2012 Chase Season
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Storm Chasing 2012

Well, the 2012 chase trip is done. Not great, but not bad either. We managed to pull out 4 tornadoes during a 2-week period when Nature didn't have a whole lot to offer. What's more impressive was that we didn't make any catastrophic mistakes that cost us a photogenic tornado. In many cases, when there was a tornado to be seen, we saw it! Can't ask for more than that. 

2012 Chase Stats:

- $ SPENT ON GAS: $1,720
- TORNADOES SEEN: 4 (on 2 days)
- LARGEST HAIL MEASURED: 2.5" (baseball)

Here are some video highlights from the trip: 

May 25 2012 - Tornadoes near La Crosse, KS

We had an eventful day in central Kansas. After following the initial storms up north towards the I-70 (and cracking the windshield due to an unfortunate encounter with a tumbleweed!), we decided to blow off the northern cells since they were becoming less organized. We repositioned further south to a tail-end supercell that was anchored on the warm front. Just after sunset, this storm produced a long-lived tornado that we managed to get on camera from about a mile away. As we followed it into the town of La Crosse KS, the tornado gradually got thinner and dissipated, as we took photos amidst the lightning flashes!

May 29  2012 - Tornado & Baseball Hail Near Piedmont, OK

We've seen a lot of hail this season! On May 29th, we saw the largest hail of the whole trip. Many hail stones were baseball sized, and some possibly larger, as we drove south on a dirt road near Piedmont OK. This supercell lasted for several hours and was moving quite slowly...about 15mph. We were able to zig zag our way southeast to keep ahead of it the entire time. Near sunset, we let it overtake us in the town of Piedmont, and saw the beginnings of a tornado just west of town.

May 30  2012 - Supercell, High Winds & Hail near Guthrie, TX

On May 30th, we chased a supercell in the southeast TX panhandle from Paducah to Guthrie. It was sucking in huge clouds of TX dust, making it difficult to see underneath the base. This cell was diving southeast into a bad road network, so we let it overtake us in Guthrie. After watching more baseball hail fall from the storm, we got blasted with incredibly strong RFD (rear flank downdraft) winds, which I'm estimating were gusting in the 80-90mph range. It made that distinctive roaring sound that I've not heard since I was in Hurricane Katrina. Several buildings in town were damaged and there was sheet metal roofing scattered about. I'm glad we picked a substantial building to hide behind!

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