Friday, March 31, 2006

Yesterdays chase

Yesterday was actually a descent chase day for me. My targets were right on, the storms just moved too damn fast. (excuses, excuses) I started out leaving Stillwater around 12:30, heading for I-35. Looking at data, I had trouble deciding whether to head north or south on 35. I didn't think I could head south and catch the beast down by Chickasha (plus I didn't like the air to its east), so I decided to head north to some storms firing west of 35 heading toward the Blackwell / Ponca City area. I then realized that I had no DV tapes (I swear I packed them!), so I stopped at Walmart in Perry (just off I-35). As I headed back to 35, I looked at some more data. There was a cell just east of Kingfisher that was looking pretty good. Not only that but the 2:00 SPC mesoscale analysis had just come out, and it was moving toward some VERY favorable air in the Lincoln Co. area. So I headed south and intercepted it just west of 35 and east of Mulhall. There I got some nice video of a wall cloud and heard over weather radio that it was tornado warned. This is where I started the chase, here's the map:

Just northeast of Stillwater, I met up with J.R. Hehnly, who was with someone new to chasing, and a group of OU met students (names added in a bit). From there we followed the cell all the way close to the Kansas border where it got away from us as we decided to fill up. We went ahead and tried to catch back up to it but never made it. So we headed west to intercept a newly forming cell. Just as we were breaking from that cell, of course there was a report of a torn on it. Oh well. We ended up just south of the new cell and chased it rapidly to the northeast. We weren't able to stay up with that cell either, even staying on highways at >60 mph. We finally called it a day and headed south, running through a severe line of storms along the way. Grabbed a few lightening shots, and stopped for some impressive video of a cloud base at sunset (it was dark where we were), with the most intense thunder I think I've ever heard. It was non stop (no CGs though). We stopped and ate at a pizza hut just north of the KS border, and shared a few stories. From there it was just the long trip home down to Tulsa and the I-44 turnpike. A few pics:

Long day

It's the end of a long chase day. Lots of reletively fast moving storms, coming close to tornado video several times... but just out of reach every time. I will post more details tomorrow. Zzzzz time.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


The one day I figure it's safe to not check on the storms I know are out there, and viola, a tornado is missed. Oh well, I don't think I could have gotten away from everything anyway. I'm will Steve "OK" Miller in saying congrats to Rob Hedrick of KOCO out of OKC for his intercept.

Topping the hill

It seems that the right has pushed hard enough to upset the balance people like to maintain. I consider myself a fairly moderate liberal. A majority of the people in this nation consider themselves moderate. The scales have been pushed farther to the right most are comfortable with, and it very well could show up as soon as the elections for 2006.
Tying into the last post, SD's governor actually did sign that bill into law, and it will take effect this summer. Of course there are going to be challenges to it in court, and we all know it will end up being heard before the Supreme Court. I honestly think that the high court will strike it down, and keep with the previous ruling in Roe V. Wade. A considerable majority of the population is in the middle of the debate, neither believing that abortion should be unrestricted, nor believing it should be banned. This law goes to one extreme of the debate, and I don't know one person I've talked to since this law came up that agrees with it (most people get hung up on no exceptions for rape or incest). I myself am not on the extreme of the liberal end. I think partial birth abortions should be banned, with an exception for the life and health (dire health) of the mother. The backlash if this law were upheld would be considerable, pushing the country farther to the left (I think abortion ban laws would be repealed in some of the states that are considering them, as more moderate representatives would be elected).
Back to the more general balance of the scales. Bush is done for. He is finally starting to pay the price for his bad judgment in going to war in Iraq. Face it, if you convince the nation and the world you are going to war for a set of reasons, and those reasons you are pushing are questionable and even false, then you're going to pay for it later. Hmm, let's review the reasons stated previous to going to war (making the case). 1. WMDs; acquiring and stockpiling WMDs since the first world war. 2. Acquiring material for nuclear weapons; aluminum tubes used for enriching uranium, and uranium from Nigeria. 3. A direct connection between Saddam and al Qaeda. All three assertions have been proven false, and now he is dealing with that fallout with very low public support numbers.
It is getting so bad that even his own party is distancing itself from him. This means that the rest of his second term will pretty much be useless as he will have trouble passing anything through Congress. I could go on and on about other issues, wiretapping, etc, but my point is made, so we'll leave that to another day.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I decided to go ahead and check the newly released Day 1 conv outlook. Sigh. Do I really want to drive to MO? This is really making me think about it:

This could change by morning, but I doubt it. Plus there's wording like this:
I guess this will be the first test of the season of whether the SPC is calling it like it is, or screaming the sky is falling. We'll see. Sigh.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Relatively relaxing day, it was. Seeing as how we (w/ Steve Miller (OK) and Bob Hall) stayed up till 3 forecasting and such, we woke up late this morning, having already decided we were going to chase. We started out heading for McKinney, to meet up with fellow chaser Steve Miller (TX). Seeing as how this was the first time we would meet him in person, I was somewhat worried of the consequences (we should all know what happens when matter and anti-matter collide). Seeing as how the city of McKinney is still there, I think things went well. Steve (TX) is just the character I had imagined him to be, witty as can be and good at what he does. After looking at data there, we decided to head north of the Red River, as that was our best chance for the day. Well, after shooting the, er, um, I'm tired, you know what we shot, for a couple hours, it became evident the cap was going to hold and the chance of anything going up was as wispy as the clouds. We said our goodbyes to Steve (TX), and headed back to Edmond for some BBQ.
Steve (OK) and Bob then headed back to Tulsa.
We'll see what tomorrow holds for where things start. The optimists are hoping for an I-35 corridor initiation, while the pessimists say it'll be in the land of the druids (nice reference Shane); pick your poison/model/forecaster... I'll just wait till tomorrow to decide if I'll head out.
Ever feel like you're the groom at a shotgun wedding? Steve M. is pretty much holding a gun to my head and telling me to update my blog.
I am traveling with Steve Miller (OK) and Bob Hall. Tonight was our entirely too long trip down to Dallas for the TESSA convention this weekend. It was a fun ride, with the exception of an hour delay on I-35, and all the idiot drivers included. On a bright note, we stopped about 10 miles south of Ardmore to take some lightning shots of the storms to our south and east. I did not bring my 35mm w/ remote shutter release, but that turned out to be a good thing, as I figured out how to take some great shots with my digital cam. Included below are a few shots I took along with one of the goofball next to me.
You can see Steve's perspective at his blog.