Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving / Lightning

Well, Thanksgiving weekend was a success on my end. Hopefully all was well on everyone else's end as well. My first Black Friday experience was a success. Tia and I waited for only about 45 minutes in the cold until 4 a.m. when Sears opened. From the time the doors opened, til we had the items and had checked out successfully only 8 minutes passed. I looked at my cell phone to see the time as I was walking to my car to pull it up to the door and it was only 4:08. I call this, great success. If only we had that much success chasing together this season! We browsed a couple other stores for the hell of it since we were already out, and returned home and were in bed by around 6.

On a more "chasing" related note, I finally got around to playing with some old video this weekend. I had always wanted to do a higher quality upload of the August 22nd 2002 lightning bolt that I captured striking a tree 17 yards from the camera during an insane lightning barrage. I don't think I've ever encountered a more electrified storm. For about 30 minutes we constantly took cloud to ground bolts within 100 yards. Just watch the video clip below. After the initial strike 17 yards away, the camera falls to the ground, but you can still make out the flickering from the following bolts. There are a good 3 or 4 additional strikes with near simultaneous crashes of thunder. Never seen anything like it!

As seems the norm around the web community, I'll be spending the next couple months updating old logs. Since buying my current domain in late 2007, I had not moved everything from the cheapo geocities domain I had hosted everything on previously. Without warning (that reached me!) geocities was discontinued and I lost everything prior to 2008's season. I guess that's the final motivation I needed to update everything! Some will be lost for good though I suppose, as I'll likely only replace those worth replacing as I simply don't care to do 25 logs a year dating back to 2001/2002 when I first started getting out there regularly. However, those that I do replace I hope to do a little more in depth than I previously had. I won't be able to do near the detail in my chase summaries after so many years but I'm going back and gathering radar images and other such data to try and give a little more background on each day.

Anyway, as promised:

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Updating for the sake of updating here. Happy Thanksgiving to all 4 of my readers out there! Did a couple Thanksgiving meals with family here in the Champaign-Urbana area this afternoon or evening, which was delicious as usual.

I'm actually having my first ever Black Friday experience in a few hours. I'm actually getting really excited to dominate some shoppers with Tia at 4 am. I don't have anything that I'm actually interested in purchasing, but Tia found a couple deals that she wants to snag so I'm going to team up with her to conquer a store or two before returning home to join the rest of the sane world in dream land.

Clearly no weather news to update on here. Thought we might see our first flurries of the year in central Illinois, but that wasn't the case in the C-U area at least.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wind farm at twilight

Figured I had to enjoy the 70F temperatures out there. What better way than a photography trip. I had no idea where I wanted to go, but gassed up the car and grabbed a 32 oz. Coke and was on my way. I left DeKalb and quickly decided I wanted to play with the ever expanding wind farm just south of town. Here is what I came home with.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

PWX 2009: A Tale of Two Seasons

Well, a typical late release on my end, but it's finally here.

The next in the line of PWX 20XX storm chasing DVDs, PWX 2009; A Tale of Two Seasons features the beautiful, and the very ugly sides of storm chasing in the central United States. 2008 featured one of my most successful two week periods in the end of May and first week of June including the western Kansas events on May 22/23, culminating with the June 7th wedge-fest in northeastern Illinois. I came out of the gate sprinting in 2008 and fell flat on my face in 2009. A very difficult year for storm chasing which did still prove fruitful to some was unrelenting on my end. If I wasn't being hosed by mother nature, it was such inconveniences as a totaled car in a construction zone. PWX 2009 is packed full of 2008 action, and 2009 pain (and I suppose a few nice storms as well!).

Charging $15, shipping included. Any chasers out there wanting to trade can shoot me an email.

All the information can be found here: