Storm chasing has been a pastime
of mine pretty much ever since I could drive my Dad’s Buick Skylark down
Windsor-area roads on my own. However, storm chasing in southern
Storm chasing friends of mine in
When Mark asked me if I was interested in chasing with him for 2004, it occurred to me that perhaps these guys might stop asking some day. Heather was still home with the kids and I knew that wouldn’t last too much longer. And I had a bit of vacation saved up from 2003. It seemed the stars were aligned. Heather agreed, hoping that maybe this would get chasing out of my system (little did she know…). So I gave Mark a tentative yes.
Soon after, Sarah Scriver, a budding storm chaser and York U meteorology student, expressed an interest in joining Mark as well. Mark, eager to split the costs of chasing as many ways as possible, agreed to bring her along, and our chase team was born. We decided to head down for the first two weeks of May.
The weeks leading up to the chase trip were busy, getting everything organized, getting loads of work done before the vacation, and checking of various long range model progs. As we got closer to May 1, it became clear that the first week of May was going to be awfully quite down south. An upper ridge was building in over the Plains and it didn’t look like it would be in any hurry to leave.
After several days of increasing anxiety over our prospects, I suggested that we move the trip a week forward and we quickly agreed that it was the right thing to do, though we knew we could get burned. Long range models have been known to be totally out to lunch before.
The next week was spent nervously watching the weather down south, hoping that we made the right choice. Turns out the long range models did well for us this time, and we managed to avoid a first week filled with trips to see the world’s biggest ball of twine (Dave Lewison has the shirt, more on that later). Not only that, but the long range models were painting a very stormy picture for the next two weeks. Yes!
In the end, it was lucky we were able to move the trip forward a week. I don’t think any of us would have been ready to leave on May 1. It was becoming clear that we were more a team of procrastinators than prognosticators.
Finally, Friday May 7 arrived and
the long wait was over. Initially, we were planning on heading straight down to
Our trip mascot “
So, Mark, Beth and Sarah arrived
Oh, and my throat was getting a bit scratchy too…uh oh.
All text and images by Dave Sills Copyright 2004.
Unauthorized use prohibited. All rights reserved.