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Jovan Cabrilo (23) and Matija Ugljesin (32), seemingly ordinary young men from Vojvodina, have one very unusual hobby. The two are the first Serbian storm hunters and top weather forecasters. At least the people who follow them on social networks say so.
Their interest in storms appeared in their earliest childhood, they studied the same Faculty of Technology, but the fate brought them together in a moment when they were both in IT academy. Matija is especially attracted by bad weather, lightning, and dangerous clouds, while Jovan is more interested in the forecast of the dangerous weather. Matija came across Jovan while searching and he was amazed at his forecast, especially when he found out that he was from Zrenjanin.
- Matija sent photos in the inbox and I saw them. Then we realized that we are from the same city, Zrenjanin. We are both attracted to nature and all that is happening, Matija more from the photography side. We went out together several times last year and we liked chasing storms. In the meantime, we came to the idea to start the page VojvodinaMeteo - Jovan begins his story.
Now they get together every week to go around Vojvodina... As they said, there have been five or six successful chases this season.
- We are officially hunting storms from this season. That is love and passion, that is the main incentive for our work. There is a saying for reason: "Do what you love and you will never work" - said Jovan.
Matija said that he likes working at night because it is easier to take photos of lightning. And the storms can be dangerous, so we asked them what they do about fear.
- Fear is always present. You can't be indifferent when it is flashing all the time, let alone when there are thunders that are most dangerous and unpredictable - said Matija.
Jovan adds that the adrenaline is hitting in those moments which is felt during the chase and it can't be described.
The hunting season is over, only some strong thunderstorm in winter months can get us out. They will have to wait till May next year for storms.
- A colder period came and there is less energy in the atmosphere and therefore fewer conditions for bad weather - reveals Jovan.
THEY CHASE SUPERCELLS, WHALE'S MOUTH, TROMBS...
They have been to Backa Topola, Vrsac, Bela Crkva, Zrenjanin... They managed to see supercell few times, which is one of the strongest clouds and the strongest storms that can be created.
- The rotation is their characteristics. We had few this season. Supercell can survive for hours when it comes to life, while regular storm clouds last up to one hour at most. We had one situation when there was a supercell over Pancevo. It lived all the way to Russia - Jovan said with amazement.
Their desire is to catch a tromb, a rolling-like tornado cloud, but not so strong. They believe that tornadoes are possible.
They will remember the storm that happened on May 5th at Backa Topola as the terrifying one because it was practically chasing them.
- The clouds were horrifying, it was constantly flashing and the hail was following us, we barely made it. That was whale's mouth because the cloud looks like as if it is swallowing everything in front of it - explains Matija.
HOW TO STAY PROTECTED FROM BAD WEATHER?
Based on numerical models, Jovan predicts the weather. His guides are global numeric models that predict time for some 15 days in the future. He started using his personal numeric model WRF-ARW for a more local area, with 3km resolution, and with him, he can forecast local processes, rainfall with lightning and other bad weather. He adjusted the model of professor Zavisa Janjic for the needs of Serbia and the part of Balkans.
- Follow Vojvodina Meteo to see the forecast of weather and when the storm comes, sit at home and watch our live broadcast - said Matija jokingly, because when all other people are home, it's their showtime.
Family and friends told them that they are "crazy", but they just laugh at it.
- They are a bit worried, but we have experience now. We are using the nettle shampoo. We are always carrying that shampoo because they say that "A thunder won’t hit the stinging nettles" - laughs Jovan.
My desire is to start a network of automated weather stations, and all citizens will be able to log into it and more people would be interested in meteorology. One of the first things everybody should know is to recognize what kind of weather is coming.
- Those high clouds are first to appear - cirrus clouds, they are a sign of change somewhere far away. And after two, three days, something happens here - Jovan assures us.
He revealed that it will be warm only on October 5th. After that, we can expect significantly lower temperature, which will last until the end of the week, with occasional rain on Friday and Saturday, while the first snow is possible in the mountains over 1.500 meters.
We will have the opportunity to see if he is good at forecast as much as he is in chasing storms.
(Telegraf.co.uk / Sladjana Vasic - email@example.com)