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September 10th 2001
by Bill VE3ETK

THE MEETING THAT TOOK US BY STORM
Ron Gravelle VA3TVS, Club Secretary, and a group of fellow Storm Chasers
gave us an outstanding presentation on their exciting hobby. George VA3GTK
led off with a computer/video show and explained to us the intricacies of
weather conditions that bring about a tornado, and their prime locations
in North America. He and Ron then showed dramatic scenes of tornadoes that
they and the group had taken first hand. The fearsome power of the wind
(sometimes at speeds of over 300 miles per hour) was very obvious when we
saw some of the destruction it brought.  

 

Southern Ontario Chasers
 Club President Dennis Tabbert (centre) is surrounded (R-L) by storm chasers Ron Gravelle VA3TVS (front), George Kourounis VA3GTK, Marc Robinson, Dave Patrick, Ben Fuller and Jack Kertzie

Amateur radio plays an important communications role for the Storm
Chasers, both in locating storms and in staying alive while recording the
events. Dramatic scenes of touchdowns perhaps only a mile away from their
vehicles illustrated the full force of tornadoes, as did pictures such as
the vehicle that had been tossed through the air and ended in a crumpled,
unidentifiable mass.
KWARC members launched into an enthusiastic Question and Answer period as
presentation time neared an end, showing how involved they had become.
Other members of the team Jack Kertzie, Dave Patrick, Mark Robinson, Ben
Fuller, and Ron's wife, took part in answering the many questions. We were
warned 'not to try this at home' - without extensive training it could be
very hazardous to your health! If a funnel is spotted on the ground,
contact CANWARN, hunker down in a basement or windowless room and wrap
yourself up in a quilt until it passes.

We could easily have made a second night out of their presentation, so
during the business portion of the meeting Ron ran a silent video of some
of their exploits. They received our strong applause, and our most
appreciative thanks.


© 2001
Kitchener-Waterloo Amateur Radio Club Inc.