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O'Reilly Interview Digs Into the Tech of Storm Chasing

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the started-with-just-a-bicycle-and-some-crayons dept.

Earth 64

blackbearnh writes "If you've watched the Discovery Channel series 'Storm Chasers,' you'll be familiar with Dr. Joshua Wurman and his Doppler on Wheels radar, which he uses to study tornadoes up close and personal every spring. O'Reilly Media spent some time last week speaking to Dr. Wurman about what it takes, technologically, to operate a weather radar in 100-mile-per-hour winds in the middle of a lightning storm. They also talked about the value of this kind of research to both tornado and hurricane research, and how having a film crew around during missions affects the science."

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64 comments

Oh great, just what my local news needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26132979)

Dopper 1 Billion + 4x4 = Doppler 4x4 Billion

Chasing Hazzards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26133037)

Next... Lets study magma... dive in ppl!

How low can Bill O'Reilly go? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26133071)

Can Bill O'Reilly stoop any lower than this? Come on Faux News, get a life and go after Bush.
 
/joking

Sometimes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26133095)

...you need to balance the bitter with the sweet.

Re:How low can Bill O'Reilly go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26133245)

He should have stuck with going after [youtube.com] the real killers of JFK instead of selling out so he could sexually harass women.

The Best Job (2, Interesting)

inKubus (199753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133075)

This is something I've always wanted to do. Someday when I'm rich I'd like to become a storm chaser; outfit an awesome armored car with minicomputers and a powerful radar and run flat tires. I think the weather is going to be getting more interesting, seeing the recent extreme patterns of the jetstream almost reaching the arctic circle before winter even starts! There's something about a good thunderstorm; the booming thunder, the hint of ozone in the air. Ahh.

Re:The Best Job (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26133175)

You might also try some LSD, or peyote! Actually, that's probably safer.

Re:The Best Job (2, Interesting)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133281)

Hopefully you'll be rich enough to make a better looking Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV) than the one they use. The TIV II was better looking, but kept breaking. The first TIV looks like something I would have made.

Re:The Best Job (2, Interesting)

inKubus (199753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133407)

You're right, the TIV [wikipedia.org] is pretty ugly. I was thinking about starting with an actual armored truck or possibly something military/industrial, like a Unimog [wikipedia.org] or Pinzgauer [wikipedia.org] . I'd definitely probably make it convertible to a regular truck for other weather conditions, so I could attack snow as well ;)

Re:The Best Job (2, Informative)

Strained Brain (965579) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133867)

The problem with those vehicle types is their high profile. You need to remember that the point of the TIV was to drive into the tornado, so should be heavy but yet as low a profile as possible. Even if your armored vehicle base will be heavy, the possibility of tipping over is greatly increased.

Re:The Best Job (1)

t0rkm3 (666910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26134129)

Not to mention a very bothersome phenomenon exacerbated by tornadic conditions.

Lift.

Re:The Best Job (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 5 years ago | (#26134745)

Heavy isn't enough. Tornados regularly toss around "heavy" items like warehouses and locomotives. The original TIV had outrigger arms [texomashomepage.com] that were meant to help stabilize the thing during high wind. That "feature" made me laugh, and it demonstrated that the designer doesn't really comprehend the forces involved.

Re:The Best Job (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26136521)

Considering TIV-I made it through a EF2 tornado without any problems I would say he understood the forces fine, he never though the TIV could survive an EF5 which is the whole reason for teaming with the DOW.

Re:The Best Job (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 5 years ago | (#26141059)

Nah, they were just lucky. We had a tornado touch down nearby [umd.edu] (various reports claimed it was either a F2 or F3 event.) I got to see the damage first-hand. It picked buildings up and tossed them around like toys. We're talking several hundred tons of building that's bolted to the ground. If any of the TIVs get some air under them, they're going to become aircraft ... briefly.

