Thursday, April 30, 2009


Thats how it looks like May will open. Ive never been fan of zonal flow but it could be worse.

It wont be totally boring though, there does look like there could be some chaseable systems within this. Though these are not ideal setups, if anything it will keep the SPCers at home who wont chase if the day 1 gives a 2% risk. Many times days like these start off as a lower end threat but can evolve greater than expected....or maybe Adam is wishcasting again?

I look forward to the peak of the season but Im already feeling gloomy that it is half over and I havent scored a good tornado yet. I cant complain though, so far 2009 is kicking 2008s ass for me. Ive got tons of good pictures and some wicked hail video. This time last year I had 5 chases with barely any photos and only crappy video. 2008 ended up being my best year yet and so far this year is on track to beat it.

The chase logs from this weekend are up. Check out the site.

For now the chase lull might give me a chance to catch up on some things, work some overtime to get more money for chase gear I desperately need.

Im not looking forward to the May crowds though. I try not to get mad because I know everyone has a right to be there...and I always tell people to follow their passion...but some of these people are SPC chasers that just follow the convoy around. It irks me to see them bag tornadoes with little or no effort...but I cant focus too much on them...I need to worry about me.

My own personal solution was to equip my truck so I can get off the paved roads and down the dirty back roads that these chasers chasing in their pretty little fuel efficient cars wouldnt dare tread down.

This past Saturday it worked. I was able to break away from the convoy, head down a dirt road, stop infront of an amazing stacked plates meso and just sit there for almost 30 minutes just us and the storm...starting into it with thunder and lightning flashing all around. It reminded me of what chasing is about and I seized every second of it.

Sure enough when we got back to paved roads....there was everybody.

Time to get ready to head into the peak. The true monsters of May and June are about to show their faces!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chases 4-25 and 4-26

Full logs will be done by the end of today.

It takes me longer than most because I have to spend a whole day driving home. Then typically I have work early the next morning so it must wait till evening.

Saturday was a great chase. Lots of amazing structure and we got blasted by hail up to tennis ball size. It left some dents on the new chase mobile and made for some sweet video. I was able to keep the swearing down to a minimum for once too. Perhaps Im learning to control myself...I still let a few F-bombs slip though...however those who know me know that a few is pretty damn good. We also saw a nice high based funnel. The video is awesome though. Ive never heard the popcorn like sound from all that gorilla hail smashing into the pavement and breaking up into a bunch of pieces. It was awesome.

Sunday we blew big time. I hate being the driver sometimes because I have multiple people screaming in my ear to go one way or another. Im driving and not monitoring things so I have less of a clue as to whats going on. Long story short we went west instead of north out of sweet water and got on the storm behind it while the north storm went nuts. I mean shit...its a high risk right and all the storms could have gone nuts...generally the southern storm is a better bet but GOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooo figure that was not the case today.

We did score a nice funnel though and had several run ins with quarter hail cores...but when everyone else bags big tornadoes in the same exact areas we are in it stings a bit and suddenly a funnel and hail core lose their excitement level.

I try not to be too mad though. Failure will come from time to time...I think for me the hardest part about it is the fact these were 2009s first photogenic awesome tornadoes. I know the peak of the season isnt here yet but there are never garuntees in the world of weather. If I had already scored at least one tornado this season of that quality it would sting less, because I would be happier knowing I got my piece of the prize.

But alas...I will be out the next chance I get and ready to go after it again! The next time I get conflicting directions from those Im chasing with Im going to take a minute and look at both options myself and make the call rather than just listning to the person whos screaming louder in my ear because he has a map and updated GR3 image. I should have known better. I do know better. I take the blame.

Another aspect which will lessen the blow is the fact the forecast setup crapped out. It was a high risk that screaming tornadic potential. Had storms fired the way we all thought I could have redeemed myself. Had I know there would be 1 tornado producing storm out of the whole linear crapfest I might have opted to play the setup differently...but thats the way chasing is. All you can do is continue to learn.

Anways, Ill post another update once the website is updated.

Id like to congratulate all my chase pals who scored this weekend. Im happy they got some awesome footage and photos.

Friday, April 24, 2009

This weekends chase and a working stream!

Im going to take a trip to Kinkos and print myself out a "Worlds Biggest Idiot" award.

I FINALLY got my stream working. The magic trick that made it work? Hit the start button after going through setup to put it in live mode...who would have thought. The manycam application I mentioned earlier is pure garbage which was another problem I fixed by installing the other supported application...maxcam.

I probably wont have time to put the stream on my website. So those who wish to view it have to go through TVNs main website and find me out of the bunch. Since I Just got it working and Im leaving tonight for a chase I will probably have it run the whole time, to get a feel for any connection issues and whatnot. So no complaining if you tune in and see nothing but asphalt or Danny doing the YES dance.

As for the chase. The stupid GFS has trended towards the NAMs crappier solution now. Pushing the action further away...but at least not totaly killing the chances for a good tornado. Right now the plan will be to head to ICT by hopefully 9am...power nap for a couple hours then head over to somewhere around Buffalo, OK and go from there. Likely finding a hotel in the area Sat night and chasing Sunday in the same areas perhaps a bit more east into the TX.OK panhandles. All of that will be determined as the event unfold of course.

Weather is a bitch...all year weve had these amazing shear setups but no moisture and instability...we finally get the moisture and instability and now all the shear and other parameters are out of whack.....ugh.

