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View Full Version : Tornado Chasing - safety, ethics and a proposal for regulation



Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-04, 05:57 PM
I don't know how many of you have ever gone storm chasing or storm spotting, but I was curious what y'all thought about the activity as a sport/hobby and as a research tool. I've had the opportunity to go on a chase and missed it (it became a documentary, but they didn't see a tornado). My original goal for "when I grow up" was to be a meteorologist and storm chaser. I got away from it but started thinking about it again recently. Last week I went out and got a photo and video of a gustnado, but it started me thinking more about safety.

The following day, Tim Samaras, his son and a colleage were killed, and Time Bettes and his crew were injured in a tornado. Some people are now talking about the traffic problems of storm chasing and tornado evacuation. I've been wondering about evacuation as a tornado survival strategy ever since I heard a meteorologist tell people that they "need to be underground in order to survive" during the May 3rd, 1999 EF5 hit in Moore, and realizing that ground water concerns prevent many people from having basement shelters. I've been thinking about the traffic problems for a few years since an episode of "Stormchasers" (The Discovery Channel), where several researchers were caught in a traffic jam on a narrow country road. IIRC, there was some fallout because Sean Casey's Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV) made some ill advised maneuvers to pass some of the traffic, which resulted in him losing the backing of Josh Wurman, one of the project leader of the VORTEX2 project and loss of the data sharing between Casey's crew and the Doppler-On-Wheels that was part of Wurman's team.

While Casey may share blame in his maneuver in context, I think that the larger problem is the large numbers of private tornado tourists who are merely casual spectators and who create a hazard. This is to differentiate them from those storm chasers and storm spotters who are trained, equipped and sometimes paid to provide data useful for warning people of the current storm or producing better storm predictions. I think if we can create and maintain a legally enforceable and visual distinction between those storm chasers who do important work vs. those who are merely spectators, that it might help prevent a repeat of the tragedies of last week. Furthermore, creating an workable local, neighborhood-based evacuation paradigm might also reduce the number of storm refugees clogging the roads during such an eventThis is a copy of a draft public proposal I sent to a couple meteorologists for input.

---begin

Draft 1

My proposal is that states and/or the federal government could license certain people as Official Storm Chasers, compared to private or commercial Tornado Tourists. Official Storm Chasers would be a form of Emergency Response Service and consist of participants who have received special training and who would be certificated by the National Weather Service for science/academic/public-safety missions and also by the Federal Communications Commission for media storm reporters. They would have special traffic privileges such as right-of-way and access to and through damage sites. They would also have special requirements, such as training in first aid, disaster response, storm chasing ethics, appropriate radio and data communications systems (mission dependent), traffic control and special storm-related defensive driving techniques.

Official Storm Chaser Vehicles might be required to have certain safety equipment and protection upgrades (mission dependent), such as: helmets, full safety harnesses, roll-cage reinforcement, safer windows, transponder/tracking radios, black box recorders, etc., as well as higher-level weather data service subscriptions and perhaps participation in a mesonet data sharing system (real-time or post-event submission). These vehicles would need to be identified by NWS-issued operator ID and vehicle number and with graphic decals showing their mission and affiliation with the NWS, an accredited university, accredited scientific research institute/group, or a licensed media group, and they would need to have special flashing lights and perhaps a special siren-call, and a loudspeaker for issuing verbal alerts and traffic control commands when necessary.

There could be a few different storm chase vehicle class ratings with different requirements. There could be a heavy class of Armored Storm Interceptors, such as Sean Casey's TIV (Tornado Intercept Vehicle series) and might include Reed Timmer's Dominator series (despite the lack of ground anchors), which are designed to survive a high-wind encounter (tornado, microburst or hurricane) intact and remain fully-operable (also including hail and lightning protection, but not high water). There could be a medium class of Tornado Close Approach vehicles, including Probe Deployment Vehicles, which are reinforced to protect occupants during an unintentional intercept and to protect against wind-blown debris and roll-overs, hail and lightning, but is not expected to remain operable after the encounter. Finally, there could be a light class of Meso-zone Storm Chase vehicles that must keep further distant and are not required to have structural reinforcement, except as needed to support instrumentation packages. The different tiers are designed to help reduce costs and hassle of up-armoring vehicles for teams who don't need it, and to dissuade people who don't have such safety upgrades from getting into dangerous situations they can't handle.

Maybe there would also be a second certificated tier of non-official storm spotters who don't need to satisfy most of the requirements, duties and training above (and don't get those privileges either), but who may be expected to be present on the road during storms, such as SKYWARN storms spotters and private commercial media (commercial or non-commercial) who don't desire to get especially close to tornadoes and who may generally remain stationary instead of mobile. Their privileges would be road access to spotting locations if roads are blocked by law enforcement, as well as having immunity from certain Storm Emergency-related traffic violations (not including reckless driving violations). This tier would allow non-professionals to participate in storm chasing/watching as a hobby or as a volunteer spotter by requiring only a small investment in time and money with minimal training at local, annual seminars to maintain safety, while distinguishing these non-professionals from casual onlookers who may be the source of traffic hazards during dangerous storms.

There may also be a third type of certification (by states if they want) for Commercial Tornado Tourism, to allow regular people who want to pay to ride along a non-scientific/non-academic/non-media chase vehicle operated by someone who is properly trained and prepared. The vehicles might have the same tiers and ratings available and the same access to storms, but no special privileges or required duties.

---continued in next post

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-04, 05:58 PM
---continued from previous post

In order to support this licensing and certification scheme and to increase public safety by reducing traffic congestion during dangerous storms, law enforcement would be empowered to issue citations by mail to errant motorists (private tornado tourists and gawkers) for regular and weather emergency-specific traffic violations using dashcam footage during declared Weather Emergencies (in order to avoid creating a more dangerous situation by stopping to cite them). I suggest this because I've seen video of long lines of storm chasers and tornado tourists slowing down traffic, blocking the road, or stopped alongside it and creating a traffic hazard, which can also prevent Official Storm Chasers and storms spotters from getting into position or following a storm, and prevent law enforcement and other emergency responders from getting to damage sites or other casualties. Additionally, dashcam video used for evidence would need to have GPS data-stamps as well as time-and-date-stamp and an operator ID data-stamp to verify where and when someone violated traffic laws in relation to the location of the storm and Weather Emergency geographical area at the time. Dashcam evidence might be limited to law enforcement vehicles, or may allow video evidence from Official Storm Chasers if they satisfy the video data-stamps requirements above.

Weather Emergency-related traffic citations may be extensions of existing laws that take effect during a declared Weather Emergency or they might be new laws. For example, it could be a violation to stop on the shoulder of a road near a tornado or severe storm, to intentionally or unintentionally obstruct traffic (such as for photography or due to getting stuck in mud on dirt roads trapped by debris or rendered inoperable by the storm because they were too close), or to be present on roads that have been declared closed due to the Weather Emergency (local residents excluded). New laws might include intentionally intercepting a tornado if not licensed to do so or not using a tornado intercept-rated vehicle or not having special insurance on oneself or the vehicle. The burden of proof would still fall on the state. (I limit myself here to traffic violations and vehicle ordinances and am not advocating for or against any civil or criminal law such as negligence or endangerment of children for attempting to evacuate them, etc.)

The goal of this proposal is two-fold. First, the threat of legal penalties (such as fines or loss of license and driving privileges) should deter casual chasers who can be the cause of problems for Official Storm Chasers and other Emergency Responders. Second, creating a traffic paradigm for storm chasing may help establish and maintain protocols for potential storm evacuation plans in the future. With advancing science, if meteorologists can predict dangerous storms further in advance and offer more specific storm tracks with high confidence, then evacuation planning may be plausible.

An alternate proposal, which reduces the reliance on state or federal government, might be the creation of a non-governmental organization in close partnership with the NWS and FCC that is empowered to train storm chasers in the requisite knowledge and can also certify and rate equipment and vehicles used for tornado intercepts, tornado close approaches and tornado probe deployments as well as any other vehicle intended to enter danger zones of other weather phenomena. An example of a similar organization and relationship might be the United States Ultralight Association with the Federal Aviation Administration and the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) with regards to ultralight aircraft (that meet FAR 103 specifications) for which an operator does not require a FAA issued pilot certificate. This alternate proposal may allow some ambiguity to remain in the activity of storm chasing between researchers, official spotters and casual tornado tourists, and it may not obtain the same level of official sanction and interaction. However, a reduction in traffic hazards during dangerous storms might still be achieved if law enforcement can identify NGO-certified storm chasers by means of vehicle identification markings, and focus on traffic violations and hazards created by less cognizant and less well-trained drivers.

When I hear a meteorologist warning residents in Moore, OK that they need to be underground in order to survive, and knowing that most homes don't have an underground shelter due to the soil-type, it seems like evacuation may be the better choice in a Tornado Emergency. However, people need a place to which they can evacuate and safely take refuge. As a second proposal, in order to reduce evacuation travel distance, I'd suggest a system of neighborhood shelters that can be constructed large enough to hold a large fraction of the community (while taking advantage of an economy of scale to reduce costs) instead of requiring home owners to foot the bill for the construction of a home shelter, which may have its own maintenance issues of water and pest infiltration and debris trapping them inside. The Neighborhood Shelter System could have multiple purposes, such as part of a recreation center or school or clinic. Alternately, commercial buildings may be subsidized to include a suitable EF-5-rated neighborhood shelter within their structure in order to satisfy a geographical distribution requirement.

