Ew. Yuck. Sick. BLECH!!!
No, I didn't attempt to eat my first ever salad....Im talking about the sighting of snow flurries around here today. I knew it officially snowed here yesterday, but I didnt see it...so I was able to at least fool myself into thinking the year wasn't over yet. Today reality pimp smacked me in the face and I am finally tossing in the towel on the chase season. Fall was a major let down as far as chaseable setups go...but its never a real garauntee. We just cant get out of this damn west coast ridge-east coast trough pattern...it may break for a day or 2 but nothing ever comes of it...large highs over the east are keeping the gulf cut off to even the southern states.
But...in my last entry I mentioned a meager threat for thunder with a cutoff low progged to move over the region...well to my suprise as Im shopping for camping supplies Friday...an anvil crawler streaks across the sky followed my favorite sound in the entire world...temps were chilly, but height falls were enough to support tstorm development after-all. Some daytime "heating" also helped get the process going. It was definitely welcome.
Driving back from my camping trip to Indiana [which included us getting lost in the dead of night in a canyon for an hour] I decided to drive by the sight on I-57 where I filmed the tornado. It would be the 1st time I have been there since that day...and much to my suprise, there is still allot of debris scattered around...just goes to show how lazy I-dot is. Only a few moments later I found myself in a barage of mushy, pea and smaller size hailstorm that covered the road in only about 20 seconds. I wasnt convinced it was hail at first but after going over things and checking reports and conditions...i believe it really was. A nice little bonus.
So now that the year has drawn to an almost certain close...whats planned in the off season? More of the same...continue teaching myself more and more. I dont overload myself with more information than I can handle, which has helped me learn more than I ever plan. I hope to get a real chase website up and running as well, but that will be a much bigger project. As far as "upgrades" go...it will depend on how finances treat me...a windshield camera mount is on the top of my list. Perhaps a real camera from which to take better quality still images with, and begin educating myself on that aspect of the game.
Some quick stats on the season:
Tornadoes: 4 [3 in Kansas, 1 in Illinois]
Largest hail-core: Half dollar size - 1.50"
Miles: Approx 11,400
States covered: IL, IN IA, NE, KS, AR, MS, TN
Of course a more detailed account is coming...but that will be later.
Since its now the off season, there wont be much forecasting going on over here, but Im sure I will have plenty to rant and talk about over the winter. Next year I plan on being very aggressive. I feel allot of opportunities were blown because we were pussy footing around the storms rather than diving in and just going for it. I know all there is to know about intercepting the various types of storms, so next year I will be getting my hands dirtier. Im still developing my chase "career" so its one step at a time.
On a serious note, Id like to ask you to send your thoughts and blessings out to fellow storm chaser Andrew Pritchard...his GF just went through the horrible tragedy of losing her sister to sensless violence by a piece of shit sorry sad excuse for a man. The news is horrible and I wish him, her and the family the best during this hard time. The chasing community is with you guys and you have our unending support.