Should You Become a Storm Chaser?
Do you have a love for the weather? Do you consider yourself to be a weather fanatic or a weather enthusiast? If you regularly find yourself tracking the forecasted weather or if you find yourself outdoors when severe weather strikes, you may want to consider becoming a storm chaser. Many individuals storm chase as a hobby, as well as for a career.
As nice as it is to hear that you can make a living or enjoy a fun hobby with storm chasing, you may be looking for more information. For starters, storm chasing is defined as the pursuit of bad, severe weather. Storm chasers often hop in their vehicles and follow severe weather. As nice and as exciting as this sounds, storm chasing is a lot different than watching severe weather unfold from the safety and comfort of your own home.
Before deciding that storm chasing is the perfect career opportunity or hobby for you, there are a number of important points that you will want to take into consideration. Storm chasing often involves a lot of knowledge and research. Storm chasers rely on their knowledge of the weather, as well as severe weather alerts, and radar images to be in the right place at the right time. When it comes to the weather, do you simply just like to watch it? Would you mind sitting around examining radar images or listening to weather alerts on the radio? Although storm chasing can be exciting, it takes research, hard work, and determination to be a successful storm chaser.
Another one of the many points that you will want to take into consideration, when trying to determine if storm chasing is right for you, is your ability to quickly think on your feet. Are you good at problem solving under pressure? If you are not, storm chasing may not be for you. As exciting as storm chasing can be, it is also important to remember the dangers that surround it. When tracking super cell thunderstorms hoping to find a tornado, you may find yourself trapped. If you ever found yourself in this type of situation, you will need to not panic, but quickly think of a solution that will get you to safety and fast.
As previously stated, many professional storm chasers rely on technology and research to get them right in the middle of severe weather. Do you have the capability to do so? Storm chasing involves more than hoping in a vehicle. Do you have a television or a computer in your vehicle that you can use to access up-to-date radar images? Do you have a weather radio that will provide you with constant updates in severe weather? If not, you may want to refrain from storm chasing until you have these important tools. These weather devices will not only help to improve your chances of seeing success, but they can also help to keep you safe.
Although it is more …
There’s a New Garden in Town
It is (mostly) easy to install, looks good
year-round, requires almost no maintenance and has a terrifically upbeat impact
on the environment. No wonder rain gardens are such a great new gardening trend!
Storm water runoff can be a big problem in summer during heavy thunderstorms.
As the water rushes across roofs and driveways, it picks up oil and other
pollutants. Municipal storm water treatment plants often can’t handle the
deluge of water, and in many locations the untreated water ends up in natural
waterways. The EPA estimates as much as 70 percent of the pollution in our
streams, rivers, and lakes is carried there by storm water! By taking
responsibility for the rainwater that falls on your own roof and driveway, you’ll
be helping to protect our rivers, streams and lakes from stormwater pollution.
To reduce the excess water runoff, many towns are encouraging businesses and
homeowners to install rain gardens in their yards. Rain gardens are specially
constructed gardens located in low areas of a yard where storm water can collect.
The idea is to have the water naturally funnel to this garden. The rain garden
collects water runoff and stores and filters it until it can be slowly
absorbed by the soil. Rather than rushing off into a storm sewer or a local
waterway, the rainwater can collect in a garden where it will be naturally
filtered by plants and soil.
Installing a rain garden is easy.
You simply dig a shallow depression in your yard and plant it with native
grasses and wildflowers; things that are easy to grow and maintain in your area.
What makes a garden a rain garden? First, the garden will be designed with a low
spot in the middle to collect and absorb rain water and snow melt. This depression
can range from a few inches in a small garden, to an excavated trough that’s
several feet deep. Second, rain gardens are usually located where they’ll catch
the runoff from impermeable surfaces like sidewalks and driveways, or from gutters
and roof valleys. Third, rain gardens are usually planted with native wildflowers
and grasses that will thrive in tough growing conditions. Finally, rain gardens
are designed to channel heavy rains to another rain garden or to another part of
Your rain garden should be located at least 10 feet from the house. The garden’s
size and location depends on the yard. The ideal situation would
be to locate the garden in a natural depression. You also can funnel water
from downspouts on gutters into the garden. The soil should be well drained
so the water doesn’t sit in the garden for more than two days. A special
“rain garden” soil mix of 50 to 60 percent sand, 20 to 30 percent topsoil,
and 20 to 30 percent compost is recommended. You can dig this mixture into
the soil to depth of 2 feet before planting.
Once you’ve identified the new garden’s location, remove the …