Monthly Archives: April 2010

Action packed last 3 days

Wow the last 3 days have been busy. Multiple tornadoes in TX to hail and high winds in NE and to hail and flash flooding in IA.
This was an amazing week because I got the opportunity to chase with Derek Davis again and met up with Joe Miller, Brent Koops, and Greg Rardin for a chase through NE.

Tx turned out to be a better chase day for tornados, but the next day chasing with the gang for me is the best part.

Anyway heres some photos from the chase.

4/22/2010 Tornado near Pampa, Tx

ExWx Chase team members Derek Davis and I (Marcus Hicks) headed down to TX for the tornado outbreak.

We arrived in Childress, Tx about 11:00 am and stopped for lunch and to check the models again. All the models still confirming we had picked the right target area. The area was under cloudy skies and the temps in the upper 60’s but tornados were going to happen we just needed to wait for the cloud cover to clear out. This is where paitance comes in. Headed down to the Comfort Inn to use some free wifi and shoot the breeze with other chasers, who like us were just waiting. There were cells severe warned in the OK panhandle and I had begun to doubt myself as Rob B told me earlier in the day to go to the panhandle, but it was too late and I was pretty sure I was right I just needed to wait.

Cloud cover finally started clearing around 5pm and there were cells starting to pop up. We decided to just get out of town to get a better view and quickly decided to jump on that first cell that prompted us to get out of town. That turned out to be a great call as this cell produced multiple tornados and baseball sized hail which took out my windshield and beat up the stealth pretty good. We chased until it got dark and then headed toward KS, for the triple point the next day. I will post about that later.

Here are some photos and video of this tornado.


 trying for triplets



First Chase of the Season Distaster

When I say disaster it is in a lighthearted manner.
But plain and simple we busted! Joe Miller and I headed out of Rock Valley, IA to make a play to the south and head to St. Joe, MO. Got into town about 3:30 grabbed a little fuel, watched the sky then checked data. The dew points looked a little better to the west, and that’s where we went. Stopped in Hiawatha, KS where we met up with other chasers and shot the breeze and looked at more data.
While we waited there was this cell trying it’s best to break the cap but never did and eventually died off. A quick conversation and a decision about where to go next and the chasers split up. Some chasers were heading to the east, and some heading to the north. Joe and I chose north as our route towards home assuming the cap had killed all hope.
Turn the key to start the car to head north and nothing. No juice, the car had died! Using my jumper box we got it started; now heading to the north the car died again. Are you kidding me? Here, now! On a cap bust too! Had the car to the dealer about a month prior suspecting an issue with my alternator. They assured me it was fine but I knew they were full of it. Anyway a couple of guys got us going yet again giving us a jump and we headed towards home and the car died again. This time in front of a house whose owner was more than happy to jump start us and get us on our way. Off we go with a strong desire to make it home at this point, I mean bust already right.

Joe called up Brent Koops to find out where he was and found he was heading right towards us. Joe and I looked off to the west as we cleared a line of trees to see a line of storms rapidly growing to our west.

Joe and I looked at each other and without saying a word decided to keep pushing toward home. The storms continued to grow and we saw a nice anvil though the clouds.

We pushed ahead of the line and the car died again this time Koops was right behind us. We jumped again and got going again only to repeat this a few more times towards the interstate at one point taking the opportunity to even shot a little lightning video (about 30sec worth). Once on the interstate all was smooth the car ran fine and we made it home safely.

Now let’s do that again! Not as the car finally was repaired as the alternator had sparked it’s last little bit of juice once I shut the car off.