Re:The Best Job (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26142827)

The original TIV had outrigger arms that were meant to help stabilize the thing during high wind. That "feature" made me laugh, and it demonstrated that the designer doesn't really comprehend the forces involved.

What's wrong with the outrigger arms? Sure, they won't stop the entire thing from being lifted airborne, but they will make it harder for lesser winds to tip the vehicle over sideways.

Re:The Best Job (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 5 years ago | (#26136055)

Maybe a surplus Jagdpanzer [wikipedia.org] (or the missile-armed Raketenjagdpanzer variant) would do the trick.

Re:The Best Job (2, Informative)

machinegunben (672267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133517)

Be prepared for long hours in the car, clear sky busts 1200 miles away and a lot of gas station burritos. Storm Chasing, while fun, isn't as glamorous as Discovery has made it out to be.

Re:The Best Job (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133889)

No, Twister made this profession to be as glamorous as they come. With all those special effects tornadoes and cows flying around... What's not to like?

Re:The Best Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26142785)

yeah.
and they had helen hunt on the crew too

Re:The Best Job (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 5 years ago | (#26146079)

Sorry, I just vomited in my mouth a little.

Re:The Best Job (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26137127)

Real science is rarely as glamorous as the media makes it out to be, let alone as glamorous as many Slashdotters would like it to be.

This is why attempts to make $SCIENCE_TOPIC [fun|interesting|relevant] invariably fail.

You don't have to be rich (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 5 years ago | (#26134015)

Everybody's doing it. Just throw up a web site and charge European tourists $3000 per week to drive all over creation and get their grub at the Elk City Waffle House.

It's all good fun so far but sooner or later somebody is going to be driving the wrong way down the interstate like the douchebag producer in the Discovery Channel show and take out a car full of my Okie relatives.

Re:The Best Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26134715)

What strikes me in watching the program is how low-tech the efforts are. They seem to manage to get into the vicinity of a tornado fairly often. But they lack the tech to reach out and touch one safely form a distance. My thought was a cheap, expendable UAV with MEMS accelerometers and other small sensors, GPS, etc. A modified, instrumented, wire-guided anti-tank rocket would also be a solution. I am sure there are others.

Re:The Best Job (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26135265)

The wind isn't limited to just the funnel. You're going to have quite a time trying to fly an UAV near a tornado.

Re:The Best Job (2, Interesting)

DrVomact (726065) | more than 5 years ago | (#26134747)

Yeah, there is no high like a powerful storm. While working for the U.S. Forest Service as a fire lookout (back in the 70s) I got to see quite a few lightning storms from the inside...on a mountain top. No tornadoes (I was in Eastern Oregon), but the sheer magnitude of the forces at work inside an electrical storm gave me such an adrenaline rush that it became quite the addiction. "Oh please Lord, send me some more storms, and may they be with much lightning, little rain, and cause lots of fires." Like they say, long weeks of boredom, punctuated by hours of sheer terror. My building never actually got hit, but the metal (nails, fasteners, antenna) on the outside glowed blue and shot off sparks into the sky a couple of times. Yeee haw!

I think waiting for storms inside a comfy building beats chasing them any day, though.

Re:The Best Job (1)

rirugrat (255768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26135077)

What, Bill O'Reilly is interviewing storm chasers? Are they liberals?

Re:The Best Job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26135091)

Don't forget the inertial dampeners!

O rly? Digg this slashdotters -SALINE SCROTUMS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26133097)

I buy my saline kits from Chase Union Ltd in Movi, Michigan. The cost of a 1000 cc bag of sterile saline, drip tubing, sterile wipes (to wipe down your sac and all around) and catheter needle is with shipping around $25.
You can call them at +01 (248) 348-8191 and ask for item "MF 100" a scrotal inflation kit.

