Dan's Blog


Saturday, April 25, 2009

4-24 Thornton to New Providence, IA

Gustnado near Garden City

Started the day targeting North Central Iowa. I left Ames at 3:30 thinking that I wold have plenty of time to get to my target before the cap broke. As I headed north on I35 I could already see towers going up at around 4 and realized that things were going to go earlier than expected.
Stopped at the Thornton exit to set up shop and ran into Illinois chaser Travis Carlson. Him and I watched the first storm in Iowa for the day go severe. It was high based and had a decent hail core but had no chance of producing.
Dropped south and intercepted the next cell on the boundry, which was a twin of the northern storm, but it produced the first of many gustnado's for the day. Gotta love outflow...
Inercepted the third SVR of the day near Ellsworth and ended up witnessing several Gustnado's! Which unfortunately, was the biggest excitement for the day. Ended up in the middle of a powerful downburst that scattered large pieces of tin through a field and picked up so much dust that it actually came back as reflectivity! Followed the cell to New Providence until it got dark and I called it quits.
On my way back to Ames I cored a cell near Radcliffe and got into nickel sized hail.
Good chase for a day that I didn't expect much!

More Gustnadoes

Thursday, April 9, 2009

4-9-09 Possible Oklahoma Outbreak!!
Things are starting to get wound up in Oklahoma. Storms are starting to fire along the dryline. It could be a long day in Oklahoma and parts of Kansas!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

3-23 Chase Eagle, Nebraska

Began the day thinking I would chase up in north central Nebraska, due to school, I could not make it in time for the northern storms to fire. Left Ames around 1:00 and arrived just east of Lincoln just in time for the show to start. I was just a little late for the show but still decent timing. Ended up intercepting a potent cell, just south of Eagle. Literally the first cell that I intercepted so all footage is on the run!  I just updated all my equipment this year just so I remember to use it more!

Anyways, Marcella and I were about 1 mile east of Eagle when the tornado ripped through. My scanner broke on the way so I was unaware of the damage that was taking place.  I had a decent view of the storm, but the inflow was kicking up so much dust it was hard to see anything that was goin on right in front of you, let alone under the meso.

Storms were smoking to the north and I followed the storm all the way to Alvo, before the it left me in the dust... literally..Dropped south to the next storm in the line and witnessed a less powerful but had alot more structure. The Eagle storm was a grinder that did not have much structure.  All in all a good chase.. Back in Ames in time for dinner.

*Here are a couple of video grabs from just south of Eagle looking at the rear flank of the tornado producer for the day. As you can see the tornado was not too visible from my point of view*

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Right now I am so busy, but I can tell you that I have been chasing like crazy! This year has been nuts! I chased pretty much all the storms in Iowa that made the "big news". I chased both the Parkersburg and Little Sioux boyscout storms. Seeing both of these events first hand makes me realize how strong mother nature really is..

I am really bad about posting in the blog!! Anyways, 2008 was crazy! I was pretty much on everything that made the news for the year. But, I have no really good photos to show for it..I was right behind The Parkersburg EF5! 2 weeks later I was looking right into the beast that took the lives of the innocent Boy Scouts. So this year I have been in buy mode! I now have an HD camcorder and I upgraded to an Canon Rebel XS! I am in the market for a ham radio next!! Look out 2009!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Holstein to Fort Dodge, IA.
I had a really good feeling about todays possibility for a fall tornado in Iowa. It has been awhile since the actual chase so bear with me. Started the day not knowing which way to go.. Do I drive west to the center of the approaching low, or do I head to 100 miles souheast of the center. I bet I pondered that in my head 1000 times before I left. I wanted to head south until I fueled up and went west.. Going south would have been a winner because a long track tornado hit sully, iowa that day. About 40 miles form my target..Argh.. Anyway I went west ended up chasing 2 very nice looking embedded tornadic cells. Was watching a very rapid lowering somewhere around holstein when the flanking line dumped nickel hail on my truck. Witnessed a brief funnel before I was overtaken by rain. I never saw it coming. Not much to report, but thanks to Ryan Pfaankuch for nowcasting this event.