Monday, May 23, 2011

Streak over

I began editing a couple photos from yesterday's chase in eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, but quit because I realized they were all pretty sad. Then, I began compiling a short video of the hail and downbursts we intercepted near the Quad Cities but then quickly exited the program without saving. Such is my 2011 storm observing season.

It was easy for me to feel down when going to bed last night. If any day was going to net me a tornado, it would be May 22nd. I had literally never not seen a tornado when I chased on this exact date. I went to lie down in bed exhausted, a little more broke, and already in mid May, convinced I won't see a tornado this spring. Then I watched this video from Joplin, Missouri that was filmed while I was feeling bad for myself watching garbage storms further north.

That video is absolutely horrific. I haven't been able to sleep for the last two days for reasons beyond me, and exhausted as I was hitting the bed last night I still couldn't sleep for the early morning hours after watching that video. The 2011 severe weather season has been an incredible eye opener to the destruction that is possible when the powerful storms myself and others enjoy observing in the spring and summer interact with dense population regions. I have yet to witness a killer tornado, and hope to remain that way. Several of the tornadoes I have seen over the last few years certainly had the potential to be accompanied by fatalities, but they all managed to avoid dense population centers thankfully.

It's easy to feel down on yourself when you envision something panning out a certain way, sink a large sum of money and energy into it only to have things come up short. However, when that ultimate goal is to witness the weather in one of its most destructive and potentially fatal forms it really becomes hard to be upset. While I may have spent a handful of dollar bills yesterday and come away with little in the way of pretty pictures or video, that very fact may be the reason that no one died in my home state yesterday as a result of the weather. Not the direct fact that Andrew Pritchard did not capture any powerful photos, but at the very moment I find my adrenaline pumping as I film a powerful tornado producing supercell, lives are being threatened.

I'm not sure how much I will be out over the next week. I have invitations to chase Oklahoma tomorrow, but may turn them down as I honestly need to focus on building up my budget before I don't have money to do squat in July. There is also a tornado threat in the backyard on Wednesday, but that's highly conditional.

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