Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chasers & the Off-Season Blues

...And so... Another night of storm tracking and crazy anecdotes from various other storm chasers and meteorologists ensued online last night... Another like many more before it. Late nights. Radar returns, and some alcohol and whaddya get?!

Yep...yet more drunk, clever, or not so clever smart ass and dirty/rude remarks from myself and my peers about another 09 non-event which was "over forecast" by the NWS!? iOho! (In OUR "Humble" Opinions anyway)

The only difference was, this particular event was in early December...On the SE portion of the CONUS of all places!
Meteorological WINTER has begun....

Just when we are all thoroughly infected with SDS, and in pronounced pessimistic moods that "we are gonna be 09ed again!".
We chasers and meteorologists/students etc are all very critical and condescending to our fellow "peers" @ the NWC/SPC at this time, as most of our predictions have been right all year whereas theirs have been somewhat "over-forecast" in many cases. (Or so we like to think).

There is evidence in this community that some of us really DO think were all that!...or perhaps we ARE really that bitter after being 09ed over and over again. Maybe its some of both.
But let it be said there are those among us chasers who frequently "over-forecast" too.

While I wish I could often share their "optimism" for want of a better word, I cannot help but go with my own stubbornness and go completely with MY OWN forecasts! Typical!! I am known for my stubbornness, and pessimism, I'm famous for it!

But I hate being disappointed, so I generally don't set myself up for that! I hate to bust!
My forecasts for meso scale events have been pessimistic throughout this year I will admit that...BUT: They have been very close to the mark...MOST times this year.
I am surprised at this...I am fairly new to this!

By no means did I ever expect to get correct forecasts this early on in my chasing career...No way!!
Or...perhaps my pessimism is what lucked me out decide!

This is me, being completely honest.

(However, there have actually been a few times where I have been surprised and been proved wrong, too and some great set ups have happened in NE, and KS and I have underestimated chase potential!! It happens to us all.)

I am not trying to blow my own trumpet here, but my findings are based on trends/obs and also bearing in mind we are smack bang in the middle of an El Nino year.
Call me pessimistic if you want, but it is what it is.

Yes I said it again... I am pessimistic!

.... Another squall line with small/no hail and damaging wind gusts....that will fail in strength and size and turn into stratiform precip by the time it reaches *insert state line/location here* Usually Indiana...Goddamn it!!! August 4th anyone? *cough* DERECHO *cough*.

Just how do I know we won't see snow of any significance in the lower GL region til at least Jan 2010! ? Lord only knows. Perhaps its just a hunch...I am no long-range forecaster!
But heeeyy lookie! There's SNOW IN FREEKIN DALLAS TX as I write this.

Anyway what I am getting at here is I realize more than most people, that the meteorological community has its good, bad, and downright ugly.
By my own admission, I am sometimes good, sometimes bad, and when I have had a few drinks I can open my mouth and get downright f**kin ugly!

C'mon...Its 09 and while I am intoxicated I get a little, let's say, erm...frustrated!
I believe most chasers...particularly my Great Lakes region counterparts...will understand my frustration!


Ok...Now before you all jump in my shit and give me hell, I am also a very observant person. If I am proved wrong on a certain issue, or subject, I do not obliterate it with snide remarks.
I am open to constructive criticism. I welcome it, because I want to learn, and gain knowledge. While I am a little on the proud side and generally don't go looking for help on a meteorological issue I run into, when the help is offered to me, I always welcome and embrace it.

It is just the way I am made. Love it or hate it!

So far in my short chasing career, I feel I have learned a hell of a lot since being here in the US of A. I am very happy about that. I am proud of that, and I am so much more passionate about the weather now, compared to what I was.
I have always been fascinated with it since the Great Storm of Oct 1987 in the SE of England when we were plunged into complete blackness with winds gusting up to 125mph, and debris smacking the side of the house @ 2.30am.
Yes, I was a little scared. But my main emotion that long night was one of awe and wonder at the power of these hurricane-force winds! I found it strangely beautiful! Mother Nature showed up with her wrath that night. I will NEVER forget it.

I don't mean to go off topic here.

Back on topic. I know many of us in the chaser community criticize the SPC forecasters on many occasions. It is something that will obviously continue season in...season out.
No ones gonna be able to change that.

However we must ALSO remember they are the ones who went through school and got degrees and Ph D's in meteorology, and worked their asses off to get where they are today.
We must accept that. They do their job as they must...because after all they are NOT there to forecast on the whims of us chasers who are chomping at the bit for a good set up-that we must do OURSELVES.
My only wish is that more of us LEARN how to do this effectively without relying on the SPC's convective outlooks!
That way then we may have room to criticize!

(I will save this particular rant for another day...besides you have heard it all before, right?!).

The SPC forecasters are there because they have to exercise caution. They are looking out for the public at large...NOT the chasers so much! We would do good to remember that!

I know we like to point and laugh, and inflate our own egos. Hell I been guilty of that since I was able to walk and talk, I have been called out on it over and over. And thats ok!
At the end of the day, I can't change me, and I won't change me. So we won't go there.

I can get rude and offensive and also very sarcastic...and these traits show up big time when there is a mass of busted forecasts going around, even my own!
I have a very strange sense of humor, and some people will never ever get it. Furthermore I don't intend to change or morph it to fit their requirements anytime soon!

The chaser community has a knack of bringing out the best (or worst) in me. I don't know why. But I am not complaining! I luvs you all! LOL!

Its all good!

I'm outta here, to go look at some more storm porn...

Over and out...

1 comment:

  1. the one thing i will say about the spc while they do have the degrees and what not have skrewed up on quite a few occasions- one case in particular was may 3rd of 1999 as im pretty sure you know that date that began as a slight risk and finnally during the afternoon upgraded all the way to high risk- but looking at the synopsis it screamed high risk before the upgrade- another case in point was the Springfield, Mo tornado outbreak where it was a slight risk- and over 50 tornadoes touched down in sw missouri even a tornado emergency was declared for Springfield. I will admit I am not a fan of the spc but they have also made good calls such as the Super Tuesday tornado outbreak when a record breaking 5 tornado emergencys were declared. I may not have a PhD in meterology 12 years of educating myself out of school (basically I was studying since age 13 and now im 25), 8 years of hand drawing skew-t's plus 4 years of actually going in the field and chasing should count for something. I will admit once in awile even my forecast busts because storms didn't fire up when they were shown on the model even though the instability sometimes exceded the model.