NZ Storm and Storm Chasing Safety

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DT-NZ
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NZ Storm and Storm Chasing Safety

Unread post by DT-NZ »

I started this topic because it is important and I hope that some of the more experienced weather guys here on NZWF who are seasoned storm chasers may give the rest of us folks some helpful & safety advice when chasing storms in NZ etc - anyway, thank you - takecare.

Mod Edit: Moved this topic from 'Weather Abroad'.
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Re: NZ Storm and Storm Chasing Safety

Unread post by tgsnoopy »

Ok, my rules are:

Use directional tyres on your vehicle, they pump the rainwater out from under themselves faster and improve your control in the wet.

Rain-X on the windscreen, who needs wipers.

If you go through a wash of water across the road, always pump your brakes a couple of times to ensure they are still there in case you need them. If they are wet from a quick dunk better to dry them out yourself than find out they aren't there when you need them.

Drive to the conditions, if it's lousy out there, slow down.

Often with Rain-X you can see what's going on way better than those around you, remember the car in front of you is likely to be going slower than you, slow down with plenty of time to spare, the 4 second rule in rough weather is always a good idea.

If there are wind gusts and you have a high sided vehicle remember to allow for gusts or the sudden increase as you hit a break in shelter belts etc.

Don't get out of the vehicle in heavy rain, hail or when lightning is close.

Basically common sense stuff really.
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Re: NZ Storm and Storm Chasing Safety

Unread post by jamie »

not a fan of rain X. once the wipers have been going for some time it begins to smudge. the side windows are however i find perfect for rain x.
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Re: NZ Storm and Storm Chasing Safety

Unread post by tgsnoopy »

The trick is to not use your wipers unless absolutely necessary. But you are right, it does wear off if you use your wipers.
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Re: NZ Storm and Storm Chasing Safety

Unread post by Tornado Tim »

I use "Rain Clear" rather than rain x, its a gel rather than a liquid and you dont need to apply much only a pea sized amount for half the windscreen.
It doesnt rub off when using wipers which is great too, another thing i noticed is that you cant see it as with rain x you can see it when its applied.

Now back on subject LOL,
If you start to feel your hair start to go on end and or you start to hear a buzzing while storm chasing get down immediately and crouch. When your hair starts to go on end it is when the electromagnetic field is very high and often means that a charge of lightning is trying to probe its way down to earth, by getting down it will make you less of a target to get struck.
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Re: NZ Storm and Storm Chasing Safety

Unread post by NZstorm »

The two big hazards in NZ are the same for anywhere in the world, driving safety and lightning. Never set a tripod up in the open on an approaching storm.
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Re: NZ Storm and Storm Chasing Safety

Unread post by spwill »

I think the main danger is around road saftey eg driving on wet roads with the distraction of a storm. In USA we sometimes drive all day with jet lag before reaching a storm.
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Re: NZ Storm and Storm Chasing Safety

Unread post by tgsnoopy »

Yes, if you can feel the electrostatic charge, you are in extreme danger of being struck. It's that charge that gets the leaders started.
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Re: NZ Storm and Storm Chasing Safety

Unread post by DT-NZ »

Thanks guys _b

This is really important information and I appreciate your insights and comments.

I think its really important that beginners who want to give strom chasing a go here in NZ and/or overseas, beginners who have no prior understanding, background and experience importantly in weather and chasing storms like you guys do, really need to sit up and take note from what you have written.... thank you again - take care.
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Re: NZ Storm and Storm Chasing Safety

Unread post by Andrew Massie »

Another option if you feel static buildup is to GET IN YOUR CAR. Your car is a 'Faraday cage', which means any electricity will pass through the metal frame and chassis and not affect you. Just make sure you aren't touching any metal parts connected to the chassis.

The crouching is a good idea, try and keep your feet together to prevent 'step voltage' which kills cows regularly.

Big hail is a consideration. If you can't get cover for your car, stay in it, keep clear of the windscreen and windows n the windward side of the car. Try and stay central and protect your eyes from shattering glass.

Carrying an extinguiser in your car should be compulsory as well. I've seen FAR too many cases of trapped passengers and the car catching fire due to high pressure fuel lines due to modern fuel injection systems. I'm not sure if the fuel tank or lines would be affected by lightning strike, but don't forget, even if you're the world's safest driver, the person coming the other way may be the world's worst driver, and distracted by a storm...!

Good thread, this!
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