Sunday, July 24, 2011

Trip 5 "Other"

For me, formal storm chasing has ended for the season (20,000+ mi. since May 1!). Here are some category "miscellaneous" photos taken during CoD's storm chase trip 5. I'll still be blogging during the offseason with cool pictures and videos as they arise, so check back often!
This scene sums up many roads across South and North Dakota this year
Trip 5 participants...great group!
Mean looking rotation near Bowdon, ND
Time to sacrifice!
Burn baby burn!
Moon hanging like a jewel in the sky (somewhere in SD)
My definition of "Dirt Road Anthem"
Dine and Jamie in front of a canola field (Near Medicine Hat, Alberta)
Cloud droplets can look so comfy at times!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

7/16/2011: Bowdon, ND Tornado

After a sacrifice to the weather Gods, trip 5 managed to document a tornado near Bowdon, ND yesterday. This was certainly the highlight of the trip, and I am glad that many good people got to experience their first tornado with us! In the morning/early afternoon, it was uncertain what the exact forcing mechanism was going to be for convective initiation (see afternoon MCD). However, by late afternoon, it became clear that sustained supercells were going to grace our presence. We targeted the first cell showing signs of convective battering near Bismarck, and raced for our morning target of Bismarck to Jamestown. While we were a little "late" to the party, this cell produced a nice stovepipe tornado ~ 5 southeast of Bowdon. We hung with this cell for the remainder of the day, but it couldn't establish more signs of strong low-level rotation (see time lapse). We stuck around to watch lightning for a little while before calling it a night in Fargo. More pictures of the entire trip when I return home...

Time lapse can be found here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

7/9/2011 Bismarck (HP) Bombs

Friday marked the first day chasing with CoD’s trip 5 (last trip of the year for CoD; sort of a last moment decision for me as I have a lot of research going on). We overnighted in a pretty swag Comfort Inn in Black River Falls, WI, before making a long journey to our target of Bismarck, ND. The long haul paid dividends, as we were treated to a meaty HP supercell near Solen, ND. The storm tried to produce a tornado several times before crossing the river, but just could not get circulation to the surface. The rapid vertical motion was rather impressive, just missing a downdraft/clear slot to impinge on the “sucking scud.” Additionally, it appeared that the low and mid-level circulations were not in harmony at times.

If you have ever visited this area, you are probably aware of the limited places available to cross the Missouri River (crossing in Mobridge, SD & Bismarck, ND; none in-between). Thus, we had to let the cell push east as we busted through the rear flank back north to Bismarck. By the time we caught back up to the cell near Lebanon, ND, it surprised us with some more rapid vertical motion and appeared as if we may get our treat just before dark. Unfortunately, things rapidly fell apart and the cell congealed into the quickly eastward moving MCS activity. We are staying in Aberdeen, SD tonight with eyes on southern SD into NE tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Animation of this setting can be found here. (Best chance for tornado occurs near :17 s mark)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

6/25-7/1 Gatlinburg, TN Adventures

It took 25 years, but my first trip to the Smoky Mountains proved to be one for the memory bank. I had the opportunity to hike to the top of Mt. Leconte (elev. 6593'), whitewater raft, and zipline! If that wasn't excitement enough, I took Jenna to Grotto Falls and proposed to her! She was very surprised/excited, and I couldn't be happier. Enjoy the pictures and videos!
Panny view from Cabin
Grotto Falls...She said yes!
Mama black bear is hungry!
Rainbow Falls
Rainbow falls (slow shutter speed)
Matthew and Whitney scale the base of Rainbow Falls
Tony taking in the view from the side of Mt. Leconte
Panny from S side of Mt. Leconte
What a view!

Additionally, here is a day and night timelapse from our deck.