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Storm Chasers

Storm Chasers inside Dominator

Storm Chasers

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Storm ChasersIn the movies, it seems like storm chasers drive a few miles, find some green clouds and a tornado drops from the sky right in front of them. Like so many stories on the silver screen, Hollywood has taken a few liberties with reality. That doesn’t mean the experience of seeing a tornado in real life is any less exhilarating than the heart pounding moments depicted in the movies. Coming face to face with my first real tornado, an EF4 near Tipton, Oklahoma, was an experience I still can’t describe to anyone who hasn’t seen a tornado up close.

More than three dozen tornadoes were reported across Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Iowa Saturday, as the US heartland braced for a night of dangerous weather and “life-threatening” twisters. Earlier, for only the second time in U.S. history, the Storm Prediction Center issued a high-risk warning more than 24 hours in advance, said Russ Schneider, director of the center, which is part of the National Weather Channel. The first time was in April 2006, when nearly 100 tornadoes tore across the southeastern U.S., killing a dozen people and damaging more than 1,000 homes.

As violent weather closes in on south-central Kansas today, expect to see numerous storm chasers in the area. I’ve heard some chasers have even flown in from overseas to take part in today’s outbreak. I’m sure storm chasers will be out today with their amber lights flashing trying to find tornadoes by tracking the storms. Hopefully they will abide by the traffic laws. In the past some have shown disrespect for the laws and caused potentially dangerous situations for regular drivers. If anyone sees reckless driving from these chasers please call 911 to report. Safety is very important for everyone!

Tornadoes and supercell thunderstorms churned Saturday evening toward larger cities in the southern and central Plains, with residents in some areas receiving new warnings intended to grab their attention and prompt them to find safe shelter. In Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback issued this advisory: “If you’re on the road, get off as soon as you can and find some shelter.”

Storms are tearing across the midwest in an outbreak of violent weather that forecasters predict could be “life-threatening.” By late Saturday, Nebraska was hit with baseball-sized hail, and 36 tornadoes were reported across Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Rod Stuhr, a volunteer storm chaser firefighter in Petersburg, Neb., said giant hail pounded the streets and “bounced about five to six feet up in the air,” shattering the windows of homes and cars in in the area.

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