Should You Become a Storm Chaser?

Do you have a love for the weather?  Do you consider yourself to be a weather fanatic or a weather enthusiast?  If you regularly find yourself tracking the forecasted weather or if you find yourself outdoors when severe weather strikes, you may want to consider becoming a storm chaser.  Many individuals storm chase as a hobby, as well as for a career.

As nice as it is to hear that you can make a living or enjoy a fun hobby with storm chasing, you may be looking for more information.  For starters, storm chasing is defined as the pursuit of bad, severe weather.  Storm chasers often hop in their vehicles and follow severe weather.  As nice and as exciting as this sounds, storm chasing is a lot different than watching severe weather unfold from the safety and comfort of your own home.

Before deciding that storm chasing is the perfect career opportunity or hobby for you, there are a number of important points that you will want to take into consideration.  Storm chasing often involves a lot of knowledge and research.  Storm chasers rely on their knowledge of the weather, as well as severe weather alerts, and radar images to be in the right place at the right time. When it comes to the weather, do you simply just like to watch it?  Would you mind sitting around examining radar images or listening to weather alerts on the radio?  Although storm chasing can be exciting, it takes research, hard work, and determination to be a successful storm chaser.

Another one of the many points that you will want to take into consideration, when trying to determine if storm chasing is right for you, is your ability to quickly think on your feet.  Are you good at problem solving under pressure?  If you are not, storm chasing may not be for you.  As exciting as storm chasing can be, it is also important to remember the dangers that surround it.  When tracking super cell thunderstorms hoping to find a tornado, you may find yourself trapped.  If you ever found yourself in this type of situation, you will need to not panic, but quickly think of a solution that will get you to safety and fast.

As previously stated, many professional storm chasers rely on technology and research to get them right in the middle of severeweather.  Do you have the capability to do so?  Storm chasing involves more than hoping in a vehicle.  Do you have a television or a computer in your vehicle that you can use to access up-to-date radar images?  Do you have a weather radio that will provide you with constant updates in severe weather?  If not, you may want to refrain from storm chasing until you have these important tools.  These weather devices will not only help to improve your chances of seeing success, but they can also help to keep you safe.

Although it is more than possible to become a solo storm chaser, it is important to know the risks and dangers associated with doing so.  Storm chasers are more likely to be successful when they have a partner or even multiple partners.  Professional storm chasers often have a driver, one team member who monitors the weather radio or satellite images, as well as another team member who acts as a lookout.  In addition to seeing success, having another team member is likely to lessen your risk of injury, as a second or even a third set of eyes is always helpful in severe, unpredictable weather.

As outlined above, there is a lot more to storm chasing than simply hopping in your car and hitting the gas pedal.  Even if you are only interested in becoming a storm chaser for personal hobby reasons, as opposed to becoming a professionalstorm chaser, you will still want to proceed with caution.  Knowing what actions you should take and what situations you can expect to face as a storm chaser is one of the best ways to see success, as well as stay safe.

Preparing for Winter Weather

As winter approaches, are you prepared for the wintry, snowy, and icy mix that may come along with it?  If not, you will want to take action right away.  The best time to prepare for winter weather is before it strikes.

When it comes to preparing for winter weather, many individuals assume that they have nothing to worry about.  Yes, this may be true in some cases, but you never really know. Although winter weather, including wind, snow, and ice, is commonly associated with the north, did you know that the south can also be impacted as well?  Although not as common, there have been instances where southern states have received their fair share of snow and ice.  Unfortunately, since these weather events are fairly uncommon they are unfamiliar and the possibility of danger always lurks.

When preparing for winter weather, you will want to start with your home.  If you live in an area that is prone to cold weather, you will want to take action.  This action should involve ensuring that all gaps are closed in your home.  This may involve having your windows redone or ensuring that all fans and air conditioners are removed.  Also, before turning on your heat, it is important to give everything a quick check.  If you have a furnace, you may want to first have it examined by a professional and all electric baseboard heaters should be cleaned before being turned on.

When winter weather, namely snow, does arrive, it is important that you take your roof into consideration.  In the event of a snowstorm, it is important to ensure that your roof is able to withstand the weight of all the snow.  If not, you will want to safely remove the snow from your roof.  If you do not believe that you can safety do so, you will want to call upon a professional.  In keeping with the outside of your home, you will also want to have rock salt or ice melt on hand at all times.  In the wintertime, especially in the north, you never know when the conditions outside may turn to ice.

As winter approaches, it is also advised that you take a close look at your vehicle.  One of the biggest impacts that winter weather has is on travel.  If you plan to travel during the wintertime and if you live in an area that is prone to snow and ice, you will want to ensure that your vehicle is winter ready.  You will want to ensure that you have the proper tires, as well as an emergency bag.  This emergency bag should include a change of clothes, a sweater or sweatshirt, a pair of gloves, a winter hat, scarf, as well as a few snacks.   A snow brush, as well as a small bag of ice melt and a small snow shovel may also a good idea.

What is nice about winter weather is that many meteorologists are able to predict bad weather.  This means that if a winter storm approaches, you should have an idea of what to expect, at least in terms of snowfall and ice levels.  In the wintertime, it is important that you examine all weather reports, whether you do so online, through your television or the radio.  This is particularly important if you are planning a trip or even just for your drive to and from work.  In the event that the weather is poor enough to close schools, you may also want to take a close look at your travel plans.

Although winter storms have the biggest impact on travel, it is also important to examine the other consequences of severe wind, snow, or ice.  These risks include downed trees and power lines.  Since there is a high probability for power loss in a winter storm, you will want to prepare for it.  Your preparation steps should include having a large selection of flashlights and batteries or candles on hand.  Space heater are also an ideal option, should you lose power.  With that in mind, be sure to familiarize yourself with the risks and dangers associated with improper space heater use before using one.

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