2017 Chase Statistics

Discussion in 'Advanced weather & chasing' started by John Farley, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. John Farley

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    OK, everyone, 2017 is coming to an end, so it's time to post your 2017 chase statistics.

    Here are mine - read 'em and weep, as it was definitely a sub-par year for me. Still some good days, though, and aside from some bonehead decisions on my part, a couple days could have been better than they ended up.

    Severe thunderstorm chase days:11

    Thundersnow chase days: 5 (2 successful)

    Tornadoes seen: 2 definite (but not photogenic), three possible

    Tornado days: 1 definite (May 18), 1 possible (June 25)

    States chased in active chase mode: CO, NM, KS
    States chased through: OK, TX

    Biggest hail on ground: 2" (NM, May 22)
    Biggest hail falling: 1" or slightly larger (NM, May 22 and June 25)

    Most photogenic storm: Near Wagon Mound, NM, June 25.

    Best thundersnow: Tie between May 10 and September 30, both around Wolf Creek Pass, CO.

    Total chase mileage: 4191 (This is for the severe thunderstorm chase days. Another 100-200 in local lightning photography outings and local thundersnow chases.)

    Mishaps: More of those than photogenic tornadoes this year.

    On May 8, nearly got stuck in mud at one point and nearly went off road and narrowly missed a mailbox at another point. See lesson 1 below. On two days, battled gout, to the point of having to drive in a slipper because I could not wear a shoe. And on July 13, somehow managed to lose the cable on my lightning trigger. Fortunately not the trigger or the camera. I now have a spare cable.

    Lessons learned:

    1. If there is a paved road and one that you know will change to unpaved, take the paved one. Even if the unpaved one seems a better route to the storm you are after.

    2. If you ignored #1 and took the unpaved one, keep your eyes on the road more than the storm.

    3. Gout really hurts. Enough to ruin your chase.

    4. Don't make impulsive decisions.

    5. If choosing between several nearby storms, take the one with the best warm, moist inflow.

    6. Even if they don't produce a tornado, New Mexico storms will usually give you something photogenic.

    7. Pay attention to lessons learned in previous years. Several of the ones above are ones I seem to have to re-learn every year.
     
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  2. Devin Pitts

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    Severe thunderstorm chase days:16

    Tornadoes seen: 9 confirmed, possibly 12 total.

    Tornado days: 2/28, 5/20, 6/12, and 6/28.

    States chased in active chase mode: IL, IN, IA, KS, CO, WY, NE, ND

    Most photogenic storm: Near Greensburg, KS on 6/17/17

    Total chase mileage: At least 2000 miles, will probably do the math on it later

    Mishaps:
    On 2/28 in central IL I initially set up at my target of Metamora, IL which was less than 10 miles from where the EF-3 Washburn tornado initially touched down. Prior to that storm initiating, I got baited 30 miles Northwest to some early initiating storms. The storm I got on produced an extremely short lived EF-0 tornado that was on the ground for less than a minute. Rather than dropping back south to the cell that would produce the Washburn tornado, I tried to catch up to the cell that would produce the EF-3 tornado that hit Ottawa, IL. I ended up missing the tornado itself, and arrived at Ottawa minutes after it had hit and dissipated.

    Lessons learned:

    1. Have confidence in your forecast and some patience.

    2. If you're going to chase on a day like 2/28 with rocketship storm speeds, position yourself with some extra space ahead of the storm. You're not going to be able to catch back up, even with an amazing road grid like in central IL.

    3. Dryline storms seem to always find a way to do interesting things with marginal conditions.

    4. Don't completely discount marginal chase days, the best structure I had all year along with a photogenic tornado came from marginal setups.
     
