Some off-season questions:

1. Have you ever had a "busman's holiday" chase? I know most of you never vacation anyplace other than the Alley from April to October, but for those who do...you ever been at a family reunion, for example, and the weather pops and everyone wants you to play Jim Cantore? "Uncle Amos! Will you go show us a tornado?"-type stuff?

2. Have you ever chased west of your house, and chased something that wound up heading back towards home? At what point did you start thinking "oh $h.."?

3. What's the *earliest* you've ever chased. Haven't had any early morning TORs lately, but I have seen on some databases a small blip in the occurance bell-curve climatologically between 6-10 AM.

4. What's the farthest esat you Alley guys have gone on an organized, planned for 2+days in advance chase?
 
1. Have you ever had a "busman's holiday" chase? I know most of you never vacation anyplace other than the Alley from April to October, but for those who do...you ever been at a family reunion, for example, and the weather pops and everyone wants you to play Jim Cantore? "Uncle Amos! Will you go show us a tornado?"-type stuff?

One of my hopes has been to get a chase in while visiting family in CA - one reason I'm planning on visiting there late next month (Feb/Mar is the best time to see severe weather there). Haven't seen any real chaseable weather anyplace I've been on a non-chase vacation though.

2. Have you ever chased west of your house, and chased something that wound up heading back towards home? At what point did you start thinking "oh $h.."?

This is pretty routine with storms that evolve into a squall line or MCS. The only time that's really happened so far with a supercell was during the 10/9/2001 outbreak....fortunately the supercells were no longer tornadic once they moved into the OKC area.

3. What's the *earliest* you've ever chased. Haven't had any early morning TORs lately, but I have seen on some databases a small blip in the occurance bell-curve climatologically between 6-10 AM.

On 5/17/2001 I chased some large hail producing cells south of Wichita between about 1:30 and 2:30pm. Two days later we entertained the idea of chasing some tornado warned storms in the northeast TX panhandle around 10:30am, but opted to blow that off for a later show further south.

4. What's the farthest esat you Alley guys have gone on an organized, planned for 2+days in advance chase?

For tornadoes - Illinois. For hurricanes - Alabama.
 
1. Have you ever had a "busman's holiday" chase? I know most of you never vacation anyplace other than the Alley from April to October, but for those who do...you ever been at a family reunion, for example, and the weather pops and everyone wants you to play Jim Cantore? "Uncle Amos! Will you go show us a tornado?"-type stuff??

Nope. My family is about as indifferent about weather in general as they are my passion for chasing. Of course with a very small family that will only dwindle from here (me nor my brother seem likely candidates for parenthood), we don't really have family reunions. Unless you count each time I go to visit for the Holidays.


2. Have you ever chased west of your house, and chased something that wound up heading back towards home? At what point did you start thinking "oh $h.."???

The closest I ever came to this was May 3, 1999. When it first developed, it appeared that the OKC F5 would head to Norman instead of Moore; I was making frantic phone calls to the bar where I worked because almost everyone I knew at that time was there. I never really feared for my own apartment, although once we realized it would miss Norman, my then-chase partner/roommate made the crack "at least our house was spared."


3. What's the *earliest* you've ever chased. Haven't had any early morning TORs lately, but I have seen on some databases a small blip in the occurance bell-curve climatologically between 6-10 AM...

Earliest I've left for a chase was 1am that morning, but we didn't reach our target until around noon. Earliest I've seen a tornado is 2:59pm CST.


4. What's the farthest esat you Alley guys have gone on an organized, planned for 2+days in advance chase?

Indiana on October 24, 2001. But I planned the chase in the chatroom late the night before; I left solo at 2am.
 
2. Have you ever chased west of your house, and chased something that wound up heading back towards home? At what point did you start thinking "oh $h.."?

More times then I can remember...

Don't have much of a choice, do ya Nick? LOL :lol:

I have often tried to chase storms around our area, but then get bummed out once I hit lake St. Claire
 
1. Have you ever had a "busman's holiday" chase? I know most of you never vacation anyplace other than the Alley from April to October, but for those who do...you ever been at a family reunion, for example, and the weather pops and everyone wants you to play Jim Cantore? "Uncle Amos! Will you go show us a tornado?"-type stuff?

No, but last year, I got together with some high school friends of mine in Texas and hit the bars. My truck was still battered from the June 1 hailstorm I have mentioned a few times. On the way home, one of my buddy's wives started quoting the section on hail safety from TimV's Chaser Handbook which had been lodged in the map holder in the backseat. Ouch! LOL.

2. Have you ever chased west of your house, and chased something that wound up heading back towards home? At what point did you start thinking "oh $h.."?

When I lived in Denton, many storms fired on the dryline in west Texas and we 'backwards-chased' them all the way home, though by the time they reached the metroplex, they had usually gone linear. But often we would stop at the western county line and "make our stand," checking into the Denton County Skywarn and letting the storm pass overhead.