This proposal is intended to prepare and acclimatize the general population to the increasing threat of severe weather due to more frequent weather hazards, and the threat created by the expanding footprint of construction and increasing population of casual weather observers. Moreover, if climate change leads to more severe weather events that contain more numerous damage events with a higher magnitude of destruction, then we must be ready with appropriate planning, response and mitigation strategies. If published as a proposed law, it may encourage weather observers to police themselves and avoid a repeat of the dangerous situations of the past. If made into law it may result in both avoiding a repeat of dangerous situations of the past as well as enhance the abilities of weather researchers and emergency response capabilities, while establishing a future option of safe evacuation if and when the advancement of weather prediction allows for it.

---end

There not a lot of detail there yet. There's probably some things to add in specific lists with regards to specific missions when it comes to safety equipment. I also realized from other recent videos that flooding is something that should be looked at from the standpoint of both a road hazard and as a specific mission profile (when high water is expected), and firestorm chasing should also be added. I'll add these to a second draft and then maybe send it out to the wider network of storm chasers, government offices and legislators.

Thoughts? Please share any comments, concerns, criticisms or suggestions for changes or inclusion of specific things I didn't mention. Thanks.

NEOWatcher
2013-Jun-04, 06:30 PM
Last week I went out and got a photo and video of a gustnado
Interesting. I've heard of dust devils and fire devils, but I never heard that word before.


There not a lot of detail there yet...
Maybe not as a proposal, but it's enough for me.

The only part I could possibly comment on is people who would defend themselves by saying they didn't know an emergency was declared. Until it hits, the warnings are verbal (sirens, announcements, etc), so there's no visual signs that the emergency exists.*

In my mind, that's the most important part because that's when the emergency services need the most participation. In the aftermath, they at least know where to be and what to do, even if it is chaos.

*prompting an anecdote...
I was at home one day watching cable. There was a real bad storm outside and didn't think much of it until I started seeing leaves being plastered against my windows.
I switched channels, only because my show was over, and heard "we have reports that a tornado touched down in <my neighborhood> north of <the street I'm north of>".
Yep; It actually hopped over my house. Destroyed some trees and stuff to the west of me, and several houses to the east of me.
So; that's how I could understand that someone might not know of the emergency.

Buttercup
2013-Jun-04, 06:47 PM
Interesting. I've heard of dust devils...

Speak of the devil. :)

A huge dust devil hit our home about 40 minutes ago. Whipping wind of probably 25 mph. Lasted about 10 seconds. Front door flew open; a small tree near my window was savagely shaken.

NEOWatcher
2013-Jun-04, 06:51 PM
...a small tree near my window was savagely shaken.
I hope a quick hug and a softly spoken "it's ok now" calmed it down quickly.

Buttercup
2013-Jun-04, 06:59 PM
The tree is okay.

As for the chasers killed:


@SeverePlains 28m
Hearing Tim, Carl & Paul had a successful probe deployment on the El Reno tornado is amazing. Not afraid to admit I teared up on that.

Some good out of tremendous loss.

Trebuchet
2013-Jun-04, 07:02 PM
We're about to leave and I haven't taken the time to read and understand the two long posts, but at a glance I didn't see anything about the influence of commercial entities such as The Weather Channel and Discovery Communications. They appear to be actively encouraging risky behavior by the "professional" chasers and, by broadcasting the shows, encouraging the yahoos.

SeanF
2013-Jun-04, 07:07 PM
I think if we can create and maintain a legally enforceable and visual distinction between those storm chasers who do important work vs. those who are merely spectators, that it might help prevent a repeat of the tragedies of last week.
In what way did the lack of such a distinction contribute to the tragedies of last week?

NEOWatcher
2013-Jun-04, 07:22 PM
In what way did the lack of such a distinction contribute to the tragedies of last week?
Nothing; Dangerous occupations even with the best of training falls prey occasionally.

The idea here is that this situation shows how easily it can happen even to the trained. So; even if the trained get into situations, then we certainly need to have some controls on the untrained.

Buttercup
2013-Jun-04, 07:40 PM
But how do you stop "just anyone" from going chasing?

If they're in the vicinity, have a camera and a car...

NEOWatcher
2013-Jun-04, 07:59 PM
But how do you stop "just anyone" from going chasing?
If they're in the vicinity, have a camera and a car...
Unfortunately, it would have to be like enforcing some other laws and be after the fact. That's why I brought up the point that I made. It's going to be tough to enforce or prove.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-04, 08:38 PM
Interesting. I've heard of dust devils and fire devils, but I never heard that word before. A lot of people have been saying that online elsewhere, but I've heard about them for over 15 years. The basic difference is that a gustnado forms at the front of the storm near the gust front (near a shelf cloud), is not part of a larger and taller circulation and is associated with downdraft wind movement. A gustnado tends to be visible only near ground level because it's a low level circulation and does not pull down condensation from above to form a funnel-cloud. A tornado tends to occur at the rear of a storm (or at the curling edges of a Mesoscale Convective Complex AKA a Derecho), is an extention of a taller and broader circulation and associated wall cloud (mesocyclone) and is associated with updraft wind movement.

The storm I photographed last week, if it was a gustnado, looked to be several hundred feet tall. Although there was a fire in the same area, so it's possible it was just smoke, or perhaps smoke simply made it visible. However, someone else captured it on video several miles later and it looked the same. Several years ago, I drove through the edge of circulation of one I think. There wasn't a severe storm occurring at the time, and I don't think it was even raining, but it was cloudy like it could storm and a large circulation a hundred meters wide was sucking in dirt from a quarter mile away. It slammed my car sideways and nearly pushed me off the road.


Maybe not as a proposal, but it's enough for me.

The only part I could possibly comment on is people who would defend themselves by saying they didn't know an emergency was declared. Until it hits, the warnings are verbal (sirens, announcements, etc), so there's no visual signs that the emergency exists.*

In my mind, that's the most important part because that's when the emergency services need the most participation. In the aftermath, they at least know where to be and what to do, even if it is chaos.

*prompting an anecdote...
I was at home one day watching cable. There was a real bad storm outside and didn't think much of it until I started seeing leaves being plastered against my windows.
I switched channels, only because my show was over, and heard "we have reports that a tornado touched down in <my neighborhood> north of <the street I'm north of>".
Yep; It actually hopped over my house. Destroyed some trees and stuff to the west of me, and several houses to the east of me.
So; that's how I could understand that someone might not know of the emergency.

That's why they tell people to be "weather aware" and to use a NOAA Weather Radio with an alert feature and battery backup, and to subscribe to SMS (cell phone texting) weather alert services, such as from The Weather Channel or your local broadcast media, or to just turn on the TV to TWC or local media. Many people mistakenly think that sirens are intended to warn them, but those are only meant to warn people who are outside and away from their TV and some municipalities (Milwaukee, WI, IIRC) are getting rid of them since they expect most people to use SMS weather alerts systems. If you have cable TV, your provider may have a system for sending an alert directly to your Set-Top Box, that interrupts your programming.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-04, 08:42 PM
We're about to leave and I haven't taken the time to read and understand the two long posts, but at a glance I didn't see anything about the influence of commercial entities such as The Weather Channel and Discovery Communications. They appear to be actively encouraging risky behavior by the "professional" chasers and, by broadcasting the shows, encouraging the yahoos.

That's a good point. Part of my proposal includes media companies and requires for them a special license from the FCC as well as the NWS to allow them to be Official Storm Chasers. Part of that licensing for media may include in storm chasing ethics, a requirement for them to add disclaimers and increase educational content regarding safety and applicable traffic laws.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-04, 08:59 PM
In what way did the lack of such a distinction contribute to the tragedies of last week?

I'm not sure. A lot of this has been on my mind since before last week. From what I heard earlier, Samaras and his team were caught in a traffic jam. If there had not been a traffic jam, perhaps he would have been able to evade the tornado. I'm not sure if there was any reinforcing applied to their vehicle, but perhaps something could have been added to make it more survivable.

Thus, I think the idea of rating vehicles and requiring certain missions to use vehicles rated for that mission (such as deploying probes ahead of a tornado, as was the mission of Tim Samaras), has the potential to save the lives of storm chasers caught by a storm. I was thinking that a Close Approach Vehicle would require reinforcement in case of roll and high-wind debris impacts, such as an aftermarket roll-cage and full, 5-point harnesses, shatter resistant wide windows, and the wearing of hard hats or, preferably, helmets with full face shields. A roll cage might be incorporated into the vehicle frame by strengthening the body, or it might be assembled inside of the cab as a separate structure (similar to NASCAR, even though they use a shell instead of an actual production unibody, IIRC) while allowing the vehicle unibody to deform and absorb energy. Or maybe some other design concept would work better, which is why I'm asking for suggestions. I'm also not sure what to do about side-window glass, since a shatter-resistant polycarbonate window or film-sandwiched glass might actually trap people inside when a shattered window might allow them to escape the vehicle after a roll.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-04, 09:11 PM
But how do you stop "just anyone" from going chasing?

If they're in the vicinity, have a camera and a car...

