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Friday, April 25, 2008

2008-04-24 Report

Started the day meeting up with Tony Laubach, Ryan Shepard and Skinner in Hays, KS were we repositioned to near Ness City and met up with Mike Umchied. Watched as CU struggled against the cap and shot up to Colby, KS when the cell coming out of Burlington, CO intensified.

I got one crazy flight in with the Wicked Witch 3 after repositioning three times to get ahead of the outflow winds north of Rexford, KS. The witch landed only 100 yards in front of me in a wheat field but it took me and a very helpful family stopping by twenty minutes to find it. With the help of their daughter I was able to recover the plane and the video!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

cell ne of colby

nice wall cloud now!

Developing supercell north of Colby, KS

Moving quickly to intercept!

April 23rd, 2008

Me, Michael, and a friend of his who never had been chasing before went out for a well needed local chase. Not too much was expected, but we were surprised to see our area get a tornado watch box, and later a tornado warned cell. The cell began to deteriorate as we came up to it thanks to cold air pushing from the east, but not before we were able to get into some nice hail.

I had the action came running, but was unable to get most of the chase due to dying batteries.

Tornadoes and large Hail Expected Today

Waking up this morning in south Wichita, KS and the morning SPC outlook has moved the tornado threat for today up into northwest KS and southeast NE. Will be heading up I-35 and then west on I-70 to a Wakeeney to Hill City initial target. I have the Wicked Witch 3 RC Tornado Jet with me and will be ready to launch her into a tornado today!

Live Streaming will be up - check the links to the right later today!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Powerlines down east of Snyder, TX

Storm just came through here tornado warned! Spent the entire chase trying to get ahead of the lead cell along FM180. I had to back off from the core punch near Roby when sheet metal started flying across the road. A grain bin splayed out in front of me in the RFD winds. Heading now to Wichita, KS for tomorrow's moderate. Will post some video of the damage encoutered later.

Upgrade to Moderate Risk!

Well the morning SPC Day 1 is out and it's looking great for severe weather in westcentral Texas! The fears of early morning crapvection firing along the warm sector and ruining the air for later in the day are not expected so the stage is set for severe thunderstorms, large hail and possibly a few tornadoes by evening.

I made the trip down to Amarillo from Denver last night and boy am I glad I did. It was a tough call on whether to stay and play the northern target closer to home or come down here. Michael and Eric will be chasing eastern CO today because of class obligations so I'll be excited to be in contact with them later this afternoon to see what they get. SPC is talking large hail and storms over the WY/CO border area so you can't deny that's a tempting target too!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Construction for this seasons project

I have begun to mockup the payload configuration that I want to use to loft the instrument pack that we will be using for this season's project. Here the rear half is the 3 x 8 inch payload and the front cone will stay stationary and keep things aerodynamic.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Deploying a probe

We are in western NE and the group is deploying a probe.

Having lunch

We are in Kimbal, NE having lunch with the crew and the Heene family of chasers and their swapped wife Karin.

Ready to depart

Leaving the Heene family house ready to go chase in e WY. Not much chance of storms today but we'll make the best of it as filming schedule must go on.

On location with ABC's Wife Swap

It's 6am and I'm in Ft Collins today for the production of ABC's TV show Wife Swap! No, Amanda and I are not on the show, I am actually the Storm Chasing consultant. This episode will have the Heene family swap wives with another hobby family. I should find out what the other hobby is soon.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Testing my new heli!

Today I'm flying my new helicopter and sharpening my skills. The plans are to put a small 10mW transmitter and camera on this heli and use it to get some tight 'crane' type shots that I might want to get for our DVDs. This heli is 26 inch rotor span, electric and very fun to fly! Update: I successfully lofted my 3500mW transmitter with this heli - that opens the door for flights broadcasting from up to 1/2 mile away!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2008-04-09 Report

SPC had the day marked as a 15% hatched risk of tornadoes along the warmfront expected to move roughly across I-20 in central Texas at max heating.
Semi truck overturned as we approach Breckenridge, TX from the south. We were only minutes behind the tornado in hot pursuit!
Powerpoles snapped along HW183 south of Breckenridge, TX
Trees down in Breckenridge.
Debris on roads in Breckenridge, TX - of course I took the road with the least debris to get through.
Meso with possible embedded tornado approaching on HW281 north of Mineral Wells, TX
Velocity scan of the Breckenridge, TX tornado just before it entered town. Notice the pronounced couplet of green and red indicating a strong tornado!

Video is up of chasing the EF2 tornado that went through Breckenridge, TX!

Will reluctantly add 2 tornadoes for this chase. One the brief spinup in Abilene, TX off I-20 and the other: the Breckenridge tornado which I know was back in the 100% saturated inflow and visible for only brief seconds at a time.

Tornadoes this season: 2
Lifetime count: 84

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

In Sweetwater, TX

Cell going up over Colorado City, TX on I20

Chased today with Tony Laubach, Chris Collura, Randy Denzer and Tim Samaras (caravanning in different directions). Was streaming with SevereStudios throughout... Started on the cell west of Abilene, TX and chased it as it left the highway into the town of Breckenridge where we encountered a semi blown over, at least one house missing it's roof, and trees and powerlines down everywhere. Saw no one injured and law enforcement already on the scene so shot out and finally got ahead of the storm at Mineral Wells, TX where we waited for the now HP beast of a storm to arrive. At one point I either saw a wedge tornado but it was more likely the wall cloud on the ground in the hills and trees. This feature passed very near to me as I streamed it live. Winds peaked very quickly and changed direction rapidly but I could not confirm a tornado.

Chase cam is up!

click on the black box on the right. we are heading south out of amarillo tx on i27 to abilene tx

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Best WW3 Flights Yet!

The first flight was on the big meso east of Electra, TX - I was able to get this view of scud tags rising up into the updraft.

Chaser convergence along rd368 from the air. That's my red Subaru along the road.

Later on the cell that formed over Seymore, TX and approached Wichita Falls, TX.

Flying towards the now rapidly rotating updraft.

Had a tornado formed I would have been in the air and ready for an intercept. Here the strongly rotating updraft pulls scud up and forms a funnel!

Monday, April 07, 2008

southern most cell

this is the convection on the southern dryline storm!

dryline going up!

cell east of seymore, tx

east of wichita falls

towers pushing way up!

Huge Meso!!

west of wichita falls!

northwest of wichita falls, tx

baseball to softball hail possible in this cell!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Live Stream Will Be Running Tomorrow!

Click the TV link tomorrow to watch the action unfold! -->

Tornadoes expected for tomorrow!

Tomorrow is shaping up to be a big tornado day for western to central OK! A strong surface low is expected to develop over the TX panhandle backing moisture up against the dryline and causing great directional sheer. Hodographs for tomorrow show long curves in a classic 'ear' shape indicating that if the storms that are forecast to go up around 0z - they will spin like a top and possibly produce tornadoes! Many are expecting SPC to upgrade to moderate - I will be checking data early tomorrow and be ready to head east on I40 and setup somewhere near Clinton, OK
More in the morning from Amarillo!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Chase potential Weds April 9th!

Keeping an eye on Monday Apr 7th for the panhandles... but the day that currently shows the most promise is Weds Apr 9th. All the ingredients are there except would like to see the upper level trough strengthen a bit. Keeping an eye on this one.. I already have Monday and Weds off but may cancel monday's chase if it doesn't look good. Today (Sat) around Denver there is an outside chance of a lightning strike or two tonight as the SPC has a 5% thunderstorm threat to our northeast, have to keep an eye on that.

Update: The Carlson's have inked a deal with Anthony Sylvester of ABC TV to be Production Assistants in charge of weather safety for ABC TV's Wife Swap. On Monday or Tuesday April 14 - 15th we will be helping with production in e CO - keeping the crew safe. This episode will feature a chaser family from CA (now located in Ft. Collins) swapping moms with another family of some other hobby (say bird watching). More details on that later...

The Carlsons', Verne, Michael and Eric

The Carlsons', Verne, Michael and Eric

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