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  3. Jonathan Beeson

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    Severe thunderstorm chase days: 10

    Tornadoes seen: 1 definite (and photogenic) 3 possible

    Tornado days: 1 definite (May 18th) 3 possible (January 22nd, May 19th, May 22nd)

    States chased in active chase mode: AL, GA, KS, OK, TX, NM, TN
    States chased through: KY, IL, MO

    Biggest hail on ground: 2.2" (NM, May 22)
    Biggest hail falling: 1" (OK, May 18; NM, May 22nd)

    Most photogenic storm: NE of Roswell, NM on May 22nd

    Most photogenic tornado: S of Waynoka, OK on May 18th

    Total chase mileage: 10,066.6 (That may be a bad sign)

    Mishaps: During long haul commute, chasing partner had legs up on the dash and shifted the car into neutral by mistake. On January 22nd, got baited down towards the FL coast and completely discounted the Albany, GA supercell which produced a long tracked wedge tornado.

    Lessons Learned:

    1) Don't chase a setup with rising heights and mediocre forcing. Just don't. This wasn't a cap bust this was a bust due to my pure stupidity.

    2) Being from Alabama, LP supercells are a new thing for me to see and had some amazing structure. New Mexico in general is always a good chase option even on marginal days.

    3) Wind farms are very creepy sights late at night

    4) While New Mexico is beautiful, some of the locals out in the rural parts of eastern New Mexico are.. interesting to say the least.

    5) Don't discount a storm just because it's a left split. The Chester-Waynoka supercell was a left split and had one of the most photogenic tornadoes of the year.

    6) WATCH WHAT YOU EAT ON A CHASE. Don't run into a gas station or McDonalds and get crap. Buy healthy snacks at home and take them with you, and pack a lunch. Your digestive system and your watch will thank you later when you're the first on a storm without worrying about having diarrhea.
     
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  4. Shane Adams

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    CHASES: 7
    MILES: 3,167
    AVERAGE CHASE DISTANCE: 452 miles
    TORNADO DAYS: 3
    TORNADOES: 6
    SUCCESS RATIO: 1 in 2.3*
    STATES CHASED: OK,TX

    *career best
     
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  5. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    • Great Plains chase trips: 2
    • Plains chase days: 5
    • Great Plains tornadoes: 6
    • Midwest tornadoes: 3 (February, July and November, all Illinois)
    • Total 2017 tornadoes: 9
    • States covered: 7
    Highlights:

    June 12: Tornadoes in 3 states, 2 close tornadoes, baseball-sized hail:
    http://stormhighway.com/june122017.php

    May 16: McLean tornado:
    http://stormhighway.com/may162017.php

    February 28: Nighttime Illinois EF4
    http://stormhighway.com/feb282017.php

    August 21: Eclipse
    http://stormhighway.com/eclipse2017.php

    Also embarked on my first "earthquake" trip, another of my big earth science interests:
    http://stormhighway.com/san-andreas-fault/
     
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    #5 Dan Robinson, Jan 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  6. James Gustina

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    Chase Days: 5
    Miles: ~2,725
    Tornado Days: 1
    Tornadoes: 3
    Largest Hail: 1.75"
    States Chased In: OK, TX
    Favorite Day: May 18 (West central OK)

    Summary: Had a pretty rough year due to a mix of bad setups and just too much stuff going on outside of chasing. May 18th was really the only day where everything went pretty close to right.

    Biggest Lesson Learned: Keep regional geography in mind and avoid the Cimarron River Valley like the plague. A lot of decent views of the Chester, OK and subsequent tornadoes got ruined by the high buttes in that area. That was almost directly a result of bad navigation on my part.
     
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  7. Michael Snyder

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    Severe thunderstorm chase days: 9

    Tornadoes seen: 5- one photogenic

    Tornado days: 2- June 9, June 12

    States chased in active chase mode: WY, CO, TX, ND, OK, KS
    States chased through: SD

    Biggest hail on ground: 4" (WY, June 12) (Personal record, huge baseballs, many destroyed cars)
    Biggest hail falling: 2" Wyoming June 12

    Most photogenic storm: Lamar Colorado, April 17th (My photo with the supercell and wind-farm got published by NatGeo)

    Total chase mileage: ~5,000 The North Dakota trip inflated these numbers massively

    Mishaps: Making up my mind to chase the south tornado producing cell in OK, in good position and then bailing north into Kansas on May 18th.

