Been too busy to do a real update.
Shortly after the November 5th chase, my 1st chasemobile blew a head gasket and was forced into retirement. After 8 years and 174500 miles, I cant complain really. Thats more than most people get out of their vehicles. I was hoping I could get 1 more season out of the van, but it wasn't meant to be.
That being said, I will be hitting the plains next year with a 2006 Ford Expedition. Allot of thought and shopping went into picking out the right vehicle. Not only do I travel allot on chases, but I also do allot of traveling for camping, fishing, and various other adventures. I need to haul lots of gear and sometimes people.
After the mud incident on May 23rd, I realized 4 wheel drive is a must...not that I plan on driving on a field again, but you never know. Rear wheel drive only just wont cut it. So that was another reason I opted for the large SUV. The fuel economy is horrible, but if gas prices can stay where they are I will be able to manage. Although I wont be so generous in giving freebee chases and may ask those who ride along to chip in a little more.
Many upgrades will come to this vehicle and I plan on designing and building hail guards for it...one awesome thing about the van was it had a fiberglass hood and rear liftgate that kept it free from dents. Since I plan to sample more cores in 2009 i think hail protection is a must. So here she is...a true gas guzzling whore if ever there was one.
I like how it had the custom grille already installed, as well as a tow package...Price was 15k but in the end ill have paid about 22k after all the financing crap.
So...RIP to Aerostorm....for now...the van will remain in the garage and be fixed in the future when I have the time and money. Itll mostly serve as the local driver whereas the SUV will be for the long trips. I saw my 1st tornado with this van on 5-5-07. Pictured here along side the TIV in Murdo, SD on 6-6-07
and with an awesome shelf cloud...
The weather pattern around here sucks. Its very similar to last year with a massive blocking pattern over greenland keeping us in a mostly NW flow. Temps are way below average and the lake effect snow machine has been in overdrive. Luckily its been minimal here in Chicago, but NWern IN and Wern MI have been getting pummeled. Im wondering if this pattern will feature a winter of extremes like the 07-08 winter. I hope so. We had an EF-3 in January about 70 miles from here, a december squall line which downed trees and powerlines in my neighborhood. And hail during a storm in February...not to mention the historic Feb 5th tornado outbreak. I guess well have to see.
For now...storm chasers is on tonight. I will be chiming in on spotter chat along with everyone else for my wanted and unwanted thoughts.