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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Busy Again

I have running since I returned fromChaserCon! Some weather grumblings will come fourth once I can get some real sit-down time. Hope all is well for my regulars and keep checking back often!
When I took the kids to school this morning, it was ZERO...I know spring will be here soon...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Head East Young Man!

We are on are way home! We had a great time. A Special shout out to the Severe Studios team. Kory and Kenny have a great site and a fantastic group of chasers. I highly recommend visiting their site: severestudios

Now on to the task at hand, 17 hours of road in front of us. Wish us luck!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Live Updates from 2008 Chasercon

I will be trying to give semi-live updates from the 2008 National Storm Chasing Convention. With over 250 attendees including some from other countries, this year seems to be the best ever! I have met many people and look foreward to giving you all the best timely updates I can.


8:31 am
Jon Davies is giving his presentation: Chase Forecasting Mistakes and Lessons
jon is speaking about the Greensburg, KS event

Jon is giving some great examples of wx events!

9:07am Mike Umscheid begins his presentation: Forecasting the Greensburg, KS Tornado

Mike was on duty and the forcaster who was working and I think is the one who posted the warnings for KS that day. His presentation is graphic in that the EF5 tornado was the most active and strongest weather day he has seen.
Some quick facts about the "mighty four" KS day

greensburg EF5 was active for 65 minutes, 28 miles ground track, 11 fatalities and caused an estimated 250 million in damage.

10:37 am Tim Marshall begins his presentation: 2007 Chase Cases

Tim is very funny and is presenting details and forecasts from the 2007 season. Tim's insight and engineering background are a great combo, his presentations are always entertaining!

Wilford Brimley reference from Tim gets the crowd laughing

Tim once again has done it! a great presentation... Here is the summary of a what makes a strong chase stategy:

1. Make critical decisions by 2 pm each day. set target area, etc...
2. Sometimes the TA need to be stayed with, sometimes not!
3. Most importantly, Be prepared for the unexpected!

11:28 am Tim Samaras begins his presentation: High Speed Photography of a Naturally Produced Lightning Strike

He is working on a highly technical set-up for the high-speed capture of lightning strikes. He showed a number of images that show this technique. The camera is the highest speed and best resolution camera in the world. His level of understanding of this is fantastic, way beyond what my level of understanding...

1:27 pm Dr. Sandy MacDonald begins his presentation: Ideas for an Operational Short Range Weather Prediction System in 2020

He poses a question for us all: What is the difference between an eye of a Supercell and the eye of a Hurricane?

Anyone know the answer? PM me on you get it right, I'll post your name here.

Sandy spoke about the Phased Array Radar System that is being tested and will be implemented... when I get the link to the project demo site, I'll post it here.

2:09 pm David Hoadley begins his presentaion is titled: On The Way To The Storm

Gave details and the brief history of the area thats makes up the tornado alley area.

Dr. Josh Wurman begins his presentation: Update on Vortex2 project

Four points, Dr. Wurman says VORTEX2 will seek to answer a few questions :
1. Tornadogenesis
2. Near-ground wind field in proximity of a tornado
3. Relationship between storms and the environment
4. Storm scale numerical weather prediction

More Info on the Vortex2

3:30 pm
Roger Hill begins his presentation International Typhoon Chasing

Roger documents his chase of Super Typhoon Krosa

4:07 pm Dr. Howard Bluestein begins his presentation: Highlight from the 2007 Storm Season: The Greensburg, KS Tornado and the MWR-05XP

A picture of the MWR-05XP

Ok, Day 1 presentations are over...Keynotes tonight from Dr. Josh Wurman and Sean Casey-this should be something as both are very dynamic.

I'll post some thoughts tonight after, I hope:)

I hope you have enjoyed my limited ramblings as I was trying to type and listen at the same time. I have enough problems doing each of those by itself!

I have met so many people here... after all having over 250 of the top performers in our field in one spot is quite a convergence! Many conversations, lots of new friends...

Tomorrow, will be just as exciting...stay tuned


8:15 am Mike Umscheid begins his presentation: Digital Photography Techniques

Mike suggests these sites to use as good internet reference sites:;jsessionid=amIVmdNh0fHbUk2aOG

Some tips offered by Mike:

-Use a tripod!
-If shooting storms, use f8 and stay there!
-Shutter speeds should range between 1/2 and 5 seconds

When it gets darker, keep increasing the ISO up to 800. Above that, you will start to get motion blur.

Mike gave some great tips on ow to shoot photos of storms, if you are interested in shooting lightning, consider looking at this site:
It is a device you attach to your camera that helps to trigger the camera when a strike happens.

9:25 am Jon Davies begins his presentation: Forecasting for Non-Supercell Tornados

Jon once again gives a great insight on gustnados, land spouts and QLCS squall line tornado's. Since I live in Indiana, this topic was of great interest.

