Live Geo-referenced Storm Chaser Video. First in the Field Aerial Live Streaming and Aerial Storm Intercepts. High Resolution Level II Radar Data. Severe Weather Forecasts and Reports by Storm Chasers/Severe Weather Videographers Verne, Michael and Eric Carlson. For live stream and video licensing contact us at: vernecarlson@hotmail.com

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Monday, July 31, 2006

What is Storm Chasing?

I was asked to write this up by Emily Benedict with www.thisisthelife.com in London. Here is what I see as a description of storm chasing for the novice.

Each spring from April to June in the central plains of the United States a great battle goes on between the cold Canadian air and the warm humid gulf air advancing to the north. It is here in the normally flat and tranquill farm land that structures of cloud as high as mount Everest form and march to the east transforming the landscape and providing colors and features not seen anywhere on earth. Storm Chasing is a very exciting adventure where if you arm yourself with enough meteorological information and have the latest in computer and cell phone data at your disposal you can place yourself in proximity to these events but keep yourself at a safe distance. By learning how storms form and what conditions create the best dynamics, storm chasers get themselves by mid-afternoon to within 50 miles of the 'target zone'. Here clues in the sky in the form of developing towers tell where boundaries lie and where storms will form and where to adjust your position for the show to come. By late afternoon a couple of isolated supercells will have formed and begun to be caught by the upper winds and have started to move to the northeast. By 'playing' along infront of the storm and staying to the east and south the storm chaser puts themselves in the best position to see the most intense part of the storm - the updraft. It is here in the updraft that the rapidly rising air causes the cloud base to seath and writhe and take on greens and blacks as little fingers of cloud known as scud reach to the ground. If the storm is strong enough and the conditions are right, this updraft area will begin to rotate and a tornado will form. A tornado is culmination of all the ingredients in the storm structure coming together and focussing all of it's energy into one perfect vortex of energy. Many people come away from seeing a tornado as somehow changed, as feeling like thier problems are small in scale compared to the power of nature. Like an apparition in the dark, you cannot belive what you are seeing. You look around at the others with you to make sure they are seeing what you see. Seeing a tornado is like seeing a visitor from another planet, it seems like something that should not exist in the natural world but yet it does.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Morning Thunder!











Around 1:20am I awoke to small flashes of light to the north and I quickly rose from bed and spent the next 4 hours shooting some of the best lightning so far this season! Here are some of the best shots.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Distant Lightning over Ft. Morgan, CO

This shot was taken on maximum zoom on my 150mm lens. These are the lights of Brighton with lightning just west of Ft. Morgan in the background. Notice the little needle in the cloud bottom.

Fast moving storm comes out of the mountains



A disturbance in WY was progged to move southeast into CO between 10pm and midnight tonight and right on queue a fast moving storm came in over the Indian Peaks wilderness and made it's way down into southern Denver. These are among the best shots I got tonight.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Location of my first significant tornado, Edgemont, SD May 11, 1991

This weekend Amanda and I traveled up to Spearfish, SD for her triathalon and spent the weekend exploring the Black Hills of South Dakota.On the way back I was able to go the route I used to take back from Caving at Wind Cave National Park (another whole story). It was onone of these return trips on May 11, 1991 that I saw my first significant tornado just west of Edgemont, SD on HW 18. This is a picture ofthe exact location where I first saw the beginnings of what would be the large cone tornado that Robert Phillips, Bill Hawn and myself would watch from the side of the road at this spot. I had seen funnels and tornadoes from a distance before this but this would be theone that really cemented it for me and had me hooked forever!

Edit: I was able to find this tornado on www.tornadohistoryproject.com and found that it was an F1 along with two other F0 touchdowns. This also let me narrow the date to May 11th.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Lightning photo makes it on 7 news!



My lightning photo from Monday night made it onto the evening weather broadcast on Channel 7 with Mike Nelson and also on this morning's broadcast with Scott Mace. This makes my first showing on Denver's 7 having always been on 9news in the past.

Link to evening video
Link to morning video


I also posted to the 9news digital network:

Link to photo

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Monday, July 10, 2006

Lightning rolls through north Denver!








An electrified small isolated storm formed west of Boulder and moved east over north Denver this evening. Tony called and said that Jon V had given him a heads up on this storm that caught us off guard. Michael called as he heard the storm from his work at King Soopers. I was hoping for some lightning as it's been awhile since we got a good nighttime storm. I got a few of the best strokes so far to date from my deck from this nice little storm.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Chase Operations down for Spring 2006

With the possible exception of a few local chases, the end of the spring 2006 season is here. I will be posting only on a random basis from here on out until possibly October when we can sometimes get a mini-season in the fall of severe weather.

The Carlsons', Verne, Michael and Eric

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