First, you make a distinction between official chasers and spotters and non-official chasers and spotters. This might be enough for onlookers to yield. Second, you empower the Official Storm Chasers with a distinction akin to that provided to police cars, fire trucks and ambulances with commensurate privileges but with commensurate training and requirements to fulfill certain related duties. Third, you deter mere onlookers and casual tornado tourists from creating traffic hazards by empowering law enforcement to issue citations that can result in fines and revocation of driving privileges. (If that is not sufficient to reduce the traffic hazards created by non-official tornado chasers, then legislators might resort to criminalization as a deterrent.) Fourth, you reduce the amount of traffic caused by people attempting to evacuate, but creating evacuation plans with local storm shelters in order to reduce the distance traveled and keeping these motorists off the main roads in large numbers, so to avoid aggravating the situation.

Good questions, everybody. Keep 'em coming.

galacsi
2013-Jun-04, 10:15 PM
When I hear a meteorologist warning residents in Moore, OK that they need to be underground in order to survive, and knowing that most homes don't have an underground shelter due to the soil-type, it seems like evacuation may be the better choice in a Tornado Emergency. However, people need a place to which they can evacuate and safely take refuge. As a second proposal, in order to reduce evacuation travel distance, I'd suggest a system of neighborhood shelters that can be constructed large enough to hold a large fraction of the community (while taking advantage of an economy of scale to reduce costs) instead of requiring home owners to foot the bill for the construction of a home shelter, which may have its own maintenance issues of water and pest infiltration and debris trapping them inside. The Neighborhood Shelter System could have multiple purposes, such as part of a recreation center or school or clinic. Alternately, commercial buildings may be subsidized to include a suitable EF-5-rated neighborhood shelter within their structure in order to satisfy a geographical distribution requirement.

Thoughts? Please share any comments, concerns, criticisms or suggestions for changes or inclusion of specific things I didn't mention. Thanks.

I do not want to be rude but I feel compelled to make the following remark : And if you stop building houses made ​​of cardboard and matches? If you build houses of cement, concrete, bricks, do not you think it would limit much material and human damage? At least in known as tornado-prone areas?
Because I have seeen in Martinique (French west indies) all well build structures private or public have well resisted a violent cyclone.

neilzero
2013-Jun-04, 11:22 PM
Long ago on Okinawa, the USA constructed buildings secure to 180 mile per hour wind. Somewhat faster is likely practical with better design and some what higher cost.
I really don't want more taxes nor more government in our face, so we should proceed cautiously. Local clubs are possibly practical which could help the Yahoos understand what is ethical, and how to reduce the probability of becoming part of the problem instead of part of the solution. Comparatively few people should be licensed to drive over the speed limit, run traffic lights and traffic signs and otherwise break the law the way the police and emergency vehicles sometimes do. Neil

KaiYeves
2013-Jun-05, 01:22 AM
I didn't realize until today that Samaras had been one of the people featured in the April 2004 National Geographic article on the subject (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0404/feature1/) that came in one of the first issues I received after getting my subscription. I read it several times, and I still remember parts of it now, but I'm bad with names, so I didn't realize it was the same man. RIP.

Jerry
2013-Jun-05, 01:25 AM
Carl Young was a family friend. He started chasing in 2000, in an old Honda Civic. In those days before 4g, he would call and I would try to direct him to the nearest supercell; and at night the closest cheap motel. He was self-financed, and on a shoestring budget. It was fun and rewarding as the science evolved, and funding eventually developed. Every year, they seemed to catch up to more tornadoes.

They were scientists, meterologists who loved what they did and did what they loved. They took too many risks. We miss him.

They have been joined by ranks of amatures, and today, a carnival-like enviroment prevails on the Summer tornado circuit.

It is likely that a good NASCAR style vehicle, including roll bars, helmets and five point harnesses could have saved these lives. I don't know how you stop recreational chasers without passing the kinds of laws proposed; and I think they make sense. They would have to be national laws; (although if only Oklahoma passed and enforced them, most of the needless chasing would end).

We know there is more energy in the systems we are seeing today than you were likely to see 20-50 years ago; the warmer gulf temperatures being the main culprit.

While laws to protect foolish chasers from themselves would be good, realistic building codes and safe shelters in high probability areas would be even better.

beskeptical
2013-Jun-05, 01:25 AM
Ethics? Regulation? Really? The widest tornado ever recorded takes out 4 storm chasers (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/06/04/deadly-el-reno-okla-tornado-was-widest-ever-measured-on-earth-had-nearly-300-mph-winds/) seems to me like one of those unfortunate things that catches people off guard in a situation like this. Why would this trigger new regulations beyond a requirement storm chaser companies provide honest facts to their customers?


The tornado that killed 18 people, including 4 storm chasers, west of Oklahoma City Friday was wider than any tornado ever observed or surveyed according to the National Weather Service and leading tornado researcher, Howard Bluestein (http://som.ou.edu/profiles.php?facID=25). The massive El Reno, Okla. twister reached an unthinkable maximum width of 2.6 miles.

Jerry
2013-Jun-05, 01:34 AM
Looking at the footage, it is easy to see how they were caught - There was a pair of tornadoes masking a very large cell winding behind them. It was clear the chasers making the video understood the danger; but it appeared to me that they were unable to communicate that danger to others closer to the heart of the storm. This is where the chaos - introduced by sight-seers and amatures - increase the risk factors for professionals; including emergency responders.

Police actually have the power to order any parties from the road at a time of public danger. So new laws may not be necessary - just a general understanding that people with no business in a storm may be arrested for ignoring a police evacuation order.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-05, 02:08 AM
I do not want to be rude but I feel compelled to make the following remark : And if you stop building houses made ​​of cardboard and matches? If you build houses of cement, concrete, bricks, do not you think it would limit much material and human damage? At least in known as tornado-prone areas?
Because I have seeen in Martinique (French west indies) all well build structures private or public have well resisted a violent cyclone.I assume that by "violent cyclone" you refer to a hurricane AKA tropical storm or cyclone? I've heard of some hurricanes producing tornadoes, but they are generally not strong vortices, as compared to those created by super-cell thunderstorms or mid-latitude cyclones.

Yes, you're absolutely correct that homes could be built safer, and it's a good question. The reasons people build stick homes are due to economic considerations and probability. I'll explain it more below.

First, the comparison of tornadoes with hurricanes is problematic. On the scale of human structures, Hurricanes create winds slowly increase from weak to strong in one direction over a long period of time, and only shift slowly or after the passage of a calm eye. Moreover, the strong winds tend to top out at lower speeds, with the category 5 starting at around 157 mph on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Tornadoes, however, generally have wind speeds that increase dramatically within the the distance of few meters and change rapidly and have associated updrafts that can lift debris in a manner different from a hurricane. The winds inside an EF-5 tornado can be almost double that of a hurricane (with the new record holder being the storm in El Reno, OK last week at 296 mph*).

Second, the expense of constructing many homes to survive an expected tornado strike would be out of proportion to the probability of being hit due to the limited extent of a tornado footprint. A Caribbean island has a large chance of being subjected to strong winds from a tropical storm or hurricane many times over the life of the structure. A structure in Tornado Alley has a low chance of being hit by even the weakest type of tornado over the course of its lifetime. A hurricane may have a width of hundreds of miles, but a tornado path generally has a width measured in tens to hundreds or yards/meters, while only a few rare storms have paths wider than a mile. The El Reno tornado from last week is the new record holder for that metric as well, being measured at 2.6 miles at it's widest extent.

Third, building houses out of concrete might be troublesome due to the carbon footprint of cement, but it would tend to be preferable. However, that wouldn't necessarily prevent the windows and doors from being blown in unless those were extremely well reinforced or protected with very strong storm shutters that can be closed within minutes. Homes can be built with brick, but studies have shown (and even a cursory glance at damaged homes will show) that a brick veneer provides little protection against a strong tornado if used as a siding material (which is the common manner of its use in the US in current construction). Brick might be better because it won't fly as far when it falls apart to damage other structures, but it also means you could be buried by it. Perhaps a wall built with multiple thickness of brick would be stronger, but even thick brick walls have been known to be damaged by tornadoes (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/severeweather/tornadosafety.html). There are newer designs, such as monolithic domes, which are gaining acceptance, but the layout of such a structure is unconventional and requires much forethought and adaptation.

Thus, due to the costs and based on the actuarial probability of destruction by a strong storm, it may be cost prohibitive to build tornado-resistant structures. The current paradigm seems to prefer building inexpensively and then rebuild if the structure is damaged or destroyed. Meanwhile, there are already many existing structures and replacing them with tornado-resistant structures would also be prohibitively expensive. Underground home shelters are plausible and affordable in certain parts of Tornado Alley, but it is problematic and expensive to build tornado resistant structures in the recently hit areas of Oklahoma due to problems related to high ground-water, clay soil, and flash flooding on flat land.

It is for these reasons that my second proposal is to avoid the cost of retrofitting lots of existing structures and to build new, larger structures able to house many people. Construction costs would benefit from an economy of scale, due to the increased size of the shelter. The increased size would allow it to serve multiple roles when not being used to shelter from storms, thus reducing the project costs by sharing it with other programs. Nothing in this program would prohibit or prevent homeowners from constructing their own shelters if they so choose.

I hope that helps explain the scope of the problem. Construction techniques are definitely important and if storms become more common and more severe, we may well see a shift towards stronger home design.

