Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nat'l Storm Chaser Convention (2/16)

The National Storm Chaser Convention (NSSC) was from February 15 to 17, 2008 at the Raddison in Aurora, Colorado and was excellent with a great turnout! Close to 300 storm chasers and their associates attended this event.

The agenda included excellent presentations ranging from photography, storm dynamics, forecasting, even high-speed lightning photography by Tim Samaras and a wonderful presentation of US Plains history by Dave Hoadley to name a few.

Special thanks to Roger Hill and Tim Samaras for such great planning and organizing this event. More pictures can be seen in the storm chasing events for 2008 link provided below...


Extreme Snow Mobiling (2/15)

What a time to spend the day before the start of the Colorado National Storm Chasers Convention - Extreme snow-mobiling! My group of storm chasing friends and associates took a back-country snow mobiling tour deep in the Colorado Rockies and along the top of the Continental Divide and at elevations approaching 13,000 feet above sea level!

This is by far the best way to see some of the best mountains in North America, and the weather was sunny, clear, and cold - Permitting a line of sight exceeeding 160 miles! The snow pack was as high as 400 inches in some high-altitude mountain areas - That's over 30 feet!

Click the link provided below for more pictures and information ...


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Brutal Lake-Effect Snow (2/10)

February 10, 2008 brought a nasty Canadian "Alberta Clipper" cold front across the north and Great Lakes region with temperatures near -10 degrees F below and wind-chills in the -30's ...

... So where did I go? The beach! See the brutal lake-effect snow in Saint Joseph, Michigan along with huge waves and 50-MPH winds during the morning of February, 10 at the link provided below...


Thursday, February 07, 2008

"Super-Tuesday Outbreak" Chase (2/5)

A significant severe weather / killer tornado outbreak took place in the south-central US on February 5, 2008. This was called the "Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak", and killed at least 59 people. Particularly hard-hit was the western Tennessee area (near Memphis) and parts of Arkansas where deadly and destructive tornadoes hit during the afternoon and evening.


I was able to chase and tackled this difficult and extremely dangerous setup with a trip from Chicago to Memphis (500 miles each way)! There is a full report on this event and is available at the link below...


Snowstorm Then "ThunderFog" (2/4)

Amazing to see a snow storm on 2-3 in Illinois, then, just 24 hours later, I am on a storm off I-65 in Lake County, Indiana chasing a thunderstorm with frequent lightning, small hail, and 50-MPH winds!

In the pictures above, we can see cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning strike to the far right, with blowing FOG ... Yes - That white on the ground to the left of that picture is snow. In the left picture, a car spins out and hits someone in front of me in a snow storm with 4" on I-94 / I-80.

You can also check out a chase report for the thunderstorms on 2-4 at the link below...


Monday, February 04, 2008

Winter Weather! (2/2)

The weather in Chicago this year of 2008 has been anything but boring. One day it's extremely cold and sunny, the next day its 50 degrees and foggy, then a line of thunderstorms moves through, and by that evening, a 6-12" snow storm hits!

In the pictures above, parts of Lake Michigan are frozen solid. The middle picture shows a nasty commute to work in a snow storm - Good for kids, who were off from school - But not for people driving in it. The picture to the right shows small icebergs floating in Lake Michigan. Actually, they are simply chunks of pack-ice that break apart when lake ice shifts due to strong winds.

Frigid temperatures allow even a large body of water such as the Great Lakes to develop ice.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Skydiving And An L-39 Jet (1/26)

I attended the Everglades Skydiving Boogie event held at Air Adventures in Clewiston, Florida during the weekend of January 25-27, 2008! This was an awesome skydiving event with at least four jump aircraft (Balloons, Helicopter, Super Otters, and Skyvan) and had a tremendous turnout and good weather most of the time.

The event even allowed both skydivers and non-skydivers to get a ride in two incredible aerobatic aircraft, an Extra 300 or an L-39 jet fighter! You can check out this event in the SKYDIVE section of this web-site or simply click the link provided below...


For my second time in my life, I was able to fly aboard an L-39 fighter jet at Airglades Airport in Clewiston, Florida during the Everglades Skydiving Boogie 2008! On this flight, a unique POV concept was used, and the video is there to prove it! The video is finished, and is also available at the link provided for it below.

Several pictures of the flight (along with those from a similar flight at WFFC in 2006) have been posted in the FLYING section of this web site. See what it's like to buzz clouds and come within 15 feet of the ground at over 300-knots while nearly passing out with over 6 G's of force pressing on you!

For the FLYING section, you can click the link provided below...


For a video clip of the L-39 flight, you can also click the link provided below...


Chasing Lake-Effect Snow (1/19)

An interesting observation was done to pass some frigid "winter" time on January 19, 2008. This involved a lake effect snow event in Michigan, about an hour's drive from where I am staying in Chicago's south side. With a Canadian / Arctic blast, temperatures in Chicago struggled to get above zero degrees F on Jan 19th, with clear and sunny skies.

In Michigan, near Saint Joseph, conditions were a mere 10 degrees warmer, with blowing and drifting snow racing on-shore from Lake Michigan in a scene very reminiscent of a "frozen tropical storm"!

You can check out such extreme winter weather in the WINTER section of the storm chasing area of this web-site, or simply click the link provided below...


Chicago Severe Storms (1/7)

A rather unusual (for January that is) weather setup unfolded across the US Midwest on January 7, 2007 ... The pictures above wer taken as the storm complex (strong and severe thunderstorms) moved through the Chicago area after dark. The Sears tower antenna spires were struck several times! Even more interesting, the picture to the far right shows a rare positive polarity strike - common with winter thunderstorms - branching upwards into the sky.

Apart from lightning and flooding in Chicago, the storm system produced severe storms from Oklahoma to Wisconsin, including damaging tornadoes - most likely the earliest to occur in any given season.

Hard to imagine that just 5 days prior, these same regions were blanketed with snow and frigid arctic air! Chicago had temperatures in the 60's before the storms rolled in.

You can also check out a chase report for this event at the link below...