Friday, March 12, 2010

Storm chasing around the corner, Flange

Wednesday night gave us a slight chance of severe weather.  I am ready and calm for the spring weather season and look forward to some good chases.  Suyen (my lovely wife) and I are contemplating a new storm chase vehicle as our van is pretty nice and we would like to get a lot more miles out of it.  Chasing and traveling would probably finish it this year.  So we are contemplating a big assed diesel truck.  So the fun begins of haggling and dealing with loans and dealers -- so much fun.  My experience on May 29, 2008 in Aurora Nebraska taught me that you need a vehicle with some weight to it.  The trailblazer that I was in fortunately had some wieght, which may have saved us from overturning in the 90 mile per hour rear flank downdraft winds.  

This was a monster that the weather service later determined was an EF-2 with 90 mile per hour accompanying rear flank downdraft winds.  Many semi tractor trailers were overturned on I-80 and the highway was closed for many hours afterwards due to the overturned trucks and powerlines down on the highway.  

Here is the quad cam footage of the same event and our reactions to the tornado in Aurora Nebraska.  My poor wife is embarrassed by her reactions, but, needless to say we were both scared.  I like to show it at parties and gatherings when there is an internet connection.  When we went to the Philippines in January 2009, Suyen's young nephew greeted us first and exclaimed Tornado! Oh Lord, oh Ghod!"  

So, a quadcab diesel 4X4 truck ought to do it, and give us plenty of room and comfort for the long trips/equipment in the cab, plus the wieght and fairly decent highway mileage.  We hope to stream many of the trips as many storm chasers do and also for the precious "ground truth" which is the excuse for chasing in the first place.  While we are chasing, in the downtimes, I hope to visit many of the smaller towns and possibly check out the local culture/interesting -- quirky things we may come upon.  As I said, I think we are ready.  Also we are aided by the National Weather Service who have come up with a very helpful excellent mesoscale page which even a dummy like myself can make a little sense out of.  During the recent threat of severe weather I checked the weather service page and noted that the real threat was going to be Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, and it turned out I was right. That doesn't make me a meteorologist by any stretch of the imagination, but it does give me a tool for my "hobby."

Sunday 14 March 2010
After last Wednesdays slight chance of severe weather, it has been cool and rainy -- fairly typical weather for March in the midwest, maybe a bit cooler than usual, but considering the winter we have had (which may yet still not be over) the weather now is a heat wave.  Suyen and I have about a week off together.  We are planning our 7th anniversary tomorrow.  Our friend, Ken, suggested we rent a diesel truck to try it out and see if that is what we really want.  We are considering it.  Keeping our eyes open for the next week to see if there is an opportunity to chase.  If so, watch for the live stream.

Monday 15 March 2010
There are talks of record flooding this year.  I don't really know if this will be like the record floods of 1993.  We'll see.  Here is the  Pleasant Hill weather office's outlook.  It seems the big issue now in the upper midwest and northeastern United States is snow melt coupled with saturated soil and a wet early spring. 

Also, from the same source, here is the spotter training schedule

March, 2010 - Upcoming
DayCity, StateTimeLocation

15Kansas City, KS
(Wyandotte County)
7:00pm CDTKansas City Kansas Community College 7250 State Ave KC KS
16Warrensburg, MO
(Johnson County)
7:00pm CDTWC Morris Building on UCM campus Warrensburg Mo.
17Oregon, MO
(Holt County)
7:00pm CDTHolt County Courthouse Courtroom 102 West Nodaway, Oregon, MO 64473
18Boonville, MO
(Cooper County)
7:00pm CDT200 Main St Boonville, MO
22Plattsburg, MO
(Clinton County)
7:00pm CDTPlattsburg High School Performaing Arts Center 800 West Frost Street Plattsburg MO
23Allendale, MO
(Worth County)
7:00pm CDTTBD
24Kansas City, MO
(Jackson County)
7:00pm CDTKauffman Foundation Conference Center 4801 Rockhill Road Kansas City, MO
25Riverside, MO
(Platte County)
7:00pm CDTPark Hill South High School 4500 River Park Drive Riverside, MO 64150
29Macon, MO
(Macon County)
7:00pm CDTMacon County Expo Center 1303 South Missouri Street Macon, MO
(Macon County)
7:00pm CDTTBD
30Kirksville, MO
(Adair County)
6:30pm CDTConservation Building 3500 S. Baltimore Kirksville, MO
(Linn County)
7:00pm CDTTBD 

