The Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium 2005: March 19

Thanks for posting


Thanks for posting the sticky about The Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium 2005 being held in Lincoln NE on March 19, 2005. I went to that event a few years back and it seems like the event keeps getting bigger and better.

The theme for this year's event is a major interest to everyone both from this area and regionally. Too bad the Hallam storm didn't get the video air time like the Mulvane KS tornado did. At one point, the track of the storm was heading right straight for my hometown, Lincoln NE. Fortunate for Lincoln, it veered right into Hallam, unfortunately. I believe this was one of two F-4 tornadoes that came out of that crazy tornado season of 2004.

I am planning on attending the symposium, taking pictures, taking notes and learning all about storms, structures and how I can get involved in storm spotting and chasing. I'm planning to attend the storm spotter class that they have scheduled during the afternoon of the symposium. I'm hopeful, this will be a springboard for my storm chasing career.

Hope we don't have severe weather that weekend!! See you there!! LJK.
I'm gonna attend as well since I missed the Chasers Convention due to coming down with the Flu.
I think that place is going to be packed. Sounds like quite a bit of interest in it. That and since it is mostly about Hallam and Hallam is so close to Lincoln it will have a big public crowd I'm sure.
I am looking forward to the CPSWS this year. We get to see Tim Samaras' amazing footage again. Just incredible video!

With focus on the Hallam day I anticipate this event to be fairly emotional, at least for me.

Hope to see many of you there!

I along with a few other KU met. students will be attending the symposium. It seems like the information that is going to be presented is going to be very informative and I couldn't pass up another opportunity to see Tim's video. If the symposium is free to attend and within a reasonable driving distance you can expect to see a broke college student there. :D
The Twister Sisters are going to be in attendance!?? Well now I HAVE to go!! :D

Seriously though, the buzz for this event is pretty big around here, so get your auditorium seat early! Looking forward to seeing everyone. Hollingshead may finally be able to put a face to this name, as much as I hounded him off and on last season without our paths ever crossing.

Oh, and for you single chasers out there, I understand Melanie now has two last names, if I'm not mistaken, so don't get any ideas. ;)
I think me and my wife are going to leave here about 6:30ish or so. Have never been to the location before, so I want to give myself time to locate it as well as find a parking space.

We may pop out of the symposium a little early that afternoon and head down to Hallam to get some shots of how things have progressed since we were down there to assist with recovery.

Look forward to seeing everyone there.


Can't wait, it's gonna be a blast. I'm getting off work at 3 PM the Friday before and gonna leave Pittsburg Kansas and drive up there for the night. Looking forward to it! Hope to see some of you there..
Yeah, I read that Saturday morning, too, Mike. Yeeesh.

I hope that doesn't translate to 4000-5000 more curiosity-seekers out on the roads this year.

Seriously, if they get that many people, this may be more trouble attending than its worth. I was hoping to mingle and meet some people from on here.....but how do I find anyone!?

Hollingshead, expect a Paypal invoice from me this week.....I figure I better get my copies before you sell out at the show by 10:30 am!!!

Anyone know if Lincoln East High School can accomodate this big of a crowd?
I would bet that there will not be 4000-5000 people in attendance all day. It bet it will be sporadic and probably will max out at 1000-2000 at one time. Some people might just wanna go from the presentations while others wanna attend for the spotter training. Or atleast I hope that my theory will prove to be true otherwise it's going to be a little crowded.
LOL Damon.

Thanks J.B.! I seriously doubt there will be anything near that number. Only one way to find out I guess.
Still planning on trying to go. Even if it's too crowded inside, there looks to be some interesting stuff outside. I might have to stop by and check out this Extreme Instability Videos, sounds like a bust to me though :wink:

Just got back...

Just got back from spending a full day at the Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium held today in Lincoln NE. It was an interesting day overall and I really enjoyed it. Lots of things to see, lots of people were there.

One thing they lacked was proper planning for larger crowds. They had nearly all of the booths and exhibits in one long narrow hallway. It would have been ok if most of the people that attended stayed in the main auditorium most of the time. At times it got too crowded for people to even move! :( If they had used the basketball gym for the exhibits, it would have been soo much better. :D

I was disappointed that the much-anticipated weather balloon launch was "scrubbed". They determined the potential landing site for the balloon was going to be too close to the Missouri River. Ker-splash!! :shock:

I did see Mike H. down there with his video stuff and I talked to him briefly. Perhaps the highlight of my day at the symposium was meeting the "Twister Sisters". :lol: After buying a DVD video from the girls, I posed for a picture with the girls. That would really make my wife jealous. :oops:

Another highlight was the presentation on Tornado Research - Putting a Data and Video Probe into the path of a Tornado by Tim Samaras from Denver, CO. His explaination of the technical aspects of his probes nearly bored me to death. But the videos he showed afterwards really lit me up and had me sitting on the edge of my seat. One video showed the main core of the tornado passing just within 50 feet of the probe. :shock:

After spending most of the afternoon attending the storm spotting class. ( I had to miss the Twisted Sisters presentation, sorry!), I was tired and ready to head for home. :cry:

I stepped out into the bright sun of a late March afternoon and I commented to a lady walking nearby, "Is it stormy yet?" :lol:

