storm chasers

by ck on February 23, 2013

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.

Seasonal Activity

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,

MommyNowashhandsMommyIallcleanMommyNostoolIwanthebigpotty
NothispottyInolikeitPlaywithtoysMommyWhere’sthebabyMommyIwantmy
blocksMommyBuildahouseMommyNocleanupMommyCrayonsIwantmy
crayonsPictureforGrandpaMommyIwantthemarkersNobibMommyInoneedit
InotmessyNonapkinMommyIuseyourforkIusechalkontheboardNotonthefloor
orchairsortoysMommytakeitawayNotakeitawayIgoodgirl

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!

MAAAAAAAMAAAAAAA!

I’M GONNA DO WHAT I WANT TO DO!

HEY, MOMMY!

MOMMMMEEEEEEE!

I WANT TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!

I HAVE TO GO TO THE POTTY!

MOMMY!

HEY!

I’M TALKING TO YOU!

I! SAID! I’M! TALKING! TO! YOU!

YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!

WHY AREN’T YOU LISTENING TO ME, MOMMY?

Ethics

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.

©2009 CEK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

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{ 25 comments }

Evenshine September 24, 2009 at 7:19 am

Chocolate and coke, baby. And an issue of In Style.

THIS storm-chaser’s best approach has been the diversion. Certain geographical features can adequately divert the impending chaos, such as a room with a closed door, a car with closed windows, or the house of a close relative, who is ideally plied with money or a bottle of wine.

Brad September 24, 2009 at 7:21 am

I was confused by the ending. Did you seriously lock her in the bathroom to drink a Coke and watch Sex and the City?!! LOL.

ck September 24, 2009 at 7:22 am

Dear Good Sir,

While we have never locked the child in a bathroom, she has been known from time to time (and in the above example) to throw a fit from Live From the Jon. While we often fear this will lead to hemorrhoids, she already plans to be a mom, so she’ll get them anyway.

Sincerely,
Staff

Faemom September 24, 2009 at 7:23 am

I think you might have underestameted how long being a storm chaser lasts.
I do remember one 18 month storm at a store that ended with me closing the doors on the storm after being buckled and all items in the car, and taking a sighing breath as the door cut off the scream about being buckled in. A lday gave me the dirtiest look as though I was going to leave a storm in the car. Geeze, can’t a girl dream?

Court September 24, 2009 at 7:23 am

I say you get a 10 because you stuck the landing. Though if you’re gonna watch Sex in the City and splurge I say go for the real coke and a double fudge brownie and really live it up.

~Laura September 24, 2009 at 7:30 am

Love your analogy! And I would pay to see you hiding in the Barbie tent. I too have various hiding places around my house. A mom’s got to take each little bit of sanity when she can.

Becky September 24, 2009 at 8:42 am

Chocolate and coke gets me through this life some days…

Futureblackmail September 24, 2009 at 9:02 am

Did you do that math in your head? I had to get my calculator out to see how many years this storm would last – supposedly I’m in the clear but I think I’ve grossly pissed mother nature off.

Loved the update in the last post. So glad her teacher is awesome like that!

KathyB! September 24, 2009 at 9:41 am

Just wait for the tween years… these are squalls to toughen you up for the category 5 hurricanes that are a comin’… We almost had our first this week but we had a northern front that came in and it stayed at a category 3. I thought we were gonners.

Melinda September 24, 2009 at 9:55 am

I love the term storm chaser in this context! I am totally going to have to use that from now on, as I encounter the one-year-old tantrum daily.

sodarnhappy September 24, 2009 at 10:16 am

I’m thinking the storms get worse with age instead of better..

Jessica September 24, 2009 at 11:36 am

Uh, were at my house on Tuesday? You must have been because you quoted my two year old.

TheKitchenWitch September 24, 2009 at 11:43 am

“Hopefully the storm’s pants were still on as the column of air began to rotate…” Now THAT is funny.

