SUPERCELL DEPRIVATION SYNDROME
A Preliminary Report and Study
 
Dr. Steve Miller, Executive Director & President, Supercell Deprivation Treatment Centers
(not only am I the President, but a member too!)
Dr. Glenn Dixon, Associate Director & Contributing Editor
Supercell Deprivation Treatment Centers is part of  Texas Tailchasers, Inc.

November 10, 1997                                                                                                                                                Volume 1

A new disease has been identified this year. It is known as Supercell Deprivation Syndrome or SDS. Although there is no evidence showing that SDS causes any direct physical harm, the psychological effects are significant and can be debilitating causing strange and unusual behavior in otherwise normal chasers...assuming of course there is such a thing. Here at the Texas Tailchasers' Laboratories, we first discovered and identified this affliction as a disease when all of our members, including yours truly,  became seriously inundated with SDS this past year. It was difficult to isolate as the symptoms and the disease itself slowly and subtly spread throughout our ranks. We are publishing our research in an effort to better cope with the disease and to alert others in the chaser community to this grave threat against our mental stability and well being. Since this area is regularly questioned by others of the general public, you see just how critical it is to address SDS.

We have concluded that SDS is usually seasonal coinciding with the winter months increasing in severity in February and up into March with a marked decrease between March and June with few if any cases noted. We believe this to be a remission stage in the cyclic nature of SDS. However, with the exception of 1997 Memorial Day weekend, we noticed a dramatic increase in cases and severity this past year through the spring, summer and early parts of fall. This is alarming in the sense that winter is approaching which will only increase the effects.....fuel to a raging fire (we may have to make another graph). We may have yet to see the most extreme cases of SDS as it is possible to see epidemic proportions.

AVERAGE SDS CASES
 
1997 CASES
You can definately see the El Nino effect here

KNOWN CAUSES
Usually, just one of these causes by themselves do not produce a severe case of SDS but can definitely create  various levels of it. We have found that 3-4 can have a significant effect. More than that can create severe cases. Some chasers, especially in Texas,  have experienced all of these causes this year which have resulted in extreme, case studies.

1.)   El Nino

2.)  Annoying, persistent upper level ridging for extended periods

3.)  Cool, cloudy and drizzly weather with northerly winds on chase days

4.)  Lengthy periods of flat, fair weather cumulus or clear, blue skies

5.)  Jet stream 1500 miles away

6.)  Subsidence, subsidence and more subsidence

7.)  LI indices less then -6, CAPE values +2000, SPC outlook area, no storms.

8.)  More tornado watches issued for Oregon than for the patient's home state in Tornado Alley.

9.)  Civil Defense Siren "testing" by the local municipality

10.)  TWC anchor constantly stands in front of a patients area because nothing is happening there.

11.)  Missing one of the biggest F5 monster tubes of the century because of job responsibility.

12.)  The only two tornadoes to occur on chase day are 200 miles either side of your target area.


SYMPTOMS
Although it is likely for a chaser to perhaps exhibit one or two of these symptoms, several together should raise concern. There are a few symptoms that are very serious independently and no other symptoms are necessary for immediate admission...these are indicated with a  Since the study of SDS is in it's initial stages and the disease is progressing and spreading, some symptoms may not have yet been identified.  These will be updated on an ongoing basis.

1.)   Innate fascination with the "little tornado" in the bathtub drain

2.)  Creates a backsheared anvil and overshooting top with mashed potatoes or ice cream

3.)  Closely studies a piece of popcorn comparing it to a cumulonimbus head.

4.) Secretly watches videotape of "Twister" repeatedly

5.)  Drives 300 miles just to see a rain shower and then "core punches" it

6.)  Runs outside in underwear when thunder is heard

7.) Begs neighbors to open their doors all at once letting the air conditioned air out in hopes of creating some sort of mesoscale lifting/convergence event to initiate convection.

8.)  Under cover of darkness, tries to "trigger" Civil Defense Siren in his/her neighborhood.

9.)  Sincere, obsessed craving for an Allsup's burrito
(some patients have been found with a large supply in refrigerator)

10.)  Drags feet across carpet and touches metal object just to see the little CG lightning bolt.