10:30am David Hoadley begins his presentation: Forecasting Severe Storms from surface

As soon as time permits, I'll give you all some thoughts on the 2008 convention. Thanks to all for their messages and comments.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hello everyone, we are...

Hello everyone, we are blogging from the road tonight. It's 2:00 a.m. on Friday morning. We are on our way to the National Storm Chasing Convention at Denver, Colorado. We are very excited about meeting everyone. We are going to be trying to transmit, I should say broadcast over the web with our YStream, Storm Cam TV Show. So, please check back and see if we have out stream up. Once again, I thank you for visiting the storm cam blog and feel free to leave any comment and we will talk to you soon. listen

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Monday, February 11, 2008

New Equipment

I just received the main dome for our roof controllable camera. This will have a Plexiglas base with mag mounts. I guess it looks kind of dull now, but I will keep you updated on the progress of this.

A remote posting by Jott

Hello everyone, just a reminder that the National Storm Chasing Convention is coming up this weekend. I will be attending and if you have any questions about it or you like to find out what the agenda is, or you're interested in going, please feel free to look at the National Storm Chasing Convention link at the top of my blog. And again, if you are visiting my blog, I do appreciate it and feel free to leave me comments at any time. listen

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

120 miles

From the NWS Little Rock, AR

Damage reports suggest that the tornado was rated at a EF4 with a ground track of 120 miles! It is believed to be one tornado that did this as the NWS field assessment teams noted this from their observations of the continuous lines of destruction.

(graphic from NWS, Little Rock, Arkansas)

The NWS site has more detailed info here

The line of storms were extremely powerful and damaging, this image from the Little Rock, NWS shows the line of storms:

(graphic from NWS, Little Rock, Arkansas)

I watch these storms on my stormlab software, they were very scary indeed. My prayers go out to all who were affected by them.


2008 Storm Season

Well, the season has begun with a unfortunate flair. The southern outbreak was tragic as many people were injured and some lost their lives. Many Chasers, myself included hope that our documenting and assisting in reporting severe weather events can avert this type of damage. The hope is that our reports and sightings will assist the forecasters in some small way of expanding their warning windows for the general public.

As it is especially important this year, and every year at about this time, we as storm chasers start to look at what type of season it may play out to be. For you that read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I am not a trained forecaster nor am I a meteorologist.. I simply use my passion and expertise as a hobby to provide some insight to weather events. with that being said, here is some fine reading concerning the 2008 storm season:

From the International Research for Climate and Society. This shows a number of models combined to predict a increase in severe wx for 2008. If you want to see specifics and details from the report, please visit the their site at:

From the site, if you don't like a wall of words:

"The set of dynamical and statistical model forecasts issued during late December 2007 and early January 2008 are in agreement regarding La Nina conditions over the next couple seasons. The predictions of possible sea surface temperature conditions in the central/eastern equatorial Pacific, begin with moderate to strong La Nina conditions that gradually weaken through the first few months of 2008. The majority of models indicate a return to ENSO-neutral conditions by mid-to-late 2008. At the time of preparing this, the SST observations in the NINO3.4 region are below their average value, with an area-averaged weekly anomaly of -1.7 C. Tropical Pacific oceanic and atmospheric conditions suggest moderate La Nina conditions are likely through early 2008."

And from the Storm Prediction Center:

This chart only goes back to 2005, it also includes the 10 year average. I know its early, but it looks as if we might have another season like 1999. But who knows!

We will see what the 2008 season turns out to be... Our plan is to be out for more chases and miles than ever before for this season. We are trying to refine and gain the experience to better predict our target areas. This winter we are trying out new technology that will help us better to see what we need to see, in addition, we plan on providing live video and data from the field. This is most exciting for us, as we might allow others to start to experience what its like to chase storms.

Wish us luck and keep checking back! Tell others about our blog! If you are so inclined, feel free to subscribe to the RSS feed, I even made a widget for you to add to your site.

Regards, Johnathan Brouwer

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Southern Tornado Outbreak

The link above is a unique perspective from a person who is a chaser that experienced the storms first hand. This posting is taken from

The Chasers name is Heidi Farrar and she lives in Izard Co., Arkansas She gives a unique report along with pictures.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Another Video Test

Here is a stream I'm on the above link to see the stream.

It has an embedded chat window that I will be tweaking later today. This is basically a Shockwave window. Soon I will be adding:

Live Chat
Video tags
Location Banner
Weather Stats

Let me know what you think!

Side Note: Thanks to Mitch Harper for mentioning me in his blog Fort Wayne Observed

Welcome to all visitors from there!

220...221 Whatever it takes...

I am NOT a meteorologist. I am a weather enthusiast. I enjoy the weather, always have. I enjoy weather and all the trimmings! I try to always cite my sources from images and articles. My blog relates mostly to severe weather, however, I post what I feel is relevant and important, so what appears here can vary.

As the weather changes and the winter moves into spring, I will be posting much more frequently, so keep checking back!

Thanks for stopping by!