Either way Im looking forward to 2 days of good chasing this weekend, at the very least Ill get some more hail and photogenic structure! Good luck to all heading out!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Here it comes

The pattern change I mentioned last week and that has been watched closely by all us weather folk will begin to commence tomorrow. We wont feel it here yet but we could be looking at 80s by Friday and Saturday!

Before I chase log from 4-18-09 is up on my site. It was a fun chase sampling all the different hail cores and I got some of that photogenic structure I love. White shelf backlit by a green core.

Im having a weird issue where my menus wont work...but only on my PC and when I use works on every other persons PC ive talked to with all browsers...Ill never understand technology lol.

Anyways, Im looking forward to some potential chasing Friday and Saturday...maybe even into Sunday and for a time it was thought even into the work week. There are large model differences though, more so than usual. GFS and the NAM though paint a good picture in Kansas for Saturday. Fridays threat could be more warm frontal in nature.

The gulf is about to open wide and spill its generous moisture over a large chunk of the lower 48. This will in turn yeild a large area of potential instability. The key is going to be where all the fronts and boundaries set up...and thats what models are having difficulty doing right now. I think tomorrow they will get a better handle on the pattern once it begins to take shape.

Ill say this though, the thought of dewpoints over 60 is a welcome thought. All the setups this year have been trumped by meager moisture and what could have been big tornado days were mere dust whirl type events that stir up chaser drama. So this time it looks like we have a shot for some bonafied naders!

Anyways, i threw this up on my site as where I think the action will be...with the darker area being my area of main interest right now.

View Chase 4-24-25-09 in a larger map

In other news i FINALLY got my stream working. Like i suspected it was that piece of shit manycam app that kept it from working. I uninstalled that garbage and tried the other app and everything fired right up the first time. However I dont know how to get the damn thing in live mode and thus dont know how to make my stream viewable on the web. There is no check box or anything to switch over the mode. So I will take care of that before the weekend.

Thats all for now. Lets hope this weekend pattern yeilds 2009s first good tube fest!

P.S. Sorry for the wacky font...for some reason the google map changed it and I cant get it to change I said...I never will get technology!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

At least itll be warmer right?

Terrible tragedy this past Friday with the EF-3 [possibly EF-4] hitting Murhpeesboro, and then the Mena, AR tornado as well before that. Sadly there were casualties in both storms, but surprisingly there werent more. There always seem to be allot of fatalities in this region...and its not like tornadoes are that uncommon. Especially in the past couple years.

Spring for me has pretty much sucked. No storms around these parts, just wave after wave of crappy cold rain, and yet another one heading our way in less than 24hrs.

All I want to do is chase. Im so envious of those who live in more active regions. When I can, I will be down there. If i could id pack my shit and leave tonight.

Right now there is nothing to get excited about, im seein what looks like an omega type block on the models later this week, so no dice there. Im hoping for at least just a rumble of thunder tomorrow, but thats not likely either since the damn lows keep wanting to track by the OH river.

Not all is a waste though, I finally got my grille guard installed on the chase vehicle. We had our nicest weekend here since I can remember, and when I say nice I mean temps in the mid to upper 40s with no rain lol.

Im closer to getting my stream up and running with TVN, but technology hates me and of course each time i fix one problem a new one comes up. I really like their setup except for this stupid manycam application that looks like it belongs on a childrens farm animal book...and that is the thing giving me issues. Hopefully this lengthy down spell will see me resolving this issue.

And...temperatures will be springlike for most of the week and into the weekend, so that will be nice, I can enjoy being outside at least. My summer home is supposed to open this weekend but go figure it looks like it might rain with a borderline chase setup around Friday for the plains...might not be significant enough to warrant the effort though.

Its also interesting i havent seen any chaser video from Friday...u know its a bad year when the best video comes from joe public who should be seeking shelter instead of standing on their porch forming a tornado destorying their neighborhood....but i wont get into that right now.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Blame the sun?

I wonder if I should blame the sun for this crappy pattern we have been stuck in for nearly 2 weeks now. Solar flares are none! It certainly is good evidence for those who believe global temperatures can be affected by solar activity. I know little on the subject, but find it interesting.

As i sit here and type this its 42 degrees and raining, the same scenario has been played out here too long, and will continue to do so. Should I blame the blocking pattern way up north thats keeping the cooler air mass south...the sub tropical jet for parking its ass down near texas....or maybe god just hates me because I havent been to church in like 10 years [not counting weddings and funerals.]

Maybe mother nature is a cranky old bitch....if she were a person shed probably be 500 pounds and is likely a 40 year old virgin. Maybe shes trying to get a piece from old man winter?

Either way...I wont miss this pattern when it ends. These damn cold fronts keep cutting off the gulf...making every setup devoid of moisture and all wind driven shallow convection....oh sure I wouldnt bitch so much if we would at least get some thunder but with the jet hanging down by texas as I mentioned above...the storms track south of here and we get stuck on the cold side...brining possible snow into the mix.

I know I shouldnt complain as others in the country have it far worse...but still. Its spring time...i crave storms and active weather. I can deal with this shit in winter but now its time for nature to deliver.

April shobers bring May supercells....thats what im hoping. Sooner or later this pattern is gonna have to come north...and Ill be waiting.

Hope everyones 09 is off to a good start though. If it werent for 3/23 id probably be in a mental institution by now.

Added some more 2008 logs to the website. Including everyones favorite day, May 23rd...go read about my dumbass getting stuck in the mud and missing the quinter show.