It’s been raining three days in a row and sometimes heavily:
Finally, northern Illinois is beginning to emerge from the drought.
It’s the perfect weather for contemplation and handling details for my upcoming storm chase trip. During the off-season, I’ve done lots of reading, ingesting books like Tim Vazquez’s “Weather Radar Handbook” (ORANGE BOOK).
In anticipation of chasing for ten days with famed storm photographer Jim Reed, I read “STORM CHASER: A Photographer’s Journey”.
I had intended to go through it over several days, but read through it in a single sitting (unlike the ORANGE BOOK, which I’ve been nibbling at for weeks). I felt it would be beneficial to read Jim’s book to better understand him and his guiding principals of storm photography.
As it turns out, Jim and I have had interesting parallels in our lives:
Also close to the same age
Raised in Midwest?
Raised by single mom
One of three adopted children.
Raised by almost-single mom until 10.
(Dad traveled 5-6 days a week.)
We may have watched the Brady Bunch, but we were not members!
1st memorable storm
Belvidere, IL tornado
Dominant parent present during first memorable storm experience gave a sense that “everything’s going to be OK” (and it was).
Moved from Midwest
to West Coast (California)
to East Coast (to New York)
Off to the big city!
Returned to Midwest
Returned after college in both cases
God may not play dice with the universe, but he seems to be good at poker. I remember this during storm chases!
1960s TV connection
Theory: the seven characters on Gilligan’sIsland represent the Seven Deadly Sins. (What would Dawn Wells think of that?)
Dedicated chase vehicle
(as of 2006)
Seen lots of tornadoes
Easily half of those I’ve seen were with Tempest Tours. Saw 6 on
10 May 2004 afternoon near Limon, Colorado.
(“Thank you, Dr. Weberpal!”)
Winter photography experience
First chapter in the book captures this
Several photos from Antarctica used on Oprah for Jerri Nielsen’s appearance.
Jim will be supplying 2013 Tempest Tour 2B guests with signed copies of his book during the tour!
Started with Pentax while working for the Antarctic Program
OK, Nikon! I’m tired of Pentax stuff being ‘niche gear’ that’s both expensive AND hard to find.
We’ll have plenty to talk about on the trip. I’ll have to remind myself that there will be a dozen people vying for his time, including Jim Reed.
To hear Jim speak about our trip, check out this YouTube video ( 2:14-):
This morning we had a storm with 30-50+ mph winds charge southeast through the western Chicago suburbs.
Here in Bolingbrook, Illinois, we got 0.50 inches (1.3cm) of much needed rain.
I am still in the setup phase of my weather instruments, so the fixed setup (Davis Vantage Pro) and mobile setup (Davis Vantage Vue, used for correlation vs. the fixed unit) are both in the wind shadow of my house. The fixed units anemometer will be relocated to the roof after I get some lightning protection up there.
I measured peak winds of 28 mph, but the roar of the wind in the trees and sound of wind-driven rain is consistent with 45-50 mph wind gusts. A better look at the storm shows the wind and temperature field (just after its passing):
After the brief visit to the 70-degree mark, we’ll soar back near 90, with even warmer temperatures tomorrow. We can expect to touch the century mark again, as we have so many times this year. Back to the dog days of July and August! (Make sure to protect your face with your favorite hat, like Barb and Joe’s dog, Skuttlebutt.)
0300 – night bathroom run! Gotta avoid caffeine with dinner.
0400 – neighbors making noise So I can’t sleep! Transcribed yesterday’s paper chase log to this blog. Pure hell to enter WordPress entries via Safari!! (I discovered the WordPress app afterwards. This will be easier/saner going forward.)
0900 – Laundry run
1030 – return to hotel ; pack van
1035 – weather briefing: we have a chance for storms that might produce small hail and some lightning in the plains of Eastern Colorado.
1130 – lunch at Kim Lin Chinese Buffet
1230 – Depart La Junta, CO northbound
1315 – stop 2 miles south of Arlington, CO to photograph an old storm shelter
1327 – Arlington, CO – stop at rest area and photograph an outhouse. Yes, it’s a SLOW DAY!
1341 – N on CO59(?); arrive at Eads, CO to watch the sky, data updates, and toss a Frisbee around.
1530 – leave Eads on US287N, heading to an area where storm development has started.
1607 – turn onto northbound CO59
1625 – stop at I-70 for fuel, washroom visits and snacks; continue north to US36W
1707 – pass Cope, CO
1715 – turn north toward Otis,CO
1740 – dinner at Mom’s Restaurant in Otis
1830 – stop west of Otis. Our target storm has fizzled, having run out of moisture.
1900 – return to Otis; after Bill gets us hotel rooms in Yuma, we head to US34E and on to Yuma. On the way, illustrates how super cells look on radar, using a radar image of a southeast moving storm entering Illinois from near Keokuk, IA
1920 – arrive at the Nelson Inn in Yuma. Bill announces we meet at the van at 9 a.m. (MDT) due to a heavy travel day. Tomorrow appears to be our ‘big day’ for our excursion. Updated this blog