Deaths of the Storm Chasers

With all the recent violent tornadoes out there, I can’t help but stop to think about the men and women risking their lives to chase these storms. One almost can’t help but think about it now, especially after the three Discovery Channel chasers were killed. People like Tim Samaras have improved warning times by an average of 10 minutes in just the last five years.
These chasers do this, knowing the danger, knowing what could happen to them, but they do it anyway. They educate others on tornado safety, they study these monster storms. They dedicate their professional careers, and in the case of these three brave men, give their lives, so others can survive violent tornadoes.
If it weren’t for men like Tim, or Reed Timmer, or Sean Casey, or the vehicles and instruments they have spent so much time and money developing, all for the sake of studying these storms, to learn all they can about them, we would not have the warning time we have now.
Just this past Thursday, my county was under a tornado warning, there was a center of rotation bearing right down on my area. A storm like this when I first moved to this area, we would have had, maybe, 10 minutes warning time. But, with the new data these scientists have been able to gather by storm chasing, by putting their instruments into these storms, we had well over 30 minutes notice to be ready if we needed to move and take shelter.
Can you imagine how many lives these people have saved? How many people were able to take shelter in Moore, OK, because of their research?
In an average tornado year, this state has 12 tornado deaths a year. Because of the longer warning times, we have not had a tornado death in almost 24 months!
This year, the scientists at the National Weather Service were talking about violent tornadoes being possible in the area of Oklahoma City for days in advance, and people had, literally, days to possibly get out of the area if they took heed. Could you imagine if we had the same warning times for a tornado that we have for a hurricane? That is what these scientists are trying to do.
Knowing that, while Big J is on the road, he can have ample warning now to get out of harms way, makes it easier to not worry as much with him on the road. Knowing that Little J and I wil have more than ample warning time to get out of harm’s way if a storm hits here makes it easier for Big J to not worry as much, also.
We owe these scientists a debt of gratitude, a thanks, and, in many cases, those of us who live anywhere near tornado alley, our lives. So, if you see Reed or Sean in your area in their massive tornado studying tanks, take cover and, then, when it is safe, thank them for their work in studying these storms, for putting themselves in the paths of these storms, for risking their lives, but, mostly, for making it a little safer to live i this area.

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