    Lessons learned:

    1. Marginal Days in Colorado, Wyoming - Chase them!

    2. Never stop chasing before sunset with supercells around. The light changes quickly, and gloomy looking landscapes can quickly become magical when the sun gets just above the horizon or underneath a supercell shelf cloud.

    3. Make a plan and stick with it, be decisive!

    4. Do what I say, not what I do. :)
     
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  8. Chad M

    Chad M EF0

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    Severe thunderstorm chase days: 11

    Tornadoes seen: 4

    Tornado days: 3

    States chased in active chase mode: OK, TX

    Biggest hail falling: Baseball - managed to escape without losing any glass

    Most photogenic storm: I liked the aftermath of the high risk day in central Oklahoma. The mammatus clouds clouds were eerily colored.

    Total chase mileage: 4,257 total miles
     
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  9. Jacob Hernandez

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    Severe thunderstorm chase days:4

    Tornadoes seen: 3 (two solid stovepipes, and a quick spin up under a wall cloud)

    Tornado days: 2, May 16th and 18th

    States chased: OK, TX

    Most photogenic storm: McLean, TX, May 16th

    Mishaps: May 18th: Got caught between two supercells and my original escape route went from paved to dirt, which was impassable, so I had to turn around and drive through 70+ mph winds and no visibility.


    Lessons learned:

    Patience. Patience. Patience.

    Last year I wanted to be there from the start, so I was under storms as they were developing. Unfortunately, they were developing in clusters and eventually merged around me. Eventually I was able to get out of the rain and wind, but was behind the storms now, and needed to drive a long ways to get back in front of them. I need to make sure to stay ahead of storms so that I can have more options and *let them come to me*
     
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  10. Ethan Schisler

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    Severe thunderstorm chase days: 28

    Tornadoes seen: 29

    Tornado days: 13 (2/28, 3/6, 3/28, 4/5, 4/15, 4/30, 5/10, 5/17, 5/18, 5/23, 6/17, 6/28 (technically lol), 7/10)

    States chased: IL, IN, IA, MO, KS, OK, TX, NM, CO, NE, WI, MI, KY, TN, FL, MS....
    States Driven Thru: Too many to count

    Largest Hail: 2.50" near Seymour, TX on 3/28/2017

    Most photogenic storm: 7/10 near Dunlap, IL

    Most photogenic tornado: N of Abilene, TX (near Avoca?) on 3/28/17

    Total chase mileage: I have this calculated somewhere but no where close, all told including flying, probably over 15,000

    Mishaps: Almost died in June during a chase trip from a life threatening medical condition, ended up staying in the hospital for over a week, missed 6/12....while being in the hospital in Colorado. Elevation and I do not get along anymore, so my days of chasing Colorado/Wyoming are probably limited (no big loss there lol).

    The numbers seem impressive, but most of those tornadoes were bird-farts and only a few days I actually am proud of...those are below

    February 28th: Probably the best chase of the year, I got a fairly up close look at the EF-3 wedge tornado that hit Ottawa and Naplate, IL. Ended up seeing 5 tornadoes that day along I-80 and then blasted south for the Washburn storm which we missed the last tornado on it by probably 10 minutes (doh).

    March 28th: Impressive cyclic supercell in Central Texas produces a few photogenic tornadoes that don't really damage much of anything and a decent road network to get close to them. Probably my favorite chase since 2014 honestly.

    April 15th: Saw an after-dark tornado up by Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Not fully condensed, but had a decent damage path. Structure was top notch though for Eastern Iowa.