To do the saline, take the bag of saline and put in a microwave for about 5.5 minutes at low heat to warm to a bit above body temperature;about 100 degrees or so. Unwrap the outer plastic packaging and put the saline bag aside. Unwrap the drip tubing which comes with the kit and move the clamping system down toward the end opposite the vial type thing and CLOSE IT SHUT. Take the larger end of the drip tubing and uncap the protective cap........open the warmed bag of saline and remove the clear cap. Insert the drip tubing nozzle into the saline bag opening. Find a curtain rod, pot rack (which i have and use in the kitchen) shower rod or something elevated above you. Hang the bag of saline with the tubing attached and shut off. THEN VERY IMPORTANT. SQUEEZE SOME OF THE SALINE INTO THE VIAL ABOUT HALF WAY -THEN OPEN THE CLAMPING DEVICE AND BLEED ALL AIR OUT OF THE TUBING. YEAH YOU LOOSE A LITTLE BIT OF SALINE BUT THIS IS A MUST. YOU DON'T WANT ANY AIR OR AIR BUBBLES IN THE DRIP TUBING! REPLACE THE CAP ON THE WORKING END OF THE TUBING.

Before hand, while the bag of saline is warming either take a hot shower, or fill a basin or kitchen sink with very warm water sit in it for 4-7 minutes. The idea is to warm your ballsac skin up and let it get loose and hang.

When you have finished warming your sac, and you have the bag of saline (BLED FROM AIR), you are ready to grow.

With your sac still very warm use the wipes provided with the kit to wipe down your cock and ballsac. By the way, you will want an adjustable leather cock ring , nylon rope, or other type of removable cock/ball ring to wrap around cock and ballsac after inserting the catheter needle.

With you sac still warm and wiped down with antiseptics, sit in a chair with a towel underneath. Open the catheter needle don't get pansy here but with one hand, take the catheter needle and the teflon sheath that covers it and WITH THE OTHER HAND TAKE YOUR BALLSAC MOVING YOUR COCK OUT OF THE WAY AND DECIDE ON THE LOCATION OF THE INTENDED CATHETER NEEDLE. YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON THE AREA EITHER TO THE LEFT OR RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR BALLSAC AND UP CLOSE TO WHERE THE COCK CONNECTS. YOU PLACE THE CATHETER NEEDLE RIGHT BELOW THE COCK OR A LITTLE LOWER BUT TO ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER OF THE DARKER SKIN DIVIDING SKIN WHICH IS IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR SAC.

DON'T GET SQUEEMISH BECAUSE THIS DOES NOT HURT. BUT INSERT THE CATHETER STRAIGHT DOWN CAUTIOUSLY INTO YOUR SAC. MOVE YOUR TESTICLE ASIDE YOU ARE GOING TO GO INTO THE BALLSAC CAVITY NOT THE TESTICLE.

YOU WILL EXPERIENCE A PRICK SENSATION,THEN A POP SENSATION AS THE CATHETER NEEDLE PIERCES THE MUSCLE TISSUE OF THE SCROTUM.

KEEP PUSHING THE CATHETER NEEDLE IN. IF IT GOES IN AND YOU FEEL FROM THE OTHER/OPPOSITE SIDE OF YOUR BALLSAC THAT THE NEEDLE IS THERE, THEN STOP.

Pull out the needle itself leaving the teflon sheath inserted into you sac. Tie yourself (cock and balls) off with some sort of removable cock ring or rope or robe tie or whatever.

Sit down, don' t plan to move around too much for the next 30 minutes - hour. Have your beers/soft drinks or whatever already out of the fridge. You will want to stay idle and focused while you do this.

While sitting, and close to the hanging bag of saline and the drip tubing, remove the protective cover of the end of the drip tubing, connect the drip tubing to the catheter sheath in you sac. THEN START ADJUSTING THE CLAMPING DEVICE OPEN TO ALLOW SALINE DRIPPING TO APPEAR IN THE VIAL UP BY THE BAG OF SALINE. ADJUST FOR AN EVEN DRIP DRIP DRIP FLOW AND NOT A STEADY STREAM OF SALINE.

