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?

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