2nd April 2014
Last night was my Advanced Storm Spotter Training. It was brilliant because this actually happened during a tornado watch and we were able to look at live data. They’d warned they might have to cancel because of the bad weather and the resources they’d need dealing with monitoring that but it happened just outside their area so training went ahead (although it amused me greatly to think my training on bad weather actually cancelled by bad weather).
The training was pretty intense but really good. It was like a crash course in degree level meteorology, and whilst we skipped over the detail of a lot of things, I really came away feeling like I finally really understand tornadogenesis. More over, whilst I don’t think I could forecast, I can now read T-graphs and have an understanding of things like dewpoint, CAPE, cap and how they can impact the creation of tornadoes.
We also did a lot on actual chasing. El Reno is an example that’s used a lot because it broke the mold as to expected behaviours for tornadoes and killed 4 chasers, three of them considered the most experienced and safety conscious in the community. We went through a lot of the lessons of that day.
Usually, I come away from these safety talks feeling like people are being over cautious. Here, I felt they were just being sensible. When the advice for getting caught in a tornado in your car is “buckle you seatbelt and hope for the best” rather than get in an underpass (no, no as wind speeds actually pick up due to being funnelled) or dive in a ditch (flash flooding means a real risk of drowning) you start to wonder what you are getting yourself into.
My chase team was also out today, getting their equipment ready. Video is still playing up but they were out with the dominators and from their voideo feed it seems like the entire crew is really dialled in this year.
I didn’t get to bed until 3am so, as a result, I’m really tired today. More risk of storms today, and I’m already looking at the T-graphs and trying to decipher what others are seeing.
Epic Journal – 2nd April 2014
2nd April 2014