    April 30th: Cold core tornado setup in Northeast Missouri. Bagged 2 tornadoes with a low topped supercell near Monroe City, MO. Got an interview and photos published in some local papers after that, was pretty rad. My grandmother passed away a week later and I was happy that this was one of the last things she got to see me achieve, as silly as it sounds to most....she was proud of me and my chasing of storms

    May 10th: Saw a stovepipe from like 8 miles away outside Salem, Iowa and then saw another spin-up further east in Illinois as the storm merged with the line. Structure was neat, tornadoes were kinda lackluster, still was local and on less than 1 tank of gas so no complaints.

    May 17/18: A few tornadoes from Iowa to Kansas on these days. Saw a formidible stovepipe tornado near Riverside, Iowa on May 17th and then raced southwest and saw 3 more tornadoes the next day near Great Bend, KS which were completely un-impressive, but still can't win if you don't play.

    June 28th: I have to explain myself on this one. We technically "bagged" an EF-0 tornado near Vinton, Iowa....but didn't know about it until afterwards as I thought it was just a funnel and they confirmed it to be a tornado. Our car broke down this day and we got robbed. It was an awful chase day that I wish never happened.

    July 10th: Probably my biggest success of the year, 2% setup in Illinois along a warm front. Supercell went up about 20 miles east of home and sat stationary producing numerous tornadoes (I counted 5) northwest of Peoria. Not to mention top notch structure for anywhere, let alone Illinois. Was on about 3 different tornado warned storms this day and then back home in my own bed by 10pm. This is my favorite type of chase day.

    Also "chased" two tropical cyclones as well. Directly chased Hurricane Irma in lower Florida and then the remnants of Harvey as well although didn't see much there. Irma was probably the best weather experience I've ever had in my entire life, topping Pilger and the Blizzard of 2011. To have 140 mph wind gusts for almost an hour straight, is just mind blowing.

    Overall, a fairly decent year, if you look at the numbers, it looks incredible, but take away the bird fart tornadoes and its probably more like 8-12 decent tornadoes and a bunch of count padders, so it is what it is. I chase a lot during the year and I'm thinking this is probably going to be one of my last years of chasing that hard because its taking a toll on my health at age 23 and I'm trying to finish up my bachelors degree which I will be a senior soon.


    Okay I tried embedding images here, but its too late at night and my brain hurts so most of my recent work is online at Flickr on this page......https://www.flickr.com/photos/159302084@N02/page1 Check it out.
     
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  11. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    Chases: 6
    Tornadoes: 2
    Tornado days: 2
    Miles chased: 2120
    States chased: OK, TX
    Best day: May 16

    Season firsts:
    -I didn't chase at all in April.
    -I got my car all bashed up by baseball sized hail on March 26th

    2017 was largely forgettable. Moving on to 2018 hopefully...

    NEXT!
     
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  12. Matt Sellers

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    Chase days: 23, including positioning days

    Tornado days: Four

    Tornadoes: Six

    Miles: 13,548

    States: CO, NM, TX, OK, KS, WY, NE, SD, ND, WI, and drove through MN and a corner of IA

    Largest hail: 2.5", near Carrington, ND, June 9

    Largest tornado: Goshen Co, WY/Sioux Co, NE EF2, June 12

    Favorite chase: Oct 1 in nw KS. Never really had a day where everything went right, seemed like I screwed at least one thing up every time. And I almost dumbarsed myself out of position on Oct 1 but was able to catch up in time to see the brief tornadoes it produced.

    The storm that almost was: Apr 14, got a late start and went due east instead of south (oops.) Big tower forms in Morton Co, KS and appears to be on its way to being the only game for over one hundred miles and I'm right there... but the cap won and the storm fell apart.

    Local oddity: While storms gathered around me near CO-86 in Elbert County on May 8, I see a tornado warning issued for the area near the southern Wet Mountains southwest of Pueblo, within half an hour of home. (WTF!!?) The NWS later confirmed that a tornado did touch down at about 11,100' elevation northwest of Greenhorn Mountain after US Forest Service employees, accessing the area for the first time following the spring snow melt, discovered the swath of downed trees.
     
