Essential storm chasing equipment is an absolute must for observing tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, gale-force winds and other torrential forms of weather. Not only to keep safe, but to effectively monitor and capture the weather pattern. People who follow these devastating storms are called storm chasers and here are just a few pieces of basic must-have storm chasing gear if you’d like to join this wild group of storm lovers:
* Cell phones
* Smart phones
* GPS enabled automobiles
* Dashboard-mounted webcams
*Doppler radar technology
* Radiosondes and much more.
The history of storm chasing is quite a long one dating back to the year 1680. In the 1940’s planes used to follow thunderstorms. In fact, the first tornado watch happened in 1948. Planes studied squall lines in 1956. So you can certainly see the use of storm chasing equipment is much more advanced today, and it has become a lot easier for us all.
More Advanced Equipment
It is the storm chasers themselves who hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of these devastating storms, but technology definitely helps them make this easier and safer. Here’s a list of equipment and gear we always use on every single expedition with more advanced groups:
- Radiosondes– a storm chasing pack that contains a large balloon that is used to collect and transmit meteorological information.
- Doppler radar technology– this is a form of radar used to detect the motion of storms like tornadoes.
- Dashboard-mounted webcams– These are used to document violent weather via live streaming video (go-pro is a recommended one).
- Laptops– These are used to provide weather maps,analyze data, display data, and much more.
- GPS enabled automobiles– provides information to map in real time,navigation maps, and these help storm chasers travel very long distances into unfamiliar territory.
- Smart phones– Capture subtle storm details that videos overlook.
- Digital cameras-digital images can be quickly and easily uploaded to Internet sites to be used research, education, or scientific studies. Also digital images can be easily incorporated into news, weather sites, on-air broadcasts.
- Cell phones– Cell phones can enable communication with authorities so they can keep the public informed about these dangerous types of storms.
Other Storm Chasing Equipment
Other equipment storm chasers use involve more advanced ways to measure temperature, dew point, pressure, wind speed, wind direction and more. A special tool used to measure wind speed is called an anemometer. It can also report the wind speed. Bear in mind that a storm chaser must be licensed to use some tools like a HAM Radio.
A tool as simple as a flashlight can be used to locate victims trapped in a storm. Auto Emergency Kits are quite useful (and in some placed legally required) to the storm chasers in providing them with a first-aid kit, tow rope, fuses, foil blankets, and more emergency items.
CB Radios help storm chasers communicate with each other while they are out tracking a storm. Also the use of email can be really helpful during the early stages of a storm. Binoculars are a useful tool for taking a much closer look at the storm. AGMRS Radio is a nice alternative to any cell phone.
With the advanced technology of today, it is getting easier to track and chase storms (but not less scary of course). New technology and electronic devices is helping storm chasers to do a great job each and every time. Do not forget the AC-Adapter for charging camera batteries and powering other basic items that are needed to chase storms and relay information.