Who are you and what is this site about?
I'm a German guy who lives in Finland.
In Germany, I have done stormchasing and also investigation of severe weather events as a hobby. When I came to Finland, I noticed that there is very little detailled weather information freely available to the public. Also, the tools, I used in Germany like the great site www.wetterzentrale.de are only of limited use up here as they are focussed on Germany or Central Europe.
So, as I have some knowledge, I decided to start an information site myself.
Stormchaser? Aren't that those crazy freaks which go after tornados for a "kick"?
Well, NO! Stormchasers are people which are usually driven by fascination of weather and the wish to know more and explore. Some are just taking photos or videos, some show up with high-end, high-tech measuring equipment. And there is everything in between. However, one fact is universal: If you don't know enough about weather, you usually don't find storms to chase very easily. Thus, stormchasing is more than just jumping into the car and driving after storms. Usually a lot of time is spent on preparation, evaluating weather charts and current conditions to find a good place to start chasing at.
As with every other hobby or profession also, there might be a few individuals who do this hobby for "other" reasons i.e. merely for satisfaction of their voyeurism or to get a "kick". But those people are by no means representative for all chasers.
Without the dedication of hobby-stormchasers, severe weather research would by far not be where it is today.
Where do you get the charts from?
The charts, i.e. the graphics, I actually create myself. I'm using specialized software on a high-end Linux-server. A major part of the creation of the charts is controlled by scripts for the rendering software and for Linux which I wrote myself.
The raw data, i.e. lots of numbers, is available freely from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
What is CAPE, lifted index, convective inhibition and all this stuff?
Well, go read some books :).
No, seriously. This site is only to provide the data and the charts. It's a hobby project and I neither have the time nor do I feel qualified to teach people in meteorology.
And besides, there is a bulk of really good sites in the web which provide some basic meteorologic knowledge. Some of them you might find in our link list.