Kaddy Lee-Preston's official blog

Posts tagged ‘Thunderstorms’

Storm clouds ahead

At least that’s what everyone will be hoping for.  In the UK we’re used to hiding from the bad weather, but chasing storms, uncovering supercells and tracking tornadoes is big business in the US and you can be a part of it in just a few months time.

Kaddy-Lee-Preston Storm Chasing

It could be you cruising the highways of the States next year looking up at great spaceship clouds like this.  I’ve never braved it before but this time I’ve said a big ‘Yeee-Hah’ to the opportunity of a life time and am allowing myself to walk into the pounding path of one of natures most powerful and destructive beasts – the tornado.  This trip isn’t for wusses, but if you’re adventurous in mind and body then this could be the adrenalin boost you need for 2013!

The trip lasts for up to 10 days depending which tour you sign up for.  We land in Dallas airport, but we could end up hopping into Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and New Mexico. In short – we’ll go wherever the storms are!

Kaddy-Lee-Preston Storm Chasing

If you want to find out more or book yourself in on the storm chasing adventure then take a look here.  Hopefully see you at the airport in May!

Go on – embrace the chase!


For an idea of what each day entails I asked one of the organisers (Ian) and here’s a snap shot of the day in the life of a crazed chaser:

A typical day in chase mode :

Check the models before bed, in case we need an early start for positioning

7am check the SPC for updates, make sure plenty of coffee is on hand and solidify the plan for the day

8am(ish) meet up with any guests who weren’t keen on an early start and fancy breakfast, talk over the days prospects and what time we’re off

9-10am spin up the in car gear make sure all is ok and head off toward our target area, usually with a lunch stop planned into the route – diners and ma and pa style eateries if possible, fast food if we’ve got a hurry up on

 1pm lunch and fuel top up, check the radar, models and updates, though we keep an eye on them via mobile internet and satellite as we go.

Then it can quite often become a waiting game, usually things get interesting around 4pm-6pm so we’ll find somewhere to park up, get the balls etc out the boot, or hit a Walmart to fill the time (exciting stuff…) until we can see where the best position is going to be.

After that it goes into chase mode, trying to keep on the right side of any developing storm, and picking good viewing spots, park up, cameras out watch and wait, then pack up and move to the next viewing spot.  The actual chase aspect is a real adrenaline boost, and getting it right to see a huge supercell is the icing and cherry on top!

Usually the chase will last well into the evening, and with one eye on the next days risk we might knock off some miles before checking in to the hotel and heading out for food and a beer or two.

Assuming no down days weather wise, it’s a case of rinse and repeat, some days are more relaxed, others mean some big mileage but we do chase pretty much everything possible, as for some guests it is the trip of a lifetime (literally) and getting them under an MCS that lasts into the night is a real eye opener compared to UK style storms.

And breathe…..

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Next 24 hour forecast

WARNING: Torrential rain today has led to localised flooding and there’s more rain to come, so please be aware that we’re still not through the worst of it.

Tonight: Overnight there’ll be more heavy bursts of rain, interspersed with brief drier interludes.  It will be mild overnight though, getting down to 11-13C.  (for most of us that will be higher than the maximum temperature through the day!)  The winds will remain at 15-20mph SE’ly this evening, but ease after midnight.  However, the main message is the rain – there is still likely to be another 25mm, or an inch, of rain falling in the next 18 hours – bringing the total for some to around 40-45mm.  This is approximately 3 weeks worth of rain that will have fallen between 8am this morning and 1pm tomorrow (Monday).   The rain this evening, tonight and tomorrow morning will have some embedded thunderstorms so don’t be surprised to hear thunder and see lightning too.  As if we didn’t have enough to contend with!


Expect heavy bursts of rain on and off throughout tomorrow morning

Although there will be some very heavy showers/rain/thunderstorms tomorrow morning they will tend to move northwards and by 11am/midday it will be dry along the Sussex coast, and by 1pm it should be dry across much of the SE.  Also because it is showery the breaks in the rain should be more frequent than today.  The winds will be fairly light tomorrow morning but will veer to a SW’ly tomorrow afternoon and then increase significantly. Tomorrow afternoon’s winds will be 20-30mph WSW’ly with gusts 40-45mph but it will be a DRY AFTERNOON with sunny spells.   Temperatures will have recovered a little too, up to 17C/63F.

Monday’s forecast chart showing the heavy rain cleared to the north, leaving sunny spells for all of the south east by 1/2pm. Watch out for the strong SW’ly wind of 20-30mph during the afternoon.

It’s not over though…there’ll be more showers into Monday evening…and then there’s still Tuesday…

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