Friday, 23 September 2011

Tour 3 Highlights 2011

Have been sent the following Link which shows Netweather's 10 day Tour 3 from 2011 encompassing May 21st until May 31st.


Sunday, 28 August 2011

27th August 2011 - Cottonwood (AZ)

Last day in Arizona was meant for rest and relaxation in Sedona to escape the Heat and Furnace of Phoenix.......But along the way Storms popped off so we stopped at a few locations to shoot lightning with some good results. Got to Sedona for evening time but all the anvils had clouded the sky so no chance at Star shots tonight. Watched some distant storms flashing away to the West. Homeward bound tomorrow and should be back in the Uk Monday Lunchtime. Have enjoyed this trip immensely and hope to come back in 2012 for some more great Storms.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

26th August 2011 - W Senora Desert

Another epic Arizona Monsoon Chase today. Storms fired at 1pm down near to Casa Grande in some residual Moisture left over (104/60f) So we headed down to take a look, the Moisture was moving Westwards and so were the Strongest Storms. Had some very nice structure today with some close ear splitting thunder and dangerous Cg lightning out of the anvil. Got onto a very nice Storm at Sunset near Salome just off the I-10. This gave a cracking display for about 45 minutes with vivid colours. Last day on the 27th and we will probably be heading towards Sedona for some sight-seeing and maybe some storms if they pop up over the Mogollan Rim.

Has been a great trip and thanks for following.

Friday, 26 August 2011

25th August 2011 - Casa Grande - Arizona

Another day of Monsoon action but this time closer to Phoenix, got onto a Nice Storm just West of Casa Grande, went South down Highway 79 and stopped at the Tom Mix Indian Monument just East of Casa Grande. A line of 3 Thunderstorms were to our West and South West and as the setting sun went down so the Cg's started to crank up. Got some lovely shots of Cactus and Cgs with the Sunset. All storms died down as darkness fell so and early night back to the Hotel.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

24th August 2011 - Benson (AZ)

Left hotel at 4pm with an almost repeat set-up to yesterday. Storms started to get going at 5pm and an MCS Rolled towards Tucson, we drive through a Mini Haboob along the way with the Storms outflow creating this feature. I then positioned us South and East of Tucson on the Desert Floor with a View to our South and East at more Storms forming along another Outflow Boundary. We could not target Windy Point this time as the Storms were to far South and East and the Mountians would have blocked off good viewing. So we set up just off I-10 Between Tucson and Benson and got some great shots once again. This was the 9th out of 9 days we have seen Thunderstorms and with 3 more to come the Monsoon Season has treated us very well. Got my best image ever from a 40 Second Exposure of 10+ Lightning bolts!

23rd August 2011 - Mount Lemmon (Windy Point)

Today we hit the Jackpot for Lightning Photography. An MCS Was moving due West to the South of Tucson and dissipating as Sunset came on. We went up 7,000ft above Sea Level to overlook Tucson and I noted an Outflow Boundary extending to the South East from the old remnant MCS. Literally as we set up at Windy Point the first Cg bolts started raining down to our South East at a range of 10-12 miles away. This Storm was moving due West over the Lit up Valley below to affect Eastern most parts of Tucson. Our viewpoint was incredible being level with the Storms Base and the next 90 minutes were Cg Lightning Heaven. These are probably some of the best Lightning shots we have seen on our chases. Enjoy!

22nd August - Mount Lemmon (Tucson)

Today the SE Flow was coming back into the area around Tucson so our attention was focused back towards the South of the State. We left Phoenix at Noon and went to have a look at Mount Lemmon which is 9,000ft asl. Along the Mountain road we found some stunning views over Tucson and envisaged a Storm rolling through the valley at darkness, little did we know that 24 hours later we would have one of the most amazing sights in front of us (More on this on tomorrows blog!) We watched a nice little storm which was located to the east of Mount Lemmon from an Easterly viewpoint but storms once again died off towards Sunset as Moisture was not deep enough yet and diurnal Storms were dying off as the sun went down. We should have no such problems on the 23rd as Moisture would have had an extra day to be deeper.

