Saturday, June 4, 2011

6/4 - 4:30pm EDT - Another Great Storm Chasing Season

I'm on the ground in Louisville having completed four weeks of storm chasing as a tour guide with Storm Chasing Adventure Tours. This week (tour 5) was quite a long one as we traveled 3,287 miles across Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota. We intercepted two good supercells on this tour near Valentine, Nebraska and again just northeast of Minot, North Dakota. While neither of these produced a tornado, they were very picturesque and produced some great sunset pictures. Check out the map below for our route (ignore the sudden jog to Montana... my iPad had a glitch while it was recording our location yesterday):

This season overall has been very good. I've seen three funnel clouds, a rapidly rotating wall cloud in Kansas, and was within a couple miles of two invisible rain-wrapped tornadoes in Oklahoma. One of those tornadoes was rated an EF5 near El Reno, Oklahoma and unfortunately caused a great deal of damage and a few fatalities. The other tornado crossed I-35 in Moore, Oklahoma about a mile in front of us and threw some small debris and power lines into the roadway. Had these tornadoes not been rain-wrapped, they would've been in plain sight right in front of us. We also ran into the Tornado Intercept Vehicle 2 (TIV 2) of Discovery Channel fame, the Dominator 1 and 2 vehicles, and The Weather Channel's Great Tornado Hunt chase team quite a bit over the past four weeks.

I want to extend a special thank you to all the viewers of this blog and those who have been following me on Twitter and Facebook over the past month. Being able to share this storm chasing experience with you has been one of my goals over the past four seasons and this year was better than ever thanks to advancements in mobile communications technology. I plan to return to Tornado Alley next year for another round of storm chasing and I'll let you know when I'll be out there as soon as my schedule solidifies.

This blog will return to it's ordinary state tomorrow, where I'll be reporting on weather news, meteorology, and a few odds and ends in between as usual. My next expedition will take me to the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee next week, which I attend almost annually, so I'll be sure to post updates from that event on my Twitter and Facebook accounts!

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