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June 29, 2009: Just got back from Arkansas. This was probably one of the best trips I have ever taken, not so much photography-wise unfortunately. Nonetheless I did get some pretty cool shots at night. The report is going to be a LOT of words, and some pictures - ones that I didn't think this trip would be about. I think we got the full experience, camping, canoeing, cliff jumping, getting lost on the road at night, getting lost on a trail at night, getting a flat tire, running out of gas, guiding vehicles down VERY minimum maintenance roads, waterfalls, snakes and much more. Here are a couple for now before I head back to work.




Stacy and Taylor in front of the headlights while we prepare to cross the buffalo river with the KIA.





June 25, 2009: I'll be in Arkansas for the next 4 days, canoeing, camping, cliff jumping, etc... Hopefully taking images too, but I'm not sure I trust my self and the $1200 setup in the canoe. I'll for sure get some images from the hikes we take though, and of the milkyway by the river...if we camp by the river. It's a trip full of maybes I guess. But check back for some images of my first visit to Arkansas!

It's just 24 days until I take off to Wyoming for two weeks! Anyway, don't forget to check out the June 17th chase report if you haven't, saw two tornadoes and awesome structure.


June 20, 2009: I got the report done, although I might go back and add a few images. It's just taken forever to go through all of them and pick out the best ones. Oh, and my senor has a bunch of dust on it so I had to touch up all the little spots on a few the of images where I was stopped down to f/14 or greater. I need to take that in to Rockbrook to get cleaned soon. I did two separate reports on the two big storms since they were about 5 hours apart, and there are a lot of images. The Odell, Nebraska chase report is at that link. You can just click the link at the bottom of the page to go to the Aurora tornado report, or you can just click this link.



I almost forgot about this. Last night I was outside on my deck with my laptop just typing the Aurora chase account when I noticed by the corner of my eye a bright object above me to the left (southwest). I look up and there is a falling object in the sky, it was glowing white and fell from near zenith to 10 degrees above the horizon! keep in mind this is just 20 minutes after the sun has set. It turned neon green and just before disappearing it had a tail of fire and dust!! no joke it was insane. It was MUCH brighter than Venus would be at the same time of day, I'd estimate it to be about a magnitude -15 or brighter than the crescent moon would have been thats for sure! Man I was freaking out, I was outside for a whole 20 minutes all day and I just so happen to be looking up when (probably) one of the brightest meteors to fall over Omaha this year happens. I just can't get that neon green and fire trail out of my head, it was just epic. If this were after dark I have no doubt it would have cast shadows. I would have been able to see it easily during broad daylight. I'll remember that forever as well.


June 18, 2009: Got on two of the best storms of the day and saw 2 tornadoes. I'm not sure I'll ever see better structure again. Just a couple for now since I might be chasing again tomorrow. Here is the first storm near Odell, Nebraska.



A BUNCH of crazy stuff happened today, I'll elaborate more later. Here is the Tornado south and west of Aurora, Nebraska. The Tornado lasted 18 minutes.




June 16, 2009: I got lucky. (so far at least) my days off this week lay on close chase days. I'm hoping it will yield at least some great structure images. Just an update to what I'm doing. Tomorrow chasing in SE/SC Nebraska, and Thursday I'm not sure exactly where yet, but fairly close as well.


June 13, 2009: I went to Murray hill this morning in hopes of low lying fog, didn't really happen. Not cold enough and the clouds didn't clear soon enough. I figured this would happen, but I just stayed and explored the area for a few hours. Found a crazy low maintenace road that the top of this bluff that was super muddy, but I was tempted to walk up it, cause on google maps it looked like its a road on a ridge. I'll have to go check that out sometime. But here is one image for now, not sure I'll post more, but I have maybe 2 or 3 more keepers I think.



This week should yield some good images. Wednesday I'm either chasing or going somewhere cool lol, not sure which one yet, but computer models are showing an epic setup Wednesday real close to home. Probably will change to crap tomorrow, thats just my luck this season, with work and all.



