The Time Draws Near

02 June 2010

Hello everyone, the time is nearly here for our departure to the states to hunt down those big bad tornadoes. The dream is soon to be reality and in a few days time we'll be hanging out the side of a 4X4 yelling into the core of a mothership looking supercell storm (hopefully).

The tornado season got off to a bit of a slow start this year but picked up pace pretty quickly with some major outbreaks recently in Oklahoma, South Dakota and more recently the most beautiful tornado ever in Colorado. Some of you may have seen clips of this on the BBC news.Tornado Alley is the perfect place for this magic to happen due to its topography and geographical situation. The Gulf of Mexico provides a source of warm moist air which is undercut by the cold dry air masses flowing down from the Rockies and from Canada. This creates an unstable atmosphere in which the warm moist air is lifted to a level where the moisture condenses out of it and intense thunderstorms can form. Add changes in wind direction with height and you have the all the ingredients needed for tornadic activity. May and June are classed as the peak months for such activity, and within this period, the supercell storms tend to migrate northwards through tornado alley, which itself spans from Texas up to North Dakota on the Canadian border. We can therefore see ourselves spending quite a lot of the time chasing on the more Northern Plains - which according to some, have relatively poorer road systems compared to the south and not as many wifi hotspots, but the benefits come from some spectacular scenery and much less chaser convergence (storm hungry chasers blocking every viable route to get a storm - seriously, it happens!).We are flying into Kansas City Airport on 4th June at 16:30 where we will be picking up our monster truck (well, compared to a ford puma, it's a monster truck). We will then face our first task! Flipping a coin to see who out of me or Tim has to drive this huge automatic beast of a car out of the airport vicinity, on the wrong side of the road, without crashing. We will then find ourselves faced with our second task - trying to find the hotel. Anyone who knows us will understand this may prove quite difficult. After that it should all get a bit easier; we have ~ 400,000 sq miles to find a tornado, which on average will only last 10 minutes a time. Piece of cake!On a more serious note, the chances of actually seeing a tornado on your first chase trip is apparently pretty rare, but there will be thunderstorms a plenty, huge rotating walls of clouds, stunning scenes illuminated by lightening strikes and softball sized hail; Mother Nature at her meanest, and also most beautiful.Driving on average 500 miles a day will provide plenty of downtime, so photos, updates, short stories, long stories can all be found here.Thanks to everyone for putting up with our jibberring anticipation over the past 6 months. And thanks to everyone in advance for putting up with our post trip jibbering for the next 6.In the meantime, if you're missing the storm jibber, we'll try to keep this updated regularly...

SPC Day 1 Weather Outlook as at 06:00UTC (01:00 Central Time the night before)

SPC 01:00UTC day 1 forecast for Wed June 2010

SPC Day 1 Weather Reports for the day.

SPC storm reports for Wed June 2010

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