Storm Kings

March 05, 2014

When severe weather happens, most of us take shelter. There are a few who don’t. Jeffrey Frame is one of them. He’s a clinical assistant professor of atmosphere sciences at the University of Illinois and is also a storm chaser. He says when he sees a tornado there’s an incredible moment of adrenaline, followed quickly by fear.

Over the course of the last 200 years, storm chasers and meteorologists like Frame have been largely responsible for collecting the information that informs our knowledge of severe weather.

This hour on Focus, Lindsey Moon talks to Frame about the risk he takes for science. We'll also hear from Lee Sandlin about his book “Storm Kings: America’s First Tornado Chasers." 

Pop Up Archive Item: “Storm Kings” : https://www.popuparchive.com/collections/1461/items/11009
Transcript for file: focus140305a.mp3

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in his book Storm King America’s First 2002 Sears lease and wind give the sand
the American history of storm chasing the says when settlers first encounter tornadoes
they had no idea what they were seeing someone to talk about the beginnings of 20 casein you really
really talking about a guy on horseback riding along side the small the sower on focus
KSOL talk with you about our first encounters with tornadoes and about the scientist who made it

00:00:30

mission to understand then I’ll talk with Jeffrey Freeman atmospheric science
scientist you have been chasing hernias in 2004 the scientist he says there’s something new
the storm chaser says he seduced by the adrenaline
turned off on the side road came over the cylinders is Big Town tornado sitting there
probably 45 miles away idea was there I’m in the moon
that’s coming up on focus after this news good
good morning welcome to focus on when the moon a tornado is a violently rotating column of air that

00:01:05

what comes in contact with the ground is the thing on every continent except Antarctica Anderson
very is measured on a scale of 1 to 5 I looked it up on google it was pretty easy information
information to find after release and wins bookstore in Kings America’s first tornado
chasers I feel lucky to be able to have easy access to information on American soil
consolers first encounter tornadoes airboat intrigue and horrified by the storm
I have no idea what they were the Sandlin right in his book store in Kings it was early America
Americans who started moving to the Midwest and became interested in tornadoes form prediction in the closet

00:01:40

the causes of severe wins on the Prairie WI Sandlin joints me now to talk about tornadoes in our history
history with them from Kings now in paperback Lee welcome to focus
I want to start out at the very beginning Ben Franklin play the role in the store
industry like he doesn’t need to do with at beginnings of research about science can you tell me about
about how he contribute to Charlie research about tornadoes important
porn for two reasons for purely scientific reason which is he was the first
the first person to try in your eyes how tornadoes Overland work

00:02:15

people know about waterspouts a sailor’s hat seen them travelers in the trap
tropics it in the b*** weather to the words similar farms Overland was
was when he was writing still kind of a I’m a matter of up selling
extremely important for the first scientific search for 20
so in a strange way the first tornado chaser I found in his course
correspondence letter where are described scene with small tornado
form while riding through the country in countryside Maryland

00:02:50

and he wrote after it on horseback so when you talk about the beginnings of 20
chasing you really talking about a guy on horseback riding along side the small funnel
when is lottery claim the last the final with his riding crop to see if you get this
get the final break up with him it was around the time
looking into if the water south exit on when did we get the word 28
tornado 2013 being used where does that word come from older work
word which is Wizard of Oz the word for the head of the something to do to apply

00:03:25

apply it to a $20 were the chosen in England in English
in the beginning of the seventeenth century is the term for storm at sea
see it did not mean at that point what we think of is a tornado
tapirs to amend to the sailors to the term for when driving
country directions thing is that up Franklin
is letters said that he called what he was looking for land spout
out by melody with water spouts and he said I’m specifically not

00:04:00

not talking about tornado because he thought tornadoes and mend this kind of
little whirlwind see and not what we think of now
so the term kind of floating around in front of the peculiar about doing research
search on the subject is that it wasnt really until the middle of the 19th century
the term got properly for fixed to what we think of tornadoes
is all crimes words to describe what does the parking
Kames the call the movie 12 Gales the coldest wind storms

00:04:35

um so when you’re reading research in the early records weather
very hard to know what they were talking about I think it’s interesting you mention at 20
2800 with curly word to describe the direction of wins as we get a little bit further along
how long is progression of what we know about pretty is there was a lot of controversy about how the wind movie
how that create a tornado can you tell me about that yeah during the early 19th century
feud violence in Santa Fe fisticuffs but the
impassioned feud between to the leading scientist Sun weather in America

