I'm a private weather industry business leader with over 20 years of applied operations, sales and marketing experience. 

Storm Chasers, The Show

I generally refrain from giving my opinions about storm chaser oriented shows on TV. I watch them but I rarely take the time to bother discussing them here. The one exception prior to now was the TruTV special on the Outlaw Chasers which I genuinely enjoyed. You can find my comments about that show HERE.
As for last night's season opener of Discovery Channel's year two stab at Storm Chasers, I have mixed feelings. I think more than ever they were true to an event. Sure, there was a lot of B-roll footage and the tornado siren track was about to make me mute it a couple of times but they made it through an event with decent documentation of what happens during the process of a chase from forecast to catch. Reed and his group were funny as hell with the hail experiment outfit and related antics and did a fine job of telling their story and breathing life into the show. This is where my accolades end.

The three other groups covered are Dr. Josh Wurman's Center for Severe Weather Research, Sean Casey and his Tornado Intercept Vehicle and two random people they apparently cast to drive around and put other chasers at risk due to their lack of knowledge about severe weather or the somewhat painful task of driving in it.

Wurman's crew was okay in the show. I'm neutral in that I don't understand exactly what he is doing out there for the simple reason that I have never seen published findings from his adventures. I'm sure they are some somewhere and I'm positive they are way beyond anything I would care to read or even understand but regardless, when it's apparent there is donated private funds, grant money and other tax dollars wrapped up in his project and we see a new vehicle and equipment this year, I sit back and wonder what's up. You can go ahead and bump me up toward the top of the black list of storm chasing for even bringing this up.

The TIV crew and Sean Casey are made for TV, simple as that. Sean is going for that ever elusive tornado he can drive through and somehow after like five years of doing it, a couple of those years alongside Wurman's DOW unit, he can't seem to get in one. Everyone else and their mother has, but he, with his apparently heavily funded vehicle, can't seem to get in there and bring home the goods. I understand that made for TV subjects such as the TIV are null and void once they do actually accomplish their mission but I feel the TIV's lack of accomplishment is weighing on the validity and capability of the DOW and Wurmon's group and perhaps their reputation in the eyes of simpleton's such as myself. They should distance themselves from each other in my opinion. Now it's time for a Sean Casey-style group hug...

I already covered the final group of people setting out probes but I'll expand. The girl driving has no business doing so in the extreme situations storm chasing can put a person in. The fact that she had to ask "is that a tornado siren?" and she said "I'm scared" is enough for me to worry; not so much about her safety, but mine as I have to share the road with her!

I'm gonna wrap this up and head out to the garage and start building a probe to deploy in a tornado. If there is one thing that has stood the test of time in the storm chasing hobby, its the deployment of probes. I feel to be a valid chaser these days it's a good idea to have a probe onhand. I will name mine "Uncle Chuck" and paint it hot pink.

Oktoberfest 2008

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