*Edit: I thought it was the new record but the May 3, 1999 tornado in Moore, OK is still the fastest, but I thought there was an issue due to the radar only seeing that speed at altitude, but apparently the El Reno storm was also estimated by radar. Official wind speeds need to be measured by anemometer, IIRC.

danscope
2013-Jun-05, 02:18 AM
It seems to me that you don't chase tornadoes with the family sedan. Maybe an extra 3/4 inch lexan plate over the windshield would serve you well when that hail starts impacting. There must be a way.
And just an aside, can't the builders install a 1000 gallon concrete tank in the ground with an access ladder ? $1200 for that shelter should be worth your life in the face of that magnitude of destruction. I think I would .
The lost chasers will be missed.
Dan

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-05, 02:18 AM
Long ago on Okinawa, the USA constructed buildings secure to 180 mile per hour wind. Somewhat faster is likely practical with better design and some what higher cost.
I really don't want more taxes nor more government in our face, so we should proceed cautiously. Local clubs are possibly practical which could help the Yahoos understand what is ethical, and how to reduce the probability of becoming part of the problem instead of part of the solution. Comparatively few people should be licensed to drive over the speed limit, run traffic lights and traffic signs and otherwise break the law the way the police and emergency vehicles sometimes do. Neil

I agree. I think the limitations I propose would limit the number of such storm chaser vehicles to a few dozen.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-05, 02:26 AM
Carl Young was a family friend. He started chasing in 2000, in an old Honda Civic. In those days before 4g, he would call and I would try to direct him to the nearest supercell; and at night the closest cheap motel. He was self-financed, and on a shoestring budget. It was fun and rewarding as the science evolved, and funding eventually developed. Every year, they seemed to catch up to more tornadoes.

They were scientists, meterologists who loved what they did and did what they loved. They took too many risks. We miss him.

They have been joined by ranks of amatures, and today, a carnival-like enviroment prevails on the Summer tornado circuit.

It is likely that a good NASCAR style vehicle, including roll bars, helmets and five point harnesses could have saved these lives. I don't know how you stop recreational chasers without passing the kinds of laws proposed; and I think they make sense. They would have to be national laws; (although if only Oklahoma passed and enforced them, most of the needless chasing would end).

We know there is more energy in the systems we are seeing today than you were likely to see 20-50 years ago; the warmer gulf temperatures being the main culprit.

While laws to protect foolish chasers from themselves would be good, realistic building codes and safe shelters in high probability areas would be even better.

I'm sorry for your loss. I hope nothing I wrote comes across as inconsiderate here.

It's my goal to balance law and order and safety with personal freedom and cost. I don't have much in the way of first hand or even second hand knowledge of what the needs of storm chaser who are researchers. Most of what I know is from reading articles and books and watching documentaries, and NWS spotter training and a meteorology course I took in college 20 years ago (almost majored in it). I'd appreciate any input from the storm chaser community. Feel free to share these ideas with others who you think would be interested.

Jerry
2013-Jun-05, 03:54 AM
I'm sorry for your loss. I hope nothing I wrote comes across as inconsiderate here.
Absolutely not, and thank you.


It's my goal to balance law and order and safety with personal freedom and cost. I don't have much in the way of first hand or even second hand knowledge of what the needs of storm chaser who are researchers. Most of what I know is from reading articles and books and watching documentaries, and NWS spotter training and a meteorology course I took in college 20 years ago (almost majored in it). I'd appreciate any input from the storm chaser community. Feel free to share these ideas with others who you think would be interested.
As I said, I think they took unreasonable and unnecessary risks. (But then I think that of any men with families who engage in high-risk activities.) And we all have people who care about us.

It is becoming painfully clear that the more powerful atmosphere (anthrosphere?) is yielding more powerful storms. A global warming prediction is that currently populated regions of the earth will become uninhabitable - drought, deathly heat indexis, coastal flooding; but who would have thought central Oklahoma could end up the first victim community of global warming? For now, we can continue to assume the last three weeks are off-the-scale excursions. But what if they are not? Are these the first victims of global climate change?

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-05, 04:45 AM
Ethics? Regulation? Really? The widest tornado ever recorded takes out 4 storm chasers (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/06/04/deadly-el-reno-okla-tornado-was-widest-ever-measured-on-earth-had-nearly-300-mph-winds/) seems to me like one of those unfortunate things that catches people off guard in a situation like this. Why would this trigger new regulations beyond a requirement storm chaser companies provide honest facts to their customers?

Storm chaser companies and customers? Are you referring to Mike Bettes and the crew from The Weather Channel whose SUV was rolled or do you mean other media related missions like Sean Casey's IMAX documentary or The Discovery Channel that filmed researchers for a reality series, or do you mean a commercial company that happens to offer tornado tours? While TWC is a commercial operation, I still consider real-time media as certifiable storm chasers since they often perform a crucial role of relaying alerts about the ground track of dangerous storms. The non-real-time media operations could qualify if their data is useful, or even serves as an educational tool, as long as they follow the applicable rules and ethics and perform the required duties. Of the four mentioned in the article, 3 were part of the well known research team, TWISTEX (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TWISTEX), and the other 1 is listed as an amateur.

As for ethics, I've heard mention in some recent articles about "storm chasing ethics". My understanding is that it refers, in part, to storm chasers acquiring training in first aid and disaster response and then using that knowledge to aid disaster victims when they arrive on a scene of devastation to find people in need of aid. Such activities would include, rendering first aid, calling in reports for ambulance/fire, calling in damage reports for law enforcement traffic control, helping rescue people from damaged structures, and helping to clear debris from roadways. Other aspects I seem to recall involve giving weather alerts and instructions to motorists and pedestrians regarding inbound weather, reporting storms, and courteous driving.

NEOWatcher
2013-Jun-05, 12:42 PM
The basic difference is that a gustnado...
I looked it up after you said it... but I'm sure others appreciate the description.


That's why they tell people to be "weather aware"...
In our area thats very lax (that's no excuse), but even with severe weather, the incidents are very isolated particularly where I live because of the terrain.
Although; take a 20 minute drive from my house and the picture is much different.

novaderrik
2013-Jun-06, 11:16 AM
started reading the first extremely long post... then scrolled down and saw that not only was it an extremely long post, but it was followed by yet another extremely long post..
skipped all the responses and went straight to the "quick reply" box..


people should be allowed to do risky things if they want as long as they are prepared to deal with and accept the consequences of those risky things... we don't need more feel good nanny state laws and regulations to try to prevent everyone from every possible scenario. i've watched my share of tornadoes in my 38 years on this planet- and i'll hopefully get to watch more. i'll probably never actively chase one because that just strikes me as something that's pretty damn stupid, but i'm not going to tell others that they can't do it if they want and i don't think that it's the government's job to tell them not to do it, either.

Trebuchet
2013-Jun-06, 04:47 PM
Here's a really good post by Greg Laden on the subject:

http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/06/03/how-three-storm-chasers-died-and-what-to-do-about-it/

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-06, 04:50 PM
started reading the first extremely long post... then scrolled down and saw that not only was it an extremely long post, but it was followed by yet another extremely long post..
skipped all the responses and went straight to the "quick reply" box..


people should be allowed to do risky things if they want as long as they are prepared to deal with and accept the consequences of those risky things... we don't need more feel good nanny state laws and regulations to try to prevent everyone from every possible scenario. i've watched my share of tornadoes in my 38 years on this planet- and i'll hopefully get to watch more. i'll probably never actively chase one because that just strikes me as something that's pretty damn stupid, but i'm not going to tell others that they can't do it if they want and i don't think that it's the government's job to tell them not to do it, either.

My indepth proposal is indepth.

So, you didn't read it? Did you already understand from your own experience how the poor storm chasing ethics and activities of non-conscientious chasers can not only violate already existing laws but can create hazards that can result in fatalities, as well as reduce the effectiveness of chasers who are interested in tracking tornadoes for public safety reasons? And you're cool with allowing that hazardous situation to continue to occur and claim lives?

neilzero
2013-Jun-06, 05:15 PM
Hi Novaderrick: I sort of agree, but storm chasers who drive toward the tornado endanger persons who are trying to evacuate and official vehicles that are rendering aid and gathering data that is likely to be useful. If the yahoo types can't or won't learn to provide useful service, they should be jailed during tornado warnings and tornado alerts. Yes give them the benefit of the doubt, but let's try to educate them about the needs of others.
Also keep in mind that people who do stupid things, can easily cost us tax payers a million dollars each in health care for their damaged bodies over the next 60 or 80 years. If society is going to guarantee heath care for all, we have a right to restrain your dangerous (but useless) activities. So it seems to me. Neil

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-06, 06:07 PM
Here's a really good post by Greg Laden on the subject:

http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/06/03/how-three-storm-chasers-died-and-what-to-do-about-it/

Thanks. He has some good ideas that are similar to mine. I was thinking about contacting him.

Jerry
2013-Jun-07, 05:31 AM
Tornado chasing is mostly about thrill seeking - even amoung the professionals. What the tornado alley states are facing is not unlike raftable rivers, thermal pools and skyscraper climbers/gliders. The professionals (and to a lesser degree, the amateurs) provide useful public warnings; Pro's like Tim and Carl have developed tornado predicting and path monitering science. We also have good evidence that general public safety is compromised by the large numbers of chasers creating a circus-like environment in the midwest. It will lead to laws and regulations, and the rules may as well come down now, rather than waiting for the tee shirt and consession stands to show up.