Miss M. is a month shy of her 4th birthday and her tantrums tell me one thing: Batten Down the Hatches, Bitch. Level 4 Tantrums=Tsunami.

Dawna September 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm

My oldest child is about to turn 7 in a month, and I have to let you know. It only gets worse.. Because, where atleast now, instead of ignoring the screams, I can explain to her that I am only looking out for her best interest. And before, she would only throw herself around in a tantrum, now she throws other things. And instead of extreme screaming and tears, she runs right to the ever hurtful, heartbreaking “I HATE YOU!”, to which my only response is, “That’s okay honey, I love you enough for the both of us.”
So it gets worse, but hang in there, cause one day she will be older, and have her own kids. And then you can do what my mom did, Curse her with a child ten times worse than she is. LOL

The Curious Cat September 24, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Wonderful entry – very creative and humorous! Why don’t you write for a living- or do you?! Love it! Ah…I look forward to one day having such a career as exotic as a storm chaser! :) xxx

The Mother September 24, 2009 at 1:27 pm

How about storms, ages 15 to 21?

I think I feel a blog post coming on.

Ink September 24, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Oh, thank you so much for this post. Just encountered one of those 3-year-old tantrums and, well, it’s always nice to compare notes…

A Reluctant Mom September 24, 2009 at 7:40 pm

I, myself, have suffered through many a tantrum (ps: why is it that when my first child did it I was horrified but when my second child came of age I found the tantrum downright hilarious?). Anyway, I figured misery loves company and wanted to share a few of my posts on the subject to give you a good laugh (and make you realize you’re probably a much better mother than I). By the way – my youngest avoids wiping at all costs because she is so lazy she thinks if she doesn’t wipe she doesn’t have to wash her hands. Sigh.

Enjoy my misery:

http://areluctantmom.blogspot.com/2009/05/garden-of-eden-and-ticket-method.html

http://areluctantmom.blogspot.com/2009/03/public-appearance.html

http://areluctantmom.blogspot.com/2009/02/three-days.html

insider53 September 24, 2009 at 7:54 pm

I think storm 14 to 16 might be the most destructive. It’s classed at an F5 or above leaving complete annihilation in it’s wake. Total emotional breakdowns and complete lack of respect for boundaries is a daily occurrence. It does start to blow itself out as it slides into adulthood but watch out because some storms are late bloomers and will continue to rage and destruct for several more years refusing to grow up especially the male variety.

LZ September 26, 2009 at 11:29 pm

My almost 5 year old storm is starting to change direction, becoming increasing difficult to control, and has picked a few insults up in her travels…I would love to hear what other, more experienced chasers do to manage this.
I love this…friends call my girls little tornadoes because of what they can do to a clean playroom in a matter of seconds. I guess they aren’t too far off!

Gibby September 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Oh, the storms that brew in 3rd grade. Whirling, swirling, with wind changes that not even the Doppler can pick up. My only advice? Find a bunker. NOW.

onthenightyouwereborn September 28, 2009 at 4:03 pm

OMG, this is unbelievable. Are you submitting this stuff. It is seriously awesome. I loved your reply to the Good Sir, too. Oh man, this is in my not-so-distant future.

naptimewriting September 29, 2009 at 11:37 pm

i’m with the KitchWitch. And I’m frightened by the moms of older kids.

Seriously, why has the human race not died out? Oh, right. Because the storms themselves don’t witness the casualties and once it spins off a new storm is too late to contain the damage.

I don’t like this job, but I think I’ll add storm chaser to my business card. Brilliant post.

ymK October 6, 2009 at 7:57 am

This was brilliant! Storm chasers we are.

Kora October 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm

I soooooo needed this after our five-year-old storm yesterday. It came on with no advance warning. Ok… maybe the signs were there, but I was feeding #2 and cooking dinner and didn’t notice.

Thanks for the great distraction!

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