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  13. Brett Roberts

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    One tornado on March 26, not fully condensed nor photogenic. Never thought I'd have a year this bad unless I moved far away from the Alley and scaled back a ton on chasing. It was IMO simply a bad year for the Plains as a whole, and on top of that, I messed up a couple days and then had to sit out/leave late on several others. Frankly, the only day of the entire spring I missed that really bothers me was June 12 in CO/WY, and that kind of multi-day haul was never a consideration since I'd just started a new job.

    The most striking feature of 2017 for me was its near-total failure to produce good events, despite ample rainfall and ET over the central and southern Plains. It's sad when moisture is in ample supply for the heart of the season, leading to numerous plausibly good days, but they mostly find other failure modes.
     
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  14. Alex Elmore

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    Chase Days: 9

    Miles Traveled: 4,261

    Tornadoes Seen: 2

    Tornado Days: 2 (2/28 and 5/16)

    States Chased In: IN, IL, KS, OK, and TX

    Most Photogenic Storm: The supercell that produced the Elk City, OK tornado on 5/16 prior to it crossing into OK from TX.

    Fun Facts/Lessons Learned:

    -I've had 2 clear-sky busts: One on April 9, 2012...and the other this year on April 9 (Note to self: don't chase on April 9 anymore)

    -I used to scoff at those who only chased or referred to the chase season as being roughly late April - early June. Since I started chasing, work and school dictated when I could and couldn't chase, so when I got the chance to chase, I jumped on it, regardless of season and location. I had more freedom this year to go after any setup I wanted to, but still had the mentality that I had to chase everything I could because I may not be able to go after the next system. This caused me to bust to some degree a lot more than I should have. If a setup is close enough and good enough, I'll still chase regardless of time of year, but I now completely understand that the best bang for your buck is usually the Plains in May.

    -I've been driving for 10 years now and chasing for 6, but had yet to get hail dings and dents on a vehicle...until chasing on 11/5. The hail was only roughly quarter-sized, but I was trying to drive away from most likely bigger stones. I now have some very minor dings on the hood of my car, which is only about a year old, but that's how chasing goes. It definitely could have been worse.

    -While it wasn't a chase, my favorite day photographically speaking was the solar eclipse on August 21. I had a perfect location for viewing and clouds did not interfere. It was unreal.
     
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  15. Ben Holcomb

    Ben Holcomb Digital Janitor
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    Screw 2017

    Storm Chasing Days 24
    Tornado Days: 5
    Tornadoes: 12
    Photogenic Tornadoes: 4
    Busts: 6
    Largest Hail Encountered: 5"
    Highest Wind Gust: 110 MPH
    Miles Driven: 13,739
    Windshields Replaced: 1
    Spotter Network Reports: 24
    Best Chase Day: 5/18
    States: OK, TX, LA, MS, FL, KS, NM, CO, WY, NE
     
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  16. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    If there was a larger size, I would still complain that this wasn't emphasized enough.
     
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  17. Drew T

    Drew T EF4

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    Chase Days: 2
    Tornadoes: 2
    Tornado Days: 1
    States Chased: OK, KS

    Summary: Changed jobs so didn't have much of any opportunities, but I expected that coming into this year. After the last couple of years, I needed time to recover financially. Secondary season kept me from being shut out for the year for tornadoes, and ironically those were my first fall tornadoes.
     
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  18. Warren Faidley

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    Look at the bright side.

    The meteorological odds don't support two really bad years in a row.

    I'm going to Vegas in a few weeks and I'll check in with the major casinos to see what the 2018 chase intercept odds are for 2018. ;)
     
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  19. Jeff House

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    Strange year; I did not attempt a Plains chase trip. Work conference kept me from May 16-18, but it would have been my trip.

    Attempted North Georgia in March - busted.
    Skipped High Risk Dixie in April - knew North Bama was too cool.
    August 31, North Alabama tornado in Harvey remains was a consolation for the May debacle.