21st August 2011 - Grand Canyon

Another day to target the Northern part of the State. Today we went towards Flagstaff and better convective chances just North of there towards Page and the Grand Canyon. Decided a visit to the Grand Canyon would give us a decent chance of Dusk Storms and that Illusive CG Bolt near or over the Canyon. As darkness fell we were not dissapointed with a Storm rolling off to our East near Page. We photographed this from the South Rim and got some lovely images.

20th August 2011 - Sedona Milky Way

Another risk to our North today so we targeted some non severe storms over towards Payson, got some nice scenic views over a Reservoir but once again Storms lost intensity towards sunset. Drifted over towards Sedona and took the Airport road which takes you 1 mile above Sedona, shot some nice Milky Way Star shots to end the day!

19th August 2011 -

Targeted the Mogollan Rim today and North of there towards Flagstaff as Storms were stronger up that way. We watched a nice Storm roll off Sunset Crater (Volcano) which spewed out some Cg's and a Flash Flood Warning. Storms then lost intensity so we went down towards Sedona and took some nice shots.

Friday, 19 August 2011

18th August 2011 - Arizona Central Desert

Great chase day today and witnessed my first ever Haboob just North of Casa Grande, also witnessed numerous Wedge like Dust Devils near Maricopa. Temperatures were insane today at 110f but cooled when we got cored by flash flooding to around 75f.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

17th August 2011 - Arizona

Started the Monsoon Tour day 1 with a chase target of Tucson and the Superior area. Got on a decent storm 15 miles South of Superior along Highway 177 and shot some great Cg Barrages.

Just 1 of the many pictures we took today. Tomorrow (18th) in the same area and hopefully Storms can sustain after darkness for some Night-Time opportunities.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Arizona Bound

Well it is finally here and the Outlook looks pretty decent for some (NAM) North American Monsoon Chasing in Arizona. Flying into Sky Harbor tomorrow (16th August) and landing in temperatures approaching 108f will certainly be a change from the dreary Uk Summer and 21c. First few days look like we will have to venture towards the South Eastern part of the State towards Tucson, but as the weekend approaches there are signs the Storms will impact the Desert Floor and the Phoenix Metro area itself.

Will Update with pictures and Reports throughout the trip as and when we can.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Arizona Desert Monsoon

Just 26 days until we depart for Sky Harbor Airport and the Desert Monsoon Trip to Arizona. Will be basing ourselves out of Scottsdale and have quite an extensive range to our North, East and South. Hope we get some decent Lightning and possibly some Haboobs!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Arizona Monsoon Chasing - Aug 2011

Well in 6 weeks time we will be in Phoenix chasing the Desert Monsoon. The season has started very well with an intense burst mode - Check out the Following Timelapse Vid from 5th July over Phoenix.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Monday 27th & Tuesday 28th June 2011

