Day 7 – Wall Clouds, Lightning Storms, and Abandoned Hotels

Day 7 – Wall Clouds, Lightning Storms, and Abandoned Hotels

Our last (sniff sniff) day of storm chasing was significantly more relaxed than Thursday’s, but we still managed to see some well-defined mammatus and asperatus clouds, a giant wall cloud, some very strong straight-line winds, and the most amazing lightning storm I’ve ever seen in my life. Because Friday’s storms were much further south than Thursday’s, much of the day was spent driving, and we gained an appreciation for the beauty of the Central Texas landscape and drove through many…

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Day 6: A Stunning Shelf Cloud and Our First Tornado

Day 6: A Stunning Shelf Cloud and Our First Tornado

Even though it was nowhere near as active as forecast, day 6 was by far our most active day yet. We saw it all: a tornado, tons of wall clouds, an amazing shelf cloud, multiple funnel clouds, and we were pummeled by high winds, torrential rain, and hail on two separate occasions. The SPC homepage Wednesday night and Thursday morning painted an apocalyptic scenario for the day. In a pink highlighted message at the top, they warned that “some strong,…

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Day 5: BBQ, the National Weather Center, and Thursday Storm Prep

Day 5: BBQ, the National Weather Center, and Thursday Storm Prep

With tornado activity well to our north yesterday, we decided to take a day off from chasing and explore Oklahoma! After sleeping in past noon, we decided to head east from Clinton, OK towards Oklahoma City and get some good southern barbecue. We stopped at Swadley’s Bar-B-Q on the western outskirts of Oklahoma City and had some pretty darn delicious ribs. It’s good I don’t live here… if I did, my belly would grow faster than a supercell on a…

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Day 4: A Potpourri of Severe Weather

Day 4: A Potpourri of Severe Weather

Our second day of storm chasing was definitely a lot more active than our first! We saw flooding rains, strong winds, lots of (presumably wind, possibly tornado) damage, a weak funnel cloud, several weakly rotating wall clouds, lots of “scud,” and even smoke from an oil tank that got struck by lightning. The storms started firing up a little sooner than yesterday, so we were on the road heading south from Guymon, OK to the Texas panhandle by 12:30 pm….

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Day 3: The First Storm Chase

Day 3: The First Storm Chase

After much anticipation, Joey and I finally saw some good storms on our third day of our storm chasing vacation! No tornadoes were in the cards for today, but we saw brief bursts of heavy rain, small hail, gusty winds, an impressive flanking line, and above all, very frequent lightning! We started out the day in Garden City, Kansas, and decided to head slightly south to the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles to see if we could find some storms there….

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Day 2: Cattle Smells and Far-Away Supercells

Day 2: Cattle Smells and Far-Away Supercells

Day two on Joey and Charlie’s storm chasing adventure was mainly a day of driving. After we finally arrived at our hotel at 3 AM Sunday morning, we slept in as late as possible and headed out just before our checkout time (although not before waking up early to gulp down the esteemed “Continental Breakfast”). We got a chance to meet up with Dakota Smith at the Blue Moon in Denver for burgers and beers. Dakota is a meteorologist at…

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Tornado Chasing Day 1: Blue Skies and Budget Airlines

Tornado Chasing Day 1: Blue Skies and Budget Airlines

  Hi everybody! This week, I’ll be doing something I (surprisingly) haven’t done before: tornado chasing! I’ll be chasing with Joey Sipos, a computer programmer/game designer (check out his latest VR game, “Glider Island”) and a fellow severe weather geek. Joey’s been chasing once, so I’m counting on him to get us perfectly positioned to follow some awesome storms. I don’t know if he’s counting on me to provide longwinded explanations of CAPE, helicity, and drylines to keep us busy…

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Reviewing Our Thursday Thunderstorms

Reviewing Our Thursday Thunderstorms

In the wake of the incredible thunderstorms many locations around the area saw Thursday, I thought I’d write a review on the amazing and very uncommon weather we saw last week. In the interest of time, I will spend relatively little time reviewing general thunderstorm knowledge, but if you are interested, you can read a 4-part tutorial all about thunderstorms here. Additionally, I’ll blog a LOT more about thunderstorms next week, as I’ll be tornado chasing in the Great Plains! Thunderstorms are…

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Strong Thunderstorms Likely Tomorrow

Strong Thunderstorms Likely Tomorrow

So many things to blog about… so little time. Today was by FAR the warmest day of the year for the Pacific Northwest. The Portland Airport hit 81 degrees, making this year the first year since records began back in 1940 that we’ve had an 80 degree high before a 70 degree high. Of course, we did indeed hit 70 degrees on our way up to 80 degrees today, but I think ya’ll get what I’m saying. Thank you KOIN…

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The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017

The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017

Before I discuss this landmark bill signed by President Trump, I have the pleasure of announcing some very good news regarding WeatherTogether! We finally have automatically updating model charts online! You can find these charts at http://weathertogether.us/models. Many things remain on the “to-do list,” such as making an elegant webpage, getting the charts to upload as early as possible, and of course simply making more charts. We’ll take one thing at a time and see where this project leads us!…

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