Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another Pointless Low Cape Chase Forecast

I know some a pretty in to the 4km simulated radar output, so I figured it's worth mentioning it seems pretty keyed up about tomorrow. Forecasting supercells along the warm front in northern Missouri and potentially western Illinois, along with potential tornado producers along the cold front from Chillicothe, MO southward into northern Arkansas.

This seems fairly in line with what I was predicting earlier in this thread. Not sure how realistic the scenario is, as it still goes largely against the NAM and GFS solutions which are very against producing any sizable cape aside from the jungles over southern Missouri and Arkansas.

Springfield, Missouri looks to be in the line of fire once again. I'd look to this area along north-south Highway 65 in central and southern Missouri to be potentially under the gun tomorrow from 3-6 PM. Earlier in the day, I still would not rule out a few tornado warnings / reports along the warm front in northern / northeast Missouri, near Kirksville and then potentially even into portions of western Illinois. That second area is a really big *if* right now, and will require very close monitoring of real time data once tomorrow rolls around.

Here's a crude image to go along with my thoughts. Making these always seems to jinx my forecast, but here goes.

Everything looking down!

Looking at the NAM and GFS forecasts for tomorrow, things look absolutely done for.

I'll continue to watch this system however, as the dynamics themselves warrant it. Large amounts of early morning convection are the culprit for putting a damper on the tornado chances with this system in the northern sector. Our biggest hope, is that this is being slightly over forecast, and that with the rapid deepening of the cyclone most of the early waa precipitation is quickly lifted northeastward out of the potential target area.

If this scenario is realized, I think northern Missouri would warrant some attention. Just ahead of the surface low and near the warm front, low-level shear profiles would lend themselves towards updraft rotation. Should early day convection be lifted out of the area soon enough, and some insolation can occur a broken line of supercells across northern Missouri southward does not seem unreasonable. The Chillicothe, Missouri area would not be a bad place to be in this scenario.

Just hard to accept a 500mb prog like this would go to waste.

Of course, this is hoping for a lot and going largely against what model data is showing. I think it warrants careful observation through tomorrow morning, however.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I have been served.

Another flame war broke out on Stormtrack yesterday evening. I decided to jump into this one, mainly because it was a slow, dreary, blustery Monday afternoon. Mid-war, I was served.

I really lost interest in the flame-war quickly though. However, I saw several involved calling for blood even as night fell. I find these events to be hilarious, personally. Getting so worked up over trivial things, I just love sitting back and throwing in minor attacks. I guess it's the immature child in me acting out, and apologize for the trouble it causes the admins at ST, but I always have and always will love a good flame war on that forum. There is nothing like it to get you through the off-season.

I guess it's just a big reason why I hate other storm chasers. I associate with a very small group who I've grown to know and trust through the years. Those people know who they are, of course. Just seems most out there love to talk big talk, but then get offended and play the victim when the feathers they were ruffling strike back. But seriously, talking "big talk", about storm chasing. Really? Of all the things to talk big about, storm chasing to me just seems hilarious. I'm sure there are other nerds out there, like volcanologists, talking smack to each other threatening to "throw down" on top of the next active volcano. Or geologists telling other geologists they better not show up to that next big dig or they're going to get pummeled. Meh. Perhaps I'm an asshole, but this whining is why I don't really care for chaser networking, and even have a lot of the "chasers" out there "Hidden" on that big social networking site that EVERYONE is a chaser on.

I've written a lot about a topic that I don't care that much about. I'll run off for now and contemplate more meaningful things, such as why storm chasing in Iowa on Thursday would be a bad idea.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Severe Midweek?

Probably not, and I've been trying to ignore it as best I can. Thursday has my attention purely based on the dynamics of the system. It appears, as is per usual with early spring and fall setups that we'll be dealing with little, if any instability. The prime target looks like it will be located in the state of Iowa, to make situations worse.

The only area of interest that I see right now, is where ever the low ends up. If you can get a narrow tongue of instability to feed in there, I have a hard time believing supercells would not be likely given the wind fields. That instability existing is however, pretty unlikely. That potential "best area" is also hugging a major river valley. I'll watch southwest Iowa for now, I suppose.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Links Section

I finally got around the the five minute process of adding a link section on the blog. I'm going to keep the links section on here to blog content only for now. If you've got a weather blog, and I halfway know who you are and want to swap links let me know. I've already added a few people who I have corresponded with in some way or another and could think of their blogs off the top of my head.

The gnat problem is expanding exponentially here in DeKalb as well now. What is going on??

Monday, September 21, 2009

I take it back...

Whatever I said last week about this weather being boring, I take it back. I can't get enough of this beautiful weather and perfect temperatures. Three weeks straight of high temperatures around 75, with crystal clear nights with temperatures hovering in the 50s. I was driving back to DeKalb from Champaign last night around midnight with the all the windows down, in a foggy 60 degree night and wondered how much better that could get. Yeah, I could be driving home after bagging a tornado with a lightning illuminated drive home with a Day 2 moderate risk on tap for the following day... but let's be real. In mere weeks and months, I'll be fighting sideways falling snow and face burning cold temperatures so for now, I don't want to change a thing.

The severe weather prospects for this fall still look like a snooze-fest. At least the coming weeks. That big cut off low will just continue to churn away for a few days before finally pushing out at the end of the week. One could hope for a thunder chance once it pushes through around Friday and Saturday, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. I'd love to get in another chase or two or three before the snow starts falling, but for now I'll eat this beautiful weather up.