All models upto this event were showing probably some of the best conditions for about 5 years for the Uk. Cape values to 2,500jkg, A Cold Front moving in from the west with an Upper Trough between Scotland and Iceland, a hot plume of air was being advected North from the Iberian Peninsular with a shortwave trough expected to move north through Cherbourg to destabalise the atmosphere in front of the Cold Front all set the stage for some great storm chasing..................or so we thought! All organisations including Estofex, Torro, Netweather, Ukww, Met Office the list goes on were predicting the breakdown throughout Monday afternoon. Upon waking up early on Monday my hopes were waning though as an MCS In the Bay of Biscay was moving North Eastwards spreading it's cirrus shield over the UK. Surface heating although not affected in the morning got scuppered by this feature, temperatures peaked in the East at 33c before cooling off from noon onwards. End result of this were literally zero surface based storms apart from some briefly severe storms in the Newcastle area, later at 5pm the advancement of the Cold Front set off some Storms across Cheshire and Shropshire but for our chase it was ultimately a Bust! Round 2 we thought as the Shortwave would destabalise the atmosphere in the evening for the forecasted MCS.............Wrong Again!!!!!!!!! The MCS Duly formed but way down North of Bordeaux and this feature was only at the Cherbourg Peninsular by 06z on Tuesday. The other thing of note was how all the models showed the Cold Front cleared through the country and into the Low Counties by 12z Tuesday.........Wrong Again!! The hot and humid air was still resident in the SE Of England with the Cold Front stretching from NE England down through Dorset, this set the stage for the MCS now already crossing the English Channel to finally affect parts of the SE Mainly from the IOW Upto the Wash and everywhere South and East of this line. Here in SE Essex I counted 4 Seperate non severe Thunderstorms which were part of the MCS, no hail was received and only a few close Cg Lightning bolts, I recorded 23mm of rain from 2pm until 6pm and conditions were much fresher at 18c after the Cold Front had gone through at about 19z that evening.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

11th June 2011 - Oklahoma Panhandle

So the last day of the Season is upon us and usually amazing things happen on the last day, we started out in Dodge City knowing that we could not commit to the Colorado risk but hopeful things could happen further South towards Dallas Fort Worth. We had lunch in Liberal and my target area of Guymon was not too far on from there, At this time a line of storms were to our east near Woodward and I got suckered into them when a decent MD was issued, one such storm rapidly turned Supercellular and the chase was on, unfortunately for us it took off back into Kansas so we had to give up on it. At around 530pm all was looking lost and by this time a raging Supercell was hitting Guymon so my mood was not too great......But things always happen for a reason and I noticed a blip on radar NE Of Amarillo, upon looking South West I saw a pretty decent rock hard updraught about 70 miles to our South West. I got the cars loaded and off we went, around 30 minutes later we were sitting about 15 miles NE Of a pretty LP Supercell which had ground to a halt, in fact it did not move in 30 minutes. Then it did move and this time to the right (Eastwards) could this be it, at this time the winds were screaming out of the South East as the LLJ Had cranked up. The Storm was rapidly growing grabbing all the sultry air to it's South East and it had nothing to impede it. I re-positioned the guys back east and then south by about 7 miles, we were now looking at a beautiful Classic Supercell crawling towards us at 5mph, then the Storm got Tornado warning and we witnessed a brief Tornado North West of Shattuck before it got rain wrapped. Then the day got even better, the Structure on this Supercell went absolutely nuts and people had open mouths with what they saw, this is probably the 2nd best structure behind Wynewood last year for me and looked a lot like the Campo storm from the 31st May last year. We pictured this beauty for a while longer and then headed further south and east flanking it to the south. By now darkness was falling, we did witness another halfway down Funnel cloud and insane rotation but no more Tornadoes. Further east we had another Supercell moving along the same line, incredibly this looked identical to the one we just left with Night-Time Cg's lightning up the swirls. At 11pm we had to call it a night although we would have stayed longer if we could, we made our way back to Yukon for the night and very nearly ran out of Petrol due to most places losing power due to the storms. But what an end to the Season!

9th June 2011 - Wyoming (Slight Risk)

A repeat performance for the 9th but we are much closer to the action having stayed in Scottsbluff overnight, there is a Moderate Risk further to the East over NE Kansas but Smoke from the Arizona Fires is reducing visiblity over their and even might be hampering convection as Sunlight is very limited, no such worries along the front range of the Rockies for today. Chase target and lunch was Wheatland and we waited quite a while for anything to form on this day but at around 6pm I noticed the convection getting deeper a little further North so off we went up I-25. Along the way a few storms exploded into life so we got into position to see what sort of hail we could get, unfortunately the main hail that covered the road missed us by about 1 mile to our north but we still got some nice nickel sized hail for a time. After this drove eastwards towards Scottsbluff and then went North to be surrounded by about 4 Storms for some Lightning. Dave got some great Daytime Lightning Pictures and here are a few for you to see. Only 2 days of the Season left for us so we will use the 10th as a travel day and gamble on the Oklahoma Panhandle for Saturday 11th June and hope we get some magic!

