Archive for 2011
Just narrowly missed getting buried by 500 pounds of books. The bookshelf with all my science books fell forward, spilling 6 shelves of books. Had I been sitting a foot to the left, I’d probably be getting my left foot X-rayed about now! WOW! Close call! What a $%#ing mess, too!
Here’s the mess (and, yes, these are BOTH right-side up):
These were taken after I removed 3 full photocopier paper sized boxes of books from the scene. I was just pondering: How ironic to survive chasing storms for 2 weeks, only to be crushed by a falling bookshelf.
LESSON: Life is short; eat dessert first.
|CHASE 2011||DAILY JOURNAL|
MAY: 4143 mi
Chrys Tremththanmor’s Stormchasing 2011 blog
Bill Reid’s chase blog
Brian Morganti’s chase blog
|Plan was to not chase||GRAY|
|Planned Chase Day (future)||YELLOW|
|Available to chase; no weather (“blue-skied”)||BLUE|
|Chase Day (available and expect stormy weather)||GREEN|
|Weather Stormy, but not available for chasing||RED|
|BUST DAY – no severe storms where we looked!
Chased after some fast moving storms, but could not circumnavigate the south Chicago metro area and keep up at the same time. These storms produced tornadoes around Kalamazoo, MI, but I was 2 hours away as this happened. At least I got a good look at some dramatic daytime anvil crawlers. Sorry, no photos. But the GoPro camera is on my Christmas list. After seeing Chris Gullikson use it so effectively, I want one! I may even go 3D (http://gopro.com/hd-hero-accessories/3d-hero-system/).
The good news is that I passed my Spotter Network exam and have the software for real-time reports set up. The near real-time positioning works as long as I have a broadband connection up (and the laptop does not hibernate, as it did when I stopped for a quick McDonald’s run).
Was I wasting my time? Maybe. Was it a good storm day? Yup. Check this storm reports excerpt:
000 NWUS53 KLOT 292344 LSRLOT PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL 644 PM CDT SUN MAY 29 2011 ..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON... ..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE.... ..REMARKS.. 1145 AM TSTM WND GST DUPAGE AIRPORT 41.92N 88.25W 05/29/2011 M58.00 MPH DUPAGE IL ASOS 1135 CDT. 1224 PM HAIL KINSMAN 41.19N 88.57W 05/29/2011 M1.00 INCH GRUNDY IL AMATEUR RADIO WEST OF THE TOWN ON GARDNER ROAD. 1253 PM HAIL JOLIET 41.53N 88.12W 05/29/2011 E0.25 INCH WILL IL TRAINED SPOTTER INTERSECTION OF ROUTE 30 AND GOUGAR ROAD. 1259 PM HAIL NEW LENOX 41.52N 87.98W 05/29/2011 E0.75 INCH WILL IL TRAINED SPOTTER 0103 PM FUNNEL CLOUD KANKAKEE 41.12N 87.86W 05/29/2011 KANKAKEE IL TRAINED SPOTTER CROSSING I-57 0105 PM TSTM WND DMG KANKAKEE 41.12N 87.86W 05/29/2011 KANKAKEE IL LAW ENFORCEMENT 12 TO 16 INCH DIAMETER TREE UPROOTED ON COBB ST. TREE FELL ON CAR. DRIVER NOT INJURED. 0105 PM FUNNEL CLOUD HERSCHER 41.05N 88.10W 05/29/2011 KANKAKEE IL TRAINED SPOTTER AT COUNTY LINE RD 8000 S AND RT 45. 0105 PM TSTM WND DMG KANKAKEE 41.12N 87.86W 05/29/2011 KANKAKEE IL LAW ENFORCEMENT TREES DOWN ON CAR ON COBB BLVD 0115 PM TSTM WND DMG KANKAKEE 41.12N 87.86W 05/29/2011 KANKAKEE IL TRAINED SPOTTER 3 LARGE TREES DOWN ON MAIN ST NEAR HOSPITAL 0115 PM TSTM WND DMG KANKAKEE 41.12N 87.86W 05/29/2011 KANKAKEE IL LAW ENFORCEMENT TREE LIMBS AND POWER LINES DOWN CITY WIDE
I am also running with the $25/month AllisonHouse data service subscription. It’s WAY easier to make chase decisions when you can see fronts quickly (like the warm front below), take the tornado risk ‘blob(s)’ — the purplish contours, below — into account, see dew point contours (green), etc.:
NOTE: This particular screen shot shows why Tempest Tour’s Bill Reid chose to stay at West Point, NE (near KOAX) last night: short drive, big storms right on the doorstep. His passengers even have time for a Walmart run this morning and a sit-down lunch before scoring a big storm. Good call, Bill!
