I was a keynote speaker at the Saskatchewan Assessment Appraisers' Association this month where the other keynote speaker was thrill seeker, Greg Johnson.
Greg has a very cool job; he chases Storms and reports it back to his fans through his motivational talks, articles, radio shows and blog.
During his motivational talk, Greg showed a dazzling array of photos portraying Tornadoes having a devastating affect. In the onslaught of a tornado, families stand to lose everything as the sky opens up and tears through neighborhoods, tossing around furniture like confetti. Massive cleanup efforts result which leaves many families misplaced.
Storm chasers have technology that help them find storms-so they can head straight for them. Greg chases storms in search of the perfect photo or video he can share with others through his blog, Tornadohunter.com. Here you can see live streaming video of a storm near you ( or hopefully not). In his speech, Greg suggests that 95 percent of storm chasing is boring and it is the five percent that is off the charts.
Some interesting information I took from Gregs Motivational Talk was:
- Tornados are more common than you think. This year, 2011, featured the most (and the deadliest) tornadoes in history where 292 tornadoes occured in the state of Alabama alone.
- Tornadoes do happen in Canada. In united states the national weather service uses a push method to deal with a storm. They have gps based technology where a text message is sent to let people know a storm is pending. Canada takes a more passive approach, whereby environment canada must decide if a storm is serious and we have no consistent means to get the message out. We rely on local media to inform us and they have the best judgement ever.
- In the midst of a Tornado, the rain free area is safe.
- What kills people in a tornado is flying debris
- When a Wall cloud forms, this is a Precursor for a tornado. Unlike daredevil Greg(In the middle of a storm he is taking photos), the safest thing to do is to drive away from the impending storm at a 90 degrees angle.
- Tornados have different ratings, an F3 is a very significant storm. Joplin was the deadliest tornadoes ever. It was an f5, with wind speeds in excess of 300 km an hour.
- Meteorologists categorize a tornado by looking at the damage it made
Greg has a new book coming out, Visit him at TornadoHunter.ca
Visit the Saskatchewan Assessment Appraisers at http://www.saskaaa.ca/