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White County Storm Chaser Educating Residents Saturday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
White County Storm Chaser Educating Residents Saturday

White County Storm Chaser Herschel Jenkins will be educating residents about severe weather and storm chasing at a free information session next Saturday.

Jenkins said he began taking classes for storm spotting when he was 15 years old. He said he wanted to learn more about storms and get out and experience them firsthand. He said he has now been a full-time storm chaser for four years.

“There had been some storms in the past that I used to be kind of terrified of when I was younger,” Jenkins said. “And I really wanted to know what the atmosphere was doing to cause this to happen.”

Jenkins said he is always aware of the potential danger of the job, and that the biggest risk is dealing with high winds. He said he has to monitor patterns to know where to position himself and his equipment in relation to the wind.

“I do try to weigh the risk and everything, of course, me and Tyler always do,” Jenkins said. “We’re really cautious about where we are positioning ourselves, not to get too much that we can’t handle.”

Jenkins said it is important for him to share his knowledge and experience with the public because he wants to make sure people know to take all storms seriously. He said people often do not consider a severe thunderstorm warning as much of a threat as a tornado warning, but in his experience, it can be just as serious.

“Me and Tyler have seen it first hand, 70 or 80 miles per hour winds may not be rotating, but if it’s going in a straight line, I’ve seen it take off a roof from a house before,” Jenkins said. “It may not be spinning but it’s still 80-mile-per-hour winds either way you go. I’ve seen the damage it can have and people kind of turn a head towards a severe thunderstorm vs a tornado.”

The information session will be on June 10th from 12 to 1:30 PM at 158 Spring Street in Spencer.


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