Monday, June 14, 2010

Tornado. Tornado. Big Texan. Flash Ponding.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (and without internet), lived a nomadic tribe known as Vortex2...

11 June: Last Chance, CO. Why did the tornado cross the road? Oh wait, it didn't. DOW7 meandered down to Road 2312 (I challenge you to find this road!). The tornado pod teams followed. A tornado formed about 23 km to our west over an open field. The pod teams lined up...and waited. And waited. And waited. And then there was no tornado.

12 June: Spearman, TX. Rain, rain, and more rain.

13 June: After a lovely, rainy evening (and morning) in Liberal, Kansas (home of the National Beef Packing Company. Steak usually is a good dinner choice!) we decided to tackle storms along a remnant outflow boundary from the overnight convection (rain) in the OK/TX panhandles. Basically, we returned to the same location we commenced chasing on the 12th, which was a bit....pondy. So we decided that dirt (mud) roads, were to be avoided. Storm #1 was targeted near Farnsworth, TX. The first storm was, for lack of a better word...boring.
A white rabbit named Harvey (or Frank, depending on your age) appeared in he DOW...yes, it is about that time of the season!
The FC (Field Coordinators--David Dowell and Mike Coniglio; the MCs of the weather world) encouraged us to be optimistic and found us another storm to target. Up came the second storm and it was a good storm! A tornado formed northeast of Booker, TX and DOW7 headed north with the pod teams to intercept. The lack of roads proved to be problematic and we raced east (at safe highway speeds) to to get to another intercept location. After driving through a lot of rain (and a generator failure...), we regrouped to the east as another tornado was forming near Slapout, OK. We tried to get the pods out in front of the tornado, but the path of the tornado was farther south than anticipated...and it dissipated before reaching the road. A few gratuitous pod deployments were made...just because.

I assume that the pod teams will soon mutiny...

So here we are in Amarillo, TX at the same hotel that we ended the season last year...interesting.
Picture 1: The super secret PI morning weather briefing.
Picture 2: When in Amarillo...the Big Texan! Only twice this season...a slow year.
Picture 3: The omnipresent, all-knowing FC. And Arby's--Home of the Jamocha shake.
Picture 4: Pretty cloud. I think every single person in Vortex2 took this picture!


  1. You are the greatest!!!! I can't think of anyone (and I have been a fireman, EMT, and storm chaser (in our area) for 17 yrs) that put as much time and effort into studying one of our biggest threats to the public. God Bless You All!!! If it wasn't for all your efforts in learning what causes one of the most beautiful yet terrifying natural phenomenon known to all of us..words are not there....I am from Grant, NE and you all went through here on the 6th and were staying in Ogallala... Saw those w/ the team last year in May and my daughter was thrilled seeing the TIV and meeting the DOW team.. Hope there is nuff funds for you to continue..I'll pledge some!!! for you to do this every year. Love All Of You and THANKS for all you've done...

    Todd Dudden
    308 352 6045

  2. josh your a great scientist your tornado tracking and vortex two and vortex one program has probably and will no doubt save lives thru your research but i have to that your a JERK what you did to shawn and the tiv crew this season is a load of crap it was un Professinoal of you to say your going on place and the tiv needs to stay away. and. well your place wasnt to hot. so you go 100 miles to where the tiv crew is already at. and say. well sorry bitches you gotta go now. big dick vortex is here now. so shew shaw. dont you think thats a little childesh of you

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