April, 2010 - Upcoming
DayCity, StateTimeLocation

01Unionville, MO
(Putnam County)
6:30pm CDTUnionville Middle School Auditorium Unionville, MO
05Belton, MO
(Cass County)
7:00pm CDTTBD
07Carrollton, MO
(Carroll County)
7:00pm CDTT.P. Rupe Community Center 710 Harvest Hills Dr. Carrollton, MO
08Moberly, MO
(Randolph County)
7:00pm CDTSt. Pius School Gym 210 S. Williams Moberly, MO
12Lees Summit, MO
(Jackson County)
7:00pm CDTLee’s Summit West High School PAC, 2600 Southwest Ward Road Lees Summit, MO 64082-2107
(Miami County)
6:00pm CDTTBD
15Pleasant Hill, MO
(Cass County)
7:00pm CDTPleasant Hill High School Auditorium 1 Rooster Way Pleasant Hill, MO

Tuesday 16 March 2010
Today was cool and in the 40's.  Not much chance of severe weather anywhere.  We have entered a dry spell.  However, I've heard some mention of a slight chance of something this weekend, but around here it looks like snow.  Ahhh, spring...

Now, let me introduce to you the new storm chase vehicle that we now have....

Hopefully this will suit our purposes and will reliably keep us safe.  Our mission statement for this season is to track severe weather, give early warning to dangerous conditions whenever possible, give ground truth to anyone who needs it, to stay safely away from the storm and to keep others out of danger, and to gather great pictures and stories of the events as they happen.

I just got a facebook post from a friend.  I am featured in the news (Fox 4, that is).....

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Another early spring day dawned upon us.  It started out wet and cool and stayed cool most of the afternoon.  The St. Patrick's day celebrations were typical -- cool but relatively dry.  Then in mid to late afternoon, the clouds broke and we had a beautiful early spring afternoon with temps in the mid to lower 50's.  Suyen and I drove the truck to Lawrence in a vain attempt to avoid the St. Paddies day mess in KC, only to run into a worse mess in Larryvile.  

*Stormchasers capture tornado video...
*KSPR talks to stormchasers...
*Stormchasing jet...

*Kansas City art in St. Louis...
*Art by the river in SEMO....
*Patrick Alexander featured in Present Magazine...
*Topeka Roller Derby livestream featured by Chrometuna....
*This article really talks up Shen Yun...
*Kansas City artist Jeremy Luther part of an O.K. show....
*Somebody in Australia cares about what happens at 18th and Vine...
*Coming and going in Kansas City....
*Congressman Moore at the door announces art competition...
*Glass art at the Nelson....

I am trying to raise money so I can eliminate the Wirecast bug on my live streaming events. If you are interested in being a patron of the arts here on, let me know what we can work out. Any amount would help out tremendously.

It's like what Louis Armstrong once supposedly said, if you have to ask what it is all about, you will probably never know.

The Kansas City has a rich railroad history, and many dedicated fans. I count myself among them. My love affair with trains comes directly from my mother, who is from the United Kingdom. In 1987, I went on a train trip to the crescent city on the famous named train -- the City of New Orleans. Then, they still had the 1950's era 'heritage' coaches, which were getting threadbare. The last car, the lounge car, turned into a wide open bar at night and it was quite the party. We noticed many passengers were getting up for walks on the train, only to disappear. It was not until my walk that I realized where they were going. So over the past 20 years or so, I've ridden the rails, gone to train shows, taken pictures and videos. In England, trainspotting is considered a respected hobby. In the US, railfanning is considered an odd eccentricity. My time trackside is often a refuge from the postmodern fakeness and hipster narcissism that often plagues and clouds my mind. It is truely railzen.

*KCS doing well...
*No buyers for Kansas City's hometown railroad...
*Cost study for passenger lines in Kansas....
*KCS buys intermodal facility in Mexico...

Livestreaming Events
Turn on the player below to see what is playing on the Svoboda KC livestream channel. It could be re-run's, or it might be live, you never know....
Watch live video from Svoboda KC on
You can click on the on button over on the Livestream window and see if Svoboda KC is streaming something live or, click on the "On Demand" tab on the bottom and see past livestreams.  We try to stream the YJ's Jazz Jam every Sunday night from 8 to 10 PM.  Contact us at we can stream an event. We are also looking for sponsorships for our streams.  You can also check out the Livestream page here or go to

Chrometuna Also, I have cross pollination of blogs going on with Chrometuna, and his regular talk show, which runs starts at 3 a.m. daily, so if you are up that late, go to and chat with him...
Watch live video from Chrometuna's Super Natural Boloney on Upcoming Events Finally... I have my handy dandy google calender with all the upcoming events in the area and beyond...


June 4, 2009 at 8.06am PDT


If you are interested in expressing your opinion about art, or this blog, or if you have ideas, calender updates or even blog entries, send me a message at TMI, BRD


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