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#1012203 - 14/09/2011 16:37 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: rstewart84]
Dave-Wx Offline
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Registered: 27/08/2001
Posts: 4950
Loc: Heritage Park, Brisbane, QLD
As far as I know (and this seems quite similar to that Hinezy has posted above) this is how it works:

The Bureau (Severe Weather section in particular, whose office is in Brisbane CBD for us QLD'ers) are quite interested in reports from those on the ground. 'Ground truthing' is incredibly valuable to them, as while they can watch the storms on radar, and run hail size algorithms etc etc as much as they like, the details of what they think is happening are confirmed by factual reports from those who have copped the weather itself.

Most of the 'best' reports (that being timely, and factual) from the Bureau's point of view probably don't come from chasers as more often than not, you are trying to keep ahead of the storm, which means you aren't going to observe hail/winds above 90km/h/flash flooding particularly often, and if you do go in after the storm, hail size has diminished somewhat, though tree damage will still be there etc etc.

However it doesn't matter who you are, or how much of a chase guru you think you are...you need to provide evidence that is valuable to the person manning the storm spotters line. Telling them that looking at the storm "its huge and amazing and its got a big wall cloud", or "its just shooting out a big outflow rush right now" isn't going to be of much use to them (and they are probably going to know this anyway from looking at the radar).

So ultimately qualifications don't come into it, and is also why some of the armchair experts out there post Jan 10 had no idea when they suggested that people like AC and myself should've rung up the Bureau with our thoughts on that fateful afternoon - all we would've done was would've repeated what was on their computer screens already!

Finally, I *think* the number for the spotters line is relatively freely available (but I haven't gone looking for it on the storm spotters page linked above) but not 100% sure. I have the NSW and QLD numbers in my phone, which is probably a good idea for those of us who live anywhere between Lismore and Brisbane.

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#1012214 - 14/09/2011 17:19 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: Dave-Wx]
Anthony Cornelius Offline
Meteorologist

Registered: 22/05/2001
Posts: 5162
Loc: Brisbane
I think the main issue I was originally bringing up was to ensure that the reports to the Bureau that everyone submits (as well intentioned as they are), are 100% accurate. Unless you're completely confident of estimating the various parameters, it's better to report damage over an observation from an estimate.

Ultimately the Bureau are now in a position where they will potentially be concerned of another person who can say "Hey, I saw and reported this, but nothing was done" which could cause a media stir. So right now, they may be more likely to listen to reports coming through. The thing is, the Bureau needs to ensure the reports that come in are completely accurate and reliable otherwise those reports simply will get dismissed or "downgraded" in the future.

Remember - when you report, you will potentially be reporting something that is going to change a warning. That has sooooo many implications. The warnings that occurred last Friday cost some companies tens of thousands of dollars in the various procedures they had to take, yet it was all for nothing. What we don't want to happen is for warnings to become so frequent (with not much happening) that people become complacent and decide not to act.

In the past, ASWA has run training for people interested though there was a slump in the number of those interested so it was discontinued. Perhaps the state reps may reconsider this as an option in the future? I know for some of our clients we need to run a visual course every now and again and this may be of interest perhaps?

AC


Edited by Anthony Cornelius (14/09/2011 17:23)
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#1012220 - 14/09/2011 17:45 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: Anthony Cornelius]
MC Thomas Offline
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Registered: 06/12/2004
Posts: 1119
Loc: Melbourne
Hello Anthony,

Could you please expand on the following - "That has sooooo many implications. The warnings that occurred last Friday cost some companies tens of thousands of dollars in the various procedures they had to take."

How does a company lose money as a result of a severe storm warning? I am assuming that any outdoor work would have been postponed anyway due to the rain (last Friday). I am genuinely interested, obviously I am missing something.

