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Introducing The Netweather 2008 Storm Chase Teams


Paul Sherman

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Posted
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley

    With just over 5 weeks to go until we head Stateside like last year we thought we would give you a flavour of the lucky Participants on this years Chases. We will be out in the States for the longest period ever namely 37 days from April 27th Until June 2nd 2008. So here are some short Biographies on the Members who are making the trip across the Pond this year.

    PAUL SHERMAN - TOUR LEADER & DRIVER TOURS 1,2 & 3

    -------------------

    Paul is a 35 year old Company Director from Leigh On Sea in Essex. I am married to Louise and have 3 Children named Chloe, Abbie & Sienna. Work takes me to Central London 6 days a week, but I manage to get staff cover when anything extreme weather wise turns up in the Uk :pardon: Not that it ever does !! My hobbies include Fishing, eating out, West Ham Utd & trying to get my daughters into Storm Chasing (No Chance).

    This will be my 5th year out in the States and by the end of it will have clocked up over 80 Chase days, so my novice days are well behind me now. Last years Chase was certainly an experience, none of the other guys had ever seen Storms that severe and just to see their jaws hit the deck on numerous occasions satisfied me no end. I am hopeful it is as busy as last season but not with the impact major towns got last year, Greensburg was a Very sobering day and puts into perspective what we try to do to protect people living in a town that is directly in the path, lots of firsts also happened last year and I am sure more firsts for me will happen this year. I am really looking forward to pooling my forecast experience with Nick and Michael Fish this year and also having the NWS On side is a massive bonus. Still lots to do technical side wise for the trip but cannot wait to forge new horizons and see where the road takes us. I say this every year but the Tornado is really the icing on the cake for me, but just seeing these incredible Statues in the Sky does it for me and being able to see Mother Nature at her most incredible Fury gives me my yearly fix.

    NICK FINNIS - FORECASTER & BARONS OPERATOR TOURS 1,2 & 3

    ----------------

    Nick is 32 years old and currently works as a finance officer for a local council, though has a degree in Plant Science. Nick has had a long interest in Weather from a young age, not just storms but other types of more extreme weather such as snow, etc. Nick has studied the dynamics of how the weather works quite profusely since the start of the Internet age mainly due to the wealth of knowledge available on the Net and a keen interest to know what is going on in the atmosphere to create the weather we see day-to-day. Nick quite regularly contributes technical analysis to the convective threads on Netweather and also other threads in the seasonal discussions, Blogs and learning areas. Being Senior Forecaster for NW, he is involved with Alerts and short-range forecasts that are produced freely on N-W, along with providing forecasts and educational material on the forum. Hobbies include cycling, walking and photography.

    "This will be my second time out to the US on a Storm Chase for NetWeather. After being gobsmacked the first time round by the sheer power and beauty of one of nature's most awesome spectacles, I cannot wait to go back out to experience these storms again - which are are on another level to the tame storms we see in the UK. I also look foward to, with Paul Sherman, sharing these experiences with our fellow travellers and hope to give a good background to what's going on behind the scenes in the atmosphere to create the set-up for these powerful storms to develop and produce the severe weather that they are notorious for over parts of the US each Spring. I will be responsible, with Paul too, for forecasting the best place to target as a start place for a storm chase to begin each day. This will involve consulting the latest data and forecasts at the end of each day and the following morning in case things change overnight. On the road, I will be operating the Barons System, which relays data via satellite reciever in the car to a laptop to give us up-to-date information on our position in relation to the storms we are chasing - ensuring we are in the best and safest position to enjoy the storms and perhaps see a tornado. Aside from the chasing, I look forward to seeing some scenery and also the odd obligatory steak meal washed down by a few beers in some of the best steakhouses in the world."

    MICHAEL FISH MBE - FORECASTER TOUR 1

    -----------------------

    Michael Fish was Britain's longest-serving TV weather forecaster, and probably one of the best known. He was born in Eastbourne and educated at Eastbourne College. On joining the Met Office in November 1962, his first posting was to Gatwick Airport. He then transferred in 1965 to the Met Office headquarters in Bracknell to work on research projects. Whilst working at the London Weather Centre he took a sandwich course in Applied Physics at the City University between 1966-68.

    Michael Fish's broadcasting career began in 1971 when he started forecasting for BBC Radio and in January 1974 became part of BBC Television's weather team and presented across all the BBC channels. He also appeared on BBC TV's Breakfast Time from 1985 to 1987 and on Breakfast News from 1991 to 2000. Michael was one of the longest serving Broadcast Meteorologists in the world, celebrating his 30 years of TV forecasting on 4th January 2004.

