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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.

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