3. What's the *earliest* you've ever chased. Haven't had any early morning TORs lately, but I have seen on some databases a small blip in the occurance bell-curve climatologically between 6-10 AM.

I think I've been on a severe storm as early as 10:00 AM, but they don't add up to much. Usually just a good sign for later that day if you can keep them isolated and not contaminate the boundary layer.
4. What's the farthest esat you Alley guys have gone on an organized, planned for 2+days in advance chase?
Central Iowa or Missouri. I've chased as far east as west central Ohio in November 2002, but that was sort of impromptu as I was near Columbus visiting friends.
 
I have chased flooding from a tropical storm, only to cut short the chase to plug leaking windows and drains at my house.

Bill Hark
 
1. Have you ever had a "busman's holiday" chase? I know most of you never vacation anyplace other than the Alley from April to October, but for those who do...you ever been at a family reunion, for example, and the weather pops and everyone wants you to play Jim Cantore? "Uncle Amos! Will you go show us a tornado?"-type stuff?

I can't say that I have. I went down to Corpus Christi, Texas for Spring Break in 2000. A buddy of mine and I road tripped from Denver to there to enjoy a few days on the beach. We ended up chasing a severe warned cell that flooded many streets in Corpus. Outside of that, never have I chased on a vacation not meant for chasing. I do, however, bring my handhelds if I take a trip during the chase season. Normally, though, I don't typically take "real" vacations in chase season unless its an emergency of some sorts (funerals, etc).

2. Have you ever chased west of your house, and chased something that wound up heading back towards home? At what point did you start thinking "oh $h.."?

West of my house are foothills to the Rockies. Simple answer to that, nope. I've chased storms close by (sometimes going a mile or two west); including a nice tornado-warned LP supercell that came off the foothills back in August 2002. Most storms won't produce tornadoes very close to the foothills, but if they roll off the foothills in the right geographical areas, the winds will feed into this storm just right to give it some incredible low-level sheer and they will spin like tops for a bit til they move out of those wind-prone areas. Normally, you won't see them tornado this far west. That August storm did pass over my house at that time, and I guess I probably uttered oh $h*t a few times.

3. What's the *earliest* you've ever chased. Haven't had any early morning TORs lately, but I have seen on some databases a small blip in the occurance bell-curve climatologically between 6-10 AM.

Blake Naftel and I were hearing tornado warnings from a squall line in Texas on May 13 of 2004. We didn't see any tornadoes that day, but were on the road before noon and storms were already going. As for earliest leaving, I've left at 4am from Denver to make a target that same day. Lately, especially last season, I usually took a couple hundred miles off the trip the night before and sleep in the backseat til 6a or 7a the next morning.

4. What's the farthest esat you Alley guys have gone on an organized, planned for 2+days in advance chase?

Iowa a couple times this year. I'm hoping to pull a cross-country chase some day, where I chase the Central Plains on Day 1, then the midwest on Day 2. I would love (one of my life-long chase goals) to chase cross-country starting from Denver and end up in/near my hometown of Circleville, Ohio.
 
3. What's the *earliest* you've ever chased. Haven't had any early morning TORs lately, but I have seen on some databases a small blip in the occurance bell-curve climatologically between 6-10 AM.

Not really a chase but none the less early and very interesting. 5-31-98 derecho that hit around daybreak. 80mph wind gusts. First and only time so far i have seen the railroad crossing gates in town bent to the ground from severe storm winds, and we have had 70mph gusts after that event.
 
1. Have you ever had a "busman's holiday" chase? I know most of you never vacation anyplace other than the Alley from April to October, but for those who do...you ever been at a family reunion, for example, and the weather pops and everyone wants you to play Jim Cantore? "Uncle Amos! Will you go show us a tornado?"-type stuff?

Nope

2. Have you ever chased west of your house, and chased something that wound up heading back towards home? At what point did you start thinking "oh $h.."?

I wish. I have never chased west of my house. There are rarely tornadoes west of my house. In fact there has never been a tornado in my entire county. :cry:

3. What's the *earliest* you've ever chased. Haven't had any early morning TORs lately, but I have seen on some databases a small blip in the occurance bell-curve climatologically between 6-10 AM.

The earliest I have ever chased a storm is about 2 or 3 pm.

4. What's the farthest esat you Alley guys have gone on an organized, planned for 2+days in advance chase?

For chasing tornadoes I have gone as far east as eastern Iowa. For hurricanes I have gone as far east as Tampa Florida. Unfortunately this was for Hurricane Charley. We went to the wrong place and got nothing. The furthest east I have gone on a successful hurricane chase was Pensacola, Florida for hurricane Ivan.

This is making me miss the summer. I hate winter! :D
 
Answers:

1. I was visiting my sister in Denver last year and in the middle of a nap when she woke me up and said "Lisa, I don't know if you care or not but there's a tornado 20 miles south of here." I caught the storm as it moved NE.