Now I can't wait for the storms to start up!! LJK.
Well finally got to Lincoln about 12:30. The kids and I made it just in time to see Tim’s video. Absolutely fantastic, the footage from Manchester, SD, and northern IA with the probe was just amazing, and this was the 2nd time I saw it! We checked out the displays and the kids picked up lots of free swag and the girls got tornados painted on their faces. There were many residents from Hallam in the crowd and I got to talk with several of them. One man showed me his house on an aerial photo taken a couple of days after the tornado. His house was one of about four in a row in the middle of town that were still standing. I’m sure it was severely damaged though. He told me he tried to drive out of town, but got caught on main street when the grain bins came down and blocked the road. He rode out the remaindered of the tornado in his car sitting on main street, even pointed out the spot he was parked at! He then told me he just moved back into his home two months ago. At this point he got kind of choked up and had to excuse himself. We stayed for the Twister Sisters and they did a great job of toning their presentation down so it could be followed by the general public, which comprised most of the crowd. Both Melanie and Peggy became very emotional when they told about their encounter with a man found on the road after his house was leveled and the ensuing rescue of three others in the house. When they showed their video, several in the crowed were in tears, had to be quite a day for the Hallam residents that were in attendance. All in all it was a great way to spend an afternoon. Also got to talk with Mike H, and saw Mike D and his wife (?), but didn’t get to talk to them.
Was nice to see old friends and meet many new ones at the conference and then later at the dinner. Thanks to Ken Dewey for his hard work - it's an enormous job with so many people interested these days. A task I would not want for sure! This symposium seems to fill a niche that other conferences do not fill in many respects. Looking forward to future years as this conference continues to evolve over time.

Wanted to thank Tim Samarras and Peggy & Melanie for their great presentations. Tim - your video is just on a whole other level, there's no other way to explain it ... there is simply nothing like it. Hope you had a safe trip home - and the Sisters too ... hopefully the snowy icy mess to the north was more forgiving on the way back. Thanks for fighting the elements to come down.

Peggy & Melanie's presentation ... as well as several of the survivor stories ... had the unexpected effect of driving home the human impact of this event with me. A lot of emotions connected with remembering May 22nd last year. It was quite a day.
I don't think I can really add much to the kudos already given to Dr. Dewey and all the participants and presentors at the symposium. Dr. Dewey really seems to pour a lot of himself into making the symposium an enjoyable and informative gathering that appeals to a wide audience and is constantly seeking comments and ways to improve things for the next year. I really believe the CPSWS has the potential to be a signature event and a "don't miss" for chasers, spotters and severe weather enthusiasts from across the Plains.

The symposium really did an excellent job of presenting May 22, 2004 on many levels, from the meteorological aspects of the event to the emotional human drama of the survivors. I think Peggy and Melanie's presentation effectually took all those facets and wrapped them together to really put that whole day in perspective.

Also, to Darin, Travis, Mike P., and J.B. and his wife Lisa; really enjoyed spending some time with you guys over a few drinks and eats and look forward to seeing you guys out on the Plains later.


It was nice meeting quite a few st'rs for the first time as well as locals who seem eager for spring. Nice seeing a few old faces again too. Thanks to Mike P, Darin and Travis for hanging out around the table at points during the day. That hallway was often quite crowded! I can't really comment on much else as that was my only view the whole day. Thanks to Ken Dewey for letting me set up the table.

I was amazed how not-so-nice some people can be. Several times people felt the need to laugh or give me a dirty look when they learned the dvds were not hand outs. Most were quite kind and interested however. I just remember one point fairly early in it thinking, if one more person does that I'm leaving. I sooo wanted to strangle that first guy who laughed outloud as he turned and walked away. Like yes, selling a dvd for $20 is crazier than expecting someone to bring them free for 2,000 people.

Must tell the old man story. This happened late in the day and is when I finally started to look for an escape to get on out and head home. This old man comes over and he just didn't look like a very happy man. I half knew what would happen if he stopped at the table and sure enough he stopped. He picks up the first video and starts to tuck it away with his other stuff. The Omaha Safety Council guy who'd I'd been talking with at the table next to me was watching this and already laughing. I thought to myself, if I tell this guy it isn't free I'll just get to see a similar face or comment like I had a few times earlier. He had a look and way that said he wouldn't just say, "Oh ok" after hearing the news. So I said the heck with it, it isn't worth it and let him proceed to jack my stuff. So he gets to the other video and there it goes too. Then.....he starts to take the video poster on the table! I only had one of those(for each vid) so I had to tell him I couldn't give those out. What does he do? He gets mad! So I just said "Sorry, I have to keep those so people can sort of see what is on the videos." So he gives me this look and pushes it back down and walks off, vids still in hand. It was pretty funny, espeically for the guy next to me watching it.

Thanks also to all the st'rs who bought videos....there were several as well as several who are trying to get on st yet(but not having any luck..hint hint........).
One lady also told me that she saw someone take off with one of Mike's vids too ... hearing this just made me angry. If people cannot respect the time and WORK (and more work, and then some more after that) that go into making a vid like yours, it may just be a matter of explaining and educating them a little bit about what goes into the process. It's not like this is "Uncle Rico's Chase Vid" here (lol - I just made myself laugh at that ... only the Napoleon fans will get it, though). There is a big key to selling that works ... this stuff is VALUABLE ... it has and retains VALUE. It should be billed as ART on the purest level ... People are sold on the fact that in their mind this is something they cannot live without. The ones who bought the video yesterday will NOT be disappointed one single bit at the price. It's worth every penny.
Thanks Mike.

Yeah I wondered if people just figured everything there was(and possibly should be) free. I doubt they were grabbing freebies thinking they were free from the Barns and Noble, Radio Shack, and Twister Sisters tables and any others there. I wonder if they got any dirty looks or comments. The majority were quite kind though.