing up particularly ones about tornadoes but it wasn't until one day when I was fishing with my brother and a friend on the Coffs Harbour jetty about 3 years ago when we watched a couple of water spouts move across the horizon that I really started to get interested in how it all works.

I didn't start to really research it all until my fascination was really sparked off after coming across this very site about 2 years ago. I have also had an interest in photography for a few years and so when I came across the amazing storm photos I found on this site and others I realised that I wanted to get out there and experience and photograph these storms myself. So I started photographing the storms from my home as they came through but I soon realised that I really have to chase the storms to really get the pictures I want which is what I have only just begun to do. Unfortunately at this point in time I only have a L license so I am limited to when my brother agrees to go chasing some storms locally but when I get my license I plan on going further a field and hopefully encountering some great storms.

Its been great to read other peoples stories,
Kane.

striker92

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Re: How did you get interested in weather, storm chasing or meteorology?
« Reply #7 on: 01 March 2007, 02:26:59 PM »
Hi guys
Jimmy this is a great topic.
When i first got really interested in storms was when one day riving home from berry coming around one of the kiama bends we were faced with a gigantic mass of storm looming over the entire sky.
There were CGs that arching through the sky and the boooms of thunder mad my entire body tingle, of to my left on an exposed hillside i saw my first tornado. It was only tiny but the sight of a full grow tree stripped of branches before my eyes will stay with me forever. Surprisingly enough it was the pulsing lightning strikes that caught my eye and from then on i tried but failed at photographing lightning, my father was always the first one to tell us of a Storm coming and i would be out with my old digital camera trying to snap shots of lightning. Then around 3 years later my parents bought a brand new  digital camera. I still don't know how to set it for capturing lightning i just set it to fireworks and stand in awe of what a storm can do. The feeling i get is unlike any other and when a close pulsing bolt strikes no less then 50 meters away (running home from school) its hard not to stand in awe, but the possibility of being the unfortunate path of least resistance is a good incentive not to.
The other experience i have have was when i was swimming at the beach when a long dark finger came around the headland at incredible speed, moments later there was a rush of air from behind me causing waves to flow from the shore to meet the breakers!, then a huge branching strike streaked from the cloud and hit the water, i felt the shock and with all the other swimmers scrambled out of the water and watched in awe as the Storm raged toward us, needless to say we observed from the car.

Offline Mike

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Re: How did you get interested in weather, storm chasing or meteorology?
« Reply #8 on: 01 March 2007, 02:48:13 PM »
Howdy Striker92 (what's your real name?)

Ah yes the sound of thunder that rattles the bones!  I personally like the deep booms of strikes close by that just seem to echo on forever!  The best ones are when your'e inside and the strike is close and the shock waves rattle the windows!! You can't beat it!  Sometimes I wish I could just leave the camera home maybe once when chasing just to stop somewhere and watch the lightning without the worry of missing 'that' shot, but needless to say since i began chasing i just can't leave the camera home anymore!!!!!

I'm sure others may have had the same thoughts!  Sometimes I wonder why on earth one would take so many photographs of lightning just to store on disk - well perhaps the answer might be that EVERY strike or EVERY bit of lightning is a ONE-OF - never to be repeated exactly the same!!!!!  Theyr'e priceless!

Mike.
Darwin, Northern Territory.
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Lightning Research 2010/14

Offline Antonio (stormboy)

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Re: How did you get interested in weather, storm chasing or meteorology?
« Reply #9 on: 05 October 2010, 09:39:05 AM »
Hello my name is Antonio And interest in weather in general began from when i was a little baby mum told me how when i was a baby i would always point at the wind and sat swooosh (lol was 2 or 3 ) and i would always praise the rain .

although until i was 11 or 12 i was soo soo scared of thunderstorms i would make a house out of my blankets and hide  that is until this forum

because of this forum my eyes opened up at how beautiful and spectacular and powerful these things can really be and i slowly started to accept them and get more interested in them and what causes them and why.

until the last 3 years i was just an observer so i decided to be a good boy  and ask mum and dad if they can get me a digital camera for my birthday, mind you it wasn't the best camera but it was better than nothing.

i then used to watch posts particularly from Michael bath And Jimmy, observing how and when they take pictures of thunderstorms and slowly but surely i learnt how to do it!

this made me all that much more interested my friends started calling me stormboy (no haven't watched the movie )

especially in the last 1 year storms are so interesting to me that i actually sit there and wait as it is developing and just observing the sky's dance, the way the cumulonimbus just grew it felt like i was in the clouds and that they were talking to me..

i have never been on a chase yet but in a way they do manage to come to me

so that is my little story i hope you enjoyed my reason but the passion of chasing is still in my heart and will never ever leave.

Antonio
cheers..