00:05:10

over the nature of what the the wind did the tornado the leading expert
f*** that the one with the surrounding air was drawn into a tornado and went straight up
laid off without rotating and his opponent thought the tornado
rotated but the air to rise so they were is partially right hand purse
impartially wrong and their fight with so um
sewing Passion Pit divided up the entire scientific community in America
Erica from Sydney with paralyzed American meteorology for the better part of a generation

00:05:45

the to f*** that you mentioned got involved that was the storm or after
New Year’s and James Espeon William Bradford with the 29 to see you talking about
really does play a large role in beginning urology in United States Yahoo
yeah it was a brilliant man he was the first person really understand the nature of
convection which is a core scientific principle in meteorology you can’t
can’t understand the action of the atmosphere without it showing that since Ohlone should be remembered
but on the other hand he was also a man who will win the presidency

00:06:20

can someone sign test for this but he simply had no interest in listening to people
agreed with them so in the case of tornadoes he had the
insight as to what they were which was the rise in column A Bear police
used to believe that can rotate in fact when people would say I saw it
and I saw the wind Spenny tell them that they were wrong who winded me c**
we come to agreement attorneys do actually rotate and the fact is the winter movie
rotation of the core defining well it was what is

00:06:55

what happened is that as others studies when Im more MORE
one more direct observation of 2828
2800 of the Passover Philadelphia actually around the middle of the 19th century
and a large group of scientists other people interesting Weather Watch
what is happening from the roof of the University in the clearly saw that the final
was rising and was also rotating and so it seems like that
finally became minutes capable what the nature of a tornado watch

00:07:30

was and there was a man named up
how many morning Ferrell actually was the first person to work out the physics of it
exactly wrong but it was right and mouth
so that was able to spark on a is the sudden resurgence
research on tornadoes so that was really where we begin to get the modern state of Israel
the second of the 19th century so when William Fairland does enter the picture
rollin research into tornadoes in part because of the Civil War

00:08:05

after the Civil War when a lot of people started homestead and move to the American Midwest on the Prairie is win
is when there was a lot of attention again being paid to tornadoes wind
settlers got to the Midwest what did the Native Americans tell them about the storm
because with this at the time when the Native Americans were given by step
The Settlers of that wasn’t on extended period when they were willing to do with the world
what is a while before they really realize that the settlers were up to theta
they told someone a practical knowledge of tornadoes

00:08:40

a lot of really horrible advice they told the settlers
to build their there villages at the junction of rivers because they said 20
20 discount talk Crosswater which is completely fall um b***
what is the beginning of bad tornado advice which is something
continue through to this day is there any information that they were given that was useful
well you know what are the practical things that the Native Americans new with you
with you was that the best way to take shelter from the tornado when you’re in the open country

00:09:15

country with to get is close to the ground as possible and probable preferably do with dick
ditcher depression in the ground but that was in that still use atrilli
the best way to survive a tornado open country people of the stadia that they should make for
furthest things like a freeway overpass is but those are horrible places
Stride Rite a tornado the best things to get out of your car and look for
depression is shallow but some kind of fella depression on the ground and lie flat
misinformation information about tornadoes in a book you also write about winter

00:09:50

the settlers were moving to the Queen became quickly annoyed of the storm
because when they move they haven’t really been informed if you’re going to have to go
surprise when I saw him and yeah and
and more than the other problem was that umm the National Weather Service
did not have a great policy about tornado information
is there actually tried to avoid talking about tornadoes and Part B
hard because they were being pressured by the government and the real estate interest not

00:10:25

not to talk about tornadoes because the wanted didn’t want to discourage people from buying land
when did the Prairie season of the mid to late 1800’s yeah all of the Damned
mention tornadoes begin them but it actually lasted until after world
World War 2 National Weather Service never predicted 20 years and effect
after a lot of those years collected no information of tornadoes it all the single Corp
corpse was one of the group that was actually collecting report about tornadoes when were
were the actors in collecting nose and what started the federal government interest in

00:11:00

trying to forecast for you well this is the only the sense in
DMV in Back to the early days of the Republic that
people find weather information valuable but it wasn’t until the arrival of the Telegraph
system which began in the 1850s
earlier but it became more of a national network start in the 1850s that
that became practical to get real time tornado real time weather information and the Smiths
Smithsonian Institution begin collecting weather data and me

00:11:35

making forecast and the civil court upset over after the Civil War
andis Masonic got out of the weather business for Friday reasons
looking for a new job after the war was over the
the for the peacetime occupation and they became became
name the facto National Weather Service the first wave of it and see
and so they were collecting information and they have the net worth of telegraph around the country
trail ready to begin collecting massive amounts of data Andaz Apna collecting

