Chasing Down a Supercell

When it’s May you chase.  During the week of May 22, 2016, a southward dip in the jet stream occurred in the West near Colorado, with favorable thermodynamics advecting northwards and setting the potential for a tornado outbreak. In the early afternoon of May 22, 2016, an Enhanced Risk was issued by the Storm Prediction Center for extreme southwestern Kansas, the Oklahoma Panhandle and northern Texas.  Numerous tornadoes touched down along the dryline that evening, with the strongest tornadoes touching down in Texas.        

Las Vegas Storm Chase

LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 13: Lightning explodes over the city of Las Vegas, Nevada September 13, 2017.  Vegas during the monsoon season is an exciting time for us.  It is constantly filled with the anticipation of severe weather and the preparation of our equipment to pursuit lightning.  Storm chasing in and around Vegas is an incredibly rewarding experience when Mother Nature puts her bad behavior on display for the whole Vegas valley to see.  Sure there are those little storms out there on the Plains, meh, but when it…

Kansas Storm Chase

DEXTER, KANSAS – MAY 31, 2017:  The sun sets May 31, 2017, after a day of storm chasing severe weather near Dexter, Kansas. (Photo by Marc Sanchez) Kansas.  I love storm chasing in Kansas.  It was in Kansas I saw an epic F3/F4 tornado near Dodge City on May 24, 2016.    Like most of my storm chasing adventures on the plains, this day was memorable.  After a long day of chasing severe weather near Dexter, Kansas I found myself parked on this old dirt road watching the sunset.  The…

Perseids Meteor Shower

2016 August 11: A general view of the Perseids meteor shower near Nipton, California. The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift–Tuttle. The Perseids appear to originate from the constellation Perseus. The name derives in part from the word Perseides, a term found in Greek mythology referring to the sons of Perseus.

Milky Way at Walking Box Ranch

2016 August 03: A view of the Milky Way from the Walking Box Ranch near Searchlight, Nevada. Walking Box Ranch, originally part of the million-acre Rock Springs Land & Cattle Company was purchased in 1931 by silent era movie stars Rex Bell and Clara Bow. They purchased the Ranch as a retreat from Hollywood. The Ranch was not far from the railroad station at Nipton, California, about a one-day train ride from Hollywood. Originally called the Box K, in 1936 the ranch was named “Walking Box” after a tripod mounted…

Storm Chase Dodge City, Kansas

May 24, 2016 was an epic day storm chasing on the plains. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) had forecasted an enhanced risk for the day and I was ready for another epic day of chasing.  I was in Shamrock, Texas and it seemed like an eternity waiting for the latest forecast model.  I sat and waited, drove around, fueled up, looked at the SPC website, checked the mesoanalysis page, and chatted on messenger in an attempt to figure out where the target area was going to be for the afternoon.…

Storm Chase Canadian Texas

Departing Albuquerque, New Mexico I had a sense of missing Vegas.  The chase rig began to cut out like it was running out of fuel and I wondered if I was really going to make the trip.  The thought of ending the chase before it really started tugged away in my mind.  I was two states away and trying to figure out my next move really consumed my thoughts.  I decided to stop and take a break in Tucumcari, New Mexico.  I refueled the chase rig, grabbed a cup of coffee,…

Storm Chase To Target Area

691 miles and a couple states away, the speedometer landed on 213,915 when I stopped for the night in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Earlier in the day near Ash Fork, Arizona the chase rig started to cut out like it was running out of fuel.  I thought I might be headed back to Vegas.  I stopped in for fuel  then back on the road.  Flagstaff was the trigger point.  If all was well in Flagstaff with the chase rig, I would continue on the road to New Mexico.  I suspect a…

Storm Shots I July 2009

  2009 JULY 22:  Monsoon moisture fueled an outbreak of severe thunderstorms that produced high winds and extremely dangerous cloud to ground lightning in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Storm Shots August 2014

We were all sitting around watching a marathon of Dexter on TV when I noticed some thunderstorm activity in the area north of Vegas.  At 11:30 p.m. I decided to jump in the chase rig and head for the desert initially going for the Indian Springs area.   I drove towards Indian Springs and found a place to reassess the storm versus my position.   Arriving near Corn Creek south of Indian Springs, I decided it wasn’t the only show in town and I needed to head over on the other side of the…

Storm Shots July 2014

July 07:2014: Upon returning from Sunday’s chase I noticed the underside of the chase vehicle was coated in oil. I decided it was best to work on locating the source of the oil leak and fix it because there would be more days of chasing ahead.  As I was tearing down the engine looking for the leak, I kept noticing the sky getting darker. The winds began to kick up and the air the air smelled like rain. Wrenching along on the engine, I kept seeing flashes of lightning out…

Storm Shots July 06, 2014

July 06, 2014: Conditions looked favorable for storms in the area. I loaded up the truck and headed north again towards Coyote Springs. The sky is always amazing during the monsoon season and I watched as several cells moved around the area producing rain accompanied with lightning. Right at dusk, I decided to drive east towards the town of Moapa. The radar showed a storm moving across the Morman Mountains towards the west. I was in a good position to catch the storm as it moved across the desert to…