2013 Season Summary

Here is the overall plan for my 2013 storm season (which I’ll update as events warrant):

CHASE 2013


SEMINARS & TRAINING (WEATHER/SAFETY): 25+ hours of classroom training on weather
(especially radar interpretation), first aid, and CPR
[163 miles travel]
16 March Sat. Bolingbrook IL Naperville IL 20 lightning DuPage OHSEM
Advanced Spotter Training
27 March Wed. Bolingbrook IL Naperville IL 20 nexradNaperville EMA radar class
(#1 of 3)
25 March Mon. Bolingbrook IL Naperville IL 20 first-aidNaperville EMA:
Blood-borne Pathogens
03 April Wed. Bolingbrook IL Naperville IL 20 nexradNaperville EMA radar class
(#2 of 3)
06 April Sat. Bolingbrook IL Batavia IL 43
33rd Annual FermiLab/Skilling Severe Weather Seminar
08 April Mon. Bolingbrook IL Naperville IL 20 CPRNaperville EMA:
CPR/AED Certification
17 April Wed. Bolingbrook IL Naperville IL 20 nexradNaperville EMA radar class
(#3 of 3)

Tempest Tours #2013-2B:
Jim Reed Photo Tour

May 2013 chasing with Jim Reed, Bill Reid and friends
in the Southern/Great Plains.

Tempest 2013T2B Gang (minus Bill Reid, behind the camera)
Tempest 2013T2B Gang (minus Bill Reid, behind the camera)

Our team was from all over:

usa-flag australia-flag
Jim Reed (KS [KD0TVZ]) – photo guru
William Reid (CA [KG6FWX]) – lead
Danny Gonzales (CA) – guide/driver
Ron Riemersma (WI) – guide/driver
Martin Lisius (TX) – CEO, Tempest Tours (5/1)
Jenna Blum (KS) – media guest
Lisa Beal (IL [KC9BST]
Kristin Heil (OH)
Stacy Williams (CA)l
Patti Schulze (TX)
Nathan Chester (Brisbane)
Belinda Cripps
Lee Cripps
Michael Thompson (Shellharbour)
Priscilla Yeo
29 April Mon. Bolingbrook IL PROLOGUE
30 April Tue. Bolingbrook IL Oklahoma City OK  60 TRAVEL: Flight + 60 miles around OKC
01 May Wed. Oklahoma City OK Breckenridge TX 230+ DAY 1: Spider lightning as a monster cold front passes
02 May Thu. Breckenridge TX Terlingua TX 451+ DAY 2: Down to the Border
03 May Fri. Terlingua TX Santa Elena
TX  37RT DAY 3: Rugged Road to Santa Elena Canyon
04 May Sat. Terlingua TX Marfa TX 208RT DAY 4: Rolling Thunder and F5 Girls
05 May Sun. Terlingua TX Van Horn TX 192+ DAY 5: Old McDonald Had a Telescope?
06 May Mon. Van Horn TX Plainview TX 459 DAY 6: New Mexico Storm with Great Structure
07 May Tue. Plainview TX Dodge City KS 326+ DAY 7: 3 States of Mind: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas
08 May Wed. Dodge City KS Clinton OK 237+ DAY 8: Time to Get Outta Dodge
09 May Thu. Clinton OK Fredericksburg TX 448+ DAY 9: Okie Dokie
10 May Fri. Fredericksburg TX San Antonio TX 426+ DAY 10: Mini-Haboob!
11 May Sat. San Antonio TX Oklahoma City OK 469+ DAY 11: Long Drive North and a Czech Stop
12 May Sun. Oklahoma City OK Bolingbrook IL    0 DAY 12: Departure
13 May Mon. Oklahoma City OK Bolingbrook IL    0 Epilogue
(TBA) (TBA) Bolingbrook IL (TBA) Chaser/spotter fun within 300 miles of home


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! ORANGE
Training Day WHITE

Season Plan Accommodations Restaurants Tools Web Links

NOTE: The restaurant and accommodations links will be dead until I get out in the field.


11 April 2013 – Soggy times

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:

Jim Reed Lisa Beal REMARKS
Born Springfield, Illinois Rockford, Illinois Also close to the same age
Raised in Midwest? Yup Yup _
Non-traditional family 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 Hurricane Camille
(with mom)
Belvidere, IL tornado
(with dad)
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 Kansas Illinois Returned after college in both cases
Einstein connection Ja! Ja! 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 Gilligan’s Island Gilligan’s Island Theory: the seven characters on
Gilligan’s Island represent the Seven Deadly Sins.  (What would Dawn Wells think of that?)
Dedicated chase vehicle Ford Explorer
(as of 2006)
Chrysler Town&Country
(from 2011-date)
Seen lots of tornadoes 40+ about 30
(I’m re-checking)
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!
Camera collection Nikon-sanctioned photographer 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-):

Extended Interview: Jim Reed, extreme weather photographer (KRCG)