00:12:10

electing it began collecting information on violin weather and of course in the Midwest
left of tornadoes are the frequency current release
really pretty unusual and um so in the 1870s really was
what is when they begin systematically trying to figure out how bad tornadoes were and Howell
what might cause im so that’s when you really find the beginnings of systematic
study of tornadoes that lasted until they get the Chillrend the end of the night
end of the 19th century when some of that early research started to be done

00:12:45

black talking about when you’re trying to figure out what cause numb what were some of the early series
well you know that the basic model for tornadoes with
Wasington fact long was worked up a meterologist like a sphere
lesbian Redfield we were talking about the understudy in principle the basic mechanism
tornadoes that it was the question of two air masses hot air from
hot humid air coming up Gulf of Mexico and Cole dryer
fire coming from Canada so theres did they didn’t have a

00:13:20

have a specific mechanism work out the fog alot of ideas
which Christensen some of the ideas of the head no friends
basis persisted for the better part of the century when I was a kid
I heard that 27 struck off because a vacuum at the corner
are the formal and is it passes over house the is the pressure inside the house pushes out
southward into the vacuum and causes the house to explode when I was a kid I was told
does told people to Portola school the singer supposed to do with open up the windows of the house

00:13:55

how steep 10 pressure this is completely fall and
um is in fact incredibly dangerous to do to waste time
should be taking shelter open up windows but that was the best advice a head in the 1960s
60’s and that Siri actually Richmond 1870 s and ending
never been tested and it never been rejected so bad
advice before that’s one of the temples of it where I live that was just the Spectre
speculative notion of the 1870s persisted until recently in the car

00:14:30

in the course of your research is there a one piece of information that you are most shocked by
um I think well in all tell you something I didn’t get into the book
the book because it just happened last spring but umm when the the Moore
Oklahoma tornado remember when there was a tree
extremely destructive tornado and the local weather people are telling people to get in their car
cars and drive away from it a car is a catastrophically bad place to train
can write a tornado and it really stoned me that people would be on television

00:15:05

vice that that was really just ignoring you responsible
and so it surprises me really at how little anything is changed
um presently quite a lot that discovered the Strand
Midwest talking people but when it is for this book is that
getting over bills and the new construction no one is to
is taking the trouble to include any kind of storm shelter on
and so it feels like we’re going backwards in 20 to prepare

00:15:40

interesting that there’s this thing is misinformation because there’s also this pain throughout history
this research that people are really interested in me stop caring for someone comes along
blonde takes it back up yeah that’s when we get reinfected um mean revenge
talking about the modern era between like the 60’s and today has there been at
Matt urban flow of research in entry well the movie
huge spike of interest in tornadoes in the last couple of decades NE
number of of genuine advances in 20 to study

00:16:15

and that can be traced one factor specifically and that’s the Advent
the video camera um because for the first time we have a very
very large library of tornado images because
because people for easy to forget that because you can go on YouTube and you can spend
hours watching tornadoes call is the genre of the sceptical
the cult p******* um and that’s very new
renew when I was a kid it was an extremely where them for somebody even have a clear

00:16:50

photograph of a tornado they were completely mysterious and now
we’ve got this this this not as mysterious now because we got
Scott visual records of themself alot of the original ideas about tornadoes this car
discarded um and that Spanish lady with huge spike
I want to revisit when we were talking about that was on the Prairie
tornadoes I was really fascinated by the description of wind
wind road in settlers moving out in calorimeter big package

00:17:25

the Prairie where the graph with gone yeah and enforce to these long
long trail 3/4 world the trees in down before
we need before I just before people knew the dust storms were the reasons for that
what were some of the reasons to why does exist in the sense that it was clearly something
quotes by the wind witches weather wind road um but what
what’s specific way it because the people found completely Mysterio
. Um this is where the word got the title from the book

00:18:00

f*** is that there was a third of folklore creatures called um Storm King
that they thought it take to seriously but they were you find poems for people wrote about
about the Storm King was riding through the forest in the Wiz China
giant horse the tour through the trees that left the trail down um so
so um so I think it was really um
this is the thing that people have the sense that the American landscape was very mysterious
and I took a lot of concerta what’s the weather like in stairs

00:18:35

what about tornadoes people still don’t know um so I’ll b***
when you look back of those times has won t find the beginning of the mystery in the sense that
something to be song you also right about the early
tales of work elected where was always someone in a town
is never really quite got over what happened at the post traumatic stress
stress disorder but it was the 19th century
word for stupid things people are surprised by a horse ride by the tornados

00:19:10

over the years yeah I think so because of the tornado and less
you actually see it first hand is the stomach
level destruction and how fast it happens on em
and that is something that people work Whitestone
Midwest and is still really can be quite shocking
first and is just the way ur destructive power
of the tornado in a biscut extraordinary Vyalitsyna for small space

