Thursday, April 21, 2011

Katy The StormTracker

Chasing those storms! Katy Here...Good morning, and happy Thursday!! (A DRY Thursday, I might add..) Yesterday was a long day for the Storm Tracker Weather team with storms moving through overnight and Wednesday morning. Steve, Frank and Pat were all hard at work in the weather center bringing everyone up to date with the latest information, while I was out in the Storm Tracker chasing the leading edge of the storms. Some may say that I’m nuts to drive into a storm, but it’s something I’ve been doing for a while now! It all started in college. I was part of the Mizzou Storm Chasing team for a few years. We would forecast severe weather, set up at base camp (our building on campus) and send out chasers to find the severe storms that could possibly produce tornadoes. Not only was it a great learning experience, like a field trip from class, but our main goal was to alert the National Weather Service of any severe weather, so they could get the information out to the public. It was a great experience, and I’m proud to say I’m STILL driving my Corolla that I use to chase in. It has a few small hail dents in it, but still runs like a top! Storm chasers are an important link to reporting severe weather, they serve as our eyes and ears when we can’t be out chasing ourselves. Of course, we don’t want anyone going out and chasing storms… you need to have a trained eye, so you know what you’re looking at. The National Weather Service in Wilmington is great to offer storm spotter training classes throughout the spring. If you are interested in becoming a spotter, check out their website for the next class:

Furthermore, if you are interested in storms (and liked the movie Twister) I invite you to check out the movie Tornado Alley, which is now playing at the Omnimax theater. Find movie times here… It’s a great feature!

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