For those times when SDS sets 2001
(with apologies to the inventors)

Murphy's Laws of Storm Chasing

Law of the Mountains

If you decide to chase to the west of the ranges, storms will develop to your east and move out to sea before you arrive there. If you decide to chase on the east of the ranges, storms will form well to your west and by the time you reach them, you'll witness a minute of lightning before miraculously dissipating.

Law of the Ranges

A ranges storm will remain just that - a ranges storm if you are within 50km of it. However, if you dismiss it and decide not to chase it/watch it - it will move off the ranges and start dropping golf ball hail near where you were originally thinking of going.

Law of Commitments

Storms only occur if you have work, family or other commitments

Law of Circumstances

Storms will also occur or suddenly become more severe if your car breaks down or some one borrows your car.

Law of Thargomindah (I)

The river will rise twice as quickly if you are on the west (townward) side of the river than if you are on the east side of the river.

Law of Thargomindah (II)

If you don't want to be at Thargomindah, you'll get stuck there for a week watching supercells from a distance. However, the one time you want to get to Thargomindah, it'll be cut off from floods.

Law of the Lines

Double lines only occur in places where you can clearly overtake. Once the double lines disappear, an oncoming car will arrive.

Law of the Overtake

Overtaking lanes are always 500m too short, and 2km too soon

Law of the Law

Police cars only appear if you are:
1) Overtaking and (2)
2) Speeding
3) Talking on the phone
4) Holding a video camera while driving
5) Going to the toilet

Law of the Bushes:

Even the most deserted road will have a car come by when you decide to relieve yourself in the bushes

Law of the Kind Motorist:

Motorists only stop and ask you if you need help if you are stopped beside the road and videoing a storm. When you turn to answer them "no" a CG is likely to pop out where you were videoing. If you are stopped by the side of the road with your bonnet up in the air, no motorists will be around or stop for you.

Law of the Kind Bush

Combining the above two laws, they cancel each other out if you are broken down and relieve yourself behind a bush, unless you are further than running distance to meet the oncoming car.

Law of the Electric Fence

Electric fences marked "Warning! Electric fence" are never turned on. Seemingly innocent, old and unused fences are however attached to the local power plant and are alive and kicking.

Law of the Kangaroo

The only live kangaroos you see are the ones you have to swerve for.

Law of the close CG (I)

Close CGs only occur when you are standing outside of the car, and you are one of the highest objects in the immediate vicinity.

Law of the close CG (II)

You only hear close CGs, never see them - and are left wondering which tree near you it hit…

Law of Radar

Confucius says "Radar not working in storm area is hiding a supercell." But when radar comes back online, it dies within 20 minutes.

Law of Cumulus

Confucius says "A watched cumulus never grows."

Law of the Pessimist

If you are following a thunderstorm and decide to give up chase and head back home. After you have told all your friends that the storm was a fizzer and weak, on the late night news you'll hear that a "mini tornado has ripped through" one of the towns you were in, an hour before you left.

Anthony Cornelius (whilst trying not to write assignments)

Immuttable Laws of Forecasts and Storm Chasing.

* Just about everyone you meet has seen larger hail then you have.

* Your work colleagues never ask you for forecasts over the next few hours, it is always months in the future.

* With fast moving troughs, storms will form 200-300km south of you one day and 200-300 north of you the next.

* Troughs tend to pass overhead at 4-5am in the morning.

* Stalled fronts / toughs always occur elsewhere.

* The same seabreeze that kills off convection in your place, will enhance storms elsewhere.

* You will always be remembered for the incorrect forecasts and not the correct ones.

* Somebody will always ask you " will it rain on the weekend" when isolated thunderstorms are possible. It will be fine at your house, but the only weak storm in the area will give a brief shower on your workmates place. On Monday they will announce that your forecast was wrong.

* You look at the models and make a brave prediction in the newsgroup about severe weather and the system always slips away to the SE.

* You look at the models and are sure that severe weather is a possibility in a few days, but hold off on a message to the newsgroup. Somebody else will jump in and predict the event ( which will happen ) and be acclaimed a model champion.

* In weather discussions at work somebody will say " Tim Baily is always right ".

* A forecast of  Thur: Thunderstorms, Friday: Thunderstorms, Saturday: Thunderstorms, Sunday: Thunderstorms really means Thursday: Thunderstorms, Friday: Severe Storms possible, Saturday: Cool SE winds and high pressure gloom. Sunday: Sunny periods developing with light E winds.

* Storm features such as Tornadoes and Large Hail are usually observed by those least interested in them.

* East coast lows always develop just 100km too far south, no matter where you are on the NSW coast.

* You chase for over 600km and the storms are always just a little bit further north. If you stay overnight the trough will move NE. If you return home it will stall exactly where you were yesterday.

* The chances of severe storms increases if your video camera batteries are left uncharged.

* Every second person you met who has holidayed in far north Queensland has had there vacation spoilt by a Tropical Cyclone.

* You have to go on business trips several times a year from Sydney to Canberra, it is always dry and sunny. The only time somebody else gets to go in your place they get snow and sleet for much of the way.

* Even though you have been on several plane trips you have never landed or taken off in rain let alone storms. But all your friends seem to have flown with lightning flashing all around them.

