Tornado Chasers: A Tragedy Waiting to Happen
June 4, 2013
“…If anything, the events of Friday evening demonstrate storm chasers need to back off. For too long, too many chasers – both professional and amateur – have been crossing the line…” – excerpt of a post from Washington Post meteorologist Jason Samenow. Story below. Tweet above from a chronology from Digital Meteorologist, which has more on Friday evening’s tornado tragedy.
The Wrong Message
At least 9 people were killed in Friday evening’s Oklahoma City EF-3 tornado, including 3 professional tornado researchers. Unlike amateur chasers out searching for a cheap thrill Tim Samaras was pushing the envelope as a scientist. Previous projects included planting “turtles” in the path of tornadoes to get video, wind and pressure information.
On Friday one of the local OKC TV weathermen encouraged viewers to get into their cars and try to drive away. The result? Gridlock. Massive traffic jams. Tim, his son and a third tornado intercept professional were caught in a deadly logjam of cars, unable to escape to safety as the tornado took a sudden 45-degree turn.
Word to the wise: if you’re already home and a Tornado Warning is issued stay home! Otherwise you’re just a sitting duck.
A tragic story.