Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New thoughts on MIDSCAR

The last couple of days have been filled with a lot of arguing back and forth between me, Michael Stanga, Dan Fruechte, a supposed met student from SCSU, and a member of MIDSCAR. Lots of arguing and bashing back and forth, but eventually someone got through to the kid from MIDSCAR. Sounds like Mike Scantlin was the one to get the kid to realize the way he was coming off to people and is now taking steps to get his reputation back. That won't happen overnight, but he took a huge step in the right direction when he joined Stormtrack to confront everyone and apologize for the way he acted. He has a lot of passion for weather and chasing, and with the big amount of knowledge he will get from ST, no doubt he will have a good season in 2010. Good luck Chris!
So, the MIDSCAR issue has blown over, but the other person I was going after on Youtube still hasn't come around and I highly doubt he ever will. Apparently he is a second year met. student at St Cloud State but you wouldn't know that by watching his videos. The MIDSCAR team asked him to come on board as a severe wx forecaster, but after Chris (the guy from MIDSCAR I was talking about above) came around he realized that this other kid wasn't someone they wanted on their team. All I'll say is that the met. kid really doesn't know anything about weather or chasing but still tries to tell real chasers that they are dumber than him at chasing eventhough he has never chased a day a in his life.

Anyways, glad that this has all gotten worked out for the most part. Before anyone comes on here saying I'm playing the chaser police card, realize that I was just trying to get Chris to realize how he was coming off and that there is a better to approach chasing. As for the other kid, well I just enjoy pissing him off.

Anyways, I've done some work to my website getting a couple of chaselogs including getting part of May 20th, July 13th, and all of July 14th done. I still have to finish the rest of the chaselogs but hoping to get a lot more done this weekend. If you want to check it out and even give some feedback check it:

If you want to give any feedback feel free to leave a comment!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another TIV project (MIDSCAR and the TIV4)

So I told myself I was going to be done with or atleast cut down on the posts where I bitch about pointless stuff. But I think this is worth bringing up. Over the last couple of years as we all know a couple of research groups have come together. This elite (yes elite, whether we like to admit it or not these groups would blow the rest of us chasers out of the water)group includes TWISTEX, VORTEX (1 and 2), and even Reed Timmer and his dominator. In my opinion there isn't much room left for more research groups. However, a group from southern Illinois is gonna try to join. This post was inspired by a thread over at ST and other info I've gathered from Youtube and Facebook.
Alright, so first off over at good 'ole StormTrack, in one of the threads someone posted a link to a couple of Youtube videos from this group wanting to build their own TIV(I think this would make TIV4) and they have their own group called "Midwest Storm Chasers and Researchers" a.k.a. MIDSCAR. Now this sounds like a good idea however the following videos show us the people who are in this group. Aside from the extremely annoying and ignorant narrator, they don't seem to know a ton about chasing. We've all been there and that's not the reason I'm posting this on here. The reason I'm posting is the fact that none of us tried to build our own tornado intercept and research group and TIV while knowing this little about chasing. Note the lightbar ;) :

So after seeing how these people acted I looked at their profile on Youtube to see what this group was about. Looking through their Youtube and Facebook profiles it sounds like their ultimate goal which they are expecting to accomplish within the not so distant future is to intercept a tornado with their own TIV. Aside from their lack of knowledge about chasing, the big question I have is how is a 17 year old going to know how to or have the resources to analyze the data that would come from a tornado interecept? Show me a teen who can do that and I'll shut up. Or maybe they aren't trying to collect data at all, but then why even try to interecept a tornado? What's the point? Risking your life for....well I cant think of anything that would be worth risking my life intercepting a tornado unless it was for research. And even still I would give that responsibility to the professional research groups who are out there doing it, and this is not one of those pro groups. I'm not knocking this group for chasing, we all started out naive but then again, like I said earlier, none of us tried to start our own tornado research group when we were just starting out either. There's a lot more to the research of tornadoes than driving a half-assed version of Mr. Casey's design in to a tornado. And I doubt these guys have any idea what it would take to accomplish their goal. Anyways, I dont care that they're chasing tornadoes with little to no experience. As Mr. Doms puts it, "Darwin, table for one please." For some reason it just really pisses me off that these people are trying to act like such know-it-alls when they really don't know shit. .

