8/13-14/04 REPORTS: Charley

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Just wondering why there are no chaser reports in yet
regarding Charley.

Were any chasers stationed near ground zero or did
everyone group in the Tampa area?

I heard some roads were blocked or closed just prior to
the projected path change. Did anyone have a problem with
closed roads or law enforcement?

Mike
 
I heard from my buddy Mike Theiss, he's fine. but his websites are down because server in Orlando, and power down in Orlando. He says he was inside 3-mile wide eye, with 160mph windgusts. car is totalled. Jim Leonard also said to be fine.
as email does not work we correspond with sms text messages which seem to arrive half a day late.

Klipsi
Geneva Switzerland
http://eclipse.span.ch
 
Hello Everyone,

We are home and getting caught up on some sleep after 4 days of chasing first tropical storm Bonnie and then monster Hurricane Charley. Here is a short update and more will follow soon.

We intercepted Charley in downtown Punta Gorda, FL at the county court house just off of SR41. Our lowest pressure reading was 943MB during the eyewall passaged that lasted all of 3 minutes due to the very small eye.

Once we moved into Punta Gorda we all kinda split up and spread out around the town a few blocks from each other. Jim Edds and Mark went on foot about a block over from our location. Chris Collura, Jason Foster, Doug Kiesling, and myself were around the county court house area during much of the peak.

The winds are the strongest I have ever seen and its really hard to explain what we witnessed for over 2 1/2 hours at ground zero. Starting tomorrow I will be uploading some intense video from the chase during the eye.

Here is a little sample of Charley in the Northeast eyewall in Punta Gorda, FL taken by Jim Edds one block over from us.

Windows Media Player:
http://www.extremestorms.com/Charlie%20Cor...nta%20Gorda.wmv

More to come shortly.

Jeff Gammons
http://www.weathervine.com
 
Here is another video clip in Windows format. This is the view during the worst of the backside of the eye. Doug Kiesling left his dash cam running as our winds came around once on the western side.

Very impressive sustained winds in this video and note how the hood of the SUV is ready to come off. Doug was in front of us facing west-southwest at the time of this video.

Video: http://www.lightningboy.net/2004_Hurricane...ey_Eye_Wall.wmv

Still rendering my video and more to come.

Jeff Gammons
http://www.weathervine.com
 
Our lowest pressure reading was 143MB during the eyewall passaged that lasted all of 3 minutes due to the very small eye.

That's some pretty low pressure...lol. Congrats on the catch and sweet first vid. DL'ing second clip now.
 
Reports?

Originally posted by Mike Johnson
Just wondering why there are no chaser reports in yet
regarding Charley.

Were any chasers stationed near ground zero or did
everyone group in the Tampa area?

I heard some roads were blocked or closed just prior to
the projected path change. Did anyone have a problem with
closed roads or law enforcement?

Mike



Mike and everyone, www.lightningboy.com has been updated all weekend with the latest photos and video. I have a ton of video on line in Windows Media Format.


We got some INSANE video from ground zero at Punta Gorda. The BNVN and Weathervine crews (Jeff, Chris, and Jason) in one location where
we found a protective bubble from the storm but were still able to be out in the storm to experience the full force of the strongest part of the eye
wall. Jim Edds and Mark Rackley were a couple of blocks away from us as well and we all just got the video of a life time. Where we were
parked, winds were mesured at 60+ next to where we were but just out side of where we were, I can only say the winds at the peak of the eye
wall were "Light Speed"! Just think of a white out in the middle of winter where you can not see more then 10 feet. The Jeep started bouncing
like it had some 3 wheel tilt and the hood was ready to rip off.

I have several videos as well as photographs up on http://www.lightningboy.com of this whole event including one guy looting gas that Jim and
I caught on film and video. Jeff is currently working on updating http://www.weathervine.com and Jim Edds got some hella insane video that he
posted to http://www.extremestorms.com

As a Lightning and Tornado Chaser being able to come down and chase my first Hurricane and getting into the worst of a Cat 4, all I can say is
chasing a Hurricane is a lot easier then finding a tornado but surviving a hurricane is a hell of a lot harder then surviving a tornado. All of the 2004
tornadoes and damage do not even begin to compare to what we saw here this weekend.


Doug
Back to Deep Lurk Mode
 
"NOAA says windgusts were up to 174mph"

I've not seen that - where was the exact location and what was the source? I went to Tampa Bay's webpage and you'd have NO idea a major hurricane just hit as there's nothing on their home about it!
 
Look in Weather and Chasing

I found the source of the wind speed info you heard about. Look in Weather and Chasing forum and find the Hurricane Charley: Aftermath: Major damage and loss of life. thread. This was posted by Evan Bookbinder.


Both Wes and Doug ended up practically across the street from each other...one at the hospital and one at the court house in Punta Gorda.

This may be true as I've now heard that the hospital's anemometer clocked a 173 mph gust before blowing away. Furthermore, it's interesting to note that Punta Gorda's last observation had a 109 mph wind gust with a SLP of 997.4mb.

Hopes that helps.
 