I'm still watching my Cubs. The playoffs are all but mathematically impossible now, so that's not my motivation. Along with the weather, I'll watch these last few games just because I know how much I'm going to miss this once it's gone. I love college football and basketball, but there is just nothing like a 162 game season of Chicago Cubs baseball. The only thing that comes close to that for me is the March Madness period of the NCAA Basketball season. That's just a kick off party for baseball and storm chasing season, anyway!

Also, what's with the gnat issue in central Illinois. Things are just starting to settle in here in DeKalb, but they've got an all out plague down closer to Interstate 74. Champaign, IL is in a constant swarm of the little pests. I'm heading back down that way on Wednesday, so I'll try and get a little photo or video evidence of the issue. When you get the right angle with the sun, it looks like it's snowing fairly heavily. Forget about riding your bike or anything outside or they'll be plastered to every forward facing portion of your body.

Cubs lead 7-0 on back to back home runs, and on that note I'm off.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another slow fall evening

I wonder, could this weather pattern get any more dull? Three weeks ago I was complaining about the steady rainfall that we saw the final week of August and how the only thing I wanted was to see the sun again. Well, I don't think the sun has stopped shining since that day. I guess I'm not complaining. The weather -has- been beautiful after all. In January I'd probably smack myself for whining about a weather pattern that brought nothing but clear skies, highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid 50s. A little something to look at would be nice, though.

Sitting here watching another Cubs game (no, I have not given up hope yet.) and doing a little updating on the main site. There's not a lot to update, but there's always something that's behind. I finally switched the "Vehicle" page over to the new Mazda. The car is turning out to be a real find, as of now. I loved the Stratus R/T, but things probably could not have worked out better from where they stood in late June of this year. I guess after the shit storm that this chasing season turned out to be, finding a new car to fall in love with and starting classes back up was just what the doctor ordered.

It's getting to the point where I start thinking DVD. I was thinking about just not doing one this year. But, I would probably just start making one anyway because I love putting them together too much. I didn't see any highly visible tornadoes this year, but I did have enough cool storm intercepts to make a few interesting segments and perhaps time lapses. That coupled with a good 2008 should make enough for me to allow myself to put out another in the PWX 20XX series. I don't see any reason to look forward to an active fall right now, but I will hold off on making the DVD just in case until my usual November release time frame.

Wisconsin was nice last weekend. The weather was beautiful, which made up for a chilly lake. The water temperature was still in the low 70s, so I spent plenty of time in there. Scott Weberpal and his girlfriend Kelly came up for the day on Saturday to check the place out. We spent the evening at a local bar / grill that sits on a neighboring lake and watched the Wisconsin vs. NIU football game before coming back to enjoy a nice fire.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The house.

Well, I've been living here in DeKalb for several weeks now, but never really felt compelled to post anything about the house I'm in. I'm pretty bored at the moment on a Friday afternoon, waiting on Tia to head up here so I went around and took a few photos.

Here's the outside of our place...

And then a couple shots of my room. It's somewhat bare right now, but is fully functioning!

The Cubs are always on...

Where I'll be emptying my bladder in about 5 minutes:

The livingroom:


Couple shots of the kitchen:

Our little backyard patio / eating area. Okay, so the yard is not a patio... but we do have one behind where I'm standing, and we'd moved the patio under the tree to eat dinner the other night.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

ISS / Discovery Flyover

I was made aware about an hour ahead of time that the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle Discovery would be flying overhead and visible in tandem over the Central U.S. around 8:15 PM CDT this evening. I ventured out to the Northern Illinois Univ. campus around 7:45 and putz'd around photographing some of the buildings on my end of campus before the two came into view.

First, of course, the main attraction. ISS and Discovery in tandem, flying over the Davis Hall observatory here on the NIU campus.

I figure I'll share a couple of the scenes here on campus while I'm at it. They're nothing special, but killed the half hour before the main event above appeared.

Altgeld Hall. Mr. Altgeld himself, back in the day, decided he wanted one building to unify all Illinois state schools, and wanted them all to have a castle. So, Northern Illinois University, University of Illinois, Western Illinois, Southern Illinois and Illinois State Univ. all have one... sorry Eastern. For whatever reason EIU decided to skip out.

Sven Pearson Hall, The Law Building with the Holmes Student Center in the background.

And then a couple from Davis Hall, where the Meteorology Dept. houses itself. I have not yet made it to the observatory on top, but will soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

May 21 2007 Time Lapse

Got bored and decided to do some time lapsing this evening. Ran the entire life cycle of the Glen Ullin, North Dakota tornado that I filmed in May 2007.

I will be heading to Wisconsin tomorrow afternoon, and enjoying a beautiful weekend on the lake before returning to Illinois on Monday night. With the cool dry air I will likely spend some time doing my favorite, night photography. Have not really had a great outing yet this summer. That's a lie, I did have that fog show over the 4th of July holiday weekend up there. That place is good for more so much! Except tornadoes it seems. It's been a few years now since my last decent Wisconsin storm. We used to get raked up there all the time when I was a kid. Now that chasing is a real possibility, they've all seemed to run off. That or my timing is just off. Probably the latter. Anyway... enjoy the time lapse.