Thursday, May 22, 2014

Merrill Dean - Post Swift Post

During this very awesome experience of swift, the event that highlighted this experience for me was the wedge tornado on Mothers day on 5/11/14. This was the most influential to me because we experienced the greatest storms of the entire trip. This day was also my first experience of seeing house damage from a severe storm. This day, as a group, we experienced many problems  but the thing that I enjoyed as that we got through them together as a team and we did it we little to no arguments and at the end of the day we were all safe and able to laugh about the experiences that we had. This day was a day that I will definitely remember for the rest of my life and an experience I know the swift team of 2014 will always remember.

Over this journey I have learned so much. Before going on this internship I knew little to none about tornado or severe weather and how these things formed. There was a lot of things I learned in a very short 3 weeks, at some points it felt like too much but it was always worth it and made for better chase days. I learned how to read the data that was given by numerous sights such as Twister Data and Hazwx. I also learned what storm structures are going to be more probabilistic for the formation of a tornado. This internship has given me a new respect for storms and the weather in general.

Swift has taught me more than just about tornado's and the weather, it has also helped me with my leadership skills as well. During this trip the swift team grew very close, but the thing is we were able to flip the switch from friends to colleagues when we entered storm mode or when a task needed to get completed. Swift has also helped me with public speaking skills. One of our tasks was to speak at Stevens High School in South Dakota. There I was able to explain my knowledge about storms to people who were less knowledgeable in that field. This trip has taught me how to better work with people when we all have the same objective. Swift definitely taught me skills that I will carry over as an officer in the future.

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