Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Storm Obsessed Story...

I am actively trying to get things in line to get out to the Central Plains this next season, which is a lot of work (being from Northern California and all) trying to meet people... plus the studying.

So anyways, I lived in Oklahoma many many years ago (and have many colorful storm stories from back then) and went from being just curious about severe storms to becoming pretty much completely obsessed. I've been wanting to get myself back to the central plains during the season ever since then but life pretty much got in the way (wife and two kids plus two rock bands, job etc...) so until recently I figured it just wasn't in the cards for me.

Then this year happened...

After several nice violent storms during my vacation in Western PA last August (where I called each storm wayyy before the events took place) I decided I've waited long enough and have started to try making some online fellow severe weather obsessed friends as well as finding an experienced chaser who I can team up with as a helper/spotter/whatever. This has already proved to be an interesting journey so far. Now I'm studying chasing and spotting and cloud developement all the time, (yeah my wife is now a quasi storm widow) and am also looking at taking CPR classes this winter and hopefully upgrade my camera... would love to make the convention in February, but might just save the money so I can do the real deal in the Spring.

Meanwhile my friends and family think I'm losing it... LOL! Yeah, I'm 45 but I know this isn't a mid life crisis. It's been a lifelong obsession!

In short, I think I'll be a good spotter for whoever I team up with eventually. I've always had pretty good instincts about storms. I've always seemed "hooked into" or "connected with" knowing when real severe weather was coming along. The severe storm I experienced at the PA Airport (photos Below) was something I knew was going to happen and it was driving me crazy because I had my camera on me and I just completely absolutely was sure pretty far in advance (maybe up to 4 hrs before or so) from watching the clouds slowly build over the city, that something big was going to happen. I felt like a caged animal as I went to check in baggage for my flight back home... The clouds were telling me a story and nobody I was with were listening... until the storm hit.

I've recently joined and am trying to make inroads in that community and have met a cool storm chaser at who has taken a couple of pretty good pics and says he might work with me if I fly out this year... and so things are looking up. I still need to get some work ahead of me as well with all the studying, saving etc..., but am hopeful that things will work out eventually, if not this season definitely next.

So if any of you out there can pass along any storm chasing information my way I'll gladly accept any advice. All the online resources are currently bookmarkes and I'm going through them one by one.


~ M a t t

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Nice Storm Last August

This is the Storm that recently reawakened me to wanting to chase what I like to call big weather. Last August I was in PA and went through several severe storms (each highly enjoyed) but the best was saved for last. As I was waiting to board my flight back to California a huge supercell with a nicely defined shelf cloud rushed at a fairly high speed directly at the terminals. I got out my point and shoot Nikon and quickly started snapping pix (my wife was not impressed with me leaving her and my two daughters behind... heh heh heh). Here are a few of the photos. I completely, in my excited state of mind, forgot that I could also shoot some video with the camera... Doh!

Lastly, I know that chasing is NOT the movie Twister... besides the evil chasers in black made me laugh. It's simple, I love severe weather and I miss the central plains a ton.