00:19:45

um that that remains really did it this time
the thing that lasts about tornadoes in people’s month I was released
surprised to find out that we didn’t really take tornado prediction seriously until afternoon
after 1950 yeah yeah well the cilia Hmong the people of Minnesota
Weather Service was that is impossible to predict a tornadoes path of Exile
exactly that uh uh a bad forecast was worse than 04
forecast all and you know this is 220

00:20:20

2000 production is still very much
quite with the word is here its not there really isn’t such a
such a thing as a tornado prediction now even now you can predict the likely conditions
missions for tornado but the the possibility of saying that particular storm
storm cell is going to spawn a tornado in the the next
next 6 hours is really is still not true weeks still can’t do that
soul of a prediction really now involves a 20 LB number

00:20:55

the ground in predicting work might go as opposed to the storm is going to
going to perform at a certain point the signal Corp
were the first one to really started up weather alert system set of flags
there still confusion today at exist between the difference between a warning and a watch how did the
the weather forecasting alert develop food came out of the
this problem I’m talking about which is the difficulty making a specific prediction the idea original
originally was that if you knew that they were the general conditions existed for $20 like

00:21:30

is likely to form wood called out of watch aria and talking about
talking about how people have had little progress it should be pointed out that those watch
watch areas are actually extremely well done now
how is very very rare for $20 Crofts
the watches which said the conditions are there were tornado quad form
warnings Richmond to 20 axle on the ground and people Arkansas
are confused by it and I know that they are numbered meteorologist now you say we really gotta give

00:22:05

how to get rid of the system come up with something else that people can really understand because
because one of the problems that always happens when there’s a tornado is a huge amount of c**
confusion and which of incomplete affect Alex
when I first saw the title of the book America’s first tornado chasers I expect a lot more about
about people actually getting out in a car and driving after 22 the video camera Yahoo
that does not come until much later in the story then were those first orgy
looking at hernias well its started as soon as they had

00:22:40

bad um some kind of sense of love being able to do it
court it so that when I come home movies
start in the 19 fifties and a little later in the 1960’s
going out with cameras to film by storms today was really the beginnings of it
the breakthrough with the introduction of Doppler radar what happened to me
19 seventies when it really became widespread because it was the first time you could use
use radar to track a tornado on the ground and that was really the first time

00:23:15

people going hunting tornadoes were they would be able to know where to look specific
walking away from the process of rain for talking with people
Midwest what is the misconception that still exist in the most
understanding of 20 as well people do have the side ear
Mansion earlier that the best place to hide from a tornado in the open country is under freeway
freeway overpass a stress two listeners the horrible place to hide because
freeway overpass to act like a wind tunnel so it’s at the Wynn can actually speed up

00:23:50

opposites passing under the bridge and um so you seen videos
videos of people having there they were the people who survived books stored Maryland Waukee
um they’re so that’s one thing the other thing that um
I keep on hearing from people is like in the southwest corner
corner of the basement the something that is it around there again from the 19 century
when I was a kid doesn’t really matter what are the basement is it 10 things that is low
is little known about tornado fatalities discovered in Alaska

00:24:25

almost all the deaths caused by tornadoes a close by flying debris
and so the best possible thing you can do tornado is imminent
is to take shelter somewhere where there no windows you want to protect yourself from fun
Wonder Bread commercial things to remember if your face with a tornado
when you finish the research for the buck you mention that there were still think that we don’t know about tornadoes what were
what were some of the questions that you have to dress well is a civic VP Singh is king
tornado Genesis which is what is Zac trigger mechanism

00:25:00

mechanism is the causes a tornado to form and people really surprised to hear
we still don’t really know what that is and it’s not just we don’t know we never really
really know I say that I want to stress The Tomorrow of a research
researcher that the National Service storms laboratory about but its all
also I dive talk to 22 people who said we may never get to the point
or we know exactly where the tornado is going to form an exactly why
thank you very much for taking a few minutes to talk with me about drinking stay in my place

00:25:35

the moon sitting in Virgina does and today on focus I’ve been talking with Lee sandwich
about his book Storm King America’s first 20 chasers we’re going to take a short break
when we come back I’ll talk with Jeffrey frame clinical assistant professor about the spirit signs
the University of Illinois he is a storm chaser day without your listening to focus on
wiol AM 580 welcome back to focus on
the moon in Virginia does so far this hour we’ve been talking about tornadoes and how we know what we do about
do about why they happen for the break I was talking with Lee sandwich of the book storm kings

00:26:10

America’s first tornado chasers Jeffrey frame clinical assistant professor about missing your ex
sciences at the University of Illinois who is a strip joint now he’s been chasing severe storms
internecine 2004 Jeff Wilkins Highland ca thanks for having me on
thanks for being here today so I’m really are we were talking about tornadoes in a lot about
how we know we know about them so I guess a good place to start my baby can you tell me meteorologically
what is a tornado and why did they happen yeah absolutely tornadoes defined as
find is violently rotating column of air in contact with the ground

00:26:45

pendant from a cumulonimbus cloud what does that mean in English well it means a
is a tornado we have air spinning around a rotating very fast I think most of you probably
probably knew that but these rotating column very much to send from cumulonimbus
Olympus Club under storm clouds are informally we call them Thunderhead
important to know that the tornado is the rotating when did self its not
not the funnel cloud that you might think of when somebody says tornadoes throat
rotating winds that actually posted in the closet self how many tornadoes do

00:27:20

does do we usually get that touchdown and can be defined as a tree with your Illinois Illinois season
is an average 3520 does each year SMU that says long term average of courses
horses some years might be a little more active than and some years might be a little bit more quiet than that
and we get more tornadoes and some other place is the last Cincinnati Ohio
example Reithoffer Gampel tornadoes are most common in what we call Tornado Alley the run from
from roughly from Nebraska down south to Texas from eastern Colorado usual
usually Easton to Missouri others another maximum in tornado current across the South

00:27:55

southeastern US Arkansas Mississippi Alabama places like that that’s taken informal
formal name Dixie alley over the past couple of years places like the East Coast Inn
especially the West Coast California Oregon and Washington tornadoes airfare
Fairly in common but they’re not unheard of actually last Friday night there is a tornado
Sacramento California wide is the Midwest get more tortillas another right
right places country really the answer goes back to geography and you think about
about what are the ingredients you need for a tornado the number one thing you need is warm moist

00:28:30

stare at the surface in at warm moist air axis fuel for thunderstorms CA can
can have a tornado without a thunderstorm BetUS
amount of instability we call it energy to build up in the atmosphere
we get these layers of air coming east of the Rocky Mountains in the temperature in those
airg 33 rapidly with height in that allows the instability really build up
build up in the atmosphere to some pretty high levels of it like putting apps
Decathlon the stove and you can have a gradual release of energy

00:29:05

don’t try this at home but if you were to take a cork and put it in the spider that tea kettle
eventually get explosive release of energy and the second ingredients needed
vertical wind shear in at the change in wind speed for winter rection with
tight end with a thunderstorm forms in an environment able to talk
horizontal rotation imagine a rolling pin or something rotating around a horizontal
Laxus that into the vertical for the entire thunderstorm cloud
loud starts rotating and these are called supercell thunderstorms

00:29:40

forms to look at them on radar they dont look like hurricanes like something you might think
what they have a distinctive hook shaped echo usually on the southwest
west corner the third ingredient we need for thunderstorms and tornadoes
does a trigger how to make deer go up in that can be something like a cold front
it could be something like a leftover boundary of cold air left over from the previous state storms
or hospital the dry line which is coming from Kansas to Oklahoma in Texas
Texas where you get a confluence of warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico in hot dryer

00:30:15

coming together for the desert Southwest on the old method warm air plus cold
tornadoes is your status a myth that were true we were seen a big tornado
Sunday in the didn’t when temperatures drop 50 to 60 degrees in 24 hour
24 hours across parts of Texas another part of the country singer sings you mention that cold air
cold air plus one equal tornado that is what I thought for really long time earlier I was talking
talking about misconceptions about tornadoes what is the one that you were interned with most of
post office near ologist what we hear that won a lot folks

00:30:50

folks riding sometimes in the medial sable why was there a big tornado outbreak
no warm air plus cold air equals 20 toes swell when warm and cold
Kohler meet you get from cold fronts warm fronts in Ocean Beach triggers for Airtel
where to rise in the atmosphere how far is Apple last November 17th at big tornado watch
breaker Illinois that was triggered by a cold front that’s not always the case trial
941 meat warm air can also trigger tornadoes
talking about this I wish I could see you can you look really excited to YM

00:31:25

you’re very passionate dreams you chase storms yourself what does when I go out and chase
chase storms and not just in it for the tornado its it’s kind of a double edged sword
what does adrenaline rush looking at a tornado looking at the power of nature as long as you do it
you do it from St distance I’m not one of these extreme chasers you might hear about
I’m going right up to it going into a 2000 credible incredibly dangerous
so you’re able to witness the majesty in the beauty of nature and
and majesty of the atmosphere which I understand a fairly 5

