The Countdown Begins

Just over one month before the May departure.  A very busy end-of-semester lies ahead, so time will pass quickly.  A short introduction to this year’s crew:

Our May crew headed for the Great Plains:

  • Myself,  and of course Kevin Myatt (aka “The Mighty SigTor”)
  • Andrew Smith, a three-peat returning from ’08 & ’09
  • Kathryn Prociv, license plate = BR8KCAP
  • Rebecca Vizzi, beginning a long run on the road
  • Will Chong, taking a break from the NWS
  • Mike Lafon, probably glad he waived the ’09 pattern
  • Stephanie Pilkington, we’ll leave the technical stuff to her
  • Whitney Clark, another season, another big trip
  • Thomas Copenhaver, hoping for some photogenic storms for him to shoot
  • Kevin Sullivan, looking for a lead forecaster…will he volunteer?…he isn’t sayin’
  • Joe Newman, will try to get him to break radio silence

Our June crew heading out shortly after the May crew finishes their tour of duty:

  • Dave again, Jen Henderson, Dane Webster (VT faculty and spotters extraordinaire)
  • Rebecca Vizzi, only half-way home, returning on radar
  • Jessica Libby, we may be close to her Rocky Mtns
  • Russell Glazer, a silent leader & future forecaster
  • Samantha Huddleston, crazier than we thought coming back after two excursions in ’09
  • Dylan Cooper, a long-time wx student extreme
  • Aaron Davis, “soccer anyone while waiting for the cap to break?”
  • Mara Gonzalez, time to join the HOKIE Stormchasers
  • Walker Baldwin, waiting to finally put class notes to use
  • Matt Gray, hmm…, we are looking for tough-person hailshield volunteers…

Our stand-by crew members:

  • Shayna Choulet, our loooong-distance chaser
  • Martin Stamat, glad you connected to VT
  • Wade Dickinson, another hailshield volunteer…hailstones the size of hockey pucks?

I’ll leave you with a photo from ’05, reminding us that the trip is about more than tornadoes:  it’s about the architecture of powerful storms spreading across the prairie sky, the beautiful plains environment, our crew,  and the people we meet along the way.  We are almost there.

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7 responses to “The Countdown Begins

  1. It’s still more than 2 weeks until the long-range forecast models begin showing what the weather pattern MIGHT be like near the start of our trip. That’s when Dave and I will start obsessing over every run of the GFS. Funny thing, we get far more worked up about the models BEFORE the trip than we do during it … once we’re out there, we get in day to day mode and let the future fall where it may. Right now, severe weather season is one of the slowest in many years in the central U.S., because of the cold Gulf of Mexico (thank all of those snowstorms and Arctic air masses!) and an atmospheric that hasn’t allowed much of even what Gulf moisture that’s available to be tapped. Dave and I think it’s just holding out til mid-May! What about you?

  2. hokiestormchaser

    Kevin’s memory on past El Nino seasons is far better than mine, but ambient moisture in the plains overall is better than we have seen in recent years. It seems like we may see a delay in a more active severe weather pattern for 2010 when compared to recent years. If that is the case, then we could be timing things well in May & and June. -Dave
    (BTW, that is Kevin shooting video in the picture with the menacing green storm bearing down in the background)

  3. 2007 was our last El Nino season. The Plains were green because of the all the rain and snow that had occurred — like this year, previous drought had been erased. We had to wait a few days through a lull between stormy periods, but got rewarded with some mothership supercells (and a brief tornado) in Kansas. A couple of pics below:

  4. let’s keep the gulf a’cookin’ and save the good stuff for a month from now!

    menacing green storm=one thing on my list i would love to see…right behind a “‘mother-ship”

  5. hokiestormchaser

    …and we did net some tornadoes to boot. We had three tremendous storm-structure days, including a beautiful SD LP supercell hovering over Rapid City, the Graham County Kansas mothership + tornado, and a TX Panhandle striated HP beast with a tornado.
    -Dave

  6. It’s not gonna take much to outperform last year, thats for sure… I’m hungry for redemption like I’m sure you guys are Dave and Kevin.

  7. hokiestormchaser

    …Andrew, maybe we can start out where we left off in June last year; that would be a positive stretch right out of the gate. -Dave

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