Ivan Viehoff
2013-Jun-07, 12:43 PM
Thus, due to the costs and based on the actuarial probability of destruction by a strong storm, it may be cost prohibitive to build tornado-resistant structures. The current paradigm seems to prefer building inexpensively and then rebuild if the structure is damaged or destroyed.
That seems quite correct to me. It seems to be far more economic to build inexpensively, provide safety of life arrangements such as "safe rooms", and buy insurance for reconstruction, such is the low risk and randomness of actually being hit by a tornado. Even in Oklahoma City and surrounding area, only a small proportion of buildings have been seriously damaged by the various strong tornadoes that have hit the place over the last few decades. There is a lot of poverty in the mid-west, and if you price people out of being able to live in buildings, you probably end up with a lot more people living in even more dangerous temporary structures and trailer parks.

Far more significant is the egregious lack of attention to avoiding unsafe (or any) building in locations likely to suffer storm surges and other destructive forms of flooding. Flooding incidents, especially from storm surges, tend to have a substantially higher scale of economic damage from a single incident, and tend to be much more inevitable, making them harder to insure.

danscope
2013-Jun-07, 09:32 PM
Is the inexpensive price of a storm shelter beyond the price point of human life? And let's face it, they need jobs out there?
Hmmm....

SeanF
2013-Jun-07, 09:37 PM
Is the inexpensive price of a storm shelter beyond the price point of human life?
The question is whether putting all those storm shelters is beyond the price point of the lives which they would save. The answer is probably yes.

There are lots of things that cost less than you value your life. You don't buy them, because they're not likely to ever save your life. Same here.


And let's face it, they need jobs out there?
Broken window! :D

publiusr
2013-Jun-07, 10:20 PM
There are always going to people who hit the roads during a storm. A problem may be law enforcement trying to block roads and enforce regs

Limited muddy roads may make chasing in OKC hazadous, but turning people around impedes traffic flow as much if not more than any chaser convergence

Sometimes, it may not make a difference.

"Supposedly it grew from approximately 1 mile wide to 2.6 miles wide in 30 seconds. I think it's really becoming clear why so many of us safety-oriented chasers were caught off guard and forced to run for our lives. Simply extraordinary circumstances"

http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?29858-2013-05-31-MISC-KS-OK-MO-IL&p=330183&viewfull=1#post330183
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?29858-2013-05-31-MISC-KS-OK-MO-IL&p=330519&viewfull=1#post330519

The monster in question
http://kamala.cod.edu/ok/latest.nous44.KOUN.html
In German http://www.westwind.ch/usa13/20130531/20130531.html

"Having the vortices "generate" at least 1/2 mile apart from each other in less than 20sec is amazing." See the video here:
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?29858-2013-05-31-MISC-KS-OK-MO-IL&p=330197&viewfull=1#post330197

The 2011 Tuscaloosa tornado, as it passed north of Downtown Birmingham was fairly wide, but I have heard the words "mesocyclone on the ground" used to describe the 1998 Nashville tornado, which followed our Oak Grove-Birmingham twister.

The elephant trunk/rope from Wizard of Oz makes people forget that the tornado is not just the condensation funnel. The twiser is wider than that. The inflow at your back in some ways can be described as part of the tornado, even if it isn't a true inflow jet. I remember drawings of tornadoes with a kink at ground level that depicted the jet.

That was what destroyed the Goshen Methodist Church in Alabama circa 1994.

Now in terms of records, I seem to remember in the late 1960s very early 1970s that Grazulis described--in his huge tome--a three mile wide F-3 that pushed a 1/4 mile haboob or something in front of it. This was around the time of the big Sunray tornadoes in his book. The big Wyoming tornado tornado, and the one in the mid 1980s (Moshannon state forest was it?) come to mind.

In Tornado video classics, the Coulton event was the widest I had seen that still looked a single funnel.

In El Reno, The very wide distance of the vortices--maybe deserving of being called separate tornadoes--is what caught people--were I to hazard a guess.

Another kiled
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?29898-chaser-killed-on-his

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-07, 11:20 PM
started reading the first extremely long post... then scrolled down and saw that not only was it an extremely long post, but it was followed by yet another extremely long post..
skipped all the responses and went straight to the "quick reply" box..


people should be allowed to do risky things if they want as long as they are prepared to deal with and accept the consequences of those risky things... we don't need more feel good nanny state laws and regulations to try to prevent everyone from every possible scenario. i've watched my share of tornadoes in my 38 years on this planet- and i'll hopefully get to watch more. i'll probably never actively chase one because that just strikes me as something that's pretty damn stupid, but i'm not going to tell others that they can't do it if they want and i don't think that it's the government's job to tell them not to do it, either.

My indepth proposal is indepth.

So, you didn't read it? Did you already understand from your own experience how the poor storm chasing ethics and activities of non-conscientious chasers can not only violate already existing laws but can create hazards that can result in fatalities, as well as reduce the effectiveness of chasers who are interested in tracking tornadoes for public safety reasons? And you're cool with allowing that hazardous situation to continue to occur and claim lives?

I think I snapped at you a little bit, and I apologize. But it sounded like you didn't bother reading what I wrote before you criticized it.

I understand your concern and I don't want to create a police state. I would prefer for people to police themselves and suggested that as an alternate proposal, but I know it can be hard when the cost of entry to this activity is as low as a cellphone camera, a car, some free time and the random urge to try it. It's not like mountain climbers or skydivers who need to spend a lot of time and money to get to do their daredevil stunts. I don't want to create a strict ban with actual criminal penalties, which is why I focused on using traffic laws as the primary regulatory regime. This is because driving seems to be the cause of the problems at issue and since driving is considered a privilege in most or all states, there would be no violation of rights and personal liberty. Besides, most of the problem motorists can be deterred by enforcing existing laws. However, I think balancing freedom with civic responsibility via certifications and licensing is a good way to create a safer and more conscientious atmosphere amongst those who do continue to participate in the activity.

After some thought, I want to further explore the idea of self-policing via a non-governmental organization that serves as a governing body for the activity. This organization would:

provide education and training in partnership with the NWS, FCC, USDOT and other federal and state agencies for individuals and teams who would then receive association certifications that would permit them to perform basic or advanced types of storm chasing missions.
provide assistance for those members who seek to obtain a higher level of state or federal certification for special mission types, such as EMT/paramedic emergency vehicle driver/operator license road-qualification of experimental vehicles media company licensing (FCC)
provide safety checks and vehicle and mission qualifications in partnership with law enforcement
provide equipment checks for science instrumentation
provide assistance with data collection and archival and act as a data clearinghouse for researchers
maintain required logs of storm chasing operations submitted by storm chasers
investigate claims of improper behavior of members during chases for submission to law enforcement if necessary
assist with law enforcement in cases of traffic violations or crimes committed by members while storm chasing by providing video evidence
provide arbitration or conflict resolution for various issues arising between members, or between members and the public
underwrite insurance for storm chasers and storm chasing vehicles
certify equipment providers, for various types of existing or experimental equipment used by storm chasers
provide Lobby representation of storm chasers and storm chaser interests to federal, state and local governments
provide public outreach and education of storm chasing and general weather safety in partnership with the NWS
accredit regional, state or local affiliates

I think that such an international or national organization provides for flexibility for various weather chasing activities and allows government agencies to focus on their core competencies. I wonder what it should be called. Weather Observers and Chasers Association? (I or US WOCA) Association of Chasers and Observers of Weather? (I or US ACOW? Moo.)

Thoughts?

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-07, 11:43 PM
There are always going to people who hit the roads during a storm. A problem may be law enforcement trying to block roads and enforce regs

Limited muddy roads may make chasing in OKC hazadous, but turning people around impedes traffic flow as much if not more than any chaser convergence

Right, which is why I suggest using video footage to cite them for traffic violation after the fact by mail.

novaderrik
2013-Jun-08, 02:41 AM
Hi Novaderrick: I sort of agree, but storm chasers who drive toward the tornado endanger persons who are trying to evacuate and official vehicles that are rendering aid and gathering data that is likely to be useful. If the yahoo types can't or won't learn to provide useful service, they should be jailed during tornado warnings and tornado alerts. Yes give them the benefit of the doubt, but let's try to educate them about the needs of others.
Also keep in mind that people who do stupid things, can easily cost us tax payers a million dollars each in health care for their damaged bodies over the next 60 or 80 years. If society is going to guarantee heath care for all, we have a right to restrain your dangerous (but useless) activities. So it seems to me. Neil

i made it about a paragraph into the OP before deciding to scroll down to see how much more there was, then saw that there was another equally long post right after it before deciding to just go to the bottom of the page to state my opinion on the matter... my libertarian leanings prevent me from wanting to pass new laws to protect people from every conceivable trendy thing that makes the news.. and besides, cops have more important things to worry about when a tornado is on the ground and in the immediate aftermath than hauling people to jail or taking names and sending out tickets later because they drove towards the storm instead of away from it... and you probably don't want to hear my opinion on society "guaranteeing health care for all"...

Solfe
2013-Jun-08, 02:45 AM
I hate to make the comparison, but do you know what deterrent is used to keep people from trying to go over Niagara Falls? Never show any a video of people making the attempt locally then arrest, prosecute and bill the survivors; if you can name the dead, don't. That way, no one is really aware of the capabilities of rescue folks and everyone understands that no one likes the fact that your are risking innocent bystanders. Very often, it is a bystander who rescues a jumper and not some trained professional because of how fast everything can happen. A relative few go over the Falls every year, so it seems like a good plan.

I live 30 minutes from the US Falls and I was amazed by a Discovery channel show depicting various agencies trying to rescue jumpers. I vaguely knew that there are trained people for this purpose, but they don't advertize locally.