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#1012272 - 15/09/2011 00:08 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: rstewart84]
!SCHUMMY! Offline
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Registered: 22/04/2008
Posts: 2915
Loc: Jimboomba, SEQ
thanks for the PM cam, i appreciate it! smile

yeah i believe it is a start to making some better relationships between chasers and the BoM, i think once they start getting constant accurate info from the experienced chasers with accurate reports....then these relationships can only grow!

shama, you bring up an interesting point regarding ASWA too! maybe not this year but next year as the season comes to an end the state reps can hold these training sessions for members (or non-members) interested. i for one would attend every session and im sure a few others would too! and then maybe someone higher up in the ASWA committee (bryan or greg) could contact the bureau and explain to them that there has been some training sessions being held and maybe then ASWA (and who ever attends these sessions) can become more recognised with the BoM? something to think about anyway smile

yeah i agree with you there dave how us chasers try and stay ahead of the storm, well most of us anyway, i like a bit of both smile but i am pretty sure every chaser (experienced or un-experienced) gets caught out at least once with a supercell or severe storm. i dont think it would be too hard to show evidence since most of us who chase have some sort of camera with us to document the event.

one question, are you able to send in photos/video footage to the bureau after a severe storm outbreak for post analysis?

one thing i would suggest most people do is when you take a photo, add the radar image to the photo too, so you can compare what it looks like in real life to the radar, i find that very useful and started doing it myself a few weeks ago (thanks to andy!) im sure it would help the bureau if post analysis was necessary?

dont think i have much else to say yet....**thinks**
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#1012303 - 15/09/2011 09:50 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: !SCHUMMY!]
Anthony Cornelius Offline
Meteorologist

Registered: 22/05/2001
Posts: 5162
Loc: Brisbane
I did an interview on 4BC this morning about storm spotters and their important role in the community. Sadly, the person before me (Paul some one, may have been Paul Bell) from the Emerald City Council and the president of the Local Government Association was very negative about storm spotters. He referred them to the likes of "Dad's Army" which is really quite sad - but shows the way people may view "amateurs" compared to say a professional organisation. Accurate information from storm spotters play a vital role in the issuing of warnings and verification of reports - in fact, had it not been for many reports from storm spotters over the years, many storms would still have been unwarned for. It wasn't that long ago (late 90s) that many severe storms happened without warning but with all of the additional reports it has allowed for better verification.

AC

PS - MC Thomas, I'll PM you
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#1012344 - 15/09/2011 13:59 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: !SCHUMMY!]
V0R73X Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 05/04/2006
Posts: 1902
Loc: Logan City, QLD
Certainly an interesting discussion and a warranted thread. Good job Marty for firing this up for debate/discussion etc.

Originally Posted By: Harry Spotter
On the topic of chaser's eyewitness reports to the BoM (which probably deserves it's own thread as I couldn't find one when searched) I'm a big fan of the National Weather Service (NWS) in the USA. They allow brief unfiltered and unregulated eyewitness reports which relate to a particular event. While these reports may be unreliable, the web page states this fact clearly, so the general public knows where the information is coming from.


Marty, I 100% agree. I am also a fan of the Skywarn program that exists in the USA and this particular program does function quite well in terms of information relay for warnings to the NWS. As some may already know, Skywarn is dedicated to severe weather spotting and advanced warning techniques across the USA. Skywarn consists of a network of severe storm spotters (same as Australia) that observe weather conditions and make relevant reports of severe weather to their local NWS offices to assist with realtime information. The differences between Skywarn to the Australian Storm Spotter Network is the fact that Skywarn spotters are regularly trained by personnel from the local NWS offices whereas in Australia, once you are registered into the system as a storm spotter you are simply issued with handbook and have no 'formal' training offered by the Bureau itself.

