Friday, June 3, 2011

The Long Haul Back Home...

Sorry for being out of touch for most of the day, but it was my turn to do some driving now that we're heading back home (and I don't have to have my eyes glued to the sky, the weather radar or the navigation system).

On the very first day of our chase tour (on Tuesday), my friends from RadioShack asked me "so, what can we expect on this chase?"  I had to break the bad news to them that storm chasing involves extensive periods of boredom, with occasional bursts of pure adrenaline rush.  After covering 8 states and 2900 miles (and counting - we're still not back home yet) over the past 4 days, I think they know what I was talking about now!  

It was great meeting up with the Weather Channel's "Great Tornado Hunt" team yesterday, but unfortunately the atmosphere didn't share our idea of developing severe storms before 7pm in our target area of central South Dakota, near the North Dakota border.  Our target area was more limited because we had to get a colleague back to the airport later in the evening.

Chris Vary & Sean Hodgson of the RadioShack crew,
Yours Truly of the Original Weather Blog & Mike Bettes of the WeatherChannel

Today, the greatest threat area was well to our East, not within targeting distance, so we decided to start the long 20+ hour trek back toward Texas.

Oh well, at least we had several awesome intercepts on Wednesday, including what appeared to be a rain-wrapped tornado.  Additional photos and video is forthcoming - it's been a challenge to upload HD photos and video while on the road (plus I'd like to take a closer look at them before posting - we have over 3 hours of video and several hundred photos).  On a much more somber note, I also really appreciated the opportunity to visit the Joplin area on Tuesday evening.  While we saw some truly devastating damage, we also met some truly wonderful people - true survivors.  I'll have more coming up on that visit as well in the coming couple of days.

I just made a guest-posting on RadioShack's blog.  You can see it here if you'd like.  I'll have another announcement to make regarding our severe weather preparedness effort in the coming few days...

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