May 21, 2024

Hailstorm Leaves Damage, Bad Feelings towards Stormchasers

You can complain about Instagrammers and "influencers" jamming up in pretty places, but now they are ruining hailstorms.

"Stormchasers" have been around for a while, especially since it became possible to download weather radar on the go. Last night's devasting hailstorm in NE Colorado produced not just complaints about broken glass, damaged crops, paint stripped from houses and so, but about the chasers as well

Here are some comments off the popular northern Colorado Facebook weather page that I linked to above, just to save you the scrolling:

Driving west from Kansas yesterday, I was passed by so many storm chasers, I wondered what was up. Probably close to 50 different cars, vans and trucks

The amount of storm chasers out here last night was ridiculous. I understand needing to study storms to better predict and prepare for the future, but last night was over the top. I’m not exaggerating when I’m saying there were probably a thousand “storm chasers”. The amount of cars flying down our dirt roads and highways recklessly was scary. Cars ignoring dead end signs and continuing down trail roads. People live here. The crops growing in the fields and the livestock we are trying to tend to are our livelihoods. Have some respect!

 I seen close to 100 people along side highway 34 and off on the side roads between Brush and Akron! I don't know if they realize that storms can get dangerous real quick!

I couldn’t believe the volume of chasers out there, frankly it’s gotten out of hand. The basic rules of the road and safety come first. Some streamers actually running stop signs and of course speeding at the expense of other drivers, wildlife, and property. I’d be angry if I was one of the impacted residents.

I watched a live yesterday from a storm chaser, I won’t name names. But the convoy was HUGE tons of people…..reckless watching the others in front of them. For sure. 

My family all live near Akron-my two kids and granddaughter‘s family are all south. My daughter and her husband have a cattle ranch with two cattle guards across their property containing mommas and babies. He had to go down and stop the cars from racing through their property and hitting the cattle-some people are crazy these days. Our rural area isn’t meant for a race track so I’m glad someone cares!

Now some people found "chasing" to be genuinely educational:

I got to go storm/tornado chasing with some PhDs from NCAR [National Center for Atmospheric Research] (I started a weather club at my kids' middle school so it was a special opportunity) and had the time of my life! No tornados, but a couple impressive super cells, and breakfast at 3 a.m. after we drove over 800 miles. Good times. Would love to do it again with people who know what they're doing!

Just for grins I went to Instagram and searched "Colorado hailstorm," getting 984 hits, but not all from this year. Maybe there will be more by day's end.

But who gets to decide who is "reckless and irresponsible"? If you are making money, you are exempt?

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