Perhaps some sort of spotter training seminars could be developed or looked into further for our own Storm Spotter Network. This could be the solution to a few questions raised about who the Bureau deems as a 'trained' spotter or an 'experienced' spotter - with a national accreditation from the Bureau entity itself. The other factor to consider is that the Bureau does not authorize the taking of risks to your safety when performing any of your spotting tasks. Activities such a 'chasing storms' is strongly condoned by the Bureau of Meteorology which leads to a grey area of reporting observations in your location relevant to physically chasing thunderstorms. Usually your observations are not taken seriously if you profess you are indeed actually chasing the storm rather than reporting the information at one given location. This measure could potentially help improve that relationship once again.

Originally Posted By: JEFF.H.
Since when should anyone have to be experienced anyway or have a Met. Degree like some to report the reality of what you are experiencing ?


Very good point you raise Jeff. There is no formal qualification that you have to obtain to be considered a 'storm chaser'. As mentioned, there is also no set criteria for any community member to be considered under that label and do not need to be a qualified Meteorologist to engage in storm chasing activities. However, I do believe that if the spotter possesses that qualification of a Meteorologist then the information relayed to the Bureau should be considered as 'high-priority' due to the reality of the formal qualification and accreditation that the person possesses. If someone with a wealth of experience and knowledge who was a qualified Met contacted the Bureau with 'high-priority information' then it should not be taken lightly in my opinion. This is where the Bureau has to step up and trust the integrity of the information from the spotter. Again if formal training can be provided by the Bureau for people that wish to provide observations, this could assist in the trust of accurate information being relayed to the Bureau in severe weather events and hence, more serious action taken. In a nutshell, the Bureau would be training the Spotters themselves anyway.

Originally Posted By: JEFF.H.
There are only 10 or so SERIOUS chasers in SEQld maybe the BOM should get to know them by name and have a chat with some of them.

So now I just warn Family, Friends, and use Social Media:)


Social Media is the new revolution of how information can be relayed to members of the public - quicker. When the Bureau releases a Severe Thunderstorm Warning to the general public over a stipulated area, essentially the Bureau expects the media to broadcast that information to as many people as possible so the community is aware of the severe nature of what inclement weather is approaching. Nowadays with the revolution of social media, the information spreads quicker and also to a broader audience. I would say there would be more people in the area using social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace that what would be listening to a radio station at the time. I do feel though that radio stations and television enterprises should also review their current procedures for relaying that information in the form of scrolling again. Were there better measures a few years ago because I remember as a child always seeing warnings scrolled across the bottom of programmes??

What I personally find is that the community wants the information to come to them and not to have to physically go to the Bureau website itself and find the warnings. The Early Warning Network (EWN) is an essential tool that requires state government funding to also have the information arrive directly to you - faster. I can also assure that the Bureau has been taking measures to liase with various chaser groups in the southeast to assist with information relay. So more-or-less, the wheels are certainly in motion for developing better relationships between the spotter and the bureau itself.

Originally Posted By: core puncher
The guys chase of the squall and there reporting goes to show that no matter how little our voices are they are sometimes heard.

After the poo that has been hitting the fans regarding warning systems and so forth its about time us chasers words have a little wind behind them.

But when the situations are ripe for a run of severe weather other then relying on the before mentioned forecast methods and the real time radar displays, the best information the BOM can rely on is whats actually going on below them radar reflections.

I will be taking along a mobile weather station on most my chases this year, and if possible run the current obs online as i go (i'll have to figure something around the wind reading etc as they wont be accuarate with car motions and so forth)..


Good points Core Puncher. The setup was quite interesting on September 9th (Jeff has mentioned the logisitics of the setup) and perhaps this event was a prime example of how on-the-ground or live observations are essential to warning assistance and reporting measures. In the instance of that particular chase, I believe that what the Bureau was observing on the radar in Brisbane (over 200kms away) certainly was not consistant with what was happening at the time. One possibility is the trajectory of the doppler radar beam itself was clearing the tops of the activity that was occuring in the lower-levels of the atmosphere (i.e) the low-level jet ripping into the front at approx. 45kts resulting in overturning and vertical forcing etc.