If the saline doesn't drip at first, try pulling the catheter sheath out a bit until you at first experience a small burning sensation;it goes away almost immediately.
Work on the sheath depth and the clamp until you get a good flow of saline going into your sac.

Don't move around too much......or be cognizant of how much you move around while the saline drips into and starts to bloat out your sac. You can always shut off the flow of saline with the clamp, disconnect and move around take a p, whatever......
If you disconnect, take the small stopper thing that is still attached to the needle and plug the teflon sheath to prevent leakage.

I like to use liquid vitamin E on my sac while it stretching and expanding;you should / can put oil or handcream on your sac while it is expanding. The sac is very stretchable but to expand up to 18-20 inches within an hour or so stresses the tissues,so things need to be lubricated somewhat..

GO SLOWLY.DON'T TRY TO REACH A MAX THE FIRST TIME. GO WITH WHAT YOUR BODY/SAC IS FEELING THEN STOP.

When you have finished doing the amount of saline you want to, feel comfortable with, can accept, close off the saline bag with the clamp, and disconnect.

Over filling/stress of the sac can cause osmosis leaking/sweating.. Do an amount of saline at first that is comfortable and not stressfull/hurting by all means. I have over done before and.you don't want to walk around with your sac dripping water out of it.and the after results cause chapping etc which takes a few days to peel and recover from.

Some of the saline is going to migrate into your cock. Your cock girth is going to become much larger than you have ever experienced.

AFTER YOU DISCONNECT FROM THE SALINE BAG, SIT AND WITH "SUPER GLUE", YES SUPER GLUE ON HAND, WITHDRAW THE CATHETER SHEATH.
AND WITH A TOWEL, PLACE SOME PRESSURE OVER THE HOLE THE NEEDLE CREATED......YOU MAY HAVE SOME BLOOD OR BLOOD MIXED WITH SALINE TRYING TO EXIT YOUR SAC! THEREFORE THE TOWELS

DON'T WORRY KEEP PRESSURE OVER AND DOWN ONTO THE HOLE FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES TO LET THINGS REST AND ANY BLOOD COAGULATE.

REMOVE THE "PRESSURE" TOWEL AND WITH SUPER GLUE, PLACE A FEW DROPS ON THE HOLE TO HOPEFULLY SEAL IT UP QUICKLY. KEEP THE COCK RING OR EQUIVALENT ON DURING THIS AND CONTINE TO LUBE YOUR SAC.

IF ALL IS GOING VERY WELL, IN A COUPLE OF MINUTES, YOUR SAC AND THE HOLE IS SEALED AND YOU ARE DONE.

IF ALL THINGS ARE NOT GOING WELL, YOU MIGHT NOT GET A GOOD SEAL THE FIRST TIME JUST PEAL OFF THE SUPER GLUE RESIDUE AND START OVER.

At first your sac will be very tight,but over the next few hours or over night, keeping the cock ring on less tightly or without a cock ring your sac will relax and begin to stretch.

The saline will take a couple of days or more to absorb into you body. That is okay,Saline is sterile water adjusted to normal body PH.

Enjoy it, flaunt it if you are inclined, watch the perm stretch and sac tissue growth that happens over time.

You will need to p a little more often than regular as the saline absorbs into your body, but just enjoy the weight and feel of what is between your legs.

I hope this helps....If your nuts and sac are normally pretty big or even small and you want more, this will blow you away with the results.

Take care
Read the rest of this comment...

film crew effect on science: (2, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133199)

{tornado on radar}
no film crew:
"jim, are we near this isobar on the map?"
film crew:
"GOOD GOD JIM GET US TO THIS ISOBAR STAT! JESUS CHRIST! AAAAH!"

{truck gets flat tire}
no film crew:
"yup, we have a flat"
film crew:
"Why God, why. I swear I have never believed in you before, but if you answer this one prayer for me now. Oh sweet Jesus."