    He has made many appearances on television and radio shows ranging from light entertainment to factual programmes. These have included Tomorrow's World and the Sky at Night to Basil Brush and the Val Doonican Show. He has also been involved in the training of television weathermen in various African countries.

    He has written numerous articles on travel and weather and acted as consultant for several meteorological books In December 1996, Michael was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the City University in London and in August 1997 was granted the Freedom of the City of London. Having been nominated in 2003 he finally won the Television and Radio Industries Club (TRIC) Award of TV Weather Presenter of the year in 2004.

    In 2004 Mike was made an MBE, an award of which he is very proud, in recognition of his long service forecasting weather for the British public.

    Michael lives in Middlesex and is married to Susan, with two daughters, Alison and Nicola. A Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, his hobbies include travel, after dinner speaking, giving illustrated talks, and chilling out...

    PAUL MICHAELWAITE - DRIVER TOUR 1

    Who am I? Well, my job is Netweather, I'm the general dogs body really, from sales, to customer service to web design and anything else, I do whatever needs to be done so long as it isn't really techie as we have Karl to do that stuff! Away from work I enjoy football (playing and watching), tennis, watching films, trying to get fit (actually I don't enjoy this), playing on the ps3 and various other things, including going down the pub of course.

    Why am I going on this chase? That's a really good question and one I can't really answer that well, I've always had a fear of storms and I think I'll probably run a mile at the sight of a supercell doing its thing. But even with that said, I'm sure it's going to be a great experience, I know I'll learn a thing or 10, and if what I hear is true, it should get rid of the fear of storms and I will probably end up hooked by the end of the trip. Plus add to that the fact that Paul S has promised to buy me at least 3 pints of beer and my choice of meal every night just for driving the second car, I really couldn't turn the opportunity down!

    IAN CAMERON - GPS OPERATOR TOURS 1,2 & 3

    ------------------

    I am 29 years old and from South East London, I am currently working in Central London as a civil servant.

    My main interests are all type of sport , cooking, travelling, socialising and mother nature at her worst

    I am looking forward to my return to the plains this year, last year was such a great experience where I learnt so much and saw some amazing storms however I am also aware there was so much more that i did not see or happened last year to experience for the first time. I think thats why I signed up to come again this year its the not knowing what tomorrow will bring being in Texas one day Kansas the next! Will this storm be the one to produce an EF3 tornado or will it just tease us. Oh and maybe the odd steak and monster beers on the way with lively banter and the odd scary drive down muddy dirt trcks at 80 miles an hour.

    I shall be out with Paul for the full 37 days so I'm sure we will once again see some awesome sights and with the backing of the nowcasting from Norman Uni on our side if there are tornadoes we will be on them getting some awesome footage! Big Texan here we come :yahoo::yahoo::drinks:

    MARTYN HICKS (Bristolwx)

    -------------------

    Martyn is 38 and has lived in Bristol since birth. He is currently in a temporary technical administrator post for a local council and has had an IT background for 20 years. In his spare time he goes to gym to try and stop the middle aged spread from expanding, or cycling when the weather is favourable. He has also performed on stage in numerous pantomimes for a local amateur drama group. Of course weather watching is another hobby with the variety of conditions that Mother Nature provides. His weather station website is visited by many other weather fans daily.

    "I actually used to be really scared of thunderstorms as a child but over time I grew to like severe weather. I became fascinated with tornadoes and supercells after seeing documentaries on TV of severe weather in the USA. Back in 2002 I plucked up the courage to go on a stormchasing trip with an American company. I was in awe of the power of the storms we witnessed compared to the UK, with amazing video footage to remind me. It was one of the most exciting personal journeys I have ever been on and vowed that I would do it again one day, so I am thrilled to be chasing with Netweather in 2008. Usually I wish that the weather will be good when going on holiday but of course this time I hope it will be bad. Some of my friends think I am mad, while some wish they could chase too

    I confess I don't know very much about meteorology and am in awe of those that are. My main aim of chasing is to witness the power of storms and tornadoes with my own eyes and via video and still photography, with sympathy for the devastation caused to those who live in the area, as well as seeing large parts of America away from the usual tourist areas. For my chase in 2002 the number of tornadoes was very limited so I hope that conditions will be more favourable this time round, but a good experience will be had whatever happens as participants of stormchasing tours are always a great bunch of people. And of course it will be a pleasure to meet the legendary Michael Fish. Roll on April 28th "

    STUART SQUIRES (Stu_London)

    ----------------------

    Stuart, who will be celebrating his 37th birthday during the chase lives in Central London, though roots can be traced through Newcastle and Devon back to his birthplace in Wales. He is self-employed and works in the property industry.

