Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012: Here we go

Well here we are, 2012. Now I can say these are the official numbers from 2011:

Chases: 25
Tornadoes: 26
Tornado days: 11 [3-22, 4-9, 4-19, 4-27, 5-12, 5-21, 5-24, 6-19, 6-20, 7-26, 11-7]

I hit quite a few milestones this year as well:

First tornado on first chase [3-22]
First Iowa tornado
First March tornado
First July tornado
First November tornado
First back to back tornado days [6-19 and 6-20]
First chase in Alabama
First Alabama tornado
First Nebraska tornado
First EF-5 [Piedmont, El Reno 5-24]
Longest consecutive days chased: 7 [5-18 through 5-25]
Longest tornado/chase streak: 4 [6-19, 6-20, 7-26, 11-7]*

*technically this streak is still going, if I manage a tornado on the first chase in 2012 it will be 5 and counting*

2011 was a very successful chase year. While the tornado count doesn't compare to 2010, I had more tornado days in 2011. This lends me to believe I am getting better at storm positioning and field tactics. 2010s high tornado count is due to mostly 5-22 and 6-17 [with over 20 tornadoes just from those 2 days alone.] So it is a good thing to be able to say I was able to see tornadoes on more chases for sure.

2011 was not without its major fails though. I blew some pretty big days, namely 4-14 and 5-22. These days it was simple chase mistakes that happen from picking the wrong storm. It will be impossible to never have this happen in 2012, and I expect similar flops, though hopefully minimized.

With 2011 being the exceptionally violent year that it was I saw more death and destruction up close than I did any other year, while this is not something I care to repeat in 2012, nor proud that its something that happened in 2011, its still a fact whether I like it or not.

So what does 2012 bring? I touched up on this before a bit in my last blog but now that it is here its easier to gauge where I am at. 2012 is going to be a very tough year for me, especially financially. I am stretched about as far as I can go and unfortunately I think this will be a limiting factor for me in 2012, unless I team up with people more, which I don't like doing as much. No offense to anyone out there, I just prefer to chase in my own vehicle and have all the say...but I will do what I have to do.

I have a feeling I will be on less solo missions this year as a result. As for my setup, not much will change. I hope to acquire a new laptop from a friend in Denver that will allow me to better stream and upload video to media more efficiently, but if that falls though, I know my current setup will at least work. I probably won't have too many upgrades to the vehicle itself. I still hope to get a HAM cert, as well as a cert in first responding, but thats becoming more unlikely with each passing day.

The big change I will do for myself in 2012 is be more conscious of my video-taping skills. After releasing a DVD this year I realize I need to improve my videography skills some. Less multi tasking during tornado time and more focusing on getting high quality video is the main improvement I plan to focus on this year. Also at the same time, I plan to be allot more aggressive in how close I get. I've seen the limits, and with each passing year I gain more knowledge about intercepting. I wan't better, more dramatic shots that show more detail of the tornado.

I plan to raise the bar for myself in that regard, which contradicts the improved videography goals as there won't be much time for relaxed tripoded intercepts, but I will find a balance when out there in the field somehow. I have a feeling though my name will end up in the negative chaser spotlight more times than once. Often times such feats come with controversy...and thats fine. I am not afraid to take the heat.

Afterall, its my chasing career, and I will do with it as I please. I have no time to worry about what people think of me, I just need to go out there and git r done. I don't want to, nor have I ever tried to intentionally piss people off, but they are going to judge me regardless, so I might as well do what I want. Remember this name, it will be relevant in 2012!

Basically, I just want to keep improving my chasing in every way I can. There is always room to improve, grow and evolve as a chaser. 2012 will be no exception. I will address the challenges, and make sure I do everything in my power I can to make it the best chasing year yet. I know no set bounds, only my own personal limits.

More updates as they come! Its been an easy winter here. Mild and dry. Even though its January we have less than 2 inches of snow to date this winter, and our coldest temp has been a balmy 18 degrees or something like that. Ill take it!

Spring gets closer with each passing day, I am anxious, and ready!

1 comment:

Paul said...

You definitely killed it, enjoyed following your adventures, look forward to whatever 2012 brings your way.