30 November 2011

Image of the Day: March 23rd, 2009 - Getting the shot

March 23rd, 2009 - Adam Lucio getting the shot at any cost... We chased multiple storms in S. KS this day. At this point in time there were 3 LP storms from NW through W through SW. We aren't your new generation chaser chasing on their mommy's bank account. We get down and dirty and the least high maintenance of chasers. We don't like to see severe weather we like to experience it... If that means getting pelted with hail, getting RFD'd and soaked, or getting sandblasted then we'll do it.

Case closed :)

25 November 2011

Image of the Day: April 3rd, 2011 - BRAAAAAINNNS

April 3rd, 2011 - On a day where the cap was supposed to win out, Mother Nature said ppbbbbtbtbtbtbbbt! and uncorked a couple of bombs in Eastern Iowa. In this photo frequent lightning illuminated the "brains" of this storm. What a beautiful storm. It is a shame the LCL's were astronomical and this couldn't drop a nice backlit tornado. This storm was in the middle of no where and dropped a bunch of hail on barren fields. What a nice looking storm! It was the only chase I had in 2011 that DIDN'T produce a tornado!

24 November 2011

Image of the Day: April 13th, 1998 - Innocence Snatched

April 13th, 1998 - Innocence taken.... by Mother Nature. This is the very first image of a young storm chaser..... ME! On my very first storm chase. I was sitting straight up gripping the seats because I was so scared. We didn't see a tornado, but did core punch a severe warned bow echo that featured a pretty cool whales mouth. This was my first taste of the drug I like to call storm chasing. Once I got a fix, I needed more. This next year will year number 15 wondering the plains aimlessly in search of Mother Nature's beauty

23 November 2011

Image of the Day: April 21st, 2010 - Peaceful Hell

April 22nd, 2010 - Western Texas panhandle LP supercells developed and dropped a lot of hail but with relatively high LCL heights and wide T/td depressions; the tornado threat was almost non-zero. Here I captured a CG out of the updraft of this storm with sun light shining down through the anvil. Some nice inflow tail action as well as blue sky. Great little storm on a day before the day set up. 

20 November 2011

Image of the Day: May 22nd, 2010 - Sweet Serenity

May 22nd, 2010 - An intense supercell formed near Gettysburg, SD and dropped over a dozen tornadoes in which I captured on film. This particular shot illustrates how beautiful, yet dangerous a storm can be. The power of the parent thunderstorm rivaled some of the strongest supercells on record. This storm absolutely went nuts. This tornado was the one directly after the EF-4 Bowdle wedge occluded and dissipated. Under an amazing sculpted meso, this tornado churned away for about ten minutes.

Review of Adam Lucio's "The n00b" DVD

2012 will be my 15th year wandering the heartland chasing severe weather and tornadoes.... it will also be the 5th year chasing with my regular chase partner Adam Lucio. Adam and I actually met through a website www.stormtrack.org. It was after a local severe weather event that I noticed Adam posted a brief summary and saw that he was from Chicago, IL. Through 2007 we had traded PM's about local storms and built up a pretty decent online friendship where we would shoot the breeze about storms and what not. He lives 3 miles away from me and has a hunger for severe weather that completely reminded me of mine. I had brought up the idea of us chasing together since we both had the same mindset and same goals. He wasn't well known, but neither was I so it was a great opportunity to go out and turn some heads. The first chase we went on we actually caravanned on 4/10/08 and saw a pretty grungy supercell near Galesburg, IL. After discussing things further we both decided we should just team up in one vehicle and hit the plains. Since 5/30/08 we both ruled the prairies of the US with an iron fist and will not let anything stand in our way. Just to bring a little background before I review his first of hopefully many productions....


Alright I am going to model Ben Holcomb's style where he breaks down chapter by chapter and interjects his input.... As Adam's main chase partner I feel I can interject very useful information and add an input since my voice and ugly mug is featured in over half the DVD as well! Without further adieu I will begin....

Chapter 1: April 22nd, 2010 - Texas Panhandle
Adam and I hit the 2010 chase season hard and were rewarded with 6 tornadoes near the caprock. The first tornado being a big dusty bowl that never fully condensed. Our second tornado was a beautiful cone tornado that eventually roped out close to our location. While the second tornado was in progress another tornado dropped from the supercell to the southwest. It was clearly visible and Adam gives a nice perspective of both. Overall it set the stage for a very successful chase season.