    Stuart's favorite things in life are following the ever contrasting fortunes of Newcastle United and the England cricket team, current affairs and politics and his pet hobby, the weather. Stuart likes all sorts of weather but like most enthusiasts is particularly attracted to the extremes that nature throws up.

    Stuart's first recollection of a storm dates back to the mid seventies when he watched what must have been a multi cellular storm from his bedroom window in Cardiff for what seemed at the time to be most of the night. Summer storms were always a highlight whilst growing up in the South West with many a spanish plume ending in fireworks.

    Later on Stuart had close contact with Tropical Storm Gordon in Florida in 2000 as well as some severe thunderstorms later on during the same holiday.

    For Stuart the chase offers an a once in a lifetime chance to view nature at it most powerful as well as taking in some stunning scenery, although he is fairly nervous of coming face-to-face with these conditions. He said 'I wouldn't say that I am scared of lightning, thunder, giant hail but I am in awe of it'. He later added 'I do admit to be scared of tornadoes and whilst it would be fantastic to view one, I would not want to get too close!'

    PETER ELLEGARD (Blackie)

    ----------------------

    Age: 53

    Lives: Shoeburyness, Essex – the easternmost district of Southend-on-Sea, on the Thames Estuary.

    Family: Wife and three grown up children, the youngest of whom still lives at home. Occasionally.

    Work: I am a freelance travel writer and photographer, having previously been features editor for travel industry "bible" Travel Trade Gazette. I write for numerous publications in the UK and world-wide, from airline magazines to national newspapers and magazines, and have had many photographs published. I won Photograph of the Year in the annual British Guild of Travel Writers' Awards in 2005 and 2006. Specialist areas include the US, Canada and China. I have co-written several books on China including the recently-published AA Key Guide to China. I also presented a TV series based on a three-month journey I made around China, on English-language international Chinese TV station CCTV9 – so I was the Chinese Paul Merton or Michael Palin! I also write about golf and edit publications such as Golf World's annual Golf Escapes golf travel supplement (in the April 2008 issue).

    Hobbies: Golf (a poor 23 handicap), diving (I learnt to dive in the Thames in 1976, but prefer tropical waters…), weather (a long and deep interest, although I am not technical in the least) and photography (my father was a photographer, so while I enjoy writing I am passionate about photography).

    The Storm Chase and me: In my travels around the world, I have come across a lot of severe weather. I have encountered supercells, was once nearly hit by a lightning bolt while trying to photograph a storm from the roof of a hotel in New Orleans, and have witnessed a waterspout in the Bahamas. But I have not yet seen a tornado. The sheer power of the weather fascinates me, and I have always harboured a desire to see and photograph these beautiful but deadly storms. I will be helping to keep Netweather members updated on the first chase through the daily blogs and, hopefully, with photographs of the action. I am also hoping to write about the experience for various newspapers and magazines. Keep your eyes on NW for more news of those. I am particularly looking forward to spending time with the other Netweather members and Michael Fish. I am sure I will learn plenty from them.

    Website: www.peterellegard.co.uk

    ANDY PEARCE (AndyNEEssex)

    ------------------

    Age - 28

    Lives - A small village called Wrabness, up on the River Stour, Tendring Peninsula, Essex

    Job - Business Improvement Analyst for BDML Connect (Part of the Capita Group), based in Colchester, and sometimes Portsmouth. I also enjoy reading, especially Sci-fi, from the works of Larry Niven and Greg Bear through to Richard Morgan.

    Hobbies - Pretty much all sports (Participating and Watching) and house improvement, having bought next door in January, knocking through to create a 5 bed detached.

    What I want from the trip - I'm combining the stom chasing with meeting up with an old university buddy in Panama City, FL, for 5 days before the chasing starts. I've already been signed up on his football team to play one league game that weekend (17th May).

    I've always loved storms, but since 2005 we've had a bit of a famine in North Essex. Hopefully this will be a chance to feel some of the awe we all feel when Nature reveals some of its more energetic processes. It also gives me a chance to have a look at some of the US which I would never go to otherwise, getting a feel for the 'Off the beaten track' parts of America.

