Sunday, December 05, 2004

Supercell Deprivation Syndrome

Supercell Deprivation Syndrome (SDS) is a disease that many chasers have recently been associated with. Its sympoms should not be taken lightly. SDS chasers should be glad that Supercell Deprivation Treatment Centers exist to help remedy their infirmity.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Art of Storm Chasing

No, the video The Art of Storm Chasing is not about a storm chaser named Arthur. (rimshot) Actually, this video done by none other than - you guessed it - Tim Vasquez. It looks to be really comprehensive, especially as a complement to the aforementioned book.

I am going to have one impressive-looking stocking this year, I can tell.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Storm Chasing Handbook

I found out that one of the authors of the FAQs linked to in this blog, Tim Vasquez, has several weather books published. One is none other than the Storm Chasing Handbook!

Now you know what I'll be looking for in my stocking this year...

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

XM WX Satellite Weather

This has to be the coolest thing I've seen. XM radio can provide hours of listening enjoyment for the long road trip. Now, reams of live weather data and maps are available over XM satellite radio! Who could've imagined? The FAA has even approved it for aviation use. The downside? It's mo-expensive. Yes, it's not only $1600+ for XM and GPS receivers, it's also $100 per month for the actual service.

Nonetheless, check it out!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Chasing the Dream

Imagine speeding down the highway, o'er amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties. It's a beautiful day in the midwest: the sun is shining, there's a slight breeze, and there are a few puffy clouds off in the distance. You are on the cautious lookout for stray cattle that may be loitering in your path. Unless you want hamburger for dinner, then you'd better stay vigilant. That fourth cup of coffee is helping out, for sure.

It's an hour later. The sun had given up shining long ago, and the slight breeze has picked up to a brisk gale. Those puffy clouds of cauliflour have mutated into black seething anvils of doom and, from the light and sound coming from them, you might even believe that the gods are actually forging steel up there. You still haven't stopped driving. In fact, you've been driving for the past five hours, indeed, the past several days, just to arrive at this moment.

A massive wall cloud drops down right in front of you. The pounding of your heart nearly drowns out the pounding of the hail against your windshield as you pull off the road and turn on your hazard lights. You set up the camera and tripod as you've fruitlessly done a hundred times before, yet today's storm brings a different spectacle. A tornado drops right out of the churning cumulonimbus cloud a mile distant and quickly develops into a well-rounded and very devastating F-3 twister. You have reached... storm-chasing nirvana.

What happens from then on... it defies my explanation, because I haven't experienced it. Yet this experience (or lack thereof) is what defines this blog. It's the thrill of the chase, 20th-century style.

So, here we are, the autumn of 2004, and our supplies are as follows:

  • One (1) crazy-brained idea that, some day in the not-to-far future, a storm chasing expedition will be held, and it will succeed.
  • Two (2) tornado seasons before college during which to accomplish this feat.
  • One (1) vehicle (with four (4) tires) ready to be outfitted with all sorts of storm-chasing goodies.
  • Many (>1) available technologies (GPS, wireless internet service, radios, etc.) to assist in reaching this goal.
  • Two (2) parents who think otherwise.

So! Here we go! Hopefully, when all is said and done, Storm Chase '06 (projected date) will have been a huge success. But we've got a long way to go.

To get everyone out there in reader-land started, here are a few resources on this unique hobby. These are also linked to in the side-bar on the right-hand side of the page.