Here’s a quick snapshot from my chase log book (not yet reconciled with timestamps on photos, video, etc.), Click on any image to see a pair of pages in their entirety, using the YYYYMMDD date at the top of each page to determine when I wrote these:
More coming soon!
Best video of this trip: Southwest City, MO tornado – 22 May 2011 (on YouTube)
22May2011 – DRAFT
17 May 2011 – DRAFT
Our route for the day took us from Childress, Texas, across the Oklahoma panhandle, to southwest Kansas, ending at Liberal, Kansas:
Even though we didn’t see storms, the Weather Channel crew documents the day. Here, Jim Cantore interviews Williaam Reid, our tour leader, about the events of day:
On the whole, the day was disappointing, as storms near Fort Morgan, Colorado did produce tornadoes. These were too far from us for us to reach. Until chase forecasts include the ability to foresee the future, the 2-target chase day will be a coin toss.
I left the house on time, thanks to Alfonse, my limo driver, arriving a tad early. His warm, boyish smile almost made me forget we left at 5:30 am. 45 minutes later and $60+tip poorer, I was at the terminal at O’Hare. Collecting my E-ticket, taking my two (carry-on!) bag through TSA inspection, and getting on the plane were effortless.
I passed the time waiting for the plane conversing with this young man (20-something) about such topics as the flood in Louisiana, my his to Maui the previous week, Michael Jackson, basketball, and storm-chasing.
Flight went well. Took some cloud photos; looking at them during on the flight, I thought I’d toss most of them away (due to poor quality), but changed my mind when I saw them on the computer after the Thunder-Grizzlies basketball game. (“Let’s Go, Thunder!” billboard dot the OKC landscape, by the way. They sure love the NBA here in OKC!) It was great to get aerial cloude photos; I hardly ever see clouds from and vantage point but underneath. It’s great to look at “the air up there.”. Here it is:
I had Italian food at Portfino’s (Reno & Meridian, a few miles north of the hotel), Loved the Chicken Caccitore, minestrone soup, and the tiramisu. Service was good, though I was unclear that my soup was a substitute for my salad.
After lunch, I spent some time (and money) at Shepler’s Western Wear (down the street 2 blocks from the hotel). I finally broke down and bought my cowgirl boots (to be shipped home) and a new black cowgirl hat (for the trip), I love shopping there: the selection is authentic and huge, and there are real bargains if you look hard enough. (I am concerned about the boots arriving before I return. maybe I can email Stuart and have them delivered to *his* place in my absence.)
Tried to find a high-end photo supply store (to get a 37mm UV protection lens for the JVC camcorder, but no luck. Tried the Walmart and Best Buy near McArthur and I-40, but to no avail. I will have to soap the thread on the 30.5-37mm step-up ring, to avoid another ‘stuck lens (like I experienced yesterday). “Proceed with caution ” applied here.
Dinner was the ribs and chicken combo at Charleston’s, a really nice eatery located across the street from the motel. A 5-star taste at a 3-star price!
I was in a really good mood over the Thunder advancing to the NBS Western Conference Finals. The Bulls also beat the Miami Heat (as they had during the regular season). I was thinking how cool it would be to have two talented young NBA teams (Bulls and Thunder) face each other in the NBA Finals.