{tornado turns towards truck}
no film crew:
"yeah, it's turning towards us"
film crew:
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he say EF5 or EF3?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a tornado, the most powerful windstorm in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

Re:film crew effect on science: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26133435)

Come on, give us another ill-informed rant about how Lori Drew needs to be put to death.

Re:film crew effect on science: (5, Informative)

elysiana (1152995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133729)

You laugh, but that's just about right. After having storm chased with the meteorology students at college and some of the USAF meteorologists, I can tell you some of the stuff that's done on TV is often laughable and downright dangerous at times. They're melodramatic and they push the limits more than is safe, because it makes for a good show.

That's not to say we never did anything stupid... just never on purpose in order to have a good story. Here [noaa.gov] and here [noaa.gov] are some of the photos we've gotten (I'm Becky). The seventh set down on that second page were an accident. We almost got caught in that one - took a wrong turn and got stuck in a residential area near Indianapolis. Let's just say, when you start seeing the blue flash from power pylons blowing up closer and closer to you... well, you know you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It may look cool on TV but it worries me the number of people who think you can go do this without having a ground support team. Even trained people can make mistakes.

I agree! (1)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 5 years ago | (#26134111)

Not to take anything away from Dr. Wurman's research but the tv program itself just seems staged, silly and reminds me of the old 'A-Team' show but without a Mr. T.

They are few and far between, but programs done about the National Weather Services' severe storm research center in Norman, Oklahoma are much more interesting.

Re:film crew effect on science: (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26134857)

Perhaps it's intentional, but the last picture in the seventh set is not clickable.

Re:film crew effect on science: (1)

elysiana (1152995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26137473)

It wasn't intentional, I actually don't know why they didn't link that one to the larger version. When I get home tonight I'll have to remember to upload some of the pics to my personal gallery. I have some great post-tornado damage pics from that same storm.

Re:film crew effect on science: (1)

droopycom (470921) | more than 5 years ago | (#26136351)

More likely its just some very good editing by the production team.

Storm Chasing (3, Interesting)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133447)

Being out in Kansas, its kind of expected that we have some totally awesome storm [flickr.com] chasing [flickr.com] vehicles [flickr.com] .

Re:Storm Chasing (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 5 years ago | (#26134303)

Bah, Garmin is in Eastern Kansas (Olathe to be exact...my home town!). They don't get anywhere near the tornado activity we do out here in Central and Western Kansas (where I live now). But that is a nice looking ride they have there :)

Re:Storm Chasing (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26135349)

True, there isn't the same quantity of tornados, but this year I did my fair share of chasing through Johnson, Douglas, and Franklin counties. We even had to evacuate to the basement in August when a tornado came rolling through south of Olathe.

One big annoyance with the show (4, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133543)

I don't watch it regularly but have taped a few segments. Other than the one guy in the other chase crew who apparently has lost the ability to control the volume of his voice (BACK UP! BAACK UPP!! BAAACK UPP!!! BAAAAAAAAACK UPP!!!!!!!!!!!!), the one thing that really grinds on me is that no one uses a tripod when filming a tornado. They all hop out of their vehicle, grab their camera and start taping. Then, when you look at the video, you do see the tornado in the distance but it's like the camera guy from Battle Star Galactica had two too many cups of coffee (and I like the effect in BSG).

It's not that difficult to have a quick release tripod mount on the bottom of your camera. It can stay on while you're in the vehicle and holding the camera and be attached to the tripod in seconds once you're outside and taping.

It would make things much more easy on the eyes not to mention you can pick out more details with a stable shot than one moving about.

Yes, it is a bit more cumbersome to haul out the tripod, pop the legs open, mount the camera and start filming, but it would make things more enjoyable to watch.

Re:One big annoyance with the show (1)

bigpistol (1311191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133945)

It's not that difficult to have a quick release tripod mount on the bottom of your camera. It can stay on while you're in the vehicle and holding the camera and be attached to the tripod in seconds once you're outside and taping.

It would make things much more easy on the eyes not to mention you can pick out more details with a stable shot than one moving about.

Yes, it is a bit more cumbersome to haul out the tripod, pop the legs open, mount the camera and start filming, but it would make things more enjoyable to watch.

If it's a bit blowy would the camera not still shake? I imagine even putting all your body weight on it to stop it blowing away would still cause it to shake.

Re:One big annoyance with the show (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26134117)

f it's a bit blowy would the camera not still shake?

At the distances they are filming the tornadoes, there is very little wind. The tornadoes are usually 1/2 to 1 mile away.

Also, if a camera is on a tripod, there would be a brief moment of shaking if a gust of wind came by but otherwise the image would be very stable. If the wind did pick up, all they would have to do is put one hand around the neck and lean on it gently while using the other hand to continue filming.

I have a decent Manfrotto [manfrotto.com] tripod which I use with my still camera and even in the highest winds with a long lens, the amount of shaking is minimal. I just wait for the wind to die down before I take my shot.

Re:One big annoyance with the show (1)

elysiana (1152995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26137519)

Very little wind? You've never been on the bad side of a supercell, have you :)

The gust front alone is enough to knock you over at times. Straightline winds, hail, rain shafts, and the occasional random 80mph gust make stable filming very difficult no matter what equipment you have. The other problem is that when you're jumping in and out of a vehicle trying to get to a point where you're close enough to see it but not close enough to get hit AND trying to stay away from the hail shaft, you don't want to be loaded down with equipment. You always ALWAYS need to be ready to quickly get back in and get the hell outta the way.

To their defense (3, Insightful)

Torn8-R (1190051) | more than 5 years ago | (#26134397)

Most tornadoes only last for a few seconds, and under many circumstances, are travelling at a fairly quick rate of speed. Storm chasers have to be aware of hail, lightning, direction of the storm, and the ever vicious RFD winds. The kinds of tornadoes that set themselves up for beautiful, tripod-able storms have their own rarity. The key is mobility - if a chaser takes the time to set up the tripod, that's one more step in the value stream of the chase.

Re:One big annoyance with the show (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26134623)

It's a style issue. They WANT the camera to be shaky, if it wasn't, then the TV producers would discard the footage. Otherwise, they think it doesn't look "real". It's the same sort of crap when you're watching a fight scene in a movie and they change the camera angle once a second.

Re:One big annoyance with the show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26135709)

Try setting up a tripod & holding it steady in Tornado-force winds.

I wish you the best of luck.

Re:One big annoyance with the show (2, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26136043)

It's not that difficult to have a quick release tripod mount on the bottom of your camera. It can stay on while you're in the vehicle and holding the camera and be attached to the tripod in seconds once you're outside and taping.

People in dynamic situations, taking dynamic shots, do not use tripods.

If you've ever seen a professional sports game, the camera guys are almost always using a mono/unipod. Partly to support the weight of their enormous camera lenses, but mostly because it provides a relatively stable and very flexible platform.

Re:One big annoyance with the show (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#26137417)

Yeah, a monopod plus a camera with good Steadicam-style software would do the trick. I'm betting the shaky-cam is a deliberate style decision.

Re:One big annoyance with the show (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26136871)

Other than the one guy in the other chase crew who apparently has lost the ability to control the volume of his voice (BACK UP! BAACK UPP!! BAAACK UPP!!! BAAAAAAAAACK UPP!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Did you watch the whole segment? There was a fricken tornado bearing down on them. It passed right over the spot they were when he was shouting.

Re:One big annoyance with the show (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26137483)

Did you watch the whole segment?