When our first point of contact was made with the Bureau, it was responded that the radar did not clearly illustrate any such observations that we were reporting at the time of contact. It took three calls and two chasers to finally convince the Bureau of what was actually occuring (which can be backed up with the footage shot on that morning). At times we subjected to aquaplaning on the wet roads due to the volume of water from the intense rainrates (which I consider posses a threat to the community for Heavy Rainfall alone). Sure enough though as the line encroached towards the coast and the doppler could then recognise the activity at a shorter distance the intense rainfall was evident. Some people might consider (on radar) that this simply was an intensification of the squall when infact it was the same intensity just moving closer to the doppler and the reflectivity of the beam - only then could those intense rainrates could be verified visually on radar. Too late for people to the west of the ranges though.

I think what also contributed to this situation was the fact the Warrego radar died on the morning so it was a catch '22' type situation - (i.e) relying on spotter information.

Originally Posted By: Hinezy
The fact is there are such sparse observation stations located throughout the district (especially up around the downs and westwards) so the BOM have no way to verify some of these obs other than eyes on the ground. As mentioned earlier, there is also a bit of a radar black hole west of the range and the doppler really struggles to pick up intensity of some things west of a line from about Warwick north to Crows Nest... and essentially these are the storms that often go on to affect the coastal plain.

I just got off the phone about 5 minutes ago to the Severe Weather section of the BOM in Brisbane, asking them if they have any problem with chasers and/or spotters phoning in information from the field. They have no problem with this and advised me to give out the direct number of the Severe Wx desk to anyone who are serious chasers and/or registered spotters.


Touching on the portable weather station situation, we are finding this is yet another essential tool to have onboard and is fantastic for assessing pre-environment conditions for storm development and obviously realtime observations. Some people might laugh at us for doing so, however you can never have enough realtime information at your disposal. Sure, you can look at observations from the dediciated 24/7 AWS locations, however that does not give you an accurate reading of the conditions at your location where you are at time. If you drew a traingle shape from AWS stations such as Ipswich to Beaudesert to Warwick there is a grey area of approx. 3100kms sq. that has no observations as such and is even worse on the Southern Downs region as Cam mentioned. Consider how frequently severe weather moves in from the directions of west and south-west into that grey area of where no observations are being recorded.

If I also remember correctly, this particular area is also 'hotspot' in the southeast for thunderstorm development during the Spring and into the months of Summer. Most weather stations now-a-days on the market have the ability to provide live data feeds to websites and datasets for post analysis and verification albeit for the chaser or the Bureau in extreme circumstances. Also we have embraced livestreaming measures which is essential for the Bureau to get a 'live' look at what is happening from the RFC in Brisbane. This will allow the Bureau forecasters to visually identify how the storm appears live, then essentially make the coralation to what is being reflected via radar and AWS stations.

Originally Posted By: rstewart84
Would be nice if the BOM can create an agreement between them and storm chasers much like their cousin's National Weather Service in the USA have between storm chasers over there


That would be nice rstewart84 but I don't see that happening in the near future. Like mentioned the Bureau does not approve of such activies of 'chasing storms' and I would say that is due to liabilites etc. I consider Australia very much behind the eightball in terms of technology and also network coverage which would also be a contributing factor. I think that alot of this is partly to do with the perception of; Thunderstorms occuring in the USA are alot more broadscaled and violent in nature than what is experenced in Australia (which is obviously true!).

Whilst Australia does produce supercellular thunderstorms and Tornados, it does not come close to some 800 produced annually in the US. Personally I consider Australia to be second to the US in terms of severe thunderstorms globally however statistically I am unable to prove that fact. Alot of the media using terms of "mini-cyclone" and "mini-tornado" is also consistent with the uneducation of severe weather systems in Australia.

