Monday, April 11, 2011

April 9 2011 Iowa Chase Recap

Wow to where to begin on this blog post. Mostly likely could write an entire book over what happened in Iowa on April 9, 2011. First off sorry to hear about Mapleton, Iowa and other damage across Iowa as it turned out to be dangerous day and chase event. My fellow storm chaser friend Will Campbell and I decided to get a noon start on Saturday to head up I-29 north to stop in Sloan, IA and wait to see what Mother Nature throws her way. As we were sitting in Sloan, IA (multiple trips inside the Kum & Go gas station) we did some extreme waiting. Finally late in the day a meso discussion comes out regarding a potential tornado watch. After that moment, things started to really get going. A storm started to develop in Nebraska heading its way to northwest Iowa. Storm motion was actually doable it looked like. It’s amazing to think and look back to how it all started when you chase.There were now a ton of chasers in the area ready to go. We started navigating the hilly roads in Iowa and really had to get the navigation skills down while Will was driving in a growing intense situation. The storm gets tornado warned in Iowa and we than started going south, southeast to get in front of it. We made it a little southwest of Mapleton, IA to start seeing massive rotating low level winds kicking up in a dirt field. We continue our journey from there east to follow this storm. As night hits, a tornado fest occurs in Northwest Iowa. Positioned just to the southwest of Sac City, IA . This was truly something I have never experienced and still speechless after witnessing multiple tornadoes at night. This is hell of a way to start off the spring and hopefully Mapleton and other areas can get back on track. It’s Monday back to the real world.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

March 22nd storm chase follow up

Well March 22nd, 2011 first chase of the year.  Wow, where to begin.  The weather models were showing a triple point moving across Nebraska / Iowa  on the 22nd. A storm in the afternoon started to fire up in North Central Kansas moving northeast.  Early in the day decided to head down a little early to Nebraska City and wait it out with my brother and some chaser friends from Omaha.  A temperature reading of 80 degrees being in a warm sector felt like a May chase day and it felt great that day! Two iPads running Radarscope were being tested on this day.  One iPad running on Verizon and the other iPad using AT&T. Well to make a long story short, surprisingly AT&T won with data in SE Nebraska / SW Iowa. Testing the 2 iPads out during the day waiting for storms to fire and while chasing, AT&T won surprisingly with data. Verizon phone wise is great but it looks like data could be another. Just opinion. Anyway after a quick “eat fresh” lunch, it was time to watch our storm come flying in at ranging  40-60 knots from Kansas.  60 knots!  Realizing the storm speed it was time to bust out the Iowa map and prepare to go east…Seeing some amazing storm structure come into Nebraska City it was time to head into Iowa where many “busts” have occurred in storm chasing over the past few years.  This time though there were multiple tornado warned cells in Southwest Iowa.  It was nice to see the chaser community out chasing down Mother Nature in Nebraska / Iowa.  This day proved to be challenging with storm speeds but all in all a successful one and a great backyard chase to get the rust off before spring really hits. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nebraska Sunset March 1, 2011

March 1st 2011 Eastern Nebraska

Well March 1, 2011.  Only a few more weeks till spring. The past few nights some amazing sunsets happening in Eastern Nebraska.  Still kicking myself a little bit for not heading out to chase on Feb. 27th. From some of the pictures a beautiful looking supercell in Oklahoma that seemed to have lasted forever.  Congrats to those who went out and chased that day. Went back and forth on that day whether to chase or not. Until than still trying to get used to the Canon camera purchased awhile back.
Ready for some storms.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Clearing Skies...

Well my first quick post and a little nervous to be honest, but decided to give this a shot to the blogging world.  It seems that this has become a very popular way to communicate along with other social media outlets like facebook/twitter so why not. Clearing sky, what does that mean? Well wow where do I begin.  I have been enjoying storm chasing now for over 4 years with ten of thousands of miles on the road. In any particular hobby/job you typically have a great passion for what you do. It’s amazing what that “passion” can do and how it can affect your life in such positive way when you really need it. Storm chasing well is a passion and has become a way of life for myself and many others. There are so many examples on how unique storm chasing can affect your life and others. Acting as a spotter to be the eyes and hears for meteorologists during the severe times, taking out friends/clients to see extreme weather for the first time or simply enjoying Mother Nature yourself shooting photography. Sometimes you may change certain plans, tweak vacation times, or make financial sacrifices to head out on the road to chase…whatever. In late October 2010, I would find out in my life what “passion” really meant to storm chasing in 2011, but most importantly my life. Family and friends are amazingly important in all of this. In October 2010, doctor visit than a word I never believed possible...cancer. It hit me, but determined not to let it run me down. It's Feb 2011 and all things look aligned to chase down Mother Nature coming up here soon. Health is back on top and feel ready to go. So I guess where I am going with this is really to share how something you are passionate about can really do wonders in life and keep you moving forward in such a positive way when things are well not okay. The very thought of missing the spring chase season just wasn't an option. Keep your passion going no matter what in life. It’s amazing to have a connection like that. It's a frozen tundra outside, but only less than a few months away to be able to hit the road in tornado alley. Hope to share some storm chasing road trip stories this year, photography or whatever else comes to mind.