00:32:00

fundamental level down to the mathematical equations of government
even if you don’t see a tornado these rotating storms called supercells
cells can be absolutely majestic because the entire cloud road
rotates hand usually when you see free sample online videos if its a timelapse
lapse video so it’s a little bit but sometimes the cloud look like a stack of dinner plates
plates words extreme events like a UFO flying saucer
I’m up there in the atmosphere only its not aliens its it’s the storm itself

00:32:35

imagine a couple different from the book like do all forms of the same no
storms are kind of like people in a way in it to peoples faces Neverland
what the same except for twins to storms never look the same
and when I go online and eye brows pictures of storms ur when I see pictures of store
storms on television if I seen that storm I can almost instantly recognizable
recognize it you go out you look at the storms sometimes you can look at a singles
single storm for a period 5 hours persist if it isn weighted if its slow moving

00:33:10

moving talk to to Wii um about the fact that a lot change
what we know about storms when we can take pictures of them c10 more time looking at them
umm when you look at a photo of a storm what are you looking for
tornadoes in Gifford and Brittany date just like one of them looks like its raining
the other one looks like on a little bit more rain there’s a cloud in an alternator
don’t really know what do you look for right if you’re looking for store introduce a tornado
tornado the first thing you would look for is a supercell thunderstorm it’s one of those storms entire cloud

00:33:45

louder the entire pluma Frisinger the pizza store
everything rotates and you can look for the hook shaped signature on radar which tells you
supercell you can look for rotation on radar hey we have a supercell
but if that’s super cells to produce a tornado Hot 100 floors level rotation a cloud
cloud base in offense in most tornadoes form from water called wall cloud
what a wall cloud is its a lowered cloud down Bonita cloud base
sometimes wall plugs rotating sometimes they dont off the wall cloud

00:34:20

rotating probably isn’t any imminent danger from a tornado
what is rotating special effects rotating rapidly a tornado conformity
anytime in 20 does Canada have really really fast we have research
research Radarsat go out in Coonskin store in every 2 minutes
even then we say hey you know there’s a lot going on your knees 2 minutes sometimes tornadoes conform
form within a minute naps what happen in Gifford the atmosphere back on November 17th
that’s favorable for tornadoes to form out important to know

00:34:55

another misconception you can’t tell the strength of a tornado just by looking
looking at it I know they do that in twister in the movie that came out back in the 90’s all the time
all the time other lot of it’s a funny movie to watch believe me I love watching that movie
movie about there a lot of things scientifically wrong with it if you think that’s what store
Jason’s like its it’s a little bit different than the what is it really like the number
the number one thing it’s a lot of driving when I go out on Touhy trip suite General
generally average between five and six thousand miles driving in 2 weeks allow

00:35:30

are record was in May 2012 we actually putting 70 300 miles
in 2 weeks now I be sleepy don’t have only one person doing all that driving
driving but what its like is you wake up in the morning usually in a hotel room
can you put the weather the night before an over the last few days so you have some idea what the f
what the atmospheres doing some idea out where storms may be most likely
Kylie and we determine ok where do we think severe weather is most likely
both today and tomorrow in usually the next day

00:36:05

reply route we drive to wear store for most likely ideally we get there an hour
our 2 before storms form in Clovis free up and wait for because it
is it a lot better to sit around a gas station a truck stop McDonalds for a couple of hours
in wait for storms to form and say hey look at that store 150 mile
the miles that way it was really cool I wish we were there CN two and a half
2&a half hours so when you are out and you’re trying to chase a storm why are you chasing it
and how close do you get to them there several different reasons why people

00:36:40

go out and chase storms most of my first chases
route from 2004 to 2010 hour in the name of science I will take the
take the mobile Doppler radar another instrument vehicles out to the storm
get high resolution both in time and space radar data on the storm
determine why some of these rotating supercell thunderstorms priest tornadoes
ny some white some down in his culminated in 2009 and 2010
the 10 with a project called vortex to that stands for the verification of the

00:37:15

the origin of rotation in Forney does experiment to wear very creative with
acronyms in science and we have 30 to 40 vehicles going around
going around the storms Gathering integrated data sets to hopefully better answer that question
we can you know what we probably increase elite I’m on a tornado warnings
then beginning in 2011 the science project concluded for the tie
for the time being id lives in my second ear hear the vine I said you know
if you’re studying animals and you really want to learn about animals you’ll go to the zoo

00:37:50

zoo or you’ll go on safari in Africa you’ll go with it
if you’re studying geology anyone about rocks well you’ll go out to Utah
Utah are some places has the kind of rocks you want to look at you go out with the rocks
well if you want to go look at the store in about 40 out looking storms in lycra
like rocks unlike zoo animals storms move they don’t always form
insane places usually don’t I so that is where all the driving comes in
what’s it like to be next to storm like that I’m not going to

