Best Gifts for Weather Enthusiasts
The Best Gifts for Your Storm-Chasing Honey
We don't want your hearts and flowers. We can't stay awake for another chick flick and box of generic candy. We're weather enthusiasts, and we know exactly what we want. If you have a storm chaser or lover of weather phenomenon to buy for, this is probably the only page on Earth that covers this topic.
We Want Barometers
Every weather enthusiast likes a nice barometer. And make no mistake- I do mean a nice one. There are a lot of cheap barometers out there, and they work just about as well as a compass that comes out of a Cracker Jacks box. A good barometer is something that weather fans treasure. We'd like one for the house, one for the office and one for the car. Yes- one for the car.
Any decent storm chaser, even an amateur, needs a good GPS system. This will keep your loved one safe when they need to find a quick escape from an approaching tornado or downburst. The GPS doesn't have to have any fancy a, like various speaking voices or a pop-up screen, but it should gave good reviews for accuracy.
If you do want to indulge in expensive features, a speaking voice can be useful when high winds make it hard ot concentrate on the GPS screen. It should have a volume control to allow it to be loud enough to be heard over a powerful storm.
Storm Chasing Clothing
A good storm chaser t-shirt is always a welcome gift. When you're standing in line at Best Buy, it's nice to let the people around you know that this isn't your idea of adventure. CafePress and other customized t-shirt sites have storm chasing t-shirts, hats, bags and bumper stickers.
A good, tough windbreaker made of a waterproof material may be a storm chaser's best friend during a chase. A good jacket with some pockets for storm gear will be greatly appreciated.
It may sound old fashioned, but a good pair of binoculars are extremely useful for spotting intricate cloud patterns. There's no better way to see a formation of mammatus formations- trust me. And for storm chasers, it's often a requirement to keep an eye on hooks and downdrafts. The binoculars you choose should be of high quality, but should not be too large. A large set is too awkward to use easily in a car, and more than difficult to hold while running through the plains.
Anyone chasing in a car needs to have an emergency kit handy. Tornadoes have a nasty tendency to render cars inoperable and cause injuries. The kit should have first aid for both the person and the car. In the event of a direct hit, a weather enthusiast has to be able to get help quickly- it may be a matter of life and death. Jumper cables, flares, an extra cell phone battery, a flashlight, bandages and a tourniquet are the most important items to have. All of these items put together in a waterproof container are a perfect, if not terribly romantic, gift for a weather freak.
Not just any camera will shoot a tornado or other fast-moving phenomenon. A digital camera that has a lightning-fast shutter speed is the only kind that will do. And yes, it should be able to photograph lightning. Cameras like these are expensive, but your loved one is worth it. And, imagine the pictures that will result. You can't put a price on results like that.
The short bursts of video available on most digital cameras isn't going to cut it when the big one rips through. A good weather enthusiast needs something powerful to capture the big finds. The perfect storm camcorder will be very lightweight, as close to waterproof as possible and it should have a superior zoom feature.
Tornado Package Tours
There are several companies scattered around the prime tornado states that offer tornado tours. These guys will take your weather freak into the heart of the best storms and get them up close and personal with a tornado. Tornado tourgoers get close enough to have their picture taken with a twister. These trips aren't cheap, but they are absolutely perfect for weather enthusiasts who don't live in a ornado-prone area.