* When at last you have a decent trough that has not become a rain event, and the jet is in perfect position,  and the middle and upper layers are cool, dry and cloudless. It will mean that prefrontal NW winds with zero to minus dew points will develop.

* You have resigned yourself to the fact that your area is experiencing a severe drought, in fact the number of rainless days record may tumble soon. You will then get a weak shower with 0.2mm of rain.

* Lift Index figures increase by 2 every 24 hours. For example a model which Predicts -4 LI's for Saturday on Thursday, will predict -2 by Friday, and 0 on Saturday the chase day.

* Lift Index areas will always drift NW of you, no matter where you are.

* Potential CG's know when you are looking at them, fool them by panning the camera in the opposite direction and they will discharge.

* You are hot on the heels of a supercell. After driving many kilometres through open country,  you will eventually the catch the storm in an area of forest.

* The storm that seemingly takes ages to reach you is gone within minutes.

* If you go to Darwin to witness the spectacular pre monsoonal Thunderstorms an early season monsoonal rain mass will set in.

* You are waiting for a great night time lightning display, it will occur on the only night of the year that you have family commitments.

Michael Thompson

This gem was heard on 3LO 774 during the BOM weather description by the senior forecaster at 0905hrs this morning (24.10.01)......

BOM: 'Heating today will develop a possible shower',

COMPERE: (who seemed puzzled) Heating? what do you mean?,

BOM: 'well, in the morning as the surface is heated by the sun, little bubbles start to rise and make all those fluffy clouds, in the afternoon with more heating, this generates great big bubbles that rise up and sometimes produces the thunderstorms we see a few times each summer'!!!

.....keep an eye out for those BUBBLES....a less than scientific way to describe convection...... P.S The compere was very happy with the explanation.

(sent in by someone who is always listening)

Why Does It Always Rain On Me?                 (was Travis)

Courtesy Mal Ninnes

I can't sleep tonight
Everybody saying everything's alright
Still I can't close my eyes
I'm seeing a funnel at the end of all these lights
Sunny days
Where have you gone?
I get the strangest feeling you belong
Why does it always rain on me?
Is it because I chased when I was seventeen?
Why does it always rain on me?
Even when the sun is shining I still hunt for lightning
I can't stand myself
I'm being held up by an invisible man
Still life on a shelf when I got my mind on something else
Sunny days
Where have you gone?
I get the strangest feeling you belong
Why does it always rain on me?
Is it because I chased when I was seventeen?
Why does it always rain on me?
Even when the sun is shining I still hunt for lightning
Oh, where did the blue skies go?
Not near that meso,
It's so cold I can't sleep tonight
Everybody's saying GASP and AVN is all right
Still I can't close my eyes
I'm seeing a funnel at the end of the lights
Sunny days
Where have you gone?
I get the strangest feeling you belong
Why does it always rain on me?
Is it because I chased when I was seventeen?
Even when the sun is shining I still hunt for lightning
Oh, where did the blue skies go?
And why is it raining so?
It's so cold
Why does it always rain on me?
Why does it always rain on....


...and then this morning, there was the forecaster who when asked on Wednesday morning what the weather on Thursday  would be like  promptly forecast 'drizzle on Thursday morning till 9am"

Well - at last some one has finally brought out a mobile phone for storm chasers! Ok - it's not really designed for storm chasers, but look at these features!

Stop-watch: Now you can accurately measure the time between a flash of lightning and thunder!

Shock Resistant: Can withstand a fall of up to 3m onto a hard surface, no more juggling the video camera, SLR and mobile phone! Just drop the mobile and pick it up later, very convenient!

Water Resistant: Rain, hail or flood - you can talk on the phone as it's water resistant under 1/2m of water for one minute!

Dust Resistant: You can now drop your phone in mud and not have to worry about it at all!

Automatic Volume Control: Tired of not being able to hear the other person while standing beside the roadside as a truck roars past? Worry no more! This new phone automatically senses the optimum level - and will increase the sound if need be for your listening and updating pleasure.

Manual Display Contrast: Adjust the display so you can see the screen with or without your sunnies, in bright daylight or while sitting underneath a dark meso.

7 bar battery and signal strength: Ever wondered if you had 1.5 bars of signal or 2 bars of signal? Ever wondered if your battery is nearly 3/4 half full, or 1/4 half full? Wonder no more! This little beauty has 7 bars of battery and signal strength to give you exact measurements!!!

Profile Settings: Although standard on most phones now - you can now adjust profiles for storm chasing, storm watching, storm running, or even those horrid family events you are forced to attend while there's storms around so it can quietly ring so you can sneak away to the bathroom unnoticed to receive the latest info from a fellow storm chasers.

Callers can be identified through different ring tones: Now you don't even have to take your eyes off the storm (and the road too!) to know who's ringing. And you can also get a longer warning time if it is a family member who is phoning to hassle you why you are not home yet when you are still 2hrs away watching storms.

Voice Dialing: Easy use dialing while driving!

Predictive test for SMS: Now you can type SMS messages even quicker, and it's also much easier to use while driving! (Not that anyone would be using their mobile to type a SMS while driving...)

Built in Games: For those times while you're sitting under a tree waiting for the cap to break.

Anthony Cornelius

Not-so-seriously updated 29th October 2001

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