June 10, 2009: Well, we (I chased with a few other folks this time) got back from Pratt, Kansas this morning at 4a.m. It's hard to describe this chase with one word, so instead of using one, I'll use a thousand. A picture says a thousand words. Full report below.




Derrick and Jared exhausted and frustrated at Pizza hut in Pratt.


Storms took a little while to initiate, not until near 6 did we get on something. Saw some towers popping up in Oklahoma, so we decided to head down and intercept a good looking one SW of Wakita (yes, thats the town in the movie twister). As soon as we intercepted the high based cell crapped out. Taking shelter in Wakita after we thought we'd get hit by big hail, we noticed a storm east of dodge city approaching Greensburg with nice rotation and now was tornado warned. Yep we screwed up, we left the boundary. We book it towards pratt hoping to intercept it there. Half way between storms, the cell we just left gets a rotation marker (go figure). We keep going after the one headed toward us at 25kts. The closer we got the weaker the updraft looked. We sat at some truck parking lot watching the updraft disappear. That was basically the end of the day, HUGE bust, there is something really wrong this season, this setup looked perfect, why didn't the warm front drift north? its days like this that make you want to quit chasing, lol yes I'm referring to you Derrick.

We stopped for dinner in Pratt at the pizza hut, turns out Vortex2 was on the storm we were after. There were two groups and a single guy. We talked to the guy for a little bit, he said it had nice structure, but obviously for them it wasn't successful without a tornado. It's now 9p.m. and we get to drive 7 hours home. yay.

Now that I think of it, this was the first time I've been to Kansas and Oklahoma, not a good first time. The Gypsum Hills area was pretty cool to see, nice to see a change in terrain. Now I'm mad I didn't take any images of the landscape, just a few of the wheat fields, maybe I'll post one later on my pbase gallery.





June 8, 2009: Preparing for a chase in southeast Kansas tomorrow, I finally got a day off from work, So I'll be leaving tomorrow pretty early for somewhere near Wichita, Kansas. Shear looks amazing tomorrow (finally) looks to be one of the last big events for a while, as the extended outlook doesn't look that great, at least not for a week. I finished the report on all of yesterdays events including the beautiful wall cloud and possible tornado near Dallas Center, IA (NW of Des Moines). Some Local lightning in that as well, I finally got some nice cloud to ground strikes in there. That report can be found in the Chase reports section (even though its not really a chase) or by clicking this link. I'll leave another image of Lightning over i80 on the front page for now.





June 8, 2009: I couldn't chase all weekend, as I was at my grandfathers funeral. On the way home from northern Minnesota however we ran into a supercell northwest of Des Moines. There was a tornado reported on this storm 4 minutes before this image, It is possible that back behind on the right is a tornado. Same position as it was given in the report on SPC. Can't be certain, but if not there is a nice looking wall cloud out front there.



Got a few more to come later. Also had a nice lightning session last night that I'll have 3 or 4 to post. I'll make a report of these "outings" together. Pretty sad that the best storm I've seen all year I wasn't chasing.


June 2, 2009: Chased again today (June 1, it's past midnight now) busted like none other. Drove to Beatrice and saw absolutely nothing but rain. Oh well, better this time than next I guess. After this chase there is no way I'm going again before I get new tires...I was hydroplaning like mad, a few times it was scary. But today totally sucked and I'm not sure why I'm not mad about it, after SPC mentioned the multicellular mess I should have decided not to go, You can't drive through a mess like that and find something unless you have radar. Anyway. Got the report done from the chase on Sunday.

The *May 31, 2009 chase report* has eight images and is the only chase from May, which is terrible. Hopefully June will turn out better than it's opening day did.


June 1, 2009: Just really quick. Chased a small storm across the Nebraska border into Iowa after a lot of trouble crossing the Missouri river. Turned out to be a really good lightning night, though not a lot of the images turned out how I hoped. Still a few good ones, enough for its own webpage I guess. Saw Vortex2 near Glenwood, Iowa which was pretty cool. I'll have a lot more later, but its late and I need to sleep. A few images here, first was right as it was severe warned, second was near red oak, Iowa.



Tomorrow looks like another chase day, not sure I'll get off work in time, so I'll just hope its closer to home.






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