STORM TRACK: May 31, 1978 (Volume 1 Issue 4)

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FUNNEL FUNNIES: Do's and Don'ts of DQ's

The following Travel Tips include some does and don'ts of DQ's (Dairy Queens). The small diversion below illustrates certain practices of the novice chaser which Mr. Zipser seeks to correct on the following page.



It seems that Dairy Queen restuarants, or "DQs" have become rather popular with many storm chasers ever the recent years. This is partly due to the food chain's widespread distribution and frequent location along the main highway through town, thereby providing easy access and quick egress. When considering which DQ you should stop at during a chase, certain fundamental criteria (other than the nearest one with a restroom) should weigh in your choice. The following suggestions are offered:

(1) Is there a covered parking space? An overhead awning or canopy will protect closed-up parked cars with photographic equipment inside from excessive interior heat, while you're inside the building. Park where you can keep an eye on your car.

(2) Choose an inside location with good sky visibility. Light-tinted windows are even better because they reduce early-afternoon glare and permit easier and earlier identification of distant towering cumulus through haze.

(3) To save time, decide in advance what you want to order and use the drive in window whenever one is available. Check to see if short-order items such as hamburgers, french fries, etc. are already prepared, so you won't have to wait long. Valuable time could be lost here which could be spent getting into optimum photographic position.

(4) If you must wait for your order, use the time propitiously to organize and check over your camera gear. Discuss possible road options in later, likely chase area.

(5) Keep snacks infrequent and light. Remember, "juicy" drinks leave you feeling lighter, more refreshed and better prepared for the pressures of an active chase.

(6) Finally, make a habit of looking out for vehicles of other chasers in DQ parking lots, whenever you happen to pass by one in or near the storm area. DQs provide a convenient, universal meeting place for storm chasers to exchange information beforehand or trade experiences afterwards. Not all localities have NWS or FAA offices, but most have the ubiquitous DQs.