Thursday, March 29, 2007

Storm Chasing Teaches Patience

Well I made it back from western Kansas in one piece and what an active night it turned out to be. I learned something on my trek across the Sunflower state; storm chasing teaches patience.

I didn't leave Wichita until 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and I arrived at my stopping place, Garden City, at about 4:45 p.m. SatCam 12 has some great tools on board and I was able to do an analysis of the weather setup in Garden City. I waited there for about an hour before deciding to move further west toward Lakin. Now I'm 230 miles from home thinking to myself "I better see something or my co-workers will give me a bunch of grief tomorrow".

I was 15 - 20 miles north of Lakin when I spotted the tornado to my west, near the Hamilton/Greeley county line. That's the one you may have seen live from SatCam, but I have to say, it looked much more impressive in person than through a camera. I followed that storm for almost 2 hours and it did produce other ropelike tornadoes. It was dark by that time, so video from SatCam would not have been impressive. I did have access to Doppler radar from SatCam, so I used that as my guide once the sun had finally set. Chasing at night can be very dangerous and I don't recommend it if you don't have radar available to you.

The storm north of Goodland produced a large tornado, but fortunately no major damage was reported. My night ended at 2 a.m. at the family ranch in southern Ellsworth county.

By the way, dogs make great storm chasing partners. I'll explain why in another posting. Have a great day.


Anonymous said...

So, I understand the need for Storm information that is accurate, 300 miles away is not relevant to us here in Wichita. Excessive interruptions are a bad thing as they drive complacency. Running information during a tv show and then showing the commercials is a really big insult. If it is not local then can it.

Anonymous said...

While it may not be local to you. There are those out there (like me) that live out west and follow the news as well. It would do you some good to think a little more about things outside of the Wichita area and show a little more compassion to those that are going through those tornado warnings. If you'd like entertainment without interuptions watch a movie.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting me in the ditch when your SatCam was in my lane...coming right at me...driving 90 mph! I suppose it was the dogs driving. How about following some traffic laws?

Anonymous said...

How about having some respect for those meterologists that are trying to warn people about tornadoes and violent storms. You wouldn't like some one always complaining about your line of work. Let them do their job and stop whining. Keep up the good work Ross!!

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