8th June 2011 - Wyoming (Slight Risk)

Started the day in Bismark (N Dakota) with a general target of the Eastern side of Wyoming for some storms to roll off the Rockies and head towards the Wy/Ne border. Our attention was drawn to a nice storm that had a persistant hook echo down near Wheatland and we intercepted this NE Of Scottsbluff looking into Wyoming as the storm was still 10-15 miles away to our west. Some very nice Low Precip Supercell structure with this storm for a time but it soon lost momentum when the diurnal heating lost it's power. The 9th Looks like a repeat performance in the same areas so we will be looking for some large hail to intercept as the Tornado chances are still very slim!

7th June 2011 - North Dakota

Started the day in Belle Fourche with a 350 Mile drive to get towards the East Central part of North Dakota along I-90. My target was Jamestown with 1 eye on the bigger Tornado Risk in NW Minnesota as well. By early afternoon some Supercells had fired to our SW Near to Bischmark and the choice had to be made to risk the heavily Capped risk in Minnesota or go with the risk to our South West. Made the decision to go with the North Dakota storms and was pleasantly surprised when 2 of them became Tornado warned with some great rotation. The 2nd Storm we got had a condensed Funnel halfway to the ground but just could not get the job done. Ended the day with some nice Mammatus and Rainbow shots before eating at Applebees and a longish drive back West in readiness for a few days chasing in Wyoming and Nebraska.

6th June 2011 - Wyoming and South Dakota

Started the day with a Slight Risk to go for over Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. Left Rapid City and had lunch in Spearfish, conditions were very favourable with 3,000jkg of Cape and temps and dewpoints very respectable. The Cap was very strong though and it took until 6pm for any notable storm to go Severe, we watched this for about an hour getting attacked by huge Mosquitos at the same time, end the day at Belle Fourche (South Dakota) and was treated to a couple of Elevated Storms which initiated over the Black Hills region. The Mammatus on the Storms were very pronounced and some of the best I have seen at dusk! The next day we have a solid risk in North Dakota to go for.

3rd June 2011 - Kansas and Colorado

Another marginal chase day under See Text conditions but things went a little bit nuts late in the day from Eastern Colorado into Western Kansas around the Ulysses area and that is where we stayed the night, some nice Lightning and very small hail with a few Gustnadoes were the only things we could muster up, but things are starting to look up for the rest of the tour and we now have to drive all the way virtually to Canada for the 6th June in Montana and North Dakota with some sightseeing along the way in the rockies and Mount Rushmore in SW South Dakota on the 5th June!

June 1st 2011 - See Text Risk (Tx Panhandle)

After picking up the Tour 4 guests a night in the Big Texan broke them in but not before some weak Pulse type Storms rolling out of New Mexico towards the Amarillo area. A nice start for the guys on what was essentially a Travel day up Highway 287 from DFW To Amarillo! Picture is of a Cg Bolt just west of Amarillo

30th May 2011 - Nebraska (Moderate Risk)

Started this day in Columbus (Nebraska) knowing that this would be a day of Supercells firing along a Cold Front (Not my favourite type of Storm due to the HP Nature and Line Segments)

SPC Said storms would fire at 21z and at 302pm the first duly fired to our North West, this rocketed into South Dakota so we stayed put and the line started to fire further to our SW. So we played the waiting game as road options down there were pretty shocking, in fact most of the other chasers who were in a much better position had to let the best storm near O'Neill go for this very reason. As the first storm neared it looked beautiful if very HP'ish. We ran east alongside it and let the Outflow hit us with nearly 70mph winds and numerous Gustnadoes, in fact this day will be remembered as Gustnadofest! The storms then lined up in a 200 mile long squall line so we kept just East of this and watched numerous Supercells pass to our West, each one High Precip and gusting out. Ended the day in Yankton (South Dakota) with a stupendous drive back to Dallas Fort Worth for changeover the next day!

May 25th 2011 - AR/MO High Risk!

Ended the day on the 24th with 3 Tornadoes but another day another High Risk! This time further east so a start at 9am and a quick run into Arkansas towards Little Rock was needed, I knew the terrain very well from previous chases so wanted to await storms to mature and head across the rice fields and onwards towards Tennessee and the Mississippi River Flood Plains where we had a good chance at some views without hills and trees. Most of the Tornadoes on this day would be in Missouri with very few in Arkansas but chances were increasing as the LLJ Cranked up just before Sunset. Storm motions to the ENE Meant we had to keep dropping south and east to sample the next Supercell down the line. All in all we saw 4 Supercells and the very last one dropped another Wedge Tornado just SE Of Tunica in Mississippi, this was special as it was my first ever Mississippi Nado! We only managed a screen grab of this as darkness was upon us being so far South and East. Ended the day in Memphis eating on the next table to Tim Samaras and the Twistex Team!

May 24th 2011 - Oklahoma HIGH Risk

This day had been showing on the Models for about 5 days and we duly got our High Risk issued by the SPC. Cape of 3,000jkg and T/td Spreads of 82/72f with a stalled boundary near the Oklahoma and Kansas border would set the stage for Violent Long Tracked Tornadic Supercells, storm motions initially looked to the NNE At around 35mph but any storm would rapidly turn to the right ( East) and become a Cyclic Supercell with the chance to drop numerous Tornadoes (Some Strong) We started the day in Norman again and my target was once again along the I-40 Corridoor between Clinton and Elk City. We had Lunch in Subway at El Reno and this place just 3 hours later would get hit by 1 of the 2 EF5 Tornadoes on this day. At around 2pm a beautiful Supercell erupted just North of Elk City and started moving towards the NE, We had a great road to intercept and pulled up to a fantastic double wall cloud with insane rotation at around 245pm. I Noticed on the radar the storm starting to turn hard to the right so re-located us further North and east and it is here we witnessed our first Tornado near Oakwood at 315pm. This Tornado started to become rain wrapped so more re-positioning was needed to the east and North by about 10 miles. I then caught sight of an amazing 3/4 Mile wide wedge Tornado to our North West, we were about 5 miles to the SE Of this so we gunned it straight North towards Canton and got to within 2 miles of the now photogenic EF4 Wedge Tornado that was literally sitting just North of the Town. Unbeknown to us at this time it was over Lake Canton and created a small Tsunami as it crossed that Lake. On getting to Canton I wanted to get even closer so took a road that looked like it was made for us going ENE - But the Storm was getting seriously affected by another Tornadic Supercell about 35 Miles to our South (This was the EF5 Tornado that was affecting Piedmont and El Reno) The Mesocyclone on our Storm occluded and the Tornado Dissipated at this time, we then arrived just South of Fairview another 10 miles North East flanking the Supercell with a rotating Wall Cloud about 1/2 Mile to our North West, the Storm was in its last lifespan by this time and put down an absolutely beautiful Photogenic Elephant Trunk Tornado just across a field to our North West. After this the storm rapidly broke apart just SW Of Enid and effectively our chase day was over at this point as the Piedmont Storm was affecting our route south on I-35 Back towards Oklahoma City. We ended the day once again in Norman with an eye on the next High Risk on the 25th May in Arkansas and Missouri. One amazing thing about this day is just how lucky the people of Oklahoma got, at one point there was 2 x EF4's and 2 x EF5's lined up West of the highly populated part of Oklahoma within 120 miles of each other but they all thankfully dissipated west of the Populus! Later that night the same storm system put down a Night-Time 1 Mile wide wedge tornado on the Oklahoma and Arkansas border!