Why do grown people with college degrees chase tornados?

Why do they drive hundreds of miles a day chasing clouds?

The aborigines in Australia “have” to do it, but when they finally find where their clouds have burst , they bend down and drink it out of a mud hole and live a little longer.

The psycho’s in the chase cars are already packaged and ready for Mr. Tornado to turn them into Spam…sealed for freshness.

I understand it’s an effort to get scientific data for early warning systems and alerts.

I understand that a lot of good and saved lives has come as a direct result of these studies.

But the only alert I need is 2×4’s flying thru the air and winged monkeys, and I’m outta there!

I know that tornados can drop outta nowhere. I’ve seen them.

The sky looks kind of greenish yellow with a dusty tint to it. The air feels like its holding onto you. The wind blows, the lightning flashes, the hail falls.

Then… everything stops.

Your ears start to pop.

You look up….

And the finger of God reaches for the earth.

It comes down as a snow white entity…

When it touches the ground…mud falls from the sky and it becomes night.

Death leads it thru your town.

I know that sometimes alarms and sirens can’t warn people fast enough. There’s no way, we just get a lucky guess.

But what I don’t get are these fools standing in a storm, with lightning flashing within yards of them, hail bouncing off their skulls, wind blowing debris thru the air and they stand there….

Wave your fist at God while you’re there….holding a 9 iron helps.

Tornados are about as predictable as…hell I can’t even think of a comparison.

Wait! I’m gonna drive 600 miles thru rain and wind. I’m gonna stop for gas 2 times. I’m gonna drive right to the spot that the radar says is a prime location. I’m gonna get out of the chase car and step into the path of a semi truck going 247 miles an hour.

I’ve been thru 3 tornado aftermaths in the past 3 years:

a) Joplin, Missouri (124 dead)

One of my fellow employees was in this SRT truck asleep.
One of my fellow employees was in this SRT truck asleep.
Looking down from the overpass on a detour south of Joplin
Looking down from the overpass on a detour south of Joplin
My fuel stop was closed...
My fuel stop was closed…

I was wondering why the truck stop was on the wrong side of the interstate, well…at least the roof was… I got there 1 hour after it hit. The way the sky looks after a big tornado is one of the weirdest shades of green and yellow and beige you can’t imagine. The air feels like it’s been charged with power.
This monster twister carried people 2-3 miles from their homes and dumped them in trees, creeks, cow pastures….and the interstate I was on. I’ll never forget the screaming and crying….the sirens.

b) Tuscaloosa, Alabama (64 dead)

My exit ramp was blocked.
My exit ramp was blocked.

This one stripped the bark off of trees. It sucked asphalt out of pot holes. This one sucked paint up from pedestrian crossings at intersections, even
the aggravating little reflectors that make your tires go thump, thump thump….This one made people disappear….forever. I missed it by 1 hour.

c) El Reno, Oklahoma (8 dead, including 4 chasers)


images (56)

images (57)

It was dark when I came thru El Reno.

The traffic was backed up.

It was raining hard.

Then…the hail started banging on my truck. I started looking out my windows with a lot more interest. I was standing up in my sleeper looking out the front window of my truck, bracing my hands against the sidewalls. My truck was teetering left to right as if though a big hand was shaking it, the screaming wind and debris banging against my trailer. There was grass, trash, road signs, trash bins flying across the road in front of me…bouncing off cars and other trucks!

That’s when I seen a car and a pick-up truck go cart-wheeling by in front of my truck!

In different directions!

A car? A truck?

Flying thru the air?

I was gonna die.

It lasted about one minute.

Just that fast it was over…

I couldn’t see it because it was dark, and I found out later it was a rain-wrapped tornado. That’s how the Weather Channel guys got hurt and tossed thru the air and flipped in their chase vehicle over 200 yards into a cornfield. 4 other storm chasers died in that same storm.

It hit so fast, and was invisible in the dark and rain.

We had got “brushed” by an outer side wall they said…we were lucky they said…

I agree…

The guy in the flipping truck survived. He was lucky.

The woman and the baby in the car didn’t. They weren’t.

I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

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