Perhaps as mentioned too, ASWA could be accredited formally with conducting training seminars for storm spotters and kind of sub-contract that training initative to the Bureau itself? I am not familiar with how ASWA operates though. Clearly it has been proven in the past time-and-time again that there is an urgency for new measures to be put into place with the relay and reliability of information being reported and relationships between the two parties. Like mentioned, it is great to see the wheels finally in motion to help recitify these issues etc. Effectively we all have the same reasons and intentions for reporting and having the community warned sooner which could effectively save damage to properties, livestock, businesses and homes (and even lives!). I am very passionate about this due to damaging consequences with my own families property in the past. This is certainly not to say that every thunderstorm should be called in however with a little common sense and knowledge the right decisions can be made.

Finally, I think it has been great to see various different chasing groups working in each another to maximise the information potential and discussion of observations between one another during the time. Hopefully in the future chasers continue to work in with and share experiences with each other also. Great thread and some really good ideas and discussion's going on in here!
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#1012347 - 15/09/2011 14:15 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: V0R73X]
V0R73X Offline
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Registered: 05/04/2006
Posts: 1902
Loc: Logan City, QLD
Oops! Re: Cam's Quote: The BSCH webcams are also an essential tool to assist with live visualisations of different regions. Ben and Mike have done nothing short of a terrific job in opening the door to the visual aspects of the webcams and their capabilities. This Summer I would expect these to really florish and come into their own and could really assist the Bureau with the visual aspect of thunderstorms too.
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#1012372 - 15/09/2011 16:39 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: V0R73X]
rstewart84 Offline
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Registered: 17/01/2007
Posts: 2076
Loc: Kalangadoo,South Australia
Like V0R73X i am also a big fan of the Skywarn Network over in the USA as their spotters also can contact the NWS via radio or phone and the National Weather Service provides continuous weather forecasting over a dedicated radio frequency much like the BOM does with marine forecasting on HF

Now if the BOM can organise something similar or the same along the lines of a dedicated UHF radio channel so chasers can contact them via radio with observations

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#1012377 - 15/09/2011 17:08 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: V0R73X]
Markus Offline
Weatherzone Moderator

Registered: 02/12/2010
Posts: 2108
Loc: Clare, SA
Originally Posted By: V0R73X
Whilst Australia does produce supercellular thunderstorms and Tornados, it does not come close to some 800 produced annually in the US. Personally I consider Australia to be second to the US in terms of severe thunderstorms globally however statistically I am unable to prove that fact. Alot of the media using terms of "mini-cyclone" and "mini-tornado" is also consistent with the uneducation of severe weather systems in Australia.



Turns out the southern areas of Africa, e.g. Argentine, Brazil can have very severe outbreaks of large and violent tornadoes and through some areas they are relatively common. Also hailstones up to baseballs have been recorded. Through the winter and through spring they are most common due to huge amounts of heat and moisture pouring in from the Amazon in low level jets and colliding with powerful fronts from the south. I think a dryline as such is common there and the plains are quite high above sea level.
But Australia as such does contain the only other 'organised' storm chasing other than the US although efforts are being made in Europe i belive in such places as Poland due to the occasional supercells and tornadoes.

Totally agree with the statement about the media, they are pretty much useless here. However as far as BoM warnings go they are quite descent in this state although at times they can be late or early but they cant be spot on every time and realistically the biggest threat here is fires and they broadcast them like mad on TV shows and radio which is excellent.

Im sure one day storm chasers and the BoM will see eye to eye but i doubt there will ever be a relationship where they trust most of the reports, its just all these stupid laws these days that prevent them trusting people for fear of being sued. Fix that and it might be a go but i can't see that happening.
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#1012385 - 15/09/2011 18:10 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: Anthony Cornelius]
Dawgggg Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 25/03/2007
Posts: 23545
Loc: Townsville
Originally Posted By: Anthony Cornelius
(Paul some one, may have been Paul Bell) from the Emerald City Council and the president of the Local Government Association was very negative about storm spotters.


