my first real chase!

Angel Dimitrov

Hi folks!!!

Today 24 May 2005 was the *first* real storm chase in my life! I'm very excited! My interests on the

topic are since '97 but so far I didn't have chace to chase.

It was a short local chase :) The mileage is about 57 km. My father and me started from Varna (Bulgaria, Europe) and

moved to north on the road to the first big city - Dobrich. We stoped on the road to look at the

developing TCU. On the AM radio we got the first lightning strikes. It was hot and humid - T=27C,

Td=19C. In my car I had dry/wet bulb and psychrometric table to calc the Td:) I have detailed printed

maps on the road network and guess how frustrated I became when we reach close to the end of that

maps while on back I have dark precipitation shaft and lightnings!!! well I have and one normal road map

which cover entire Bulgaria so it was not so bad but on this maps there is only bigger villages and the

small villages are missing... the other bad thing which I found is that some villages doesn't have signs

on front/end side... ha! we moved across one village and we started to wonder what is the name of it.

The funny thing is that my father doesn't expected that we will get storms:)) When we started from

Varna it was sunny with Cu and TCU. I have and compass. This is neat stuff when you are under the

clouds and the sun is not visible. Without this compass I thought that we are looking at north but the

compass said that we are looking 45 Deg on right from North:) so don't forget to take your compass;)

The storms was in *good* low level shear. Forget all those maps that say about no vertical wind shear

for today! There was a good north flow at low level and some eastern flow at mid/high level.

The first storm which we observed was on ESE from us and moved to SW slowly. The TCU was tilted

as I said before again at 45 Deg to W. The next cell was to NE so it was heading directly to us but the

visibility was not so good. Nevertheless behind the low Cu were visible the hard edges of the tops with

Ci from the anvil. My father told me to head directly to the core!!! :))) and he was disappointed when he

found that we are running out from this core:) I was happy when we went to another place NW from this

where the road was dry again. My photo camera had only 10 more shoots so I waited to catch some

better looking scene but nope - the storm started to weaken and we did a U-turn to home... after few

km we stopped for rest. It's so nice to listen your favourite music, to check the printed satellite images

and latest soundings Skew-T, the maps with the sfc observations, to watch the sky! Great adventure!

Now I see the storms on the sat - there is well organized line of storms over NE Bulgaria.

I didn't observed high wind gusts. It was too humid at low levels so the precipitation cannot evaporate

at fast rate to generate strong outflow.

The max winds was before the storms - about 7 m/s and after that it was almost calm with Td 20C.

It was a great day! Now I will analyze in details what happend.

See you later!

Congrats on your first chase...Sounds like your having just about the same luck as some of us plains chasers...Anyways, keep the passion!!

Congratulations on your first chase Angel! Sounds like you very much enjoyed it!
first chases are the most fun, IMO. My first chase was awesome, and was also a horrible, horrible bust.