Mar 122011

Saturday, 12 March 2011


I originally wrote the three paragraphs that are below the video on Friday night. But I had to wait for Youtube to approve the video after I uploaded it, which took well over an hour. Anyways, I fell asleep and woke up this afternoon without posting anything (it’s clear my body finally shut down to truly rest!). Anyways, below is the video I made from the March 8 chase. The video quality is rather low because 1)The contrast wasn’t that great, 2)it was raining the entire time, and 3)Youtube downgrades the video quality. The raw video is in HD and looks much better than this Youtube clip (unfortunately).



–Originally written Friday night (3/11)–

It’s been a long week, and my body is still trying to recover from the beating it took from the traveling, storm chasing, and sleep deprivation. But I finally had the time and energy today to sit down and put together a two minute video of the storm chase. The video provides highlights from when we were just west of Paris, TX to the tornado just west of Clarksville, TX. Please keep in mind the raw tornado footage is of a much higher quality (HD) than shown here. But, Youtube down-converts, so the quality just isn’t the same online. Also, the tornado was on the ground visually for a couple minutes before disappearing into the rain. This clip is only meant to show the highlights.

I also want to stress one last time how incredibly difficult this particular storm chase actually was. We had to navigate on winding roads through blinding rains and wind for a very long time. This was both intense and stressful. Then when we were actually in position to physically see the tornado for a couple minutes, we were in a vulnerable spot relative to the tornado and intense core of the storm. Finally, as we exited our position and drove to the east on the state highway, we were forced to drive through more blinding rains, losing site of the tornado to our south. As a result, we barely avoided being hit by the tornado as it roped out and moved due north right after we regained visibility.

The point here is chasing rain wrapped tornadoes is not easy, even for experienced chasers like us. It was risky, but we avoided a potentially dangerous situation by remaining very alert, and reacting to the situation at hand. This is an excellent example of why you should never try chasing on your own if you don’t have experience or extensive knowledge of supercell thunderstorms.

- Jim