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storm

Chasing Hurricane Sandy

I will be departing for the New Jersey coast Sunday to chase Hurricane Sandy (or “Frankenstorm” if you wish to call it that). I will probably be chasing with Jason Foster either by caravanning or he will be in my car with me. We plan to be out there until Tuesday evening, with time restrictions bringing us home a bit earlier than we’d like. I doubt we will get a live stream going, but if we do I will post the information for it.

As always, my Twitter account (@MADUSWX) will be the best way to see updates from me. We will be up on Spotter Network as well.

Jason’s Twitter name has changed to @stormitecture (Storm-i-TECTURE is replacing his old company name, Weather Warrior Media).

There will be a significant snow event up in the Appalachians, with 1-2+ feet of snow possible, but unfortunately I do not have the time to make a forecast map.

July 26, 2012 Storm Chase Pictures

Solo chase up into southeastern PA turned out alright as I got some shelf cloud pictures and saw some lightning. Probably not worth the 11 hours I spent driving (most of which was trying to find a place with a view), but I did gain some solo chasing experience since this was only my 2nd or 3rd longer chase by myself.

Here’s some stills I pulled off of my GoPro… all from the Lebanon, PA area:

Fredericksburg, VA storm damage

Jason and I originally intended today’s chase to be more local to our homes in Montgomery County, MD, but as storms kept popping up to our south we kept dropping south with them. We initially crossed over into Virginia near Leesburg as a promising storm was moving into the area to our west. As that storm diminished, new storm after new storm would develop nearby and we went after them, but each storm pulsed out just as we approached the main core. Our goal for the day was getting into a hail core, but we only managed to get a couple of rounds of pea-sized hail. Eventually we ended up in the Fredericksburg, VA area and intercepted the storm that passed through there. After the main core diminished, I saw a tweet reporting damage in the Fredericksburg area and we went to investigate it.

Here is a video and a couple of pictures of the storm damage just southwest of Fredericksburg along US 1… I might get some more pictures and video processed later, but most of it has already been covered.

UPDATE:

The NWS at LWX have completed their survey and concluded that a microburst with winds of 80 mph hit the area.

000
NWUS51 KLWX 092131
LSRLWX

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT…CORRECTED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
530 PM EDT MON JUL 09 2012

..TIME… …EVENT… …CITY LOCATION… …LAT.LON…
..DATE… ….MAG…. ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. …SOURCE….
..REMARKS..

0520 PM TSTM WND DMG 3 S FREDERICKSBURG 38.26N 77.49W
07/08/2012 SPOTSYLVANIA VA NWS STORM SURVEY

*** 7 INJ *** A MICROBURST WITH 80 MPH WESTERLY WINDS
TORE THROUGH AN AREA 3 MILES SOUTH OF FREDERICKSBURG. ON
FLEMING ST BETWEEN LAFAYETTE BLVD AND ROUTE 1… A ROOF
WAS TORN OFF A GYM AND THE WALL COLLAPSED. THERE WERE 7
INJURIES IN THE GYM. THE ROOF WAS THROWN ONTO A HOME
NEXT DOOR. A FEW OTHER BUILDINGS IN THE INDUSTRIAL AREA
HAD ROOFING DAMAGE. THE INTENSE BURST OF WIND BLEW INTO
A RESIDENTAL AREA WHERE DOZENS OF TREES WERE SNAPPED OR
UPROOTED. MANY HOMES IN THE SUBDIVISION WERE DAMAGED BY
FALLING TREES.

&&

CORRECTED EVENT TIME…INJURIES…REMARKS…SOURCE

EVENT NUMBER LWX1200867

$$

STRONG

Just going to log some external links at the bottom here…

Sites that have used my media:

Alex Liggitt’s WJLA ABC 7 Blog
WeatherNation (shared on Facebook, Twitter)
Accuweather

Thank you everyone for all of the re-tweets and mentions on Twitter and Facebook!

15 May 2012 Storm Chase – Pictures

UPDATE: Had to postpone processing my video due to getting ready for the chasecation… hopefully I’ll remember to come back to this later.

I will add more screen grabs to this post by Friday (and update this text), but here’s a handful of shots that I’ve gotten so far:

Video and chase log will be up by the end of the weekend!

Mid-Atlantic Discussion – Feb 24, 2012

I can’t believe I haven’t done one of these since August… been too long.

The first real chance for severe weather in the Mid-Atlantic this year has arrived! Tomorrow’s looking increasingly promising for at least some severe wind threat in addition to an isolated tornado or two and maybe some hail. Strong post-frontal winds and brush fires are also risks with this system.

The latest models have been pushing out CAPE values of 500-1000 J/kg in parts of the Mid-Atlantic from DC down to eastern NC tomorrow afternoon, which isn’t much, but for February it’s not too shabby. The low-level jet will also be roaring in southern VA and eastern NC, which strong thunderstorms could mix down to the surface. There is enough directional shear in the low-levels for a tornado threat in southeast VA and eastern NC, which is where I plan to storm chase.

Behind the front, dropping dewpoints and strong winds gusting to 50-60+ mph will bring a risk for brush fires to the region as well, especially in the areas that were north of the recent snowfall from last Sunday.

All of this will be going on during the afternoon and evening hours tomorrow, though winds will remain somewhat gusty going into Saturday.

Here’s the latest forecast from the SPC (click the image for their discussion):

Storm chasing in 2012

Now that we have turned the corner into 2012, it is time to start getting plans ready for my 2012 Chasecation.

This year will be a lot different, as I have a more flexible looking calendar from mid May to mid June to spend two weeks out in the Great Plains. I really wish I could stay out longer, but I have not been able to save up that much time off. Next year I will have more time to play with, and I might consider skipping a year of chasing to stock up enough time off to do longer chases beyond that.

A lot of things culminated together last year to make it a pretty terrible chase, including dry, hot weather and a fairly tight chase schedule. On top of the improved schedule availability, over the last couple of months the southern Plains have gotten a fair amount of wet weather, which should help the overall weather pattern a little heading into the late spring. It would be ideal to see the wet weather continue in the southern Plains as the drought is still widespread despite the recent rain and snow taking a dent out of it.

For equipment, I have decided to invest in a DSLR camera for this trip. My old consumer-level digital camera has broken, and I do not want to use my cellphone as my primary camera. It will be a nice improvement that will bring all of my equipment up to the “prosumer” level. I do prefer shooting video, and I will use my Canon HG10 for that. While a prosumer-level camcorder, I plan on upgrading to a more professional digital camcorder a few years down the road. Other already-acquired equipment I will have available includes my HP laptop, tripod, Garmin nuvi 1450 (as a backup GPS) and a backup 400w power inverter.

For chase partners, I plan on teaming up with Jason Foster and Ian Livingston again this year (same as 2011). Jason has switched out the 2000 Subaru Legacy with a 2000 Jeep Cherokee, and that will be our chase vehicle if he can get it ready for the Plains in time. I will help him prep the vehicle if he requires assistance. If that fails, we will acquire another vehicle for the trip.

On top of being an excellent driver and navigator, Jason will also provide all of the chaser equipment for the trip, including a laptop stand, GPS and road map software, antennas and a signal booster, power inverter and extra plugs and a satellite internet card. He will also have a dashcam and has the capability to do live streaming.

This year is looking a lot better than last year (couldn’t get much worse, am I right?), and I can’t wait for May to get here!

—–

Jason Foster

Web Site: http://www.weatherwarrior.net/
Twitter: @weatherwarrior1

—–

Ian Livingston

Web Site: http://www.ianlivingston.com/
Twitter: @islivingston