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Day 4 Storm chasing/sightseeing

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 4 Storm chasing: Yesterday we tried to chase a weak storm, but it fizzled out before we got there. So we did some sightseeing instead.

We passed through Langtry, TX & stopped at the Judge Roy Bean museum and a cactus garden. Then we took some photos & walked along the Rio Grande at Eagles Nest point. Some beautiful country here.

We spent the night in Del Rio, TX. We had a weather briefing class at 10:30pm - that's how the professor enforces curfew. He's no fool. We sit in class long enough and we all want to go to sleep! Not much significant weather the next few days, so they will be sightseeing days. This is a good way to see America!

I still can't upload photos here. It's frustrating me. I'll share photos when I get home. I am able to post to Facebook. If you have a FB account, check them out at Nancy Leary Haines.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSANITAL 5/16/2012 7:38AM

    way too cool Nancy sounds like your having a great time.. I going to check out the photos on facebook.. have a great time and be safe

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HICKOK-HALEY 5/16/2012 4:17AM

    The sight seeing sounds fun. I will check out your facebook page. Hope you wind some weather, but stay safe!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 5/15/2012 11:38PM

    hey, that is almost as good, if not better than your SparkCurfew! you might actually get MORE than 8 hours of sleep a night!
Glad you are having fun. Stay safe!

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FLBEACHBUM14 5/15/2012 11:09PM

    Thanks for your blogs, Nancy! Even though I do not have time to comment very often, I really enjoy reading your stormchasing blogs. It sounds like such a lot of fun and I enjoy reading about your travels!

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IUHRYTR 5/15/2012 9:40PM

    The museum and cactus garden sound like fun. Too bad you weren't in Central FL tonight. Volusia County, on the east coast across from Orlando had tornado warnings, thunderstorm, and hail. I'll have to check the newspaper's site ( if you're interested) to see if any tornadoes actually hit. Stay safe. -- Lou

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JOYINKY 5/15/2012 9:29PM

    What a great way to travel; storms or not! Sounds like you're having such a good time!

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THINGETTINOUT 5/15/2012 5:23PM

    I have been following you on FB. Looks like you are having a great time except for the no storm part.

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11:30pm lightning show

Monday, May 14, 2012

Here's a 2-minute video of the lightning show I referred to in the Day 3 Storm chasing blog. If you can wait out the long seconds of darkness, you'll see some beautiful lightening. Toward the end, our driver reminds me not to steady myself against the van. I ask her "why?" She reminds me that I can get electrocuted that way!

OK, looks like I figured out how to post a video. Let's see if I can post photos now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 5/15/2012 9:42PM

    Even though lightning is dangerous, there is something almost mystical about watching it. -- Lou

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JANETRIS 5/15/2012 4:15PM

    Wow...very pretty, and different looking out of the city lights! Thanks for posting! emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 5/15/2012 12:29AM

    that was really pretty! so dark and the flashes of color are wonderful!

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JOYINKY 5/14/2012 9:42PM

    So great that you are sharing this with us! Thanks!!

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FREDANN 5/14/2012 8:50PM

    Beautiful Nancy! I've always loved to look at lightening, it can really light up the sky!
Stay safe out there!

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CARLA0716 5/14/2012 8:14PM

    So jealous! I love a good safe out there! emoticon

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Day 3 Storm chasing: our first severe storm!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 3 Storm chasing: Disclaimer - this is my personal experience as a student on this thunderstorm field studies lab class. My apologies to my fellow meteorology students, who really know what they are talking about, if I use incorrect terminology or have the chronology of the storm incorrect.

Early in the day, I figured we were in for something  good when we ran into Sean Casey & his TIV - Tornado Intercept Vehicle - from the Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers program, and the tornado research team from National Science Foundation. (See photos posted earlier on Facebook @ Nancy Leary Haines. Sorry that I'm not more techno savvy to put the photos with this blog. I'm having trouble uploading photos to Spark from my smarter-than-me phone. Maybe when I get home, I'll post a blog with the photos here.)

We watched the storm forming for a couple of hours over the Guadalupe Mountains near Carlsbad, NM. The storm intensified as it came over the mountains into a bow echo, and overnight turned into a mesoscale convective vortex storm.

I got my first lightning bolt photo around 7:30pm mountain time as the storm was intensifying. We chased with the storm for several hours, stopping along the way for teaching moments. I learned about inflow, when the storm in front of us sucked in warm air while the wind was at our backs. Then an outflow of cold air pushed out causing a dust storm to blow all over us. At that point, we ran for the vans and drove to get ahead of the storm. While driving, we saw dust storms & tumbleweed blowing across the road.

