2013 Storm Chase details & applications

If you are interested in joining the crew in the Great Plains for 2013, please read the information below and on the application very carefully!

Behind the scenes planning is underway for the 2013  storm chase, and we are ready to accept applications for the trip.  There are a couple of major changes in store on the storm chase from this point forward.  We have routinely run two separate trips in the past, but beginning with 2013 they will be combined into one longer time period spent in the plains.   This will not only eliminate disparity in weather patterns between the trips and maximize our potential for storm intercepts, but also will provide us with a better cushion for waiting out periods of quiet weather.   We also plan for a full deployment of the Virginia Tech mobile mesonet for 2013, so each vehicle will be collecting weather data in the near-storm environment for real-time warning information and post-storm research.  Keep in mind that the end result will be a substantially longer time period spent on location in the plains.

You will find the updated application and trip information in the attachment below.  If you are considering applying for a position with the 2013 chase crew, please keep these things in mind:

a) This trip is NOT for everyone…only those with a true passion for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes should apply.  It is a long and arduous journey, and if you are not committed to the study of severe storms, then you may well feel as if YOU should be “committed” by trip’s end!

b) Keep in mind the nature of the trip:  it is an academic exercise…not a vacation.  Every crew member will serve various duties on the trip, and full cooperation is not only desirable, it is mandatory.  When entering a severe weather set-up, everyone must be “dialed in” for efficiency as well as for the safety of the entire crew.

c) Expect some “down time” between storms.  It is impossible to forecast what type of pattern we may see any given year, but most years we do experience a lull in the action which may last for a day or two…or maybe a week.  Patience is a prerequisite for this trip.

d) If you fear storms, please do not apply, and don’t undertake this trip for therapeutic reasons!  The near-storm environment is a volatile place, and most crews have to weather some intense or occasionally even frightening moments during their shifts out there.

So, if  you are certain the storm chase is for you, fill out the application form and either drop it by 101 Major Williams, or send it via e-mail to carrolld@vt.edu.

The actual selection of the 2013 chase crew will be made as soon as the students enrolled in the second semester Severe Weather course are notified (by the end of January).  Applicants will be selected based upon their response to the application question (why do you want to join the chase?), and background coursework in meteorology.  If you lack the background courses, those interested are still encouraged to apply, as the primary prerequisite is a driving passion for severe weather and everyone is given full consideration (the plan is to keep an “at-large” space or two open for non-majors).

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me carrolld@vt.edu,  or stop by 101 Major Williams,  or call 231-5469.  I look forward to meeting this year’s edition of the VT Storm Chasers!

VT Storm Chase Application

-Dave Carroll


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