Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014 Season Stats

Well, traditional chase season 2014 has come to its yearly end. Obviously I know setups can present themselves year round, which is why I used the term "traditional" when describing the period that covers March through June, when 90% of chasing is typically done.

Few will argue 2014 was a rough season, slower than average, especially in traditional tornado alley. You really had to work for your prizes this year. For me it was overall a sub-par year. Take away the Pilger day and this season would be hanging out with 2012 in the years I'd rather forget than remember category. Pilger day itself can best be described as a diamond in the rough. Such an incredible, career day thrown into a mix of steaming dinosaur turds.

The other big events of the year I simply wasn't there for. It was a year of picking the wrong setups to chase. Since Im not one of these rich kids with no real world obligations or responsibilities I still have to pick and choose my days. The biggest flop was not staying out for the 2 days after Pilger, because that incredible 3 days stretch would have given me enough content for a new DVD, and bumped this year into 2013 like final-hour amazingness. Setups couldn't get easier than those 3 days right there with basically 1 storm to get on and enjoy the show. It was bad logistical planning that cost me those next 2 days. Until I someday hopefully reach the ultimate pipe dream where I am able to chase everything, that is always going to be a tough issue to solve. Big setups fail to produce, and small setups do big things. That is probably the only real challenge left in storm chasing...picking the right days when you simply cant just chase them all.

So here's what I've got for this season.

Chases: 15
Tornadoes: 17
Tornado Days: 4
States Chased: OK, KS, NE, IA, IL, MO, MS
New Milestones: Most number of violent tornadoes in a single chase (4 on 6-16)
Largest Hail: 2.25"
Approx Miles: 13,500
Windows lost: 0
Pulled over and ticketed: 1
Stuck in the mud: 0

The tornado count of 17 looks impressive, but take away the 7 on Pilger day, and those other 10 probably only netted me 2 minutes of video and aren't even DVD chapter worthy. Instead theyll get lumped into a montage chapter whenever the next DVD comes around. Another strange thing about that tornado count. Every single one of them was in NEBRASKA. That will undoubtedly make Nebraska the state I have now seen the most tornadoes in, moving Kansas into the #2 spot.

The number of chases is pretty average compared to my other years as a chaser who is stuck having to have a day job. The 2010-2011 seasons logged 30+ chases simply because I was free to chase it all. I definitely miss that.

Thanks again to Pilger for saving the season from the 2012 category, but it wasnt enough to move the whole year into the 2013, 2011, 2010 category. Instead, 2014 will simply find itself in that middle ground with years like 2008 and 2009. It wasnt awful, but it wasnt great.

Its not over yet though, and big things can still happen. We're just at the point where nothing is a gaurantee. You're always going to have chaseable setups in the spring. Summer and fall is never a sure thing, and Ive seen years where the summer and fall do nothing, and years where they go big. Now its time to work work work and build up the finances and make sure Im ready in case this year decides to throw something else my way.

I decided awhile ago (before Pilger) that the best way to beat a lowsy year is to set myself up for next year in case its big. Work more, make more money, and be ready for it all. If this year was a big year, I wouldn't have been in a position to financially chase it all anyways, so I need to make sure next year that wont be an issue. This has been the case since 2012 with slower than average years, and I need to take advantage of that for when the next 2010 or 2011 comes around.