Yes, I watched the entire hour long episode where that occurred. While I can appreciate the necessity to get the vehicle moving, he was way over the top. The driver didn't need to have him screaming every three seconds while trying to reverse out of the situation. The driver was having a hard enough time trying to keep the vehicle more or less in a straight line while high winds were blowing about them. He didn't need a crying baby in the seat next to him.

I distinctly remember video from a tornado years ago when a crew were being "chased" by a tornado. The guy filming kept telling the driver in a relatively calm voice, "You gotta move. It's catching us. You gotta move. Go faster. Faster!"

That's how the reaction should have been.

Re:One big annoyance with the show (1)

machinegunben (672267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26139173)

That film you are talking about was the Kansas Turnpike/El Dorado Lake Tornado. The video was all for dramatic effect - If you look at the lines in the road in the video they aren't travelling more than 35-45mph.

Quite a memorable video, and probably the best that crew ever shot. It's being remembered almost 18 years later!

Re:One big annoyance with the show (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26145035)

He's an excitable guy, and I think given ten people you'll get ten different reactions to a potentially life threatening situation. I guess I just don't let things like that annoy me.

Interesting (1, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133671)

Whilst I watched this and other similar types of weather related shows on tv with interest, the value can be boiled down to cheap tv. No set to build, a small appearance fee, and a tank of gas for the storm chasers.

As for scientific value, you don't know until you explore the objects of interest. However I would say there's a cut-off point between curiosity and cost. The Large Haldron Collider is a huge project eating it's way though money at considerable rate, with not much to show for it as the end goal.

Re:Interesting (1)

Anonymatt (1272506) | more than 5 years ago | (#26138995)

You could spend craploads of money on a TV show like that one--I mean, countless gallons of gas, 30-some cameras running 12 hours a day--and still not see many tornadoes. There's great risk involved.

I don't get storm chasing (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26133853)

Why chase storms at all? All you have to do to capture tornado footage and record atmospheric data is simply set some cameras and equipment up in various trailer parks in the "Tornado Alley' region and wait for the tornadoes to show up and feed on a few double-wides.

Related to Saul Wurman, yes (1)

chazd1 (805324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26133965)

You may find it interesting that Joshua is the son of Saul Wurman. The Information Design icon. His dad coined the term Information Architecture!

What it takes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26134369)

"what it takes, technologically, to operate a weather radar in 100-mile-per-hour winds in the middle of a lightning storm.

What does it take? Balls. Great big brass ones. Which, unfortunately, attract lightning, putting Dr. Wurman even more at risk!

I was interested (0, Offtopic)

codepunk (167897) | more than 5 years ago | (#26134429)

Up until I seen a couple of the DOW computers running windows...no self respecting geek would use windows
to do a mans job.

Re:I was interested (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26135581)

You can get linux drivers for a freakin' doppler radar? I can't even get my damn printer to work.

Re:I was interested (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 5 years ago | (#26136621)

Obviously you never seen the show, his radar does not work most of the time either.

Re:I was interested (1)

tuxicle (996538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26146493)

IAARE (I am a radar engineer) The DOWs use NCAR's older PIRAQ-III PCI digitizers to digitize the radar's final IF. The software to support the PIRAQ runs on DOS, AFAIK. The Windows box inside the DOW runs the antenna controller, which is a visual basic program with some, uh, "interesting" choices for user interface (think shocking pink buttons).

"Real" weather radars, such as the NWS NexRad now run Sigmet/Vaisala RVP-8 processors, which use Linux.

TIV guy annoys me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26134499)

The guy who is filming from the TIV (can't remember his name) annoys me. He whines about everything. And then the other guy they follow this season who sells his footage; his laugh sounds fake. Seriously, nobody laughs like that.

F5? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26135383)

What's an F5?

Something like this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26135963)

NSFW [tinypic.com]

Life Imitates Art (1)

jman.org (953199) | more than 5 years ago | (#26143631)

One has to wonder how many times Dr. Wurman has read Bruce Sterling's "Heavy Weather"...
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