    Total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017 is another reason I 'saved it' for August. Ended up driving 30 minutes up the road into Totality, no travel needed. Family joined so it was a truly special day!
     
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  20. Royce Sheibal

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    Was my first year that I didn't chase since I started back in 2004. Between work, non-chasing vacations, and a general terrible season in the central plains, just couldn't do it. On the plus side, the spring exiting La-Nina typically has some solid action for this area, so I've got hope for 2018. 0/0/0.
     
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  21. Jeremy Perez

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    Plains chase days: 7
    Monsoon chase days: 11

    Tornadoes seen: 1 - May 18th - Spinup beneath a funnel—identified later when reviewing video
    Tornado days: 1

    Supercells: 13 (this matters to me—If I get a decent sup, the chase is not a bust)

    Busts: 0 (for the no tornado = bust crowd, then 6 : )

    States chased in active chase mode: AZ, CO, WY, SD, KS, OK, TX
    States chased through: NM, NE
    Total states covered: 10

    Biggest hail: Possibly golf ball — was fleeing & didn’t attempt to measure.

    Most photogenic storm: May 26th — 12 hours of awesome, from Bennet, CO to Wakeeney, KS

    Total chase mileage: 8,100 miles (Plains Trip 1: 3,500 mi. • Plains Trip 2: 3,200 mi. • AZ Monsoon: 1,400 mi.)

    Mishaps:
    Wound up playing sandblast games with a cell moving through Kansas, May 25th. I got several miles onto the farm grid trying to catch up to my storm (dumb), when a southbound gust front slammed me on a north-south road. Dirt road plus dirt fields alternating on either side. It took about 7 minutes crawling along with dirt, sand, husks, and pebbles grinding the car for me to realize that the perfect alignment of screaming wind to endless dirt sources was where glass and paint go to die. If I had jogged 20 or 30 yards onto east/west on a road beside one of the planted fields, I might’ve saved a few dollars. So, my first storm chasing windshield replacement was brought to me by dust, not hail.

    Got myself out of position to the north-northwest of a supercell near Watova, OK, May 27th, and had a left split hop off and catch me by surprise. Fleeing a freshly brewed hail core does not light my fire.

    Lessons learned:
    1. Don’t play with dusty gust fronts on the dirt grid. : P
    2. Broken railroad crossing guards with an inbound HP supercell are a source of peril. If the lights are flashing, arms are down, but no train in sight: don’t wait for the situation to correct itself. Bust a move down to the next grid point & look for a crossing with no arms (& of course no approaching train).
    3. I-70 DCVZ storms don’t produce tornadoes for me. But they are outrageously photogenic & still keepers.
    4. More like “lesson confirmed”: I stink at plucking tornadoes out of moderate/high risk days. I won’t sit it out if it’s in play, but just need to be ready for the aggravation.
    5. Don’t burn all energy stores on the first chasecation day to long-haul it for a marginal setup to “get the ball rolling” while you’re excited. Because the ball will get completely deflated on day 1 and leave you struggling to re-inflate energy & enthusiasm levels 2000 miles later on day 2.
    6. The Tohono O’odham Reservation does not like outsiders with cameras parked alongside their roads. Major bummer, because there are some spectacular monsoon storms and scenery down that way.
    7. Be ready for the icy ravages of a left split if in the dumb spot of winding up north-ish of the storm.

    Two other sky related highlights:
    1. August 21 Total Solar Eclipse. No sight will ever compare to that and I’m brewing ideas for 2024 already.
    2. December 22 Space X Twilight Rocket Launch: So good I can taste it. I’m going to be really irreverent and rate this right up there with tornadoes for wow factor.
     