Dont worry anthony, us boys will be storm chasing through his region this season, if we see a severe storm we wont report it just for him. Hope his house gets blown away smile

Guys Argentina i think has alot of supercell activity and tornado activity if i remember right !


Edited by Trav Dog (15/09/2011 18:10)
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#1012389 - 15/09/2011 18:20 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: Dawgggg]
Big_Pete Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 19/12/2004
Posts: 1955
Loc: Perth
Going a bit off topic here I gues, but me thinks Britain gets a lot of tornadoes as well, also large hail outbreaks in the summer when the cooler dry air comes in from the Atlantic and collides with the hot moist air present over Britain. More here.
http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/reports/wxfacts/Hailstorms-in-Britain.htm

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#1012395 - 15/09/2011 18:45 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: Big_Pete]
Dawgggg Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 25/03/2007
Posts: 23545
Loc: Townsville
Are you sure Britain gets lots of tornados?? i really never thought of the place being a big producer of tornados. The Poms are always whinging on the USA forums that they never get anything haha.
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#1012396 - 15/09/2011 18:45 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: V0R73X]
Tejay Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 09/08/2009
Posts: 584
Loc: SE QLD
Originally Posted By: V0R73X
The other factor to consider is that the Bureau does not authorize the taking of risks to your safety when performing any of your spotting tasks. Activities such a 'chasing storms' is strongly condoned by the Bureau of Meteorology.


I guess this is basically the problem and the difference between education programs in the US and the lack of in Australia.

This is a typical Australian Nanny State policy.

Like many other people, I will be out chasing storms this year regardless of what the BOM says I can and can not do.

Why not just give the public and storm chases the best education possible and let everyone make their own decisions.

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#1012398 - 15/09/2011 18:52 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: Dawgggg]
Big_Pete Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 19/12/2004
Posts: 1955
Loc: Perth
Originally Posted By: Trav Dog
Are you sure Britain gets lots of tornados?? i really never thought of the place being a big producer of tornados. The Poms are always whinging on the USA forums that they never get anything haha.


Here's your answer: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment...ear-731802.html
Quote:

Britain turns into a tornado hotspot with 100 twisters a year

By Charles Arthur, Technology Editor

Friday, 11 June 2004


Tornadoes are five times more likely to hit Britain than the United States, research has revealed. A geographer who describes himself as a "fair-weather scientist" has discovered that Britain is in fact a tornado hotspot - receiving more of them per unit area than the US or Europe.

Tornadoes are five times more likely to hit Britain than the United States, research has revealed. A geographer who describes himself as a "fair-weather scientist" has discovered that Britain is in fact a tornado hotspot - receiving more of them per unit area than the US or Europe.

At least 100 tornadoes strike Britain each year, more than three times as many as had been thought, according to calculations carried out by Dr Joseph Holden, working with Amy Wright at the geography department of the University of Leeds. The research was published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. Most tornadoes are not reported because they remain unseen - but calculations by the scientists showed that the correct weather conditions to create a tornado occur frequently in the UK. A tornado is defined as a fast-moving rotating column of air, usually with a funnel-shaped cloud that extends to the ground. In the UK, the definition requires the funnel cloud to reach the land.

Between 20 and 30 tornadoes are sighted in the United Kingdom each year. But by modelling the pattern of winds and rain needed to create one, Dr Holden said that there were many more which occurred but went unnoticed, because they are mild compared with the "twisters" in the US. Instead they may take place without any witnesses.

"In the US they can be half a mile wide and have winds of up to 300mph at the outside," said Dr Holden. "But in the UK the largest would probably be a few tens of metres wide, with winds of up to 120mph. In the US they use Doppler radar systems to detect them, which we don't have at all in the UK."

Yet British tornadoes sometimes cause significant damage: in January 1998 one hit the town of Selsey in West Sussex and caused 10m of damage; the same town was hit in October 2000, when two people were injured and more than 500,000 of damage caused.

