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Blog: 2011 Archive

2011 Year in Review: The Year of the Tornado

Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 5:00 PM MST

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Posted In: Chase Recaps

Tagged: Year In Review


A Few Thoughts on my First Earthquake Experience

Posted on Monday, November 7, 2011 at 5:00 PM MST

NORMAN, OK -- Coming to Oklahoma to study tornadoes and severe weather, earthquakes were some of my farthest thoughts. When I woke up this past Saturday morning, I saw on the news that a 4.7 earthquake had struck overnight northeast of Oklahoma City. Figuring that since it didn't wake me up, I didn't think much of it, and just went about my day like a normal Saturday. After a great night of watching college football (the LSU - Alabama game and the Kansas State - Oklahoma State game), I started to get ready for bed.

While I was brushing my teeth, I was just casually standing there staring at myself in the mirror. I'm not really sure what caught my eye, but something didn't look quite right (and I'm the person that's spent about a combined 5 minutes in the past 10 years in front of the mirror worrying about my personal appearance). A closer look I saw the edges of things in the mirror weren't as sharp as they usually were, and an even closer look revealed very small, fine vibrations. I figured it was one of those real small aftershocks that would barely register on the seismic sensors, didn't think much of it, and stepped back and zoned out to finish brushing my teeth.

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Posted In: Chase Recaps

Tagged: Earthquake, Memorable


Oklageddon and the Quakenado

Posted on Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 5:00 PM MST

FORT COBB, OK -- Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms broke out across southwest Oklahoma, netting me my first tornado since March and gave me at least one last chase before the winter sets in. The SPC had been forecasting this event since the end of last week, so I knew the potential was there for all facets of severe weather...hail, damaging wind, and tornadoes.

I had identified two possible target areas on Monday morning. One was along the I-40 corridor near Weatherford, and the other was just to the north and west of the I-44 corridor between Lawton and Chickasha. I was in class most of the day, so I wasn't able to leave Norman until about 2:30 PM. I wanted to get down near Snyder, but that was pretty unfeasable to get down there and see anything before dark. So I opted to play further north, gambling that there would still be discrete supercell producing tornadoes once they got north.

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Posted In: Chase Recaps

Tagged: Tornado, Earthquake, Memorable


Summer Chase Season Finally Starts

Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 5:00 PM MST

KEYSVILLE, FL -- After 5 weeks of nothing but dry weather across South Florida after I got back from Oklahoma, the 2011 Summer Storm Chasing Season finally got underway this afternoon. After careful analysis of the models this morning, I honed in on a target of northeast Manatee County and southeast Hillsborough County. I left the house just before 4 PM, as storms were starting to initiate in eastern Manatee County. My target storm went Severe Thunderstorm Warned as I came off the Skyway, and then the chase was on.

My original plan was to head east on SR-62, just like the Duette chase last year, but quickly changed plans when I got to Parrish and the cell had progressed further north than I thought it was going to, so I headed north on US-301 instead to SR-674. From there, the cell was constantly changing speed, shape, size, and strength, so I did quite a lot of zig-zagging across eastern Hillsborough County to stay on the leading edge of the storm where I could best document it. At the end of the day, I had made all the right decisions, managed to stay ahead of the storm and out of the rain core, and got some great pictures to boot.

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Posted In: Chase Recaps

Tagged: Severe, Thunderstorm


Visit to the Site of the May 10, 2010 Lake Thunderbird Tornado

Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 5:00 PM MST

NORMAN, OK -- On a cold, cloudy Oklahoma morning with no storms forecast, I decided to go see one of the damage sites from the EF4 tornado that hit Lake Thunderbird on May 10, 2010. The marina that suffered a direct hit from the twister (and was destroyed) has been rebuilt and is open for business once again, but tree damage in the area was still very visible. It did feel a little eerie sitting in the exact same spot a violent tornado had crossed. All the trees were still snapped, some completely stripped. Driving down the road, you could definitely see the rotational damage (trees on one end of the damage path snapped one way, at the other end trees snapped the opposite way). Pictures will be posted as soon as I can get them up (may be a few days, minimal internet connection here). I will be at OU tomorrow and Wednesday's forecast looks flat, so chasing is not expected to resume until at least Thursday.

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Posted In: Education

Tagged: Tornado, Outbreak


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