Sunday, March 28, 2010

April FTW

I can't wait to punt kick March 2010 into weather history. Some quick and depressing facts.

- It is the slowest start to the tornado season since 1988 - thats 22 years!

- There has not been a single severe report in the state of IL yet. Although, on March 11th there were plenty of penny and nickel size hail reports, however those are no longer considered severe...but its some food for thought.

- I now have the fewest number of logged chases since 2007. Lame.

Anyways, I'm not one of those patient chasers who can sit and wait for May. Its spring. I want to chase and I want to chase now...SO...what I see for April has me happy.

A nice troughing pattern! FINALLY. Of course though, there are problems. Number 1, which has been a problem since 2009 is lack of gulf moisture. When I'm done punt kicking March I am going to punt kick the GOM next. I suppose its not its fault. Stupid El Nino had system after system tracking along the gulf coast and kicking the GOM's ass.

What I found funny was during that time everyone was praising what the parade of wet systems would do for soil moisture...I guess we seemed to have forgotten about the effects of moisture suppressing cold fronts along with constant surges of cool dry air.

So within this pattern are also a parade of systems, with the dynamics that scream severe weather...but the moisture [or lack thereof] is going to put a serious hinder on any significant outbreak. Despite this, there should be enough to squeeze out some marginal setups, and probably the best we have seen all year, so I am thinking at the very least there will be some LP hailers to chase. I am okay with that.

The good news is it looks like this pattern may persist though at least the first half of the month as an omaga type blocking pattern sets up...if the ridge and high pressure can stay anchored over the southeast, this will give us many days for moisture to return to where it needs to be.

So, even if these first few setups within the pattern are meager at best, it would appear the atmosphere is priming itself for some big things even further down the road. El Nino springs in the past have been violent in the Midwest...and I am curious to see how this one will play out. I am keeping a close eye on how it evolves, to further educate myself in longer range pattern prediction.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March Rollercoaster

Ah the March weather roller coaster. If it were a ride in real life it would probably go like this.

In reality, it looks like this.

Ok so its hard to see but the current temp at the time of this posting is 64. The temps behind the front are 36. All circled, although they have recently dropped to 34 now but Im too lazy to take a new image. Good thing I know better and made no outdoor plans this weekend. It has been pleasant around here lately with a string of mild days and several thunderstorm days last week, so I guess its time to take a slap in the face from mother nature.

So far 2010 is a disappointment chase wise. Oh sure, there was March 8th, but that was one of those 1 in 20 events. I'd be willing to bet the only reason so many were out there was it was the first chance of the season, if that setup were in May or June it would be scoffed at. Thats the luck of the draw though.

There are hints that things may get active once April rolls around. So lets hope. Chaser wishcasts are a dime a dozen these days, so I see no reason to go into detail about it. Looks like mother nature is gonna hit the snooze button for the remainder of the month. Maybe shell wake up briefly though before its all said and done.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why I chase

The first chase of 2010 is officially in the books, and while the day did not live up to its tornadic potential, there was plenty of hail to mess around with and some interesting structure features. Typically my first chase of the year barely yields lightning, so for me it was a great start.

The log can be seen at

Things kind of went backwards from my last post, I chased the jungle setup and the local chase fell apart, but thats the way it works in this game, I don't decide when I chase the weather does.

Upon arriving home, I was reminded why I chase, local storms like to give me the run around, but at least I was treated to a  distant lightning show and a few rumbles of thunder which sounded no louder than an airplane overhead. Not even a raindrop ever fell on my house though. Although it did storm there in the morning, but I was in Missouri. So for Chicago, the day of its first [rain] thunderstorms was 3-11-10.

You can run, but you can't hide!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I poked the bear - first potential chase coming up!

I guess mother nature doesn't like being compared to an elephant seal because much to my dismay she spit out some INCREDIBLE tornadoes the day after my last post. It looks like the coming days ahead will hold a shot for some tornadoes as well. I may be looking at my first chase Thursday here in local turf.

There is a chase in the jungles tomorrow which I think I will sit out on, but beginning yesterday the NAM has begun to show a decent chase setup on Thursday. Fellow IL chasers agree, and SPC has even mentioned it now, along with LOT mentioning tornadoes in their AFD this afternoon.

I was beginning to go loco thinking I would not be chasing in March, but low and behold, the bitch formerly known as mother nature heard my cries and is showing some signs of life. Hopefully yesterdays photogenic tornadoes are a sign of things to come. The season has officially begun.

Time to go out and bag that piece of the pie! Check out for detailed forecast thoughts, and as always my personal site for the latest on my chasing.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Right now this is mother nature:

A fat, lazy blob not really doing anything except occupying space while contributing nothing of signifigance.

This is what she needs to be:

A pissed off, raging beast ready to devour everything and anything in site. In case you're wondering, the above creature is from what I believe to be one of the best creature features ever made, The Relic...the damn movie scared the shit out of me the first time I saw it. Anyways,

2010 is not off to the start I was hoping for. Oh sure, people try and re-assure me that its only March and to be patient and blah blah blah but I don't care. Im ready. I need to get going! I don't want my season to only consist of the same peak chases during May that every chaser and their mother longs for. One of the things I enjoy about chasing is the part of it that still gives me personal ambience. Those days are best accomplished on non peak season setups where the less motivated and more picky will stay at home, leaving the pure junkies such as myself out there to take the gamble.

If its one good thing 2009 taught me, its that 30% hatched days suck, and 5% days can yeild great storms.

I wont lie, part of me is greedy and I hate getting the same damn shot everyone else does. I don't want to have to compete with the V2, TIV and Bubblenator armadas [plus whatever else comes out this year as chasing seems to be getting more popular.] I usually do a pretty good job at avoiding these hoards though, as I've equipped myself with a large 4x4 with all terrain tires allowing me to safely travel off the main roads. Even on massive convergence days that everyone bitches about such as 6-7-09 I was able to largely stay isolated and came back with the same results [and a non busted windshield!] Still though, its just another challenge to juggle, which I accept, but still think it would be nice to not have to worry about every once and awhile.

So, while those of you who only want to chase your May 5000+ CAPE days sit around and patiently wait. I will continue to remain antsy for my first insane-o shear early season gamble, hoping I get it and hoping even more it pays off!

The daily model scans yeild nothing of significance either, just that phantom armageddon system the GFS love to spit out beyond 300hrs.