Thursday, May 15, 2008


Last night I attended the Wakefield Skywarn Basic Spotter Training class and received my spotter ID.  I am now Spotter ID, VNOR147 here in the Wakefield territory.  Thanks again to Dewdrop for motivating me to take this class.  When they say "Basic" spotter training, they mean it.  It was very elementary, but good for a majority of people in attendance.  There were 34 people at the class, many of whom were motivated by the EF3 Suffolk Tornado.  It was a good mix of people with a number of first responders, full time fisherman, and actually 3 students in the 7th grade or lower.  It was very clear from the beginning of the class they were not big fans of "storm chasers".  By the time they got to me for an introduction, I mentioned no words of my chasing adventures.  My comments were basically, "Hi, I'm Mike and I like the weather".  I think the politically correct way to ID myself from now on will be as a "mobile spotter".  

There were 3 meteorologist from the Wakefield office at the class.  I did get a chance to talk to them about the post Tornado review in Suffolk.  Under the old Fujita scale, it was definitely an EF4 tornado.  However, under the enhanced fujita scale they categorized the tornado as a strong EF3.  The only mitigating factor from making the Tornado an EF4 was the fact that absolutely none of the houses that were wiped off their foundation had any tie downs or rebarb connecting the frame to the cement slab.  I found this to be shocking.  These people have probably paid over 300K for brand new construction that is basically 2x4's laying on top of cement with no anchor into the slab they lay upon.  Pretty amazing.  I sure am glad I live in a full brick 1935 house made of heavy white oak beams.  They don't make them like the used to!

On a side note, I am on the road for work tomorrow and we are close to the slight risk box.  I hope to be on the road heading south from DC by the time the storms initiate.  I'll have my camera and EVDO card with me.  There is also a chance of some storms tonight after dark.  I would love to get my first lightning photography in for the year this evening. 



Rick said...

Congrats Bro! Get used to the idea of not being liked as a "chaser." God forbid you decide to drive a mile while watching a storm. LOL! We have the same problem here. They arent a big advocate of it but gladly take the info when you send it to them. Then you have the problem, sometimes, of them acting like you have no idea what your looking at even though they teach you what to look for!! Gotta love it!!

Storm Chasing Mikey said...

Thanks Rick! I'm hoping to do some "mobile spotting" tonight / tomorrow.


Dewdrop said...

I think I might do a little "mobile spotting" in this slight risk we now share today. Be safe. Glad you attended the class, even if it was slightly "elementary". You'll enjoy the advanced class more. Woohoo! Go Storm Spotting Mikey!