HenrikOlsen
2013-Jun-08, 10:52 AM
i made it about a paragraph into the OP before deciding to scroll down to see how much more there was, then saw that there was another equally long post right after it before deciding to just go to the bottom of the page to state my opinion on the matter... my libertarian leanings prevent me from wanting to pass new laws to protect people from every conceivable trendy thing that makes the news... <snip>
I understand the leanings and would agree if it was laws to protect people from themselves, in this case it's laws to protect people from other people.

Someone drives into a tornado for kicks and dies? I have no problem with that.
Someone drives into a tornado for kicks and get someone else killed? No OK.

It's the latter part Ara's trying to address.

Swift
2013-Jun-08, 02:17 PM
This is just a broad, general warning.

As this thread included "regulation" in the OP, it has been rather borderline for our rules from the start. Now we've started to get Reports about posts. I would ask that everyone be on their best behavior if you wish this thread to continue and try to keep politics out of the thread as much as possible. Thanks,

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-08, 02:44 PM
I understand the leanings and would agree if it was laws to protect people from themselves, in this case it's laws to protect people from other people.

Someone drives into a tornado for kicks and dies? I have no problem with that.
Someone drives into a tornado for kicks and get someone else killed? No OK.

It's the latter part Ara's trying to address.

Yes. And new laws wouldn't have to be passed for the most part. Most of the legislative activity would be to publicly resolve to use existing traffic laws to address this concern, and to fund it. A lot of the certification and licensing activity is already present in state or federal codes and an general training and certification system might be implemented by an association that's recognized by government instead of decreed by government.

publiusr
2013-Jun-08, 05:20 PM
Right, which is why I suggest using video footage to cite them for traffic violation after the fact by mail.

But how do we prove they were chasing--and not being told to get out of town by some rip-and-reader? And what if they help dig out folks before Emergency services get there, only to get a bill for their efforts? An arguement can be made either way.

Might make for some interesting case law--and now folks will get card-board "lost-tag" cut-outs as is done with some folks who run stop sign cameras like what we have in Center Point.

Besides, I'd rather have a law against rolling make-up applier roadblocks and blue-hair convergences...

I'm sorry--never laugh at your own jokes I know...

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-08, 05:40 PM
But how do we prove they were chasing--and not being told to get out of town by some rip-and-reader? And what if they help dig out folks before Emergency services get there, only to get a bill for their efforts? An arguement can be made either way.You don't make a distinction. You fine them all. Why should performing a good deed offset a bad deed?


Might make for some interesting case law--and now folks will get card-board "lost-tag" cut-outs as is done with some folks who run stop sign cameras like what we have in Center Point.

Besides, I'd rather have a law against rolling make-up applier roadblocks and blue-hair convergences...

I'm sorry--never laugh at your own jokes I know...Huh?

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-08, 05:46 PM
I was thinking about stronger building codes, such as someone mentioned up-thread. I wondered about using various metal hangars and ties that I've seen suggested for hurricanes, but I didn't know if they'd help.

Apparently, someone thinks (http://news.yahoo.com/insight-tornado-alley-building-practices-boost-damage-110444131.html) they should work with weak tornadoes.


"This notion that we cannot engineer buildings economically to withstand tornado loads is a fallacy," said Prevatt, who has studied damage from hurricanes and the devastating tornadoes in 2011 in Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
...
"We have to stop this cycle of a storm coming along destroying things and we build them back the same," said Leslie Chapman-Henderson, chief executive of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, a consumer group. "That is the official definition of insanity."
...
The two houses Prevatt saw standing in Moore amid the devastation were built with what are called "hurricane ties" or metal straps to bind the roof to the walls, which are stronger than nails, he said. These are required by the robust Florida building code but not in Oklahoma and most of tornado alley.

Connections between walls and the concrete foundations of homes were another area where Moore construction was poor, Prevatt and Marshall said.

The ideal in a storm region would be to use "anchor bolts" - a steel rod embedded in the concrete foundation and bolted to the wall frame.

In Moore, both engineers said they saw numerous cases of nails binding the walls to foundations rather than bolts.There's more, but that's the gist.

publiusr
2013-Jun-08, 06:40 PM
Hurricane clips are cheap. I would want those old "atom-bomb proof" houses talked about years ago.

novaderrik
2013-Jun-09, 09:29 AM
the only way you are going to build structures to survive a direct hit by a tornado would be to build everything out of steel reinforced concrete... it's just not practical, especially when you consider that even the largest tornadoes that do the most damage are very localized events and the odds of another one hitting the same place again are so low that it's not really worth worrying about.
and no law or regulation is going to keep some idiots from driving towards a tornado, so it's really not worth even thinking about. might as well just make a law that says that it's illegal to break whatever existing laws are already on the books for this kind of thing..

grapes
2013-Jun-09, 03:24 PM
You don't make a distinction. You fine them all. Why should performing a good deed offset a bad deed?

That's not going to get you many votes, on either side of the aisle. :)

A quote from Treb's link http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/06/03/how-three-storm-chasers-died-and-what-to-do-about-it/


News casters were telling people in the direct line of the tornado do “drive south.” But then the tornado made a turn and headed straight for the “south” that people were being told to drive to. Here is a compilation of broadcasts and events documenting this:

Newscasters will not be doing that again. :)

But you know what? Jerry is right:


Tornado chasing is mostly about thrill seeking - even amoung the professionals.

I'm always being accused or suspected of storm chasing, just because I find it so fascinating. I never have, but I have happened to be in the vicinity, by coincidence.

It might be justifiable to just make all storm chasing illegal, period. There's not much science being done, for the buck. Doppler, ubiquitous cameras, and robotics/drones are the future. If there are more deaths, people will be asking even more questions.

Be careful what you ask for, in the realm of regulation!

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-09, 04:37 PM
the only way you are going to build structures to survive a direct hit by a tornado would be to build everything out of steel reinforced concrete... it's just not practical, especially when you consider that even the largest tornadoes that do the most damage are very localized events and the odds of another one hitting the same place again are so low that it's not really worth worrying about.

Yep. Steel reinforced concrete. Or underground, or both. That's what we build around here in most structures.


and no law or regulation is going to keep some idiots from driving towards a tornado, so it's really not worth even thinking about. might as well just make a law that says that it's illegal to break whatever existing laws are already on the books for this kind of thing..
Sure, but increasing the risk of getting caught and increasing the cost of getting caught mat deter enough people to make it safer.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-09, 04:47 PM
That's not going to get you many votes, on either side of the aisle. :)I dunno. We're faced with that situation all the time, like police officers who commit murder, famous actors getting DUIs, etc.


A quote from Treb's link http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/06/03/how-three-storm-chasers-died-and-what-to-do-about-it/

Newscasters will not be doing that again. :)I hope not. I dunno if they should be fined for that or not, but if there were community shelters, then it might be the right place for him to tell them to evacuate too next time instead of saying, "suck it up, folks, the tornados coming for you and it's an F5, you can't evacuate and if you don't have a shelter you're gonna die no matter what. Sorry. Better luck next life."


But you know what? Jerry is right:
Tornado chasing is mostly about thrill seeking - even amoung the professionals.

I'm always being accused or suspected of storm chasing, just because I find it so fascinating. I never have, but I have happened to be in the vicinity, by coincidence.I know, but at least many of the professionals perform a public service and are either trained or have the experience to handle it


It might be justifiable to just make all storm chasing illegal, period. There's not much science being done, for the buck. Doppler, ubiquitous cameras, and robotics/drones are the future. If there are more deaths, people will be asking even more questions.

Be careful what you ask for, in the realm of regulation!That's why I think a national organization that polices itself would be a good idea, to prevent governments from resorting to full bans. And if this org can provide a useful public service in other ways, and help advanced chasers develop protection for vehicles, there might be fewer deaths.

grapes
2013-Jun-09, 05:16 PM
I dunno. We're faced with that situation all the time, like police officers who commit murder, famous actors getting DUIs, etc.

Whoa, I thought we were talking about people who got caught in the trap through no fault of their own. :)


I hope not. I dunno if they should be fined for that or not, but if there were community shelters, then it might be the right place for him to tell them to evacuate too next time instead of saying, "suck it up, folks, the tornados coming for you and it's an F5, you can't evacuate and if you don't have a shelter you're gonna die no matter what. Sorry. Better luck next life."

Newscasters fined for broadcasting what they thought were instructions in the best interest of their listeners? My impression, after listening to the discussions after the Moore tornado, was that there was no firmly established guidelines.


That's why I think a national organization that polices itself would be a good idea, to prevent governments from resorting to full bans. And if this org can provide a useful public service in other ways, and help advanced chasers develop protection for vehicles, there might be fewer deaths.
I thought the OP was about establishing laws limiting non-professionally-engaged citizens?

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-09, 05:43 PM
Whoa, I thought we were talking about people who got caught in the trap through no fault of their own. :)Not especially. It could be applied to anyone caught in the storm who shouldn't be there. If they are a local, meaning someone who actually lives on that section of road or someone who can show that they had an expectation to be there and be caught by accident, then the citation might be dropped or never issued. Fining any motorist caught in that area would be necessary because not all chasers are professionals who are easily identifiable --it could be some guy taking video on his cell phone. Theoretically, responding officers might stop someone and examine their cell phone for evidence, but that runs into 4th amendment issues. So, if law enforcement is given the power to declare that certain locations (by time and geography, or by evolving circumstance) are off limits before, during and after a storm, it would allow them to issue citations for people who are merely present without a good reason. That also might have its own problems vis-a-vis personal liberty, but may be plausible. But we could default to enforcing existing traffic laws using video evidence.