11.)  Sleeps in front of intake vent of a central heat/air unit to simulate "inflow"

12.) Chases insects in the yard with Shop Vac to simulate livestock being sucked up by a raging F5
(examination of some patients' Shop Vacs also found plastic army men,  hot wheels,  and toy cows)

13.)  Purposely moves into mobile home. May even "disguise" chase vehicle as one hoping to "lure" a tornado

14.) Strange facial contortions, twitching and extreme paranoia is observed when the words "El Nino",
"Roger Edwards" or "Upper Level Ridge" is heard by patient. Some patients have had to be heavily sedated
when tested on this one.

15.)  Constantly testing alert tone on wx radio to make sure it is working

16.) Personal appearance is sometimes altered in extreme cases. Some patients don a fake Fu Manchu mustache, brimmed straw hat and glasses.  Others seem to try and resemble a certain TV meteorologist from Chicago.

17.)  Simulates hail by throwing ice cubes up in air allowing them to fall upon the pavement, chase vehicle or the patient him/herself.

18.)  Posts frivolous and whimsical pieces of humor on WX-CHASE much to the chagrin of those humorly challenged

19.)Arranges furniture and other personal items in a cyclonic pattern within living quarters. Bed aligned SW to NE

20.)  Renames pets, children and even him/herself  with terms taken from the Storm Spotter Glossary or names of famous tornadoes such as Xenia, Jarrell, Lancaster, Dallas, etc.

21.)  Sends love letters to Helen Hunt 

22.) Sends love letters to Gilbert Sebenste

23.)  Thinks "The Dead Zone" by Stephen King is about the 1996 & 1997 chase seasons

24.)  Fogs up bathroom then turns on hair dryer to simulate dryline punch

25.)  Imagines things on forecast maps that only the patient and no one else can see...delusional

26.) Places inverted paper sno-cone cups inside Allsup's coffee cups, then patient spins in circles to simulate portable Doppler radar....wheeeee!

27.)  Repeatedly flushes toilet to simulate an F5 wedge tornado

28.)  Pictures of tornadoes and supercells found pasted on every wall in patient's living quarters in an erratic manner similar to that of stalkers and obsessed individuals

29.)  Actually calls "Psychics USA" hotline because patient does not believe MRF and ECMWF showing upper ridge for next two weeks

30.)  Little if any social life. Patient spends excessive amounts of freetime on the internet looking at all of the different storm pics and making web pages such as this one. 


TREATMENTS & THERAPIES
The only cure we have found so far is actually experiencing a supercell in person. This is simple enough, but due to the lack of supercells this year, has not been a viable treatment. With the winter season setting in, it becomes imperative to find viable and effective treatments. However, we have found effective therapies to at least inhibit further deterioration of a patient and have even reversed the disease in some cases. We are still researching other methods of therapy with varying degrees of success.

The treatments are listed in progressive order and performed at the Supercell Deprivation Treatment Centers, a division of Texas Tailchasers Inc.  We start with step one and proceed accordingly until patients respond to treatment.

1.)  One-on-one counseling. This helps us assess the condition of the patient and the extent of the disease. Alot of times, just talking about it to someone who really understands is enough. The patient is then encouraged to schedule follow-up visits. If the counselor does not feel this is adequate, we move to the next step.

2.)  Patient is enrolled in support group consisting of other patients, rehabilitated former patients, recuperating patients that have responded well to therapy, and halfway house patients ready to become normal functioning members of the chaser community. These support groups are moderated by one counselor at the center and a veteran stormchaser who volunteers his/her time. If the patient still shows little or no sign of responding, we go to step 3.
 

3.)  Patient is admitted to the Supercell Deprivation Treatment Center Intensive Care Unit shown above. The patient is still allowed outside contact with family members but within visiting hours only. We then immobilize patient and inundate him/her with relentless chase and tornado videos on a 180 degree "Surroundview" big screen monitor. Adding "Surroundsound" special effects such as civil defense sirens, soundbits of NOAA weather radio alert tones and warnings, and roaring freight train sounds increase neural receptiveness. We have also recently added "Surroundfeel" which are environmental effects simulating 50 knot inflow, cool gust fronts, swirling debris and even a stuffed,  inverted cow on a wire which we dangle around the room...it is crude, but effective.
Remember, we are    still in an experimental stage on some of these techniques. (note: the cow was actual bagged" by a chaser on some Texas Farm-to-Market road...we thought we could put it to good use). Treatments are 2 hours long and once per day for 10-30 days. Support group meetings are also continued. If no progress is made here, which is extremely rare, we move to step 4.

