Update 18 May 2014

As part of our efforts to improve linkages between storm chasers and scientists, our project team is pleased to present our Recommendations for Optimizing Storm Chase Data Collection to Serve Scientific Research.  The detailed chase accounts provided by El Reno Survey participants has provided the basis for many of the items listed.  We may update this list periodically, incorporating feedback received from both chasers and researchers, as well as new findings as our analysis of project data proceeds. We thank our large list of contributors for sharing their El Reno chase experiences and data resources. We are also grateful to Roger Edwards, Rich Thompson, Dr. Robin Tanamachi and Jon Davies — colleagues with deep experience  as both chasers and researchers — who kindly reviewed the document for us and provided valuable feedback and suggestions.

Meanwhile, involvement in the project continues to grow. As the one year anniversary of the El Reno Storm approaches, our participant count is now up to 77, as shown on our updated list of contributors.  We continue to accept new survey participants, so hope that those who have been intending to do so follow through by submitting our online registration form

Wishing all chasers a safe and enjoyable spring season out on the plains,
Anton, John, Elke David and Tracie

68 and counting!

Update 9 April 2014 — 68 and counting!

The El Reno Survey has doubled the number of participants since our December update and now counts 68 registered contributors. This outstanding level of participation has yielded our project a huge and still growing trove of informational resources. We are pleased to recognize our contributors on a new page on this website showing the current list of survey participants shown in alphabetical order. We have included links for those participants with their own El Reno Storm websites and/or video and photo sites. This list will be updated periodically as new participants come forth and contribute to the survey.
Our team spent much of the winter compiling and analyzing the participants’ materials for our building project database while also increasing outreach efforts to both the chaser and academic research communities. We remotely presented a short Powerpoint show to the Texas Severe Storms Association annual meeting in early February. The following week, at ChaserCon in Denver, David Hoadley was the sole representative for our team while John Allen and Anton Seimon were snowed-in back in New York, unfortunately. However, thanks to the generous assistance of survey contributor Chris Novy, we were able to share a 12-minute narrated slide show to the ChaserCon audience and others far afield via a live stream (the live stream had some drop-outs, so we will post a better version online here on the project website.)   Finally, in the first of several academic talks and conference appearances we expect to make this year, in early March Anton gave an invited presentation to the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the State University of New York at Albany .
Up until now, the emphasis of project activities has been on data collection and compilation. We will continue efforts to gain the participation of other El Reno chasers and make our database as complete as possible.  As we move ahead into the new spring season, we will begin focusing attention on product generation. The coming months should see many results come forth from these efforts, with results posted here and announced periodically on social media.  Two new web pages to be posted soon are a Frequently Asked Questions page, and Recommendations for improving storm chase documentation to serve scientific purposes.  This is part of our vision to broaden the existing community of chasers informing science, and to encourage the adoption of a handful of easy-to-apply procedures that could improve the scientific value that can be derived by visual materials collected by chasers.
We thank our contributors for their respective contributions to this exciting project, and wish the storm chase community a safe and successful season out on the plains this spring.
Anton, John, Elke, David & Tracie

Update 15 Dec 13

We have survey responses now from 34 El Reno chasers, containing a good mix of chaser types that falls along the lines of the following general categories:

  •  Scientists and NOAA personnel (6);
  •  Veteran chasers (6);
  •  Mainstream chasers & photographers (13);
  •  Chase tour operators and participants (5);
  •  Chasers from abroad (3), and
  •  Newcomers to chasing (1).

Of course, some individuals fit multiple categories.  From internet searches and word of mouth references, we have compiled a list of 250 individual chasers or chase groups, who observed the El Reno storm. We have begun reaching out to many of these persons, inviting them to participate in our survey and contribute to the growing database. Want to know if your name is already on our list? Just send us an email and we’ll let you know.

The El Reno Survey will be featured on the WeatherBrains  webcast with James Spann and his panel of experts on Monday night, December 16th. The broadcast will begin at 9:30 pm EST, and Anton Seimon will be a guest panelist. Eric Fisher will go until 9:50 EST, then Anton will go on at 10:30. The direct link for following the show live is www.live.bigbrainsmedia.com   The show should be available thereafter as podcast 412 on the WeatherBrains channel on YouTube (will add link when available).  Our invitation for this interview is largely thanks to the strong support for the project expressed by SPC senior forecaster Roger Edwards, who was a WeatherBrains guest himself back on December 2nd.

Our website now features profiles of our team members and a donation page for those wishing to support the project work.

We warmly thank all who have responded to the survey and many others who have expressed support for the project.

Update 24 Nov 13

Here is an update on the El Reno Survey project. We have had a modest but highly supportive response so far to our initial solicitation. Twenty individual chasers or chase groups have now submitted survey forms while several others have promised to send theirs in soon. Notably, all respondents have offered to make their video and/or still imagery available to the project database. We thought we might offer an overview of our methods for using storm imagery taken with often-unknown time and location characteristics, and placing it in a framework suitable for research applications. [Read more…]