Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thats All She Wrote v2012

With only a few days left to go, I eagerly await to put the nails in 2012s coffin. Anyone who has ever chased something other than their own tail knows why. It is highly unlikely another chase will present itself, so its now safe to compile the stats. So lets take a look at the quick and dirty numbers.

Total chases: 15
Total tornadoes: 10
Tornado days: 4

New milestones accomplished:

- First Kentucky tornadoes (2) on March 2nd which were also the:
- Earliest tornadoes seen in a season

...and thats where the accomplishments stop, the first chase of the season. 2012 was an awful year, not only for me, but for most chasers. Numbers don't lie either, and last I checked, this may end up being the year with the second lowest tornado count on record so in part I don't feel so bad. Another reason I don't feel so bad is the fact I started a new job in the beginning of April and it would have been hard for me to squeeze out of work to chase. I wanted to build up a good reputation with the company, and missing a bunch of good tornado days would have made that extremely agonizing. So in a way, the selfish part of me is very thankful for that.

Still though, what made the year so frustrating was the days I did chase either A) busted or B) bad decision making or bad luck cost us the day. There were really only 2 big tornado producing days I chased. March 2nd and April 14th. Both days I saw tornadoes, but both days I also blew scoring the best catches of the days.

On March 2nd I didn't communicate with everyone what time I wanted to leave, and we got a half hour late start. My lead foot made up for lost time, but a traffic accident around Indianapolis forced us onto a critical time costing detour. My plan that day would have worked perfect, but we were an unfortunate 15 minutes too late. We did the best we could after though and got the Kentucky tornadoes, and ended up not crawling home busted...except in terms of worthy video.

April 14th saved the season for many. Take away this day and you would have a larger number of chasers currently taking Xanax over the winter. I saw 5 tornadoes...but 3 were pathetic weak bird farts. The last 2 were very nice tornadoes, but at dusk/after dark. No good video from them either. On this day I teamed up with Ben and we had a conflict of interest in terms of a target. He liked Oklahoma (of course) and I liked Salina,KS. Both our targets saw nice tornadoes, yet for some reason we ended up in the middle with mediocrity. Going back on that day I'm still not sure how that exactly happened...and would rather not think about it. After much analysis I think I finally figured out why our storms didn't produce, and will use this new knowledge to hopefully not make that mistake in the future.

I guess another milestone I could technically add is my first chase to North Dakota, but with that being just one of many busted days. I hardly look back on it and think pleasant thoughts which brings me to the next point.

The bust count was highest I have had in any year (9 out of 15!!) with days holding big potential such as April 27th and May 5th going to waste. Illinois even got into the blue sky bust action on September 5th, and until then I have never experienced a blue sky bust on home turf. That one stung...

Certainly over the years I have been somewhat spoiled by the amazing things I've seen, and this might play a role into the way I perceive things. Take my 2012 results and stick them in say, 2006 and I would probably still be floating in the air from excitement. I think part of that is because I KNOW that despite 2012 being an overall downer of a year, there were still amazing things that happened. I just can't chase everything...yet. My lifes goal and dream is to be able to do this. It is taking longer than I had hoped though, and that is perhaps adding to the frustration, I knew it would be difficult, but it appears I was over confident from the get-go.

Lack of funds were also a big factor. I may have bit on more marginal days that ended up producing if I had the funds. I always hated putting all my stock into higher risk and weekend days but those were the cards I was forced to play this year. I worked my ass off all week, and hauled more ass out to the plains on any weekend there was a setup, no matter how meager. I just had to try.

2013 is looking better in the financial department already with the coming of a HUGE raise once work resumes in April. I am definitely excited about those possibilities. Even if I still can't get time off to chase everything, the fact I wont be stressing over affording it will be nice, and if I end up not chasing much I can upgrade equipment and pay off debts to put myself in ever better shape for the future.

I go back and forth with the idea of moving. I hate Illinois and especially Chicago (for political reasons I wont get into on this blog) but this is my home, and I've grown to love the fickle and challenging climatology. I don't subscribe to the growing trend of moving to Norman so I can become the next super chaser, but on the other side there is an obvious advantage to living in the alley, so I can't completely write it off. We'll just wait and see how the cards continue to fall I guess.

We're heading into the dead of winter (or should I say anti-winter) here in Chicago, and there are many projects ongoing. Ill be blogging more frequently from now on as well as I have much to say.

No comments: