Storm Chasers on TDC: what's on their laptops?

I love this show. Guys tear around tornado alley in SUV’s (and other, more exotic, vehicles looking for tornadoes to tape and record wind speed, etc. (Although the show focuses on just a handful of teams, apparently there are dozens, if not hundreds, of people who do this.)

On their laptops, they have some kind of super weather radar/map software. Does anyone know what this is? Is it something I could find on the internet?

How the heck would you get the internet in a fast-moving SUV, anyway?

Hi speed wireless, duh. :smiley:

Haven’t had a chance to see this but I might give it a look.

Its probably done with cellular wireless, edge or evdo.


Are you sure the data’s coming from somewhere else and not being generated by the gear on their rig?

I’m no troglodyte, but those are three things outside of my range of experience.

I probably worded that wrong.

Cellular wireless is just a way of connecting to the internet through a cellular modem. If you had the data cable, you could plug your cell phone into your computer and connect to the internet.

Edge and evdo are networks that cell phones operate on depending on your provider.

ATT and Tmobile would be on Edge and Verizon would be evdo.


On the SUV’s, it is most likely external as they don’t have the big dishes. On the DOW/TIV team, it could be an internal network, I suppose. But the Reed Timmer team is not part of the DOW/TIV team and may not have access to their data.

I heard them mention “Threat Net”. Here’s a link to the software/service. It seems to look like what they were using.

I’ve not seen the show, do any of the vehicles have basketball sized spheres on them? If so, that could very well be a satphone link up. (Or it might be some kind of minature radar unit.)

A satellite phone link? I can’t get Direct TV to work in a moderate shower. Couldn’t see trusting my life to a satellite link near a tornado. I’d even have a hard time with cell hookups, what if the storm took out a cell tower near you.

From pipper’s link:

So it sounds like they are using commercial satellite radio.

Satphones operate on a different set of frequencies than Direct TV does, and IME are less affected by harsh weather than Direct TV/Dish/etc. (The military uses the same satphone units as civilians [just with scramble chips installed], so I doubt they’d be using them if the signal could get easily screwed up by bad weather.)