Local storm chasers gear up for first chase of the season

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – It has been a slow start to the severe weather season all across the country.  So far, the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center has only issued four Tornado Watches and zero Severe Thunderstorm Watches.  That’s the fewest ever for this point in the season.

But a slow start does not mean a slow finish and indications are a more active pattern is shaping up over the next few days.  The prospects for severe weather have local storm chasers like George Wise checking their gear to get ready for the first chase of the season.

Wise is a member of the Metro St. Louis Storm Chasers Association.  The group is made up of spotters who observe and document dangerous spring storms while helping to get real-time data into the hands of the meteorologists who issue the warnings.

The normal number of watches at this point in the season is more than 50.  Experts warn people not to let their guard down because of the slow start.  In years past, seasons that started slow have come to life quickly producing multiple destructive severe weather outbreaks later in the season.