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mother Nature Rage & Grace II Trailer and a couple video grabs

Finally finished my Mother Nature Rage & Grace II trailer. It's amazing how much work goes in to a 4 minute video. Anyways, it's done and work on the full movie will start pretty soon here. Again, still getting used to my new video editing program but I'm getting more comfortable with it. Hoping to have the video done in early December and it will be available by trade only (but you could probably talk me in to sending you a video without trade if you want, just send me an email at midwestchaser@yahoo.com). Hoping the video will be between 45-60 minutes, which shouldn't be real hard. Anyways, here's the link to the video:

Also I figured out how to get video grabs so here's a few I got:
This is the large wall cloud that passed over my town of New Brighton, MN on 8/8/09. Kinda crappy quality but had to adjust a bunch of stuff to get the wall cloud to show up since the lightning wasnt really cooperating.

Here's another one from 8/2/09 on a tornado warned storm in southwest Minnesota. Had there been some daylight this would've been a VERY photogenic storm.

And one last one of a distant wall cloud that was close to the ground on 7/13/09 It looked good from my vantage point but Mike Hollingshead was a lot closer than I was and it definitely didn't look like it was going to produce a tornado from where he was, which was right under the base. Still a cool storm.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Definitely Inconclusive

Finally getting some time to go through some night time video of a couple of tor warned storms this past year. The first one I looked at was the August 8th sup. that passed just north of where I live (the large wall cloud would've been clearly visible from our house). Going through the video frame by frame proved nothing but the fact that there was a large wall cloud. If there was a tornado in there it would not have been photogenic although the wall cloud would've been a beauty. Possible maybe longshot funnel but it is next to impossible to confirm with the shaky video and uncooperative lightning. But even still it was cool to have such a strong storm pass so close to my house. I've been thinking about it since Aug. 8th and I'm wondering if I would've been able to see the west metro tornado had I stayed home instead of been out in the Lake Minnetonka area. There is a nice hill just west of the house that has a nice view to the west/southwest. Considering that the tornado was about 10 miles to the southwest of the hill, I really wonder if I would've been able to see the tornado from there. I know for sure I would've had an incredible view of the wall cloud. The reason I looked so hard at this video is one it was so close to home but also there were some damage reports from the area the meso passed over. NWS was unable to confirm it was a tornado as the damage was so sparse but if it was from a tornado, I'd probably be able to see atleast a funnel in my video. As far as I can tell, there was no funnel. Weird thing about this storm was the RFD winds were really localized. Nothing like 9/21/05 where the RFD damaged a path like 15 miles wide (from about Andover south to New Brighton)and did more damage than a couple of tornadoes it produced. That was a fun storm.

The second video I'm looking at is the video I got on August 2nd out near Marshall, MN. There was a TON of lightning with that storm, but in order to pick up the lightning on my video camera I had to slow the shutter speed down so I dont have as many frames to help my cause. Even still, with the amount of lightning there was I still get some **decent** views of the base. I haven't gotten through all the video but after the point in the video I'm at right now I think the storm starts to crap out so if there was a tornado I would've already seen it. Plus, the storm started to speed up as the chase went on and we got further and further behind the storm hence a worse and worse view of the base. Either way, this would've been an ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL storm with a little daylight. As far as I know there was no wind damage from this storm so my guess is that there wasnt one. Or if there was, again it would've been brief, weak, and not photogenic (sounds familiar, right? cough2009cankissmyasscough). Anyways, a cool storm and fun chase regardless of no tornado.

Also, I talked to Todd K. a couple days ago. Talked for a little bit about 8/8/09 and the tornado north of Burkhardt, WI. Official NWS damage survey said that the tornado was 1/4 mile wide which is a good sized tornado. While talking to Todd he said that it may have been closer to 1/2 mile wide, and was widest right as or right after it touched down. Weird....Usually its the other way around with it getting bigger the longer its on the ground. Surprisingly the RFD damage was fairly localized in this area as well. Another thing to note is that no powerlines or poles were broken in the tornado damage area even though the tornado caused significant roof and garage damage and was rated an EF1. On August 19th when I came across the tornado damage in North Branch, MN there were some powerlines and poles down, but it was only rated an EF0. Are the powerlines and poles engineered differently or something in different states? Anyways, just a couple things to chew on.

Lastly, I'm starting production on my 2009 chase DVD. Actually came up with a name for this year so it will be "Mother Nature Rage and Grace II: Two Thousand and None". Will have a trailer up sometime this week hopefully. Right now hoping to get it done by early December but it may take a little longer to finish as I am still getting used to my new video editing software. Also, I'll try to get some video grabs of the 8/8/09 wall cloud and 8/2/09 storm. Any suggestions on how to get video grabs? Do you do it in the video software?