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Strong storms roll through MD, DC, VA

Strong to severe storms pushed NW to SE across the region this afternoon and early evening, which are now mostly south of the DC area. Didn’t get hit by too much in Germantown, but the lightning was great. Plenty of CGs all around, despite my bad luck of getting good screen captures off of the video I took (I don’t have any filters for taking pictures, so I had to result to video).

I did manage to get one CG shot this afternoon as I sat in light rain behind the main rain cores:

Finally, a storm that I was awake for! Some storms rolled through early this morning, but I was way too gone to get up for them. The last two storms before this morning also had unfortunate timing, so it was a treat to actually get out and catch this storm.

26 May 2011 Storm Chase – Chase log and pictures

Had some fun chasing in southern PA… originally had targeted further east to stay out of the more mountainous terrain, but we worked over to I-81 S from Hagerstown, PA late in the afternoon as cells were getting tornado-warned in MD and WV. We intercepted a cell that ended up producing a tornado about a mile away from us to the NE of Marion, PA, but unfortunately rain obscured our view of the tornado yet again. Prior to the tornado east of I-81, there was also downburst damage west of I-81, which also included an overturned tractor-trailer on the interstate. It was a messy (weather-wise) day, but it was a fun day. We got a glimpse of a loosely-organized funnel cloud, but it didn’t turn out well in my video, so that’s been left out of the captures.

23 May 2011 Storm Chase (Pt. 1 of 2) – Summary and videos

After debating between a PA and southern VA target, Jason and I decided to head south towards the better instability. While several tornadoes were reported in PA, the day was not a disappointment as we caught multiple funnel clouds and a possible tornado on video.

We started the trip stuck in traffic. After heading out from home just after 1:00pm, we got on I-495 and had just gotten on the American Legion Memorial Bridge when traffic halted in front of us. Apparently, there was a serious accident just before the exit to I-395, and the accident basically blocked all of the lanes. We were on the bridge for over an hour until emergency crews re-opened one lane (not even a lane… just on the right-most part of the pavement) and we got through just before the real rush hour traffic hit the southern end of D.C. around 3:00pm. We made good time getting down past Richmond into SE Virginia.

After watching storms initialize in SE Virginia (as we were arriving into the area), we could see more storms popping up along a SW-NE oriented boundary (the short wave?) stretching down into NE North Carolina as the afternoon was coming to a close. We headed into North Carolina and tracked a storm for nearly two hours while it kept up a wall cloud and tried to produce tornadoes here and there. We can’t really know for sure whether or not we got tornadoes on camera since the terrain blocked us from seeing any possible ground circulation, but there were a few times where we thought it was pretty darn close.

I might make a clip video later, but Jason already accomplished that with a lot of similar footage, so I might just be lazy and go for the screen grabs instead. The first video is my continuous footage of the rotating wall cloud and funnel cloud(s)/possible tornado. Jason’s video takes us through most of the exciting part of the chase, with a nice funnel cloud starting around 8:21 on the video (shortly after I stopped filming to get our location to report the funnel cloud). These parts of the chase took place about 2-3 miles WNW of Ahoskie, NC along Rt. 561.

You can skip past the little FBI Copyright Warning screen in the beginning of his video…

Chasecation Day 2 – Finally got some sleep!

As we head into the Wichita, KS area this evening, I’ll take a quick look back at earlier. I plan on posting these in the morning, but yesterday just sucked in terms of sleep, feeling out of it, and just being on the road for 21 hours straight, which kind of made me want to just collapse on my bed and sleep… so I did. After a long night’s sleep, we all got up and lazily prepared for the drive up to Wichita.

Though exhausting, we did see a nice shelf cloud around mid-day yesterday along I-40 in Arkansas just west of Memphis, TN. Here’s a couple of screen grabs from the video I took:

Tomorrow we will meet with Mike Smith, CEO of WeatherData, Inc. for lunch, and we’ll make a quick trip up to Ellinwood, KS for some “heh this town was named after one of my ancestors” things.

April 28, 2011 Chase Pictures

Just the one quick upload for now… will add more to this post as I get through footage. Finishing up the final prep. for the Plains chase!

Got in a tornado-warned cell just SW of Elizabeth City along Rt. 17. It looked like it could be fun, but aside from some vivid lightning and a non-rotating wall cloud it wasn’t much to see.

This one was the last cell of the day for me… I think it was severe-warned but definitely not tornado-warned. I was in a tornado warning in an earlier cell and was in perfect position along Rt. 17, but it didn’t produce. Lots of lightning, and even a double rainbow at the conclusion of the last cell. It was a long 14-hour chase by myself, but it was fun and I had a good day despite the lack of tornadoes.

16 April 2011 Storm Chase (Pt. 1 of 3) – Pictures

A full chase log will be coming later today, and when Jason has his chase log up I’ll post a link to that as well. I’m having FTP issues with the site at the moment, so images are hosted on Photobucket for now.

These pictures were taken at Snow Hill, NC. The hail was about 2 miles NW of the tornado path on Fort Run Rd. near the intersection with Peanut Rd.

The approximate visual tornado path based on the damage. Not to be used for scientific purposes (click to enlarge):