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ChaseJournal / Chase Journal

My Chase Journal

I am not a "dedicated storm chaser". I wish I could be; but, I have too many other obligations that take priority over storm chasing. Mostly, I do ad hoc local chases; and maybe once a year I can take a few days off to join a tour or pursue a high risk setup. When I get the chance to go chasing, I'll usually post a few photos and maybe scribble a few thoughts about the chase on Facebook. Sometime (not necessarily "soon") after I return from a chase, I'll write about it in more detail on this website, including better resolution photos and, often, more photos.

Anyway, here's My Chase Journal.

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

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2009

Extreme Tornado Tours 2009
My first storm chasing experience was with Extreme Tornado Tours in May 2009. From the 12th through the 21st, we traveled throughout Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Nebraska in search of interesting weather. We witnessed the 13 May Kirksville MO Tornado up close and personal (in two separate locations); and we experienced a sustained downburst (or hour-long series of microbursts) at Courthouse Rock NE, with sustained 70+ mph winds for several minutes and a peak gust of 91 mph. For two days (including the day we experienced that downburst), we had a film crew from Storm Stories with us; an episode dedicated to our tour aired on The Weather Channel on 5 April 2010.
2009-06-19
My first solo storm chase, I caught up with a rotating wall cloud and funnel near Bippus IN on 19 June 2009.

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2010

2010-04-07
The first chase of the season was mostly a practice chase. Josh and I drove over 568 miles, mostly in central Indiana and east-central Illinois. Though a Tornado Watch was issued and hail was reported, we only encountered intense downpours and a non-rotating wall cloud during the chase. We were treated to some impressive lightning displays during our four hour drive back to Fort Wayne.
2010-04-30 TBD
We experienced steady 30mph winds from the SE through western IN and into central IL, with gusts (not associated with thunderstorms) of up to 42mph. Our chase area (around Peoria IL) was under a Tornado Watch, and there was a broken line of intense to severe cells that came racing across the Mississippi River. However, the highlight of this chase was standing at the base of a large wind turbine in the midst of a large wind farm in western IN, and listening to the huge blades sswwiisshh through the air.
2010-05-13 Chase No-Go
It looked promising a day out, and even until mid-afternoon on the 13th. We stayed home because there was no clear favored direction to head out (we were in the midst of the Target Area); then it turned out there would be nowhere to head.
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