00:38:25

adrenaline rush like I said every storm with different
different and you don’t know now you have some idea what the chances of tornadoes
does might be that day but you don’t know if someone is going to produce a tornado or doesn’t
doesn’t c** blast may your on Kansas in real late starter
market data are van was in the shop at a cracked fuel pump rental 230 in the afternoon
afternoon fortunately or somewhere I wanted to be about an hour and half way we drove over there
where we watch this storm form your standing there watching the storm a true story

00:39:00

little fun with my said hey that look at that wall cloud over there top 6 miles away
few miles closer it looks like it might do something interesting who got the van Reed Road north
driving north on the road with line with hills and trees morning store chasers
chasers don’t like or Hills entries because they block you view and weed
and we turned off on the side road came over the cylinders is Big Town tornado sitting there probably
Ubly 45 miles away we had no idea it was there in Spanish
feel rite sitement that’s one of the things that the only thing we looking for

00:39:35

not all about tornadoes I want to cut in and f*** something to say
when you came across the sea between a credible excitement which beer a part of that
what if your right next to it if you’re not scared I think there’s something wrong with you but we were
we were 5 or so mild away from this tornado
in this particular tornado that wasn’t moving at a is very unusual this particular tornado
what really moving all I would you most tornadoes move from west Easter
Illinois southwestern NE that’s not always the case like I said by looking at

00:40:10

radar radar image of the story of some idea where the storms going in
if your right up next to it yeah that’s extremely dangerous and I know it
there’s some folks to go up that go that close usually to get video that is
is extremely dangerous to do and I would never do that
03 the weather for storm chasers who work for chili killed
last me for the first near Oklahoma City I saw that storm from behind
best of the storm we had a pretty bad you the tornado

00:40:45

through the rain but we were behind it it wasn moving atlas
and three of the storm chasers killed were their mission was science it was too
put probe to put scientific instruments in the path of the tornado
sounds pretty easy the tornadoes over here its moving this way just drop some of these
these things and get out of there with plenty of time to spare
bacon change their path in most tornadoes aren’t that why that particular 1 was
over 2 miles wide sexually put down something have

00:41:20

have the tornado go right over the difficulty think so their mission required to get up
get up very close to a tornado tornado
very large in very strong in there actually medical section 4 to Caesars
Cesar subway to seize like miniature 20 does rotating around the center of the tornado
tornado over a hundred miles an hour fortunately they were
unable to get out of the way off of the tornado did one of those section 40
Car Show as in part of your world is a clinical professor University you take outs

00:41:55

students to go to TJ storms we we we don’t when you say
chase storms it sounds like you’re driving after the storm in pregnancy we’re not
not doing that we we go out in the observed storms are we observe atmospheric
convection ok and still use to worry about what might happen if you guys did Macomb
misjudgement quote is the the sense of responsibility is ultimately there
I have years of experience in both decision making and in navigate
navigating Vehicles hopefully keep us out of harms way

00:42:30

and knowing that I’m the leader of the group in basically what I say goes
does um I’m very very careful not to do something that would make me
would make me uncomfortable me and you follow some basic safety rules for example you always
always try to leave yourself not one but to escape routes in paved road
who wrote you don’t want to get on a dirt road in the rain, turns into mud
especially down in Oklahoma Turks clay it turns into very very slick
mud in the ditch you don’t put yourself too close

00:43:05

close you don’t put yourself right in front of the tornado producing region of the sea
the storm you don’t drive up next to a tornado you stay out of the large hail
hail all of these things but the number one danger with
any kind of storm observation beat scientific ur educational or otherwise
is is just driving that many miles
miles are people next to storms doing stupid things to talk about
distracted driving with people you no texting while driving you don’t want to do that

00:43:40

checking the radar while you’re driving you don’t want to be staring at the store
the store while you’re driving you don’t want to not pull all the way of the country road
dont pull away from your car basic things like that
most dangerous part one thing I want to ask you as a journalist
this weird relationship with breaking news okay so when breaking news happens stares at adrenaline
when you were talking about exciting to be an environment where you’re trying to cover the things that also
breaking news happens sometimes because there something awful right that happened to Jeff

00:44:15

the Japanese tsunami you’re right you know war um so I
so I have this kind of love hate relationship with stuff like that do you feel that way all about tornadoes
does anybody think about the destruction of their causing when you’re out trying to figure them out for summer
absolutely Mitel you know the students before we go out in the field of classroom
classroom instruction on weather in forecasting in safety in all kinds of things
is a look if your you know we’re going to lunch at McDonalds
open some small town don’t walk around being so excited home answer

