June 17, 2014: Venice, Florida Waterspout

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Unfortunately, due to a stolen hard drive in which there were no backups (it happened while we were still on the road and before we returned to the office where we could make backups), we’ve lost most of our photos from our storm chasing tours in 2014.  We worked hard to get those photos and lost a few pieces of glass from storms in the process – but all we have is the memories!

So, instead of writing a chase log for each tornado event with no photos, we’ve opted to write this single post with a video and photo of a waterspout taken in Florida while on a trip to Florida’s southwest coast, we caught this waterspout.  Waterspouts and landspouts are non-supercell based tornadoes which form from the surface up to the cloud base, as opposed to a tornado which forms from the cloud base to the ground.  They’re nearly impossible to forecast and storm chasing in Florida is not ideal at all due to the excessive population and traffic that comes along with it, but every now and then we do see waterspouts as we did on June 17.



June 01, 2014: Southwest Kansas Severe Thunderstorm

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June 1st was the start of a new tour and everyone got a great chase on their first day.  We traveled from Oklahoma City to one of my favorite places in Tornado Alley: Southwest Kansas.  A sharp dry line with dewpoints in in the mid-60s were in-place, coupled with good upper-level support and steep lapse rates, we got our first tornado warned supercell of the day near Rozel, Kansas.  Unfortunately, due to a missing hard drive (please see our other 2014 post for info on that), we have lost the photos from Brian’s primary camera with the exemption of these two photographs which were on another camera.

May 26, 2014: South Texas Tornadic Supercells

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As noted with some of our other posts from 2014, due to a missing backpack that contained a hard drive, we’ve lost the majority of the photographs and videos that we collected during the 2014 storm season.  There were several tornado photos on the hard drive, which what hurts the most.  We even lost a van window due to small debris, there were no injuries, we were not in the van at the time (read below).  The few photos that we have been able to post here are photos that we posted to social media prior to the hard drive missing.  Some of these are just screenshots of our radar application showing our GPS icon in the vicinity of tornado warned storms.  It’s possible that we might find a photo here and there on a CF card that we’ve missed, if so, we’ll update the 2014 posts as necessary.

May 26: This day took us deep into south Texas, an unusual event for late May.  Once in the target area for the day, storms quickly formed and almost immediately became tornado warned.  We intercepted two tornadoes, both were rain wrapped.  Brian made the decision to punch the core of a massive supercell in order to get into the notch of the storm for a better look.  The storm was moving primarily in a southerly direction, we spent the evening staying ahead of it by a few miles until we eventually ran out of land – we had three possible options: 1. Go to Mexico, 2. Ditch the van in the Gulf of Mexico and take a swim, or 3: Find a sturdy building and ride out the storm.  We of course choose option three.  We parked the van outside a well constructed restaurant in a small town and well, we ordered dinner.  Thankfully the plates made it to the table just as the power went out and the sky turned black.  A weak tornado passed our location by nearly a block, in due process, some gravel and debris took out a van window.  We decided to just eat during this event, due to the amount of rain, visibility was limited to about six feet.  And yes, the food was terrific after a long chase day!