The risk could also be rising because of global warming, which climatologists believe will make Britain stormier. Dr Holden said that while the risk might increase, the size of British tornadoes would probably stay the same: the UK generally has smaller tornadoes than the US because "we don't have the vast wide tracts of open land needed to build up the really big ones".

Although trained as a hydrologist, Dr Holden was inspired to research the subject after seeing a tornado while he was walking in the north Pennines. "You look at these things and are awed by the sheer ferocity of nature," he said. He and Ms Wright studied details of past tornadoes and the exact weather conditions at the time, and then created a model that could predict if a tornado would occur given a set of recorded weather conditions.

When tested against reports of tornadoes, the model was correct 86 per cent of the time.

Running the model using weather-station data for the period 1995 to 1999 suggested that the UK had sustained 630 tornadoes, rather than the 122 reported. Dr Holden said: "We can now get information on where tornadoes are likely to be really occurring."

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#1012416 - 15/09/2011 21:35 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: Big_Pete]
Noname Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 28/01/2011
Posts: 2104
Great read everyone. It also good to see your opinion based on how the BoM react from our Storm Spotters reports. I only had recently submitted two reports last season. They both have been accepted. So, i'm not sure what was the main issue.

What I believe that is, media bashing is our major concern. I have a safe bet to resolve this issue, storm chasers, stay away from the media. Report it to BoM first and then speak to the media.

For uni, I am doing a professional placement subject with Green Cross Australia. I have done tasks on Cyclone resilience about the pre1980 homes' issues. Now i'm doing a task of stormchasers. This mean that I am working on parts that how stormchasers (like myself) to consult to the community of the specific storm event.

So don't worry, I am helping you guys!
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#1012429 - 16/09/2011 00:13 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: Noname]
Dave-Wx Offline
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Registered: 27/08/2001
Posts: 4950
Loc: Heritage Park, Brisbane, QLD
Fellas I'm confident that privately, the Bureau don't care if you're chasing or not...but as a government organisation they shouldn't be seen promoting it can they. Anthony and I have rung in many reports over the years (all while chasing I think), and its not like they ask 'have you been chasing?' before you pass on the information!

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#1012436 - 16/09/2011 07:08 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: Dave-Wx]
Michael Bath Offline
Weatherzone Moderator

Registered: 20/06/2001
Posts: 2447
Loc: McLeans Ridges, Northern River...
Regarding spotter training courses, the NSW BoM have done them for at least 20 years (I met Jimmy Deguara at one way back in mid 1993!)

They've got one on in Sydney on 28th Sep and another in Canberra on 29th Sep. The NSW BoM also issues an annual newsletter to spotters this time of year - I get mine via PDF.

But for most of us on here you will not learn much if anything about storms that you don't already know. The course really is aimed at the general public who have an interest in weather and need to report things correctly as a spotter.

The courses are a good way to meet some of the BoM guys though, which can only help the relationship between chasers and BoM. And yes staff don't care if we chase - they just like to get the severe weather reports.

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#1012437 - 16/09/2011 07:25 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: Anthony Cornelius]
V0R73X Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 05/04/2006
Posts: 1902
Loc: Logan City, QLD
Originally Posted By: Dave-Wx
Anthony and I have rung in many reports over the years (all while chasing I think), and its not like they ask 'have you been chasing?' before you pass on the information!


I think you missed the point I was making Dave. It's fairly common knowledge that the Bureau entity itself condemns chasing, however I have personally found that if you state you are chasing a storm from 'here' to 'here' and it's doing 'this', often you are not given the respect on the phone for possibly two reasons. 1) Going against the advice of the Bureau in terms of chasing (i.e) putting yourself at unnecessary risk and 2) Storm chaser's and chasing being perceived as reckless and a thrillseeking excercise (which in most cases, is not the case). This is then amplified by media misconception on chasing.