Again - "I've heard" from someone else... Not that I'm don't believe Evan or that the report is inaccurate - I'm just asking for verifiable reports.
 
hurricane hunters and Charley

I got the opportunity to fly with the hurricane hunter's last Thursday. Let me tell you, IT was a LONG day. We left Keesler around 12:30pm and returned at 12:30 am. 12 hours in the air. We intercepted Charley, south of Cuba. ( THis is only the second year Cuba allows us to fly recon missions over their country!) When we flew through it, it was no worse than any other turbulence you would experience in a regular aircraft on an ordinary summer day. after 5 long hours of exploring the storm, we left and took a break over the Gulf. The pilot told me the storm had strenghtened into a CAT 3 while we were out there. Everybody aboard the plain had let the guard down, because so, far it wasn't too bad! Boy, were we wrong! When we went back through it again, night had fallen. As soon as we hit the eye wall, it felt like we were going to crash! We dropped about a 1000 ft. in about a second. It felt like a ride at disney world! The pilot had to apply double the force (physic's equation E=m x v2) to stay in the air. You could hear the engin's roaring as they struggled to gain altitude. It last for about 30 seconds and then it would stop only to start again! It was increadible! A great experience. I can now say I flew through a CAT 3 storm (CAT 3 at that time)
 
Good thing you picked a day it was still "calm" ;>

"We dropped about a 1000 ft. in about a second."

Are you guessing or was that measured? That would indicate a 700mph downdraft?

"The pilot had to apply double the force (physic's equation E=m x v2) to stay in the air."

Not sure I understand that?
 
TS Charley Funnel and Rope tornado.

I had just returned from shooting video at the oceanfront of Virginia Beach and was inside my home when my wife told me the cloud were moving funny and kind of low to the ground, we were in what was left of the center of Charley. There was a tornado warning for my area but I dismissed it as scud when I went and looked. Once more she called me over to the door to take another look and this time I went outside with the video camera only to take video of what I thought was scud clouds. As I looked on I noticed that these were not scud and that there were funnels in the air and a wall cloud just above my head at my front door. I turned on the video without a tripod which I like to use but did not have time to get it and began videoing the rotation. The wall cloud did drop a couple of ropes but I think the middle one which is in the middle of the video touch down. The link to the video is below..Enjoy

Link here: http://valightning.com/clips/ropenader081404.rmvb


William Coyle
www.valightning.com
 
I live just about 7 blocks outside the heart of Orlando, and roughly 2 miles west of their Executive Airport (the small one). The eye of Charley passed over my place at 9:24 according to my watch. The winds peaked at that time, and then died within the span of a minute. They came back up from the opposite direction 7 minutes later, but the violent winds on the back side of the storm lasted no more than 20 minutes.

Winds at that airport were clocked at 107 according to radio reports here, registering Charley as a category 2 when it passed over Orlando. I checked out the airport myself the following morning, and found about 2/3 of the planes there were on their backs, and just about every tower-like structure bent over in the same direction. This would seem to rule out the damage being tornado-related, but I'm sure flight surveys over the area will make more sense of that than me. Most noteably, a vintage DC-3 had broken its moorings, and slid into another hangar, destroying itself and the hangar's contents in the process. That couldn't have been cheap.

My neighborhood looks like a bomb hit it. Trees on the propperty I live on have fallen on houses on both sides of me (glad I rent!). The trip out of my subdivision that normally takes 5 minutes now takes 20 on account of large oak trees blocking almost every residential street (even 3 days after the fact). My biggest concern right now is the streets. Orlando drivers are some of the worst in the country, and with so many traffic lights out, it is very dangerous out there. You would think people would be more careful, but then you watch them drive straight through lights that are not opperating like they weren't even there. I can't even imagine how bad this problem is in the areas heavily populated by tourists.

We have had two deaths in Orange County attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning due to an impropperly placed generator. I believe that qualifies for "dumbest hurricane-related fatality" so far. A whole lot of people here believed Orlando was too far inland to be struck by a hurricane. At least I won't have to hear that again.

I will post pictures when my power comes back.
 
Originally posted by John Gnuechtel

Winds at that airport were clocked at 107...

Is that knots or mph? Sustained or gust?

I hope you can get everything cleaned up and your power comes back soon! Good luck with everything. Can't wait to see those pictures, too.
 
Originally posted by John Gnuechtel

We have had two deaths in Orange County attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning due to an impropperly placed generator. I believe that qualifies for \"dumbest hurricane-related fatality\" so far.

I think the guy who CNN reported stepping outside to smoke a ciggarette (and thus was killed) wins that award.
 
Originally posted by Jeff Gammons
Hello Everyone,

We are home and getting caught up on some sleep after 4 days of chasing first tropical storm Bonnie and then monster Hurricane Charley. Here is a short update and more will follow soon.

We intercepted Charley in downtown Punta Gorda, FL at the county court house just off of SR41. Our lowest pressure reading was 943MB during the eyewall passaged that lasted all of 3 minutes due to the very small eye.

A question on the 943 mb pressure - was it measured during the calm inside the eye, or during the eyewall winds?

I'll note here that the last pressure measured by the Hurricane Hunters just after the eye crossed Cayo Costa was 941 mb. The chaser pressures from the eye have all been near 943, which is nicely consistent with that.

Jack Beven
[email protected]
 
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