Where Did I Chase in 2015?
This year has been very rewarding, because I have had the ability to chase more than 50 thunderstorm events, while covering all of this land by car. That’s nearly 70,000 miles in just about nine months. The chase season began in late April and has, so far, lasted until late December.
The chase season started in Texas this April and that happened to be the state I chased in the most. As the season went along, I moved north into Oklahoma and Kansas. The middle of the season brought me all over Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa, even straying into North Dakota and Minnesota a few times. One chase brought me as far northwest as Montana.
One of the neatest chases was in rural Wyoming on June 4th. There was not a lot of shear, but upslope flow did help enhance atmospheric rotation just enough that I briefly caught a glimpse of a pair of twin funnel clouds. I also bumped into a Ian Livingston and his team during the chasecation, so it’s always nice to bump into some friends along the way. As the season quieted down, I chased as far northeast as northwestern Ohio, which is actually a very convenient place to chase. It reminds me of parts of Iowa. The last two chases of the year were both in the Texas panhandle.
Storm chasing is rewarding for a number of reasons, but getting to see so much of the country is exciting to me. The amount of time I’ve spent in Nebraska over the past two years, for example, is probably more than the virtually everyone I know, if you don’t count storm chasers. It’s also fun to bump into other chasers in the most rural locations. I found myself in Minnesota at one point this year, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but several chasers converged by virtue of a storm…even if that storm didn’t go on to produce much.
Since not every single day is a chase, I’ve also taken some down time to explore as much of the country as possible. I went to Southern California, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and have spent a lot of time in Florida as well. If you’re wondering about the trips to and from Connecticut, that’s where I grew up and where most of my family lives.
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