2. Nothing heads toward St. Louis

3. Don't know

4. Indiana
 
Originally posted by Damon Scott Hynes
3. What's the *earliest* you've ever chased. Haven't had any early morning TORs lately, but I have seen on some databases a small blip in the occurance bell-curve climatologically between 6-10 AM.

I haven't chased in the classic sense (I'll admit I'm a wannabe) but I've had a couple of interesting experiences while spotting. One came on the morning of May 4, 1999. I was up til 3 AM that morning because of the tornado that hit the Tulsa area, so I took the day off to rest up. The sound of thunder woke me up about 9:30. The county EOC had a handful of spotters out, and I knew I couldn't rest with stroms rolling through, so, I "activated" myself. I eventually took a postion half a mile south of the OK 66 & 117 junction. After the gust front blew through, a classic wall cloud passed to the north of me. Considering the damage that coud have occured from the tronado the night before, and the potential from this storm, Tulsa dodged two big bullets!
 
Since I work as a meteorologist, I always have folks wanting to ride along to see a storm or two. So last year, I did my first "chase tour" as everyone chipped in for a rental van, and we had a multi-tornado day on 5/29.

And as far as location, I don't chase east of Tulsa, and prefer not to chase east of I-35....GF
 
2. Have you ever chased west of your house, and chased something that wound up heading back towards home? At what point did you start thinking \"oh $h..\"?
I cannot chase too far west, 35 miles away is Lake Michigan.
Oh the stories, I have about that lake and storms.

Lake Michigan:.
[Broken External Image]:http://mgweather.com/lakemichigan7.jpg[Broken External Image]:http://mgweather.com/lakemichigan11.jpg
[Broken External Image]:http://mgweather.com/lakemichigan17.jpg[Broken External Image]:http://mgweather.com/lakemichigan5.jpg
Mike
 
The earliest chase I've ever done was several years ago when I worked for KFDI. It was the earliest in the year, as well as the earliest in the day. I don't rember the exact date, but it was sometime in mid-January, and we "chased" storms across the county (if you can call it that when the storms are moving at 70 mph) for a whopping 45 minutes, at about 1 or 2 am!

It wasn't the earliest in the year I've experienced a storm -- that came in Jackson, MS, in early January of either 1995 or 96. It's also the closest I've been missed by a funnel, which skimmed the treetops over our head as we huddled under the staircase in our apartment. Actually felt the pressure dip as it passed over. Two blocks east of us, it came the closest to the ground of anywhere in its path -- about 45 feet, tearing the tops off some trees for about three blocks.

Okay, so that was in the South...and I wasn't chasing...is that cheating? :roll: (Seeing as how peak tornado months in MS are Dec and Jan)

And, of course, there are all the times at KFDI we started chasing in the early evening and chased repeatedly until the early morning hours...I think my longest continuous coverage of severe WX (including flooding) was about 10 hours, and included three (or maybe it was four) separate storm systems crossing the area, one entering the western edge of the listening area as another exited the eastern edge...which is about a 70-100 mile drive, depending on cell phone and 2-way radio coverage at any given moment...I think that night I drove somwhere between 350 and 450 miles, without ever venturing more than 35 miles from my front door.
 
3. What's the *earliest* you've ever chased. Haven't had any early morning TORs lately, but I have seen on some databases a small blip in the occurance bell-curve climatologically between 6-10 AM.

That's a really interesting and thought-provoking question. It's extremely rare that I've been on a storm before 1 pm. The earliest I would say is 9 am.... that was I think in March 1988 with a cold core low drifting just north of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. A friend and I drove up to McKinney to investigate. By the time we got out there, there was nothing more than virga left!

Approaching that question from the other end, the latest chase tends to be whenever I get weary of the night lightning (by then I've usually broken off some distance from the storm to see it better). Under the updraft, probably 10 or 11 pm on the 5/3/99 storms; away from the updraft, perhaps 2 am on an interesting squall line chase in west Texas mid-April 1988. Gene Rhoden and I were on that one, and we finally got back home to Dallas at 5:30 am.

Of course hurricane chasers, by contrast, are out there on a marathon all-day all-night chase.

Tim
 
I was visiting my brother in Albany, GA. Christmas of 2002. On Christmas Eve, we were woken up at 8:30 in the morning by the weather radio alarm. We were under a tornado warning, there were reports of tornadoes headed our way. I ran down stairs and looked out the front window. There was a very low cloud deck and I couldn’t see much detail. Suddenly their tall pine trees started bending over horizontally and the potted plants on the front porch blew away. I yelled for everybody to get in the closet (Their safest place in the house) I kept a lookout, but it was all over within a minute. The power went out, but I was able to get online and view the radar for a short time on a laptop before the battery died. There were already 20 tornado reports. I went out looking for damage with my sister-in-law. I didn’t see any evidence of any tornadoes. The most damage was the house across the street from my brothers house with 5 pine trees snapped off about 10 feet up. I wound up being the local “weather expertâ€￾ with all the friends that we visited on Christmas, explaining what happened. It was a nice pre-Christmas present for me.
 
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