    JOHN HANRAHAN (Nicorettet)

    ------------------

    I'm a 29 year old I.T manager originally from Kilkenny and living and working in Cork now with my wife of 8 months Deirdre.

    My interests include technology / computing, walking, trying to go to the Gym, and watching the skies among other things. I have been interested in weather of all sorts from an early age. I've wanted to do a trip like this for as long as I can remember at this stage. Part of this trip is kind of a 30th birthday present from my wife bless her! I've seen some extreme thunder storms in the Texas area once before when out there for work and it was nothing short of unbelievable. I can only imagine what were going to experience when we get out on the Great Plains. I'm not a weather expert at all, but I am an enthusiast and am really looking forward to learning from some of the really experienced guys going on this trip.

    I'm looking forward to devouring the best Steaks in the world! I've just got to remember that medium rare = raw, well done = medium rare etc...

    Anyway I've got to keep it short as I gave my work so little notice on this I'll be working 12 – 14 hour days beforehand just to get enough done beforehand to get the time off, but I know it will be worth it.

    Looking forward to meeting you all on the 28th

    IAN PICKERING (Anyweather)

    -----------------

    Hello folks, my names Ian ,im 39 and im from the great town of Evesham, I was born and bred there so im a proper local! Im a self employed window cleaner for 15 years now and they say window cleaners have confessions ,well the only confession im going to tell you now is that like everyone else on here I have a great passion for severe weather! I also have business interests in property in the local area ,Evesham and Moreton In Marsh and a holiday let down in beautiful West Wales and the most serious hobby I have is weather, often I refer to it as a "full time" job and spend a lot of time on Netweather, looking at the models, posting my thoughts on the great forum etc.

    Last Summer I installed the Davis pro 2 weather station at home in my garden and its one heck of a great tool,so at least I can record Accurate data! Ive been taking weather records on a daily basis now for 22years so its a daily routine for me. I got interested in the weather from a very early age, I remmember a great wind storm back in January 1976 where we had a powercut and I remember my dad trying to hold the garden fence up ,cutting his leg doing so ,dont know why he bothered as the fence blew down anyway.! The cold snowy winter of 81 and 82 and the freezing rain event of December 1995 and a whole lot of other weather related events over the years,has given me a real "appetite" for severe weather. I also write a monthly weather column for the Cotswold and Vale magazine which I enjoy doing immensely.

    I have loads of hobbies,music cooking, photography, walking and biking in beautiful Wales , white water rafting on the picturesque River Wye when conditions are right and sometimes sitting down with a good book for some relaxing reading!

    I live part time with Mum and Dad and when they kick me out I spend time with my lovely girlfriend Tonia and her two boys Jordan and Bradley at her home. I must say its a privledge to be going out to the states and seeing mother nature at her "best" and showing us a display of the most deadly but equally beautifull most powerful storms on the planet! Also I would like to thank the Netweather team for giving me the chance "of a lifetime" to do this and cant wait to meet ya,ll....!

    -----------------

    GAVIN PLUMMER (Mammatus)

    I'm a 28 year old Company Director from Haverhill in Suffolk. I am married to Lucy and we have 1 child called Harry. Most of my work is local, based in Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. I have had a keen interest in Meteorology since a young age. My parents were sure that I'd end up having a career in Meteorology. When I was 13 years old my parents took me to Norwich Weather Centre where I met Ivor Moores (Look East forecaster) and Peter Gibbs (Now National Forecaster). It was a great day! I've spent most of my life to-date either watching weather forecasts on the box or looking outside at the current weather conditions. For over a year now I have been producing a written weather forecast for my local newspaper, along with own map/weather symbols and an appropriate recent weather related photograph. My uncle 'Derek' (from Devon) works at the Met-Office in Exeter - where I'm going for a day in July for a tour with him to meet some of the BBC weather forecasters.

    My other hobbies include following Westham Utd F.C , playing golf and weather photography.

    This will be my first chase Stateside, so I'm very excited! Have chased many storms across E.Anglia, but I sense this will be a completely different ball game!!!! I really can't wait. This is a dream come true, I will be in my element.

    Also hope to learn alot from the Chase team (Especially Nick F.) whilst out in US and ........................................eat shed loads of Steak along with those 12 pints beers.

    Gavin

    Hopefully you will wish us all luck over the next 5 weeks!

