Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thoughts on the last few days

3 days of active chasing has come to an end. All in all I am a very happy man. On Thursday the 22nd I bagged an incredible 6 tornadoes in one day. This not only beats my count for all of last year but also sets a new record number for a single chase day. It is also the first time I saw 2 on the ground at once, an incredible sight indeed!

That being said, the day before and the day after were decent with great structure and a possible tornado...but the great thing about marathons is it only takes 1 awesome day to make the trip worth it.

If you wish to read about them , the logs are all up at my site

I am kind of dissappointed I couldnt make a media sale, but thats the name of the game. I am also disappointed I didn't plan my trip to allow for the chase in MS on Saturday. I would have been on that storm for sure. I basically nowcasted Ben H, Kris Hair and Connor to that storm. I was chatting with Ben and he said they were heading north and east when I made a plea for him to turn around and get on that storm [it wasn't even severe warned at the time.]

Of course everyone knows what happened after and the shit storm that followed. My opinion on that is a simple one...for those who open their mouths just STFU. People will chase how they want to chase and while I don't agree with intentionally driving into tornadoes I am not going to tell someone what they can and can't do. It is their business how they want to chase. Simple as that.

Now, CBS aired a bullshit story showing a certain well known chaser in a hero-ish light saying he chases for science and not money, yet ironically this same person charged a local highschool 4,000 dollars to come talk to kids about severe weather. If its one thing I can't stand its lies and hypocrisy. Not only that, but the same article also belittled a new chaser who mentioned talking to "his agent" as he put it.

The irony in all that is, CBS probably didn't get to use any of that footage for free, so while their article uses that angle, they had to shell out some pretty dollars just to get the footage, from both the new guy and Mr Hero scientist who doesn't chase for money. So as long as theyre paying I say let them say what they want...they can come to me because I don't care what the public thinks of me. Those who matter know the truth, so if I can put a dime in my pocket, I will play the part.

Now...I just need a tornado to drive into ;)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wheres the Negativity Coming From?

I've spent the last couple of hours comparing this year to years past on a personal level. By now it is known that we are off to a pitiful record slow start. It is hard to hold back the complaints, but after going back and comparing this year to years past, I am AGAIN ahead of myself.

So far this year I have more chases than any other year, despite one of them being a cap bust. I also snagged some intense footage on Easter Sunday followed by some great structure and damage shots just 2 days later, which also marks the earliest point in any year such things have been accomplished.

Some facts of my chasing career:

- The earliest tornadoes I have seen were May 5th.
- The latest tornadoes I have seen were on June 15th. [Not counting the nappanee EF-3 from 10-18-07 here because I never actually could confirm I saw it, even though we were right behind the damn thing.]
- My best chases seem to come in the first week of June, Ive seen tornadoes on June 5th ['09] June 6th ['07] and June 7th ['08] along with the best structure I have seen to date.
- June 7th seems to be a magic day, if you go back and look at the SPC outlooks almost every year has a MDT or higher [crap I probably just jinxed it.]

So why am I so down? I guess it stems from other stuff going on in my life. I was let go from my 6 year corporate lifestyle job which I absolutely loathed. Since then I have been sort of lost trying to figure out what I want to do next. The corporate lifestyle is not for me. Whats the point of having money if you're miserable? i for one don't enjoy being another faceless sheep pushing 50+ for a corporation that spends more time trying to figure out a way to let me go so they can save money as opposed to keeping their employees happy. That might be the American dream thats pounded into our heads in the classroom but they aint fooling me.

I told myself going into this year that this would be the year I can try and make a huge impact, chasing is truly the reason I exist, it is the only thing that keeps me sane and the ONE aspect of life I cannot live without. Sure, I have plenty of other things that make me happy, but happy and sane are two different things.

Its almost to the point of foolishness, since I know its pretty damn difficult to make a living off chasing thanks to the technology revolution, but others have done it so I don't see why I can't. All it takes is passion, motivation and drive plus not caring how people may judge you based on your social status. There is some of that in the chasing community. A snobbish attitude where those who are well off look down on those who are struggling to find themselves and pursue what really makes them happy...I for one could care less how any person views me.

So I guess thats where my impatience is stemming from, now is the time for me to really get out there and prove myself...but mother nature is barely tossing me a bone. I might not have the means next year to be as free as I am now, and that ads to my eagerness to get out there and get the job done.

Many are optimistic for May and June, in the world of weather I never hold any hopes for what the future will hold, all that matters to me is the NOW.

Alas, as I mentioned above, comparing this year to years past I am off to a great start, so if the pattern can change I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to trump my prior seasons yet again.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Early Season Marathon

I went on my earliest chase marathon and chased April 4th 5th and 6th. It was finally nice to see some signs of life but the setups themselves were pretty meager. I was able to pull away some gems though. Afterall, I don't need a tornado to make me happy, at least this early in the season. I would like to snag one early on though that way I don't start stressing about not seeing one especially with the GFS showing another crappy pattern ahead.

Easter Sundays chase was probably the best. I got into a pretty intense situation which some might dub foolish but oh well thats how I roll. I don't claim to be the smartest person in the world, I just do what I love and enjoy doing it! That was a great chase and the wind footage I got is my best to date.

Monday was a bust, oh well...shit happens.

Tuesday was a good chase in Iowa of all places. Good structure, nice hail and documenting some damage made it a well rounded chase.

Looking ahead it appears we will be back to the same moisture issues...we had moisture for these most recent setups, but had other issues to contend with such as veered flow and unseasonably strong EMLs and caps...ugh...2010 just doesn't want to make things line up the right way. Given that I still feel it is a frustratingly slow year...but with a couple good chases in recent memory I can't be down on it.

To see the logs check out the site

Everyone keeps talking about May, Im getting kind of sick of it. It was only the first weak of April and we had to shake a bunch of people who were spotter network stalking us. Ive always been a cynical bastard...I don't like mooches. While I believe everyone has a right to do something they enjoy, I can't stand people who won't take the initiative to do it right...and its only April...whats going to happen in May when everyone who takes their yearly chasecations are out not to mention the V2 and discovery amrmadas.

Oh well, at least I have a vehicle that can take me off the main roads to get away from the mess.