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Entries by Dayna Vettese (28)

First Chase Day - Bust

Well ... it happens, we busted. Everyone in Oklahoma busted! Such is the life of a storm chaser. All the ingredients were there except for the forcing: the necessary lift needed to cause storms to form. We sat in Kingfisher for a long time in 28°C temperature with a humidex of 35. Needless to say we all got a bit of a sunburn. We sat in the parking lot of a Loves for a long time waiting, watching, refreshing radars and nothing ... 

Unfortunately it's graduation time for colleges here in the U.S. so all the hotels in major towns are booked. We wanted to stay further north into Kansas but all the hotels were booked. We managed to get rooms in Blackwell, OK and will be on the road early tomorrow to get to our target area in Kansas. We haven't narrowed down the target just yet but it still looks to be, at this point, western Kansas. 

Scott and Dave also arrived today. We met up with them in Kingfisher after their long drive from New York. It's great to see them again. We also met up with Cloud 9 Tours and George Kourounis later in the evening. So time to get some sleep because we have a very early start tomorrow. Again I will try to post here but if not my Twitter will be updated which can also be seen on my Facebook.

Check out the photos and videos section as I added new media to them both.

First Chase Day of 2011

Good morning! We're currently at the Guest Inn in Norman, Oklahoma looking at the newest models. Brad, the Tornado Whisperer, if dissecting all the information and trying to decide a target for today. The good news is all the targets we're debating between are all within a couple of hours of where we are. Not to mention Norman has highways coming out of the city in every direction which makes it easy for us to get going where we need to. Today looks good for storms. The next couple of days look even better but here's some of the text that the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center is saying about todays storms:

...THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FROM WESTERN OK INTO SOUTHEAST CO...

...CENTRAL/SOUTHERN PLAINS...

...THE SURFACE DRYLINE WILL BECOME WELL-DEFINED OVER WESTERN OK AND PROVIDE  THE PRIMARY FOCUS FOR ISOLATED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM BY LATE AFTERNOON/EARLY EVENING. 

...OPPORTUNITY FOR DISCRETE THUNDERSTORM/SUPERCELL DEVELOPMENT OVER WESTERN OK BETWEEN 23-03Z.  ANY STORM THAT FORMS IN THIS ENVIRONMENT WILL POSE A THREAT FOR VERY LARGE HAIL AND A TORNADO.

Here are some of the images for risks today:

Convective Outlook

Tornado Probability

Hail Probability

So we're probably going to hang around here until about noon then head out probably towards Kingfisher, Oklahoma and then from there, based on surface observations, radars, and satellites, decide where we need to go. We'll also be meeting up with Scott and Dave who were in Joplin, Missouri this morning and are making their way here to chase. Will update when I can throughout the day but it gets difficult to update while chasing. It may be easy to tweet for a while then update tonight.

Oklahoma and Storms

We are in Norman, OK to spend the night. Looks like we could see some active weather tomorrow making it our first chase day. We drove from Eureka, MO to Norman, OK which is close to about 800 km. We're going to get a good sleep tonight because it looks like tomorrow could be a good, long, active day. Based on a quick analysis of the models for the next few days, looks like we'll be getting some good storms. According to models right now, Friday looks like it could be fairly severe.

On another note: been having troubles uploading pictures to this website. Opened up a ticket with the host to see if they know what's going on. In the mean time, for those of you who have me on Facebook, I'll post the pictures there.

Photo gallery has been fixed. Pictures can be seen here on my website or on my Facebook page.

Eureka, Springfield Verizon and Possums

We are currently sitting at a TA just outside Springfield, MO; Mark had to run in and purchase a magnet. This morning after we had breakfast, Mark and I went over to the Verizon store to get the hotspot. At first the guy said, "Yeah, not a problem, let's set you up!" And then he realized that we don't have a social security number. I told him that I called Verizon about 5 different times to confirm that I wouldn't need any of that information but alas, we did. So the nice man at Verizon stayed on the phone with up to about 10 different people. Finally they were able to give us the device and a plan but we had to give them Mark's social insurance number ... Hello identity theft! So we now have the mobile hotspot and it's running in the van. So far it's been working without a snag on everyone's PC's but my Mac had a few issues. Everything seems to be working now so we're all mobile and connected.

We're headed towards Springfield, MO where we'll grab a bite to eat. We'll then continue on to Norman, OK where we'll spend the night. The models have been trending much better for the next few days and by better I mean stormy weather! We'll most likely stay in Norman through the day tomorrow as it has many access routes to highways in all different directions. Our target "zone" is around Norman so we shouldn't have to stray more than a few hours in any direction. We'll reassess the new runs tonight then nowcast throughout the day tomorrow. Looks like tomorrow could be our first chase day!

Thursday it looks like we'll be a bit further north into Kansas. Brad and Mark have been forecasting the whole morning and right now, based on today's models, Greensburg, KS seems to be sitting under the triple point which would be devastating.

For more in depth meteorological discussion, visit Brad's blog.

And what about the possum? Well ... Brad hit a possum last night and it did not look pretty ... poor Brad!

Indiana and Oversized Loads

So we finally left this morning at around 10am and had to stop a couple of places around the GTA. We made it across the border in Detroit at about 3:00pm. We have now made our way into Indiana, through Fort Wayne and stopped in a random town called Huntington. Pretty town and the food was great. We're currently back on the road and making our way south on I-69 headed towards Indianapolis. After Indianapolis we'll be making our way towards St. Louis, MO and hopefully making it to Eureka, MO to spend the night. We'll get going again in the morning and head towards Norman, OK. Of course this last target could change based on updated model runs. Oh - and about the oversized loads - we just quickly passed a house on the interstate ... yes ... a house. Let's just say the only other thing on this trip that will get our hearts going like that will be a tornado!

Will try to update tonight based on how late we get to the hotel. If not, I will try to update in the morning. We're running currently on one internet stick but hope to pick up a Verizon hotspot so we can have wireless mobile internet in the car.