Do you love weather? Perhaps you find yourself pouring over weather maps and models every morning. Maybe even jumping in your car with a camera and heading to the nearest report of a severe storm with hail or tornadoes. This weekend the National Storm Chaser Convention will return to Denver for its 19th year and features everything from a severe weather forecasting class, a lineup of knowledgeable and famous guest speakers, storm chaser vehicles, t-shirt and photo contests and a chance for storm chasers to meet up and kick back with old friends.
Roger Hill (a well known and respected storm chaser and photographer) kicks off the ceremonies every year. He and longtime friend and storm chaser Tim Samaras started this event with a few friends 19 years ago by meeting up and showing off their severe weather videos and trading chasing stories and eating pizza. The event has grown through the years and is now attended by everyone from storm chasers, well respected broadcast meteorologists to aspiring meteorology students.
Every year the National Storm Chaser Convention hosts a ton of speakers who specialize in everything from radar meteorology, forecasting, emergency management to engineering. It is truly a joy for those who enjoy everything related to weather!
Storm chaser spend a lot of time and money on their vehicles, at the end of the day it's what keeps us out of harms way and what we spend most of our time in during a chase. Each vehicle is fitted with all sorts of gadgets, everything from flashing lights to radar equipment, scientific equipment for collecting weather data and even broadcasting for TV. There's a wide variety of vehicles, each tailored to their specific purpose in the field.
Storm Spotter Training
On Sunday starting at 1PM, folks from the National Weather Service office in Boulder will be on hand to train and certify new and returning storm spotters. A storm spotter is not necessarily a storm chaser in that you don't go out and chase bad weather. A storm spotter is someone who calls in and reports to the National Weather Service office when they see severe weather from their homes or workplaces.
This information is invaluable because it helps the NWS see things on the ground. Radars are great at detecting hail and rotation in clouds, even estimating flooding conditions, but they are not always correct. This is where the storm spotter comes in, by verifying conditions on the ground, the NWS can issue appropriate warnings based on real, visual information.
If anyone has any interest in attending this let me know and I can get you information!
In addition, if you'd like to see or hear more about this convention, I have a ton more stories and pictures to share. If that has any interest I'll be more than happy to do a few more posts on the subject!