About 11:30pm, we stopped to look at the constellations. The sky in front of the storm was so clear and full of stars, it was just beautiful. I couldn't help but turn around and video the lightning storm behind me. I posted that video in the next blog. If you can wait out the long seconds of darkness, you'll see some amazing lightening.

We got checked into the hotel in Fort Stockton, TX, just minutes before the hail storm started. While one of my roommates & I were getting settled into our room, the true meteorology students were outside observing the hail storm that had 70mph gusts of winds. Some of the guys had welts on their arms & legs from the flying 1" hail pellets hitting them while standing under the hotel canopy. We joined them a few minutes later, indoors, for a unique phenomenon of toasting the storm into the wee hours of the morning.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 5/15/2012 9:44PM

    I really like following your storm tracking adventures and the pictures you share. Sounds like good camaraderie and exciting times. -- Lou

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LUCKYDOGFARM 5/15/2012 12:32AM

    sounds VERY official to me! toasting the storm? is that one slice or 2??

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JOYINKY 5/14/2012 9:46PM


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FREDANN 5/14/2012 8:54PM

    Sounds so exciting! I can tell you're loving this! Enjoy and be safe!

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LUVTOBOWL 5/14/2012 4:25PM

    Sounds exciting! Stay safe.

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1HOTMAMA2BE 5/14/2012 3:55PM

    How exciting! I bet you're having a blast. So much to learn and experience. I'm excited to hear more! Stay safe!

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DANCINCAJUN1 5/14/2012 3:45PM

    you were smart to stay away from that hail hitting you and those strong winds .... hail can kill .... please be smart ........... ex=meteorologist here ........ weather is truly fascinating. Roc

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SNOWANGELDIVA 5/14/2012 3:42PM

    emoticon*F*A*N*T*A*S*T*I*C*!!! and scary!!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 5/14/2012 3:42PM

    That is so cool. I love weather. I find it so fascinating. Thank you for sharing!

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Day 2 Storm chasing

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 2 Storm chasing: We drove from Overland Park, KS to Lubbock, TX - another 10 hour positioning day in the rolling meteorology lab. We had a delicious dinner at Cagle Steakhouse last night.

The hours in the van are spent watching weather documentaries or playing various games - from Weather Jeopardy, to the alphabet game, to guess what number I'm thinking, to guess what medical condition someone now has from riding in a van for 20 hours. The answer was chaffing, but none of us guessed it. There is no shortage of laughter on this trip.

Sunday was supposed to be a chase day, but try as we may to predict severe weather, sometimes Mother Nature has a mind of her own. We'll see what the day brings.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms. My mom has been in heaven for the last 7 Mother's Days. I miss you and love you, Mom.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 5/13/2012 11:31PM

    Good SP friends Lori and Drex Little live outside Lubbock. I'll send you their address if you want to say hi to two special people. Stay safe. -- Lou

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FREDANN 5/13/2012 9:43PM

    You're always so active, are you going crazy sitting in a van for so many hours? I,m glad you're having a good time!

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JOYINKY 5/13/2012 3:14PM

    Enjoying this vicarious experience! Thanks for sharing!

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MSANITAL 5/13/2012 1:39PM

    Nancy sounds like your having a great exciting..
I would say hope a strom kicks up for ya.. but I hate storms.. LOL any ways be safe and keep us posted.

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Day 1 Storm chasing

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Blogging is hard on a cellphone and it's using a lot of battery, so I'll be brief.

Yesterday was a positioning day. We drove 10 hours to Overland Park, KS. We had steak dinner at Jess & Jim's steakhouse.

We're on the road to Lubbock, TX for potential storms tomorrow. We missed the F3 tornado in Houston this morning. I hope my sister and her family are OK. Doesn't look like I will get to visit with them this trip. More later.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREDANN 5/12/2012 10:24PM

    Be safe Nancy! emoticon

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1HOTMAMA2BE 5/12/2012 9:28PM

    WOW! You were close to me if you were in Overland Park. Shoot! Keep it safe girl! Have fun but don't get CRAZY!!! emoticon for you and the team!

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JOYINKY 5/12/2012 8:45PM

    Be safe and have fun!

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SNOWANGELDIVA 5/12/2012 11:31AM

    emoticon emoticon

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THINGETTINOUT 5/12/2012 10:52AM

    Yes to the flying cow thing and YES YES to the be safe thing. Have a great time.

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MSANITAL 5/12/2012 10:35AM

    Love your back ground pic.. ... sounds like you having a exciting time.. be safe.. and if you see a flying cow snap a pic for me..

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