team chasing a storm near Northfield, TX
Click on image for full size
Brian F. Jewett
Storm chasers are different than storm spotters. Chasers travel around Tornado Alley looking for severe storms and tornadoes. This area in the Great Plains is the best for chasing because of the frequency of storms and also because of the relatively flat ground. There aren't as many hills and trees to block a chaser's view of a storm. All kinds of people are chasers. There are actually very few scientists doing primary research. Most people chase storms because they are interested in meteorology and because they want to see severe weather up close. Others are interested in taking pictures or videos of the storms. Some people think that they can just go out and find a tornado and be home in time for dinner; it's not that easy. Some experienced chasers say that they spend 10-12 days hunting for every minute they see a tornado. And they're experienced chasers!
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!Cool It!
is the new card game from the Union of Concerned Scientists that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change—and how policy and technology decisions made today will matter. Cool It! is available in our online store
You might also be interested in:
What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, school administrators need to know to create and support such experiences?...more
Meteorologists use radar to forecast where tornadoes might form. But, the radar can't detect actual tornadoes. People are needed to do that. The National Weather Service can't rely on tornado reports from...more
Sound travels in waves. You hear sound because waves hit your ear. Sound waves are similar to ocean waves. They both have a certain frequency. The frequency is measured in hertz, which is one cycle per...more
Storm chasers are different than storm spotters. Chasers travel around Tornado Alley looking for severe storms and tornadoes. This area in the Great Plains is the best for chasing because of the frequency...more
A tornado is the most intense force in nature. That doesn't mean it's the most powerful. In fact, a thunderstorm can be 40,000 times more powerful than a tornado. Then why aren't thunderstorms as dangerous...more
The Doppler effect was named after Christian Doppler, who first came up with the idea in 1842. He learned that sound waves would have a higher frequency if the source was moving toward the observer and...more
It's hard to forecast tornadoes. They don't last very long and are also very complicated. Scientists don't really know how they form, but they do where they tend to form. Using what they know about the...more
Has someone ever told you to open your windows during a tornado? Or has someone ever told you that you don't have to worry about tornadoes because the place where you live is protected? These are two of...more