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  22. Mike Marz

    Mike Marz EF3

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    I don't know exactly how many chase days I had in 2017, but it was a lot. Mostly "local" marathon setups that I either screwed up or that didn't produce anything worthwhile. I do know I only had one trip south of I70 last season and that was 5/18. I had two tornado days (5/18 and 6/12). Those two days totaled 6 tornadoes, 2 and 4 respectively. It was definitely my best year since I began "seriously" chasing in 2014. If my car wasn't totaled with dents before this year, 6/12 definitely took care of that. If there was one important thing that I learned or that was reiterated from 2017, it would be to never ever ever give up on a day. Both of my tornado days started pretty slow and crappy and I was either out of position, or got slowed by hail. But you can always make up for this if you just keep going. A few firsts from last season: first time chasing Wyoming, first time in Wyoming. Also, the Carpenter tornado began in Colorado and then crossed into Wyoming, making it a dual-state tornado, and also my first Colorado tornado and my first Wyoming tornado, at the same time. Also, all of my tornadoes from last season came in PDS watches. Can't wait for the first setup of 2018.
     
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    #22 Mike Marz, Jan 10, 2018
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  23. Todd Lemery

    Supporter

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    It was a rough year. We spent a few largely unproductive days in the Southern plains, including the high risk day in OK where we played a game of chase your tail all day. We Bagged a few brief low contrast/rain wrapped tornados on the other Southern plains days including one that wrapped up and dropped right in front of us. That one immediately turned itself into a mummy (rain wrapped) and disappeared from view, leaving just a damage path to look at. The highlight of that chasecation was some nice baseball size hail.
    I had to get a brake job in the middle of the trip even though I had the brakes done less than a year before. The calipers were dragging which sped up the brake pad destruction for me. On the way home from that trip, the alternator went out too.
    The rest of the year was all North and sucked. Numerous setups were crushed by morning convection and some solid setups that went on to pay off (looking at you Illinois) I couldn’t chase because of schedule conflicts. Somehow I did manage to see four different funnel clouds right in my hometown in Michigan’s upper peninsula though. The year was disappointing, but i’d gladly take any of those disappointing days now that we’re locked into the middle of winter!
     
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  24. Michael Snyder

    Joined:
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    Almost forgot May 26th Colorado...

    Saw what was possibly a quick landspout tornado, and then the storm went on to produce so many gustnadoes that I could not count.
    Decent looking storm... and the 2 supercells to the west of the main show were very nice also. The purple shelf cloud that had the gorgeous yellow orange sunset behind it had me printing it out for my home. I didnt see any other chasers around either, it was nice.

    Back to the main story: On the main supercell I got hit by a gustnado full force in the Dodge Dart rental car that I had, on a slick muddy road while trying to move back west away from the leading supercell. I was driving slowly, calm wind, under leading edge of the shelf cloud and SMACK, it pushed me across the road and had all kinds of straw and branches in it. As it first hit I thought to myself quickly, "why is it windy all of the sudden?" Another chaser I was with has a picture of the gustnado, and I got to watch it move away.

    That was a first..
     
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  25. James Wilson

    Joined:
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    2017 was hard … too many undercutting cold front chases early in the season and nothing photogenic later in the season. I missed Dimmitt and Wyoming so blah

    Chases: 23
    Tornadoes: 12
    Photogenic Tornadoes: 0
    Miles chased: 10,500 Approximate
    States chased: CO, KS, OK, TX, NE, MO and IA (NM, AZ, UT for lightning)
    Windshields Broken: 1
    Best day: May 16
    Top Moment: Girlfriend’s First Tornado

    Lessons Learned:
    I did not really learn any lessons this year I just made a few mistakes that I knew better than doing like …

    Trying to position around a cell in the middle of nowhere Colorado on muddy roads and slipping and sliding around behind the cell. I finally made it on paving and had to go very fast to get back on the cell. Luckily I just got on it as it dropped a tornado about a quarter mile from me.

    Staying on McLean to long and having to haul balls to get on the cell for Elk City.

    Hoping for another 2013/2015/2016 in 2018!
     
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