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The Tower of Amon Sūl

For the man sound in body and serene of mind
there is no such thing as bad weather;
every sky has its beauty,
and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously.
George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft

Photograph © 2009 AWColley
Wall cloud near Bippus IN 2009-06-19 © 2009 AWColley

I have loved observing and studying the weather since I was a child. Growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, gave me plenty of opportunity to run to the basement many spring and summer nights as the tornado sirens sounded! Until 2009, I had only witnessed two live tornados, both from a safe distance.

The first time was during my senior year in high school, on the infamous afternoon of 3 April 1974, when I peered out the second-floor windows at home and watched a massive tornado (nearly half a mile wide as I watched it) pass less than five miles north of our home in Louisville, Kentucky (read more, pictures).

The second time was sixteen years later on 10 June 1991, when a tornado tracked eastward across I-25 a little north of Castle Pines North (Douglas County, Colorado). I was in an office building 3 or 4 miles to the north (near C-470) and could not see the base of the tornado since it was behind a ridge from my vantage point.

Eighteen years later, in 2009, I took a storm chasing tour (read more, pictures) and experienced the debris zone of a tornado! TWICE! We encountered the Novinger, Missouri, tornado about a mile southeast of town (about six miles west of Kirksville). We then headed east and encountered the Kirksville tornado (from the same supercell) several minutes later and about six miles east of Kirksville. Both tornadoes were rain-wrapped and difficult to see coming, and both times we found ourselves within a hundred yards of a tornado before realizing we needed to BACK UP (read more, pictures).

My interest in meteorology led me all the way to a M.S. Degree in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. Life has it's way of leading you down paths you never expected, however, and my profession of umpteen years has been (and still is) software engineering. Still, I have the heart of a meteorologist.

Weather Pages

Chase Center
Weather spotter and storm chaser resources.
Weather Now
Current local, regional, and national weather
Current Conditions
The current weather conditions at my house as reported by Weather Station AWC. In addition to current data, there are summaries for the current month and year; and a data archive of all data captured by my station since it went online on 7 December 2005.
Weather Gallery
Event and thematic albums of weather-related photographs I've taken over the years. Some are awesomely cool, if I do say so myself.
Weather Links
Weather (meteorology) related links that I find useful, informative, and/or entertaining.

Weather Journal / Articles

Weather Blog
My journal of interesting weather here in Fort Wayne, or wherever I happen to be. Unfortunately, I have not made any journal entries since March 2010.
Extreme Tornado Tours 2009
My journal and photos of my Extreme Tornado Tour in May, 2009. We experienced the debris zone of a tornado! TWICE! We first encountered the Kirksville, Missouri, tornado west of town, then several minutes later east of town. Both times it was rain-wrapped and difficult to see coming, and both times we found ourselves within a hundred yards of the tornado before realizing we needed to BACK UP.
3 April 1974 Remembered
My recollection of the Super Outbreak of tornadoes on 3-4 April 1974, in particular the Louisville Tornado. Included are a few pictures I took of the devastation in the Louisville area a couple of days later.
The Blizzard of 07
They promised it, and it came. Not quite as much as they promised, but as much snow in one storm as in all of 2006! Visit this article for the unfolding NWS forecasts, my take on it all, and a photo gallery.
2007-04-30 Long Narrow Thunderstorm Line
An extremely thin (only one thundercell wide for the first couple of hours) and eventually quite long line of thunderstorms developed virtually out of clear air in less than two hours. Visit this article for a discussion, satellite images and animation, and radar animition of this curious event.
Two True Weathermen
My little tribute to two television weather guys that inspired me along the way, true meteorologists in a sea of talking heads and aspiring somthing-elses.
Meteorology
Technical articles, mostly copied from somewhere else and stored here for safe keeping.

The Tower of Amon Sūl

In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, Weathertop (Sindarin Amon Sūl, "Hill of Wind") is a hill in the Eriador region of Middle-earth, the southernmost and highest summit of the Weather Hills. The hill itself is of great importance in the history of Middle-earth, as chronicled in The Lord of the Rings, since it was a major fortress of the kingdom of Arthedain, home to one of the seven palantķri, and the site of several battles. The Tower of Amon Sūl is a watch-tower on Weathertop Hill. It was once tall and fair, but by the end of the Third Age only ruins remained.

Source: Wikipedia:Weathertop
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