4.)  This step is really a much more intense and advanced treatment listed in step 3 above. ALL outside contact, including immediate family, is eliminated. Treatments increase to three times per day and at least for 30 days....maybe more. Patients are kept under heavy sedation to allow reception of subliminal messages transmitted through the chase videos and "white noise"  broadcast at a low-level frequency in the patients' room at night. We are experimenting at this stage by also bombarding the patient with a cross beam between two doppler radars.

After either step 3 or 4, the patient has usually responded well enough to be sent to a halfway house to prepare for his/her life again as a chaser. There are "maintenance" therapies consisting of support group meetings, watching new chase videos, and exit interviews to ensure patient is ready to once again enter the chaser community.

If on the otherhand step 4 proves unsuccessful, we must release the patient and hope for the best as we have exhausted our resources. Only about 1 out of 100 patients are failed cases, so our success rate is pretty high. The patients that have not responded have either become TV weather/traffic reporters (not TV meteorologists..usually. However, there are exceptions) or scriptwriters of "Twister II"...so you can see that our treatments were probably a futile attempt anyway.  


DISCONTINUED/FAILED TREATMENTS
1.)  Whirlpool therapy. Several near-drownings occurred as patients attempted to observe the vortex under water.

2.)  Shock therapy.  Undesired effect....patients would cry out "CG!  We have CG!" as we juiced them.  Some patients were also caught in the room trying to recreate CG's with the equipment using each other as electrodes.


SPONSORS
Supercell Deprivation Treatment Centers, Inc. is strictly a non-profit organization. We rely heavily on sponsors to help offset the costs involved with extensive treatment. Please consider sponsorship in order to help advance the fight on SDS. The following is a list of sponsors which we are so grateful for. Please patronize them so that they will be able to sponsor us:

Michigan Tires - Because too much is riding on your balding tires. If you are a TWC geek, you know who we are.
Allsup's Convenience Stores - Eat Here, Get Gas
Radio Shak - Your electronic gadget headquarters.
Motel 5 - We'll leave the Weather Channel on for you.
Rollaids - The official antidote for chaser cuisine.
Dings-R-Us Hail Dent & Windshield Repair Centers - Accidentally punched the core but it punched back? Hey...You punch it! We pull it!
Dodge-a-nader Trucks - The only truck tough enough to stand up against an F5...as seen in "Twister".
Rain-Ex - Tired of getting hosed out by a HP? Use Rain-Ex!
Quadruple-Edge Windshield Wiper Refills - Guaranteed to wipe away your troubles. Cleans mud, bugs, chicken and cow parts, debris, plus much more!
Exon - Specialists in disasters. We support the Chaser Human.
NSSSL Employee's, Inc. - Buy a shirt and we'll donate to SDS Treatment centers. Hey, we are patients too!
NWS - Hey, we are patients also....unofficially of course.
TX-OK-KS State Troopers' Association - Get well soon!  We miss you.
MacDonalds - Better than an Allsup's burrito anyday!
PeptoBizmol - Better after MacDonalds & Allsup's everyday!
Kojak Film - Excessive surplus!! Super Savings!!  Buy, Buy Buy!!!  Please?!!!!
Honest Abe's Used Chase Vehicles - Where are you guys? I got your own meatwagon here... today only!
The Whether Channel - Get well soon!  We need more footage! 



copyright @1997 Texas Tailchasers, Inc.
questions, comments and money should be sent to me at txt@gte.net
(no animals were harmed or used for testing in any way, although I did eat a hamburger while making this page)
El Nino = Nil Nado
If you have read this far, you have more freetime than I do which is scary. You definately have SDS.
Mention Nil Nado and get 20% off admission to SDS Treatment Centers