Originally Posted By: MathewTownsend
What I believe that is, media bashing is our major concern. I have a safe bet to resolve this issue, storm chasers, stay away from the media. Report it to BoM first and then speak to the media.

So don't worry, I am helping you guys!


Matt, staying away from the media will not remedy how the media portray storm chasing. The media like the 'hype' things up usually and exaggerate, and I have found in my own expereiences that sometimes this can be damaging to the repution of the chase community. I think the media consistantly misunderstand the intentsions of chasers and the role they play in the community due to lack of education. This is also evident in AC's post regarding his 4BC interview where the President of the local government association was very negative about storm spotting and throwing around labels of 'amatuer'. Correct me if I am wrong, but since when does a fully trained Meteorologist and Spotter be an amatuer? Clearly, this bloke had a skewed perception on chasing and also blatant disregard for understanding the measures storm spotters take assist with warnings the community.
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#1012445 - 16/09/2011 09:20 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: V0R73X]
core puncher Offline
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Registered: 04/10/2008
Posts: 1051
Loc: Old bar NSW east of taree
Aside from the getting on par with the BOM as being recognised as enthusiests and not adrenalin junkies, perhaps alongside the ASWA perhaps a subsidy group could be formed persay the Australian Storm Chasing Association were this side of the weather life can be banded together as one, provide sufficient training on the saftey aspects, general weather-leading to severe, pc tech in aiding chasing and reporting methods to both the BOM-Media and general public.. I know there would be a lot of redtape issues more so to the warning side of things, but if we are able to slap some colour into all of these grey areas then all of us and those that both support and do not support what we do will gain a better understanding of what we do and why and acceptance should then follow..

there is a massive difference between Sean casey and the twister sisters, Sean does it for A his big butted camera -but- also does it for the love and respect of the weather and also coincides with one of the biggest networks of mets and tech ever seen, soley they out of all chase groups have the biggest goals behind themselves and Sean gets a awesome coverage from all sorts of media as they know why he is there and why they are doing what they do,. The twister sisters are on the same par doing it for the love of storms and show it as chasing is in such laid back terms..Though Sean does it safely in a tank where as the TS's do it in humble every day drivers which puts them at a more dangerous posistion.

Then we have Reed Timmer, also does it for the love if it.. -BUT- he is in the adrenalin junky cowboy genre, out of all of them they all get great footage which contribute massively into the studies of tornados and extreme weather. Yes he does it also in a tank, but he is really in it for the media plugs. He is the type that draws negative comments from the general populas with his gun-ho attitude. At times he has no respect for other road users, more proffesional mets-chasers or even his own team and himself. Dont worry im not ear-type bashing Reed -personally i think he is great- just showing a generalisation between whats seen as right and wrong in the eyes of the rose sniffers.

The media over the past 10 years has gone down the pooper from the days when real and acurate timed news mattered to now its all about ratings..But if we can perhaps get the media on board the public would soon follow. If we could organise chase days taking reporters-media along with us, of course not to vortex proportions but where say 5-10 car loads get out on primed days, grid ourselves out and start doing studies from all directions.
Show them what we actually do, they can then report on it back to the general pop (more the rubber neckers-closet slammers) they'll then see they hey, it looks like fun, educational ohh and safe.. We may then become a needed source of information.

Without us Helping the BOM, the BOM wont be able to help them in accurately timing events that just may well save there lives.

Other then some of the BOM's red tape issues, our main problem faced is the Media.
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#1012468 - 16/09/2011 11:50 Re: The BoM & storm chasers [Re: core puncher]
core puncher Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 04/10/2008
Posts: 1051
Loc: Old bar NSW east of taree
The following story from the flood inquiry shows the progress is happening.. well the following paragraph is fitting,

"It says it is embracing many of the recommendations of the inquiry, including to establish a network of storm spotters to bolster the bureau's information sources."

rest of the story, Flood Inquiry Response

Its a system thats been in place for such a long time, it just needs to be tweaked into a more openly operative one.
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