Newscasters fined for broadcasting what they thought were instructions in the best interest of their listeners? My impression, after listening to the discussions after the Moore tornado, was that there was no firmly established guidelines.If that's what it was. Or some authority may decide that giving directions to people without knowing what the best instructions were would be considered negligence with regard to some rule with the FCC, or perhaps even criminally. I don't expect that to happen, but a case could probably be made. I know everyone wants to be a hero and get their Paul Revere on, but you gotta start drawing a line at some point.


I thought the OP was about establishing laws limiting non-professionally-engaged citizens?Nope. The OP included rules for both professionals and non-professionals. That's why it was so long, to include many of the details. My second draft is even longer because it goes into even more detail (laws and bylaws are typically dozens of pages long at minimum). In addition, a more recent post amended the OP somewhat by suggesting that an NGO could perform a lot of the duties in partnership with government. This would make the governing program a civilian one, except for certain types of chasing missions, in which someone would need to obtain a certificate or license from a government agency, just like they would for other, similar activities (e.g. ambulance driver, EMT). And traffic citations would still be done by law enforcement, although the civilian organization could also suspend someone or revoke their membership and certification, which could put them at further jeopardy for traffic violation or other legal action of they storm chase without a valid membership.

grapes
2013-Jun-09, 06:29 PM
Not especially. It could be applied to anyone caught in the storm who shouldn't be there. If they are a local, meaning someone who actually lives on that section of road or someone who can show that they had an expectation to be there and be caught by accident, then the citation might be dropped or never issued. Fining any motorist caught in that area would be necessary because not all chasers are professionals who are easily identifiable --it

That's what I was talking about. Just reading that gives me the shudders. :)

You're talking about huge areas, containing hundreds of thousands of individuals. Per incident. No legislature would ever consider that.


Nope. The OP included rules for both professionals and non-professionals.

That's what I meant, that the OP included restrictions on non-professional citizens. Internal policing is not going to have any impact on that.


That's why it was so long, to include many of the details. My second draft is even longer because it goes into even more detail (laws and bylaws are typically dozens of pages long at minimum). In addition, a more recent post amended the OP somewhat by suggesting that an NGO could perform a lot of the duties in partnership with government. This would make the governing program a civilian one, except for certain types of chasing missions, in which someone would need to obtain a certificate or license from a government agency, just like they would for other, similar activities (e.g. ambulance driver, EMT). And traffic citations would still be done by law enforcement, although the civilian organization could also suspend someone or revoke their membership and certification, which could put them at further jeopardy for traffic violation or other legal action of they storm chase without a valid membership.
To tell you the truth, this discussion has convinced me that possession and operation of storm-chasing equipment in the vicinity of a tornado should be a crime. I'll write my congressperson. :)

publiusr
2013-Jun-09, 08:12 PM
From what I have read, the worst actor may have been a state trooper impeding traffic flow. Yes the folks didn't need to be there, but it does seem that some folks were told to drive away. There is some debate about that wisdom to this day. A researcher named Schmidlin once suggested people get into cars and out of mobile homes.

Some real Sebastian Junger-level accounts here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_El_Reno_tornado
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?29879-The-events-leading-up-to-the-traffic-Jam-in-SW-OKC-on-May-31st-2013/page4

"My car was handling it ok as long as I was going 25mph or less but that wasn't an option. I got my speed up to about 40mph and the inflow winds were unlike any I've experienced in a tornado. They were literally trying to suck my car into the tornado. At one point a wheel barrow came flying out of the sky and was on a direct path with my windshield but I couldn't slow down. Luckily just a couple feet from my windshield it just got sucked straight up and probably hasn't been seen since..."

"I had enough space between me and the metal building to feel that the building wasn't going to hit me and knew we were dependent on the semi to not go flying. A freight container then came flying by the north side of the car just rolling and tumbling well over 100mph. The metal building looked as though it evaporated because the metal roof and parts of the walls flew up into the air so fast they disappeared in a matter of a second or two. When the building went it actually helped because the space between the building and the semi was creating a wind tunnel and I was at about a 20 degree angle to the truck. After the building went I lined the car up dead straight with the semi. This is when things got really violent..."

O_O?

"A short video overlaying Spotter Network chaser positions with approximate tornado size and path."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVUHdCGqiSI

"The tornado rapidly increased in size from a quarter mile to 2.6 miles wide in a matter of a couple minutes. The winds I was describing as extreme inflow winds like I've never experienced was probably the tornado as it was expanding so rapidly there was no condensation or debris field to identify the outer edges of the tornado."

"Brad Nelson just posted an excellent video which, at the :57 mark, shows the tornado make it's turn. It does appear to speed up and the very rapid size growth is clearly evident. By the 2:31 mark in the video, the tornado circulation fills the entire screen."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFVzauLzK_Q&feature=youtu.be

Skip Talbot did a wonderful time lapse of the storm
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?29863-2013-05-31-REPORTS-OK-KS&p=330385&viewfull=1#post330385

Discussions on Size--El Reno set a record:
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?29858-2013-05-31-MISC-KS-OK-MO-IL/page17

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-09, 10:15 PM
That's what I was talking about. Just reading that gives me the shudders. :)Then reality should already be having that effect. Law enforcement are already empowered to limit access to damage zones and to tell people to evacuate an area ahead of a storm. Evacuation orders in the context of a tornado would not apply to people sheltering at home but would refer to motorists on public roads. There is no violation of rights as driving is and has always been considered a privilege. It's not my desire to put people in jail, but fining them might deter a repeat of that behavior, and suspending or revoking their driver's license would go pretty far in preventing a repeat (although they could always drive without a license).


You're talking about huge areas, containing hundreds of thousands of individuals. Per incident. No legislature would ever consider that.The areas might be smaller than Hurricane evacuation zones, and legislatures allow those.


That's what I meant, that the OP included restrictions on non-professional citizens. Internal policing is not going to have any impact on that.There may be some confusion here. A professional is someone who does storm chasing as part of their profession, such as police, meteorologists, researchers, media reporters. A non-professional could be a SKYWARN volunteer, an EMT, a fireman, or it could be a media person who shoots video to sell but doesn't work for a TV channel, or it could be someone who's interested in storms for kicks. The "internal policing" performed by a national organization governing the activity would be to certify all of them, including non-professionals. So, you'd have certified professionals, certified non-professionals, and then you'd have people who aren't certified. The national organization would have no control over the non-certified people because they aren't members. However, law enforcement could cite any of the above depending on any traffic law they might violate, with the distinction being that certified storm chasers would, by agreement between the organization and governments, be allowed to perform certain functions which gives them immunity from certain traffic laws. Other traffic laws would still apply to them and would be issued at the discretion of law enforcement and tried in traffic court if necessary.


To tell you the truth, this discussion has convinced me that possession and operation of storm-chasing equipment in the vicinity of a tornado should be a crime. I'll write my congressperson. :)

If texting/talking on a cell phone while driving is a violation because it's dangerous, then certainly texting/talking, reading maps and recording video on your cellphone while driving too fast for conditions on a road closed by law enforcement would seem to be much more dangerous and culpable for a violation.

Jens
2013-Jun-09, 11:15 PM
Just my two yen about this, but it seems too hard to figure out if a person is a thrill seeker or somebody who inadvertently wandered into the area, and also it's unclear whether the researchers are doing something that is equivalent to the movements of emergency vehicles. If the professional storm chasers had tools to actually stop the storm, I would agree, but that's not the case. Soi can't see it working.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-10, 12:43 AM
Just my two yen about this, but it seems too hard to figure out if a person is a thrill seeker or somebody who inadvertently wandered into the area,You don't have to. You ticket them and if they think they shouldnt be ticketed, they can appeal to court or take a safe driving class for a first offense or something.


and also it's unclear whether the researchers are doing something that is equivalent to the movements of emergency vehicles.You mean in the present paradigm or in the future with my proposal? In my proposal, they would be trained and authorized to do something equivalent to the movements of emergency vehicles.


If the professional storm chasers had tools to actually stop the storm, I would agree, but that's not the case. Soi can't see it working.Many professional storm chasers are collecting data and conducting experiments that may help increase the understanding of tornadogenesis and other storm processes that can help increase prediction time and geographical specificity, which will help saves lives. Chasers who report on the location and status of the storm and damage paths can help by providing "ground truth" of radar-indicated tornadoes as well as help ambulances and fire trucks figure out where they need to go and how to get there, which can save lives.

I don't know if we'll ever be able to prevent tornadoes and other dangerous storms. We may never be a Kardashev 1 Civilization. But that's a guess. Maybe we will figure out a way to stop them.

As a matter of fact, we've already learned a little bit about how to reduce damage. This new report released yesterday about the Joplin 2011 tornado (http://www.joplinglobe.com/topstories/x120729257/Civil-engineers-release-study-of-Joplin-tornado-damage) and the report I quoted up-thread about construction practices show that if only people had made a minimal investment in Hurricane clips/ties, many structures might have survived. Storm chasers help because some of their video or radar data can help assign wind-speeds and how well that's correlated with damage patterns. We can figure out how much the wind-speed of a storm may cause problems on real structural design and implementation. This helps, because part of the problem with assuming wind and damage correlations is basing it on whether a building was built to code, or not built to code and what the code was or should be.

