Storm Chasers Head to Iowa to Wait for Potentially Wild Wednesday
DES MOINES, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) —
Ben McMillan goes where the forces of nature collide to produce some of the most violent weather on earth and Wednesday morning he plans to start his day in Des Moines.
As a part of the Iowa Storm Chasing Network he’s traveled the country, taking historic video of twin tornadoes in Nebraska and being the first crew into town after an EF5 monster storm leveled parts of Parkersburg, Iowa in 2008. Ben says his goal is to produce the missing pieces of the forecasting puzzle and show people what’s heading their way as proof it’s time to seek shelter.
“People respond to radar, but they respond more to pictures of a live tornado. They’ve done social studies in places like Alabama where they’ve had a lot of deadly tornadoes and people have actually said they see that tornado live they’re going to react and that’s our goal to have people react.”
FOX28/CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails has been on more than 50 storm chases and says it’s the kind of additional visual evidence that backs up what can be seen on the radar. He says the mobile technology storm chasing crews can use in the field now is nothing short of amazing.
But he says it’s the real-time live video that can be incorporated into warnings and forecasts that helps to keep television viewers informed and safe. Ben McMillan says following severe weather is a bit of a guessing game until it actually starts to develop and he says if Iowa sees sun and heat early in the day on Wednesday “ Watch out.”