Storm Chasing is broadly defined as the pursuit of any severe weather condition, regardless of motive. A person who pursues a storm is called a storm chaser.
Nature of and Motivations For Chasing
Storm chasing is chiefly a recreational endeavor; storm chasers are not paid to chase. The term “storm chaser” is also loosely applied to any of the support personnel brought in to clean up playrooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, cars and grocery carts after the passing of large storms.
Storm chasers are most active during the first 1460 days of the storm’s life. This coincides with the following milestones: crawling, walking, talking, running, wanting, screaming, sassing, back-talking, stomping, denial and fury.
Chasers operate year-round, with little or no time for rest. Sometimes their only relief comes in the form of caffeine or hiding in the storm’s Barbie tent until the storm unleashes its powerful winds, knocking over the flimsy structure and exposing the chaser.
Typical Storm Chase
The One-Year-Old Tantrum is a popular storm. The chaser is quick to recognize the winds of, “Eh, eh, eh, eh” when it is time for a diaper change. She knows there is still time to distract the storm with a toy or book or cellphone while reaching for the wipes.
And then the dark funnel shape, “Waaaaaaahhhhhh,” complete with tears and kicking and flailing spins atop the changing pad which was long ago relocated to the floor. Chasers have to be fast and flexible to keep the storm’s feet from smacking into the soiled diaper. This type of destruction is vile and laborious to clean.
Finally, the cumulonimbus structure parts, the skies clear and the storm is over.
The Two-Year Old Tantrum is a little harder to forecast. There are often no natural signs identifying the formation. The chaser’s guard is often down as she leads the dormant storm to the little potty when suddenly,
During this time, the chaser is wise to apply the “Lasso and Corral” technique. Bedrooms, cars and shopping carts are just some of the spots utilized by chasers for this particular storm. This technique often includes a Walk of Shame or a Serious, Public Discussion With the Storm, which is actually to assure everyone else in the vicinity that she’s doing her job as chaser and to dissuade any “helpful” onlookers. Hopefully the storm’s pants were still on as the column of air began to rotate.
The Three-Year-Old Tantrum is the most complex of storms. There are multiple warning signs, so the chaser has time to prepare and take cover from the barrage of hail and lightning likely to follow. And due to close proximity, the chaser also gets a fantastic view of whatever skyscapes unfold. However, the chaser can never fully prepare themselves for the duration. These storms have been knows to last anywhere from < 15 minutes to > 1.5 hours.
I! ALREADY! TOLD! YOU! THAT! I! DON’T! LIKE! WIPING!
I DON’T WANT TO WIPE!
DON’T KEEP ASKING ME!
DON’T KEEP ASKING ME!
I SAID, DON’T KEEP ASKING ME, MOMMY!
I’M DONE CRYING!
I’M DONE CRYING!
I. SAID. I’M. DONE. CRYING!
AND I. WANT. TO COME OUT!
OH, WAIT! NO, I’M NOT DONE CRYING!
I’M GONNA DO WHAT I WANT TO DO!
I WANT TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!
I HAVE TO GO TO THE POTTY!
I’M TALKING TO YOU!
I! SAID! I’M! TALKING! TO! YOU!
YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!
WHY AREN’T YOU LISTENING TO ME, MOMMY?
A growing number of experienced storm chasers believe in the installation of a code of ethics in storm chasing featuring safety, courtesy, and objectivity.
Like closing the door, grabbing a coke and catching up on laundry while watching reruns of Sex and the City. A good storm often provides ample time to fold all five loads and then head to the kitchen to start prepping dinner. Or eating some chocolate. A chaser has her needs too.
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