From that new report

Only 4 percent of the damage could be linked to an EF-4 tornado, which can have winds speeds ranging from 168 to 199 mph. The ASCE investigators found no EF-5 level tornado damage to buildings at all.
...
The engineers concluded that because the structures were so poorly built to withstand wind, flying debris from houses made damage in the tornado zone much worse.
...
“The study team believes that a relatively large number of buildings could have survived in Joplin if they had been built to withstand hurricane winds,’’ said Bill Coulbourne, a member of the ASCE engineering team that came to Joplin.
...
The team found no evidence of building damage from winds at 200 mph or greater, the minimum threshold for an EF-5. The study concluded that EF-5 ratings were nearly impossible to observe given the high construction quality threshold that must be met for determining that level of wind speed.

Ivan Viehoff
2013-Jun-10, 02:20 PM
Yep. Steel reinforced concrete. Or underground, or both. That's what we build around here in most structures.
Safe rooms above ground appear to be an adequate solution, and much cheaper than either of those (especially in areas where underground is tricky). I don't think anyone who was in a safe room and suffering a direct hit from those recent tornadoes had a major problem.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-10, 04:08 PM
Safe rooms above ground appear to be an adequate solution, and much cheaper than either of those (especially in areas where underground is tricky). I don't think anyone who was in a safe room and suffering a direct hit from those recent tornadoes had a major problem.

For an EF3 or lower, there's a good chance it might work. For an EF4-5, it may not unless it's steel-reinforced concrete, and even then I think it would depend on the strength of the door. Once the door is open, a person might be sucked out, unless they are strapped down to something, but then they might be pelted by debris. This all assumes that the steel-reinforced concrete structure can stand up to not only wind, but also debris, like cars, being smashed into it at dozens of miles per hour.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-10, 04:20 PM
Some purpose-built above-ground shelters do work. (http://newsok.com/oklahoma-tornadoes-aboveground-shelters-stood-up-in-face-of-ef5-moore-tornado/article/3840636) Although some did have their doors blown off. If they an be rated and tested for EF5 (and properly installed), then that's certainly one alternative.

People could also build Monolithic Domes for tornado protection. I was thinking of those for community shelters. They can create large open spaces that can be used for sports arenas and they can be covered with greenery or even bermed or buried and given a green roof if people don't like the look of such a building.

publiusr
2013-Jun-10, 07:40 PM
Moore would look better as the Shire, after all. Reed Timmer's vehicle looks like a Hobbit hole already.

ngc3314
2013-Jun-11, 05:19 PM
Some purpose-built above-ground shelters do work. (http://newsok.com/oklahoma-tornadoes-aboveground-shelters-stood-up-in-face-of-ef5-moore-tornado/article/3840636)

One of those was prominent from the Tuscaloosa EF 4-point-something tornado. In a neighborhood that was otherwise completely flattened, one above-ground shelter was all that was left of a house and in good shape. It showed up in the background of a lot of interviews - and from the contractor's point of view, the best part was the company name stenciled on it in very large letters.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-12, 02:59 PM
Well, we're supposed to get tornadoes this afternoon and maybe a derecho too. I guess I'll go out and possibly get in the way of commuters, spotters, emergency vehicles and any professional chasers, just because I can. If ya can't beat 'em, join em.

Trebuchet
2013-Jun-12, 06:58 PM
There was a post here this morning questioning what a derecho is. Where'd it go? Didn't look like spam or anything.

I did look up "derecho", which is a straight-line thunderstorm. I seem to have misremembered my high school Spanish and thought it meant "right", as in right-handed.

ETA: Oops, I see, it's in the "Your Current Weather" thread.

NEOWatcher
2013-Jun-12, 07:16 PM
Didn't look like spam or anything.
Thank you for the compliment. Normally, in the morning I feel like spam.


I did look up "derecho", which is a straight-line thunderstorm.
I had to because today was the first time I have ever heard the term, and it seems like all the news outlets have picked it up using it as the new "BUZZWORD" for the day.

My understanding is a line of thunderstorms with high straight line winds. (I wouldn't know what you mean by a straight line thunderstorm.)

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-13, 05:53 AM
The term, Derecho, has been used for a long time, at least 10-20 years from what I can remember. It's a bow echo. There are different kinds, with one being progressive that uses the gust front (rain cooled air pooling and surging along the ground) to lift up warm, moist air and continue the storm development.

Apparently, the word because really popular last year when a setup similar today led to a Derecho doing lots of damage across the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic.

Jens
2013-Jun-13, 06:15 AM
I did look up "derecho", which is a straight-line thunderstorm. I seem to have misremembered my high school Spanish and thought it meant "right", as in right-handed.

No, you didn't misremember. In Spanish, derecho or derecha can mean both "right" and "straight." They are related to "direct" of course. And it shouldn't be that surprising, because in English "right" can also mean "straight", as in "I went right/straight to the store."

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-13, 06:31 AM
No, you didn't misremember. In Spanish, derecho or derecha can mean both "right" and "straight." They are related to "direct" of course. And it shouldn't be that surprising, because in English "right" can also mean "straight", as in "I went right/straight to the store."

The distinction they want to make is that it's not a tornado, which has turning winds instead of straight winds.

publiusr
2013-Jun-13, 10:34 PM
Some Maps of the El Reno event in case anyone is interested
http://www.harkphoto.com/05312013.html
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?29863-2013-05-31-REPORTS-OK-KS&p=331100&viewfull=1#post331100


http://www.weathergraphics.com/tim/20130531_okc_2.jpg
"Outflow outer leading edge isochrones as interpreted from KCRI and KTLX spectrum width and reflectivity. Circle diameters intersect max +/- radial velocity, so are proportional to circulation size and does not indicate whether it is a tornado or not."

Wind max
http://www.weathergraphics.com/tim/20130531_okc_1.jpg
http://www.skyinmotion.com/chase/mabrowser.php?year=2013&month=05&day=31&hour=22&param=ehi1
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?29895-A-couple-of-5-31-2013-maps/page2

Talk about roadblocks that may have impeded traffic flow here
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?29858-2013-05-31-MISC-KS-OK-MO-IL/page18
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?29878-Storm-Chasing-Ethics-and-Safety/page7

Odd, plant storms
http://stormhighway.com/plantstorms.shtml
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?7087-Large-vortex-tube-on-power-plant-steam-plume

Jerry
2013-Jun-14, 03:09 AM
started reading the first extremely long post... then scrolled down and saw that not only was it an extremely long post, but it was followed by yet another extremely long post..
skipped all the responses and went straight to the "quick reply" box..


people should be allowed to do risky things if they want as long as they are prepared to deal with and accept the consequences of those risky things... we don't need more feel good nanny state laws and regulations to try to prevent everyone from every possible scenario. i've watched my share of tornadoes in my 38 years on this planet- and i'll hopefully get to watch more. i'll probably never actively chase one because that just strikes me as something that's pretty damn stupid, but i'm not going to tell others that they can't do it if they want and i don't think that it's the government's job to tell them not to do it, either.
I could not disagree more. Dangerous storms pose real risks for both emergency personel and average Joe families. Throwing careless yayhoos in the mix adds to the confusion and diverts saving talents and rescue efforts from people who really deserve the help.

There are plenty of high risk adventures out there that isolate the risk takers from the general population. I will even go one step further: Risk takers who have families who require their support should also be required to carry enough insurance that their families do not have to rely upon the rest of us because of their selfish foolishness. Sorry, but I grew up with too many friends who lost their fathers to high-risk adventures.

BigDon
2013-Jun-15, 12:11 PM
(Picture musical notation) Everybody wants to rule the world...(End musical notation)

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-15, 02:51 PM
(Picture musical notation) Everybody wants to rule the world...(End musical notation)

Most supervillians have a sympathetic backstory.

HenrikOlsen
2013-Jun-16, 02:21 PM
A tornado killed his parents, now he wants to rule the world so the weather services can get adequate funding.

Kaptain K
2013-Jun-16, 02:28 PM
If you make it illegle to do anything "dangerous", you'opening a whole can of worms! Why stop there? How about mountain climbing or whitewater rafting?The list goes on and on! Should the police be there for Nik Wallenda's upcoming attempt to tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon and arrest him if he makes it? People do dangerous (and stupid) things. It's part of what makes us human!

HenrikOlsen
2013-Jun-16, 02:57 PM
It's not doing something dangerous, it's doing something that endangers others.

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-16, 07:30 PM
If you make it illegle to do anything "dangerous", you'opening a whole can of worms! Why stop there? How about mountain climbing or whitewater rafting?The list goes on and on! Should the police be there for Nik Wallenda's upcoming attempt to tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon and arrest him if he makes it? People do dangerous (and stupid) things. It's part of what makes us human!

Yes, why stop there? Why not stop people from constructing giant strawmen that might topple on them at the slightest whiff of common sense.

publiusr
2013-Jun-24, 09:38 PM
A tornado killed his parents, now he wants to rule the world so the weather services can get adequate funding.

Talk about the weather underground

Ara Pacis
2013-Jun-25, 05:37 AM
Talk about the weather underground

Now if only I could figure out how to make unintelligible minions out of radioactive Corn Pops, I'd be despicable.

publiusr
2013-Jun-29, 05:22 PM
Good one Gru.

Just waiting until the next rebuttal for some one to cut "something called tornado monitoring."