Pick your own definition Since storms are mobile, the effective spotter is also mobile If you can not be safe while mobile, stay home. You can still be useful!
The best technology to have is an education SKYWARN training Books College of DuPage, IL Storm Chasing Class Online Training programs (http://www.spotternetwork.org)http://www.spotternetwork.org You better be able to look at the sky and know what is going on!
Transportation Road Side / Safety Equipment Ham Radio
Lightbars Armor Plating
Knowing where you are Getting reliable information Capturing the event Reporting the event
Paper Maps ($10) GPS ($30-$300) Stay away from DeLorme, look for native NMEA Puck or Full size? Mapping Software DeLorme Street Atlas Microsoft Streets & Trips Embedded Google Maps (iPad, iPhone, etc)
Microsoft Windows is still king…sorry Apple What about a "netbook“? ($300+) iPhone? Android? iPad? Laptop Mount (RAM)
Radar Data Gibson Ridge-GR3/GR2/GRAE/GRE ($80-$250) Storm Lab v4 ($75 - $140) Radar Scope (iPhone/iPad, $10) Misc Franson / GpsGate ($40) for splitting one GPS among multiple software applications at the same time
Everyone should own GR3. It’s the industry standard for radar software. Better than your local TV station Used by 99% of chasers Supports custom feeds
Not for use by mobile users. You will be highly disappointed Intended for in-depth radar analysis Best available radar resolution Supports custom feeds AE can do 3D
Not for use by mobile users. It’s usable, but you will be disappointed Intended for in-depth synoptic scale analysis, now-casting and near term forecasting
Supports L2 and L3 data in same app Supports a few custom feeds Compares to GR2/3
( Disclaimer, I own the company) FREE is Good, but usually “best effort” If you can afford it ($10-$25/m) get data from a company who’s entire job is getting you reliable data
You will need Internet access, typically a cell phone Either a dedicated card or “tethering” Typically “tethering” means you can not call at the same time you are surfing….but that’s changing In car WiFi ($300-$500) Router + Cell phone card AutoNet Integrated iPad Netbook
Unless you are near a big city, or near an Interstate don’t expect to have good cell phone coverage Remember those paper maps? Cellphone Booster Wired vs Wireless ($200-$400) External Antenna Experience says go with the Wilson “Trucker” antenna ($50)
Mobile Web Cams / Streaming Online Low end/budget camera that has “always on” capability Severe Studios - or - ChaserTV Video Camera Most important spec is 4 lux or lower (minimum illumination) HD + widescreen is a must now Tripod is a must with HD reasonably priced examples SONY XR350V ($900) SONY HDR-CX150 ($550) Pocket Camera? In 720p HD they work great That’s what I use
Most folks use DSLRs Nikon D90 ($1000 new) Canon EOS-20D ($300 used) You should care about the lens I own a mm and 18-55mm (stock) If you only want one lens buy an mm ($700) Think about renting first
Can not be done at scientific level for under $1000 Scientists require repeatability and consistency Do you value your car?
Must be done right, or not worth doing unless you just like the look on your car
Measured wind is best when you report Temperature, humidity, pressure are not used unless scientifically collected So spend $75 and get a Kestrel instead
You got there… You are in position… You are recording it… There has got to be more to it right?
Use the Spotter Network if you have Internet connectivity (http://www.spotternetwork.org)http://www.spotternetwork.org 13,000+ members Standardized Training Integrated with NWS eSpotter NWSChat Place Files / Google Maps & Earth Integrated with just about everything spotter related Quality Controlled
NWS phone # provided Accurate GPS cords Nearest Cities Contact info The NWS might call you!