00:44:50

there could be big tornadoes today would that be so cool well if that’s your
that’s your farmer your small town you’re not going to be very excited about that
I wasn’t very excited to see that forecast for where I live
back on November 17th and when the tornadoes going on yes
yes there’s for some folks that’s what they’re looking for like I said that’s not my
my one goal of beautiful storm that doesn’t make a tornado can be very very
Mary rewarding to me what is Shakespeare’s just a little bit

00:45:25

a lot of the questions that we had over the years about tornadoes have come from people wanting
wanting to know when they’re coming so that they can get to safety how reliable is
Bible is weather prediction technology well yeah
relative interesting questions you ask in terms of looking
couple days out we generally a pretty good handles how winners going to be a
severe weather hurt when i do I break a couple days out sample the November 17th
how is forecasted of elevated risk assessor weather for Sunday

00:46:00

I’m at least 4 days out the National Weather Service in done that I remember I was watching
watching other computer models of the atmosphere come in and was really that Friday night
before the event I was sitting sitting at home Friday evening watching the models
cabin and I said well this looks like it could be a major severe weather
weather events that was forecasted saturday by The Weather Service
nn the new outlook came out how late Saturday night it was it was pretty chilly
preaching to read but it read conditions are favorable for multiple violent long

00:46:35

long track tornadoes across portions of Illinois and Indiana
exactly what did happen during the late morning in into the early afternoon
what that said the sciences nowhere near where we can say
tornado will hit Gifford on Sunday a tornado will hit near Villa Grove
The Grove on Sunday tornado will not hit champaign-urbana on Sunday
Sunday we can’t even do that you know a couple hours out
how not why not well thunderstorms and tornadoes

00:47:10

small scale phenomena there not very big, big tornado
tornadoes something that’s a mile wide most tornadoes ur no 10
50 yards wide somewhere in there thunderstorms and tornadoes
supercell for maybe 10 miles across time in India
the way the atmosphere works is the smaller the things are the less predictable they are in the shorter than
order they last something really big like a low pressure system
the swirling cloud from low pressure system getting Compass half the United States

00:47:45

who sings last for days halo is over Kansas today don’t move NE
up into Minnesota tomorrow we can predict that I’m fairly well but
where exactly will the thunderstorm bond for example one that cold
cold front when we can’t say that you’re giving a presentation about tornado preparedness the frightening
what are the most important things in order to be prepared
prepare for 30 right okay we’ll number one his if a tornado warning issued
don’t wait for the sirens if you hear the tornado warning issued

00:48:20

if you seek substantial shelter that means no mobile homes that means no cars
cars on the number to is get to the lowest floor of that Shelter
alter a preferably a basement in an interior room to the idea
is Brittany walls between the tornado when’s the right side in use possible
possible a basement for preferred but not every house has a basement
basement I forgot my house doesn’t have a basement I’m so good place to go to class
what are special eng interior bathroom I’m white bathrooms because the

00:48:55

the pipes are the metal pipe that run through the walls let’s go to provide extra
reinforcement to the walls another good thing to do if you’re at home
I’m getting the mattress for heavy blanket something that’s cushioning
but can also offer protection to your head and neck and body another real easy
easy tip is if you hurt when running in your home or you have it with you
put your bike helmet designs for protect you from impact if you fall off
all of your bike on so you know debris gets blown into your head help protect you from

00:49:30

take you from app that’s a really good thing in over her dead before it something that’s Weaver
we really only talked about for the last few years I don’t know if it’s a bird it’s really enGenius
and even if you don’t have a bike helmet if you’re really worried about tornadoes you can go out to the store and buy one for
one for probably 40 or 50 dollars another get a good idea to put your shoes on
IKS India likely that you do get hit by tornado
there’s going to be stuff everywhere to breed glass rocks
who knows what I’m thinking don’t want to be stepping on without you

00:50:05

Jeff thank you very much for doing me today a1 Lindsay thanks for having me out of my pleasure
Pleasure P Miley and I’ve been talking with half hour with Jeff refrain the storm chaser
chaser and clinical assistant professor of atmospheric science at the University of Illinois
giving a presentation this evening about tornado and severe weather preparedness at the Bech minutes
Instituto de Torreon in Urbana at 7 o’clock p.m. Detail worth noting there is free
free parking available at the you lie parking garage University in Matthews right next to the Bakken Center
tomorrow on the show Jeff Bhasker toxic Mycolog remember the University of Illinois

00:50:40

Illinois check to an editor of chest Life magazine about the world of collegiate chest
you’ve been listening to focus on w.i.l.l.i.a.m 580 again I’m with the moon Jason Crawford
Technical Director Ryan Weber is our intern thanks for joining us