Chapter 2: May 22nd, 2010 - Bowdle, South Dakota/ Field of Death
Adam, Ben, and I chased an incredibly violent supercell and subsequent tornadoes in Northern South Dakota. At the time this was my best chase to date. Adam captures the development of the first tornado to the shot of the wedge to a beautiful carrot like tornado back lit by the sun to a big dusty bowl and finally the field experience. This chapter is loaded with action and with tornadoes... a must watch!

Chapter 3: May 7th, 2010 - Holgate, Ohio Core Punch
We had such success in 2010 we decided to chase just about anything and we made the best out of it. We targeted a supercell coming out of Indiana and decided our only chance at intercepting it would be diving south through the core as it was moving E at 75 mph! As we turned south of out town we were met with 80 mph winds, tennis ball hail, and shredding trees! If you like cores and zero visibility then this chapter is for you!

Chapter 4: June 10th, 2010 - Colorado mothership
This was a day I could not chase and Adam and his g/f did. Upon watching his video I am just jealous beyond all belief. Adam had the perfect spot away from the hoards of chasers and watched for well over 30 mins as a mothership supercell dropped an incredible tornado... I can't say much but this is absolute incredible... I will throw a picture below and let you decide for yourself!

Chapter 5 - June 17th, 2010 - Minnesota Mayhem
Best chapter of the DVD; bar none. Best chase of our lives; bar none. A MUST WATCH, AND A MUST BUY!!!!

Chapter 6 - April 19th, 2011 - Central IL
This was my best tornado of 2011 (Adam has better) and it reminds me of June 17th. We document a grungy HP supercell as it transitions and develops a very intense couplet just to our west... The tornado drops a mile away and moves right in front of us across I 55. What a great view! Another must watch.

Chapter 7 - April 27th, 2011 - Super Outbreak
Adam and Jon chased down south and struggled a bit with the early storms, but their perseverance paid off as they captured a violent tornado plowing through the woods of N. AL. Definitely an outbreak to remember.

Chapter 8 - May 24th, 2011 - Oklahoma tornado
Adam and Jon chased down south again in Oklahoma and documented a spectacular tornado down by Canton before intercepting the EF-5 near Piedmont. An action packed chapter like many others on this DVD

Adam then breaks his DVD into bonus chapters and features his first signature catch (June 7th, 2008) and a bunch more short segments of various tornadoes we have caught.

Overall this DVD is a must have... and is genuine and real. I don't own a lot of chaser DVD but it is full of tornado video, no filler, and doesn't feature boring wildfire, snowstorm, or damage video. If there is one DVD to buy this off-season, it is "The n00b" Don't be a n00b, and buy the DVD!!!


Image of the Day: June 17th, 2010 - Bittersweet Reality

June 17th, 2010 - A record tornado outbreak affected much of the state of Minnesota producing numerous violent tornadoes and killed innocent victims. The photo above shows a massive EF4 tornado barely missing Conger, MN. We are looking down main street at this violent tornado that missed the town by less than .75 of a mile. A near miss, unfortunately at this time a man lost his life because he refused to abandon his mobile home.... this was my first killer tornado.

19 November 2011

Image of the day: May 10th, 2010

I am going to set myself up for failure here... I am going to post one image a day on my blog and explain what it is and where it is from. Let's hope this actually lasts!

May 10th, 2010 - A historic tornado outbreak takes aim on Southern Kansas and Central Oklahoma. Adam Lucio and I traveled overnight from Chicago to Wichita in hopes to chase North-Central Oklahoma. We targeted the Medford area and was on the first storm of the day that eventually produced the Wakita tornado. This photo above shows the supercell and it's wall cloud near Cherokee, OK. This was the storms first attempt at producing a tornado. The rotation tightened up significantly as it passed directly overhead. The storm was moving NE at 65 mph and we quickly lost it as we tried to navigate roads... 20 minutes later the large Wakita tornado was in progress......

14 November 2011

I'm back

For the last several months, I have all but disappeared from the general world due to financial and a couple health issues. Things have been rough, but all I keep doing is trying to fight and work my way through it. If anything it makes me appreciate the days where I didn't have responsibility. Looks pretty good right now. However, I work 40 hours at one job and another unlimited amount at the other and will just keep pushing. I missed a couple good tornado events and lots of fun with friends. My car, my computer, and various other possessions are currently not working so well. Probably at the bottom right now lol I was hoping 2012 would be a breath of fresh air and a pick me up but it, too, isn't looking promising. To go from 20+ chases in 2010 to just 4 in 2011..... is discouraging. 36 tornadoes down to 8. Very bad times. I am not complaining and don't expect sympathy, but just to clue you in a little on what is going on. I am ready to embark on something big with another chaser in hopes to turn fortunes around. But since I finally fixed my laptop, I will be around a little bit more working toward my goals.