    Regards

    Paul Sherman

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    Posted
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland
  • Location: Nr Appleby in Westmorland
    We will be out in the States for the longest period ever namely 37 days from April 27th Until June 2nd 2008.
    That's not true - I went to America for 38 days once.
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    Posted
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL
  • Location: Swallownest, Sheffield 83m ASL

    Great to see the bios up. :)

    I'm sure that Paul will find something to say about himself.. He's not that boring is he?? :clap: Hope the manflu wears off quick mate.. :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. UK
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. UK

    Yep, good luck and as Rollo said...

    STAY SAFE!! DON'T TAKE UNNECESSARY RISKS.

    Look forward to seeing any reports and pictorials maybe during and after the chase is over. :lol:

    Phil.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Matlock, Derbyshire
  • Location: Near Matlock, Derbyshire

    Great stuff, I look forward to following the action from this side of the pond (unfortunately!).

    Have a fantastic time, I hope you all see what you want and most importantly that you all stay safe. :lol:

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    Posted
  • Location: South Shields Tyne & Wear half mile from the coast.
  • Location: South Shields Tyne & Wear half mile from the coast.

    Great to see whos going this year (wish my name was on there :( )

    Yes cookie it was the first EF5 (enhanced Fujita scale) it was estimated to be 1.7 mile in width at one point.

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    Posted
  • Location: south east London
  • Location: south east London

    Hiya folks thanks for the kind words so far it's really good to know that the trip will be followed avidly while we are out state side.

    All your thoughts and input while we are out there is really encoureging for us knowing people back home are getting enjoyment from what we are able to post and share with you all. B) :(

    I cannot believe theres only five weeks to go with so much still to organise and sort out and I'm sure before we know it well be sitting on the plane in antisipation of the adventures to come will try and dig up some pics from last year to remind everyone of what might be in store :(

    Ian Cameron

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    Posted
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. UK
  • Location: Solihull, West Midlands. UK

    Would love to join the trip, Ian but I might be a bad omen where it comes to awaiting storms, supercells, snow... Plus I'm no real fan of flying either.

    Take UK thunderstorms for example... Over the past 3 years, developed over my part of the world then get complaints from further up north that they are too violent. (She knows who she is if reading! B) )

    Snow from the North/North East down my way... They get the blizzard type, I see the odd flake after drained.

    But still, if this in Birmingham, just 8 miles from me...

    And it was an F3, Not F2!

    Good luck guys. :(

    Phil.

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    Posted
  • Location: south east London
  • Location: south east London
    Would love to join the trip, Ian but I might be a bad omen where it comes to awaiting storms, supercells, snow... Plus I'm no real fan of flying either.

    Take UK thunderstorms for example... Over the past 3 years, developed over my part of the world then get complaints from further up north that they are too violent. (She knows who she is if reading! :D )

    Snow from the North/North East down my way... They get the blizzard type, I see the odd flake after drained.

    But still, if this in Birmingham, just 8 miles from me...

    And it was an F3, Not F2!

    Good luck guys. :)

    Phil.

    Phill you could not be any worse than Paul S his storm sheild has ment southend has been storm free vertuly since he moved there they seem to just disapear!

    RE the not liking flying why not chase a few storms in northen france they may not be as big as the ones state side however you get good lightning storms even from these shores looking out towards france I now a few members that chase around there and get some good shots in the summer months

    Ian

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    Posted
  • Location: Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Thunderstorms, Warm summer evenings
  • Location: Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland

    Would Just like to say good luck to all the netweather storm chase team , i'm looking forward to reading your reports :D

    Enjoy yourselfs and stay safe :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley
  • Location: Leigh On Sea - Essex & Tornado Alley

    Many thanks for the good wishes Guys, we are all excited and only 4 weeks left to go now.

    Paul S

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    Posted
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland

    Best of luck guys! and do have a good time. Hope you get loads of snaps and video! I want to see something good..... :D Loved following this last year.

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    Posted
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)
  • Location: Caterham-on-the-hill, Surrey, 190m asl (home), Heathrow (work)

    Just for Ian to whet his appetite ... a souvenir menu from the Big Texan:

    post-1052-1206875776_thumb.jpg

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    Posted
  • Location: south east London
  • Location: south east London
    Just for Ian to whet his appetite ... a souvenir menu from the Big Texan:

    post-1052-1206875776_thumb.jpg

    Nick I have that pinned to the back of my bedroom door and already Know what I will be ordering :):):)

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    Posted
  • Location: South Shields Tyne & Wear half mile from the coast.
  • Location: South Shields Tyne & Wear half mile from the coast.

    Like the bit 'well cooked boot leather quality (not recommended)..!!!

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