RSS

[StormChasing] Oh, The Places We’ll Go!

Chris says that peak storm chasing in Tornado Alley starts the second week of May. Depending on what the radar looks like (and prior personal obligations), we could depart as early as May 3. We might be gone for as little as two weeks, or as much as a month. It’s all up in the air. We will go wherever the wind takes us. (Heehee…I could do this all day…)

“I know there’s no way to tell me for sure,” I asked Chris, “but what are some of the usual areas of the country in which you find yourself?”

I’m curious, because a lot of this is going to be countryside I’ve only seen covered by Sam and Dean Winchester. It’s a lot of new territory for me!big texan

It is highly likely that we will find ourselves in:
North/Northwest Texas
Oklahoma
Kansas (Haven, here we come!)

It is less likely (but still possible) that we might find ourselves in:
Nebraska
E. Colorado
Wyoming
New Mexico
Iowa (Sarah is super excited about this prospect!)

Chris says that every season the storms seem to be tracking farther south—an interesting trend.

05twine3Noteworthy Pit Stops We Might Make:
THE TWINE BALL (Kansas)
The Twister Museum (if it still exists…and yes, I am packing my t-shirt) (Oklahoma)
Carhenge, Nebraska
The National Weather Center and NOAA (Norman, Oklahoma)
Big Texan Steak Ranch  (I will NOT be attempting the 72oz steak!) (Amarillo, Texas)

What are some of your favorite Roadside Attractions in Middle America? Let me know in the comments, and I will add them to my Possible Trip Goals list!

*****************

Are you as excited as I am? Want to help pitch in for gas, hotels, and coffee? Paypal akontis at gmail or click the Donate button on the right! (And Thank You!)

Want an ALL ACCESS PASS to Alethea’s Official Storm Chaser Diary and Pics? Become a Patron of the Princess today! Pledging as little as $1 a month gets you exclusive access!

1 Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

[StormChasing] #FriendlyFriday Features Storm Chasing Master Chris Kridler!

Over on Patreon, Sarah and I run a feature every week called #FriendlyFriday, where we tell you all about my fabulous friends and what brilliant things that they are up to!
Since I am gearing up for my Storm Chaser Apprenticeship, I thought I should take a moment to tell you a little bit about the woman who helped inspire it: Chris Kridler! Chris is the author of the novels Funnel Vision, Tornado Pinball, and Zap Bang.
“Most chasers have a great reverence for the sky and a scientific interest in the weather, even if they aren’t scientists. As a photographer, I find storms challenging and enthralling. I don’t chase them to face death.” — Chris Kridler

 

Each Spring she heads for the middle of the US–Tornado Alley–to record and photograph some of the deadliest storms in our country. And this year I am riding shotgun!
Besides taking some breathtaking photos of these storms, Chris records all the data that comes along with them.  From precipitation to temperatures, the recorded information is used by scientists and storm chasers to help track down Plains supercells and tornadoes, Florida storms and tropical weather (hurricanes). 
She has been on hand for some of the worst storms in the last 20 years, including the EF3 (initially reported EF5) tornado at El Reno, Oklahoma in 2013, which was the widest ever recorded at 2.6 miles and took the lives of three well-respected storm chasers and at least 17 others. She will be the first person to tell you how dangerous storm chasing can be, but also how necessary it is for us to record and understand them. 
tornado“I would hate to see an end to storm chasing. Even though it’s a hobby for me, as well as a professional interest in terms of photography, it’s also been important to weather reporting, research and warnings over the decades. I’m not going to pretend that all storm chasers are virtuous life savers, because most of them aren’t. But most are good people who are happy to share what they know and respect the weather and others – who, like me, enjoy the beauty of the Plains, the challenge of forecasting, and the pleasures of traveling through middle America with friends. I fell in love with chasing when I took a storm tour in 1997. Since then, I’ve chased with friends or on my own all over Tornado Alley and beyond. I’ve given presentations about it. I’ve satirized it in novels. I’ve taken photographs I couldn’t get any other way. And I wouldn’t trade a minute of it, except for the moment when I learned that Tim Samaras and his crew were killed.
Friday was a terrible day, but I still want to see more storms. They are the only impartial and unstoppable forces in this drama, and they will still spin across the Plains, beautiful and dangerous, whether or not there are witnesses.” — Chris Kridler, on El Reno
I’ve ordered my special Storm Chaser tiara (more on that later!) and my #OzorBust t-shirt, I’m almost ready to hit the road with Chris! I hope you’ll follow along at home as we head out on our adventure this May. I can’t wait to see what the sky holds in store for us!
xox
Princess Alethea
*****************

Remember: My Patrons will be receiving an ALL ACCESS PASS to Alethea’s Official Storm Chaser Diary and Pics! Become a Patron of the Princess today! Pledging as little as $1 a month gets you exclusive access!

No Comments | Tags: , , , ,

Your Storm Chaser Princess of 2018

So…guess what I’m doing this summer?

Why, I’ll be gone with the wind, my darlings. More specifically…I AM OFF TO BE AN APPRENTICE STORM CHASER.

Storms have fascinated me ever since we studied the different cloud forms in elementary Earth Science. They were a sizable element of my studies when I was on track to be a Marine Chemist, back in college. Twister was fascinating to me…mostly on an incredibly geeky scientific level.

So when my friend—author, photographer, and Master Storm Chaser Chris Kridler made an offhand remark last year about how I “should go chasing with her sometime,” I made sure she didn’t forget it. She said, if I was serious, I should block out the entire month of May.

May Chasing CalendarI’m pretty sure she didn’t think I was serious.

Chris (http://skydiary.com/) has 20+ years of storm chasing experience. I began calling myself her “Storm Chaser Apprentice,” which made her chuckle. (Expect that t-shirt to be made available on Amazon soon.)

But I want to be clear—I am not a risk taker. I am doing this for the science, and the experience. “Amateur Storm Chasers” are those yahoos that hear about a weather report and hop in the car armed with their phone and ZERO scientific equipment. I had a boyfriend convince me to take a ride like that once. ONCE. Driving blind into threatening cloud formations scared me half to death. Because IT IS A STUPID THING TO DO. DO NOT DO THIS THING.

I knew that if I ever went Storm Chasing again, I would do it right.

So here we are, on the cusp of May, and I am officially your Storm Chaser Princess of 2018, reporting for duty!

In the weeks to come, I’ll be posting all about my prep for storm chasing: everything from packing (t-shirts are so important!) to playlists and cameras and Trip Goals, to test runs, info about Chris, and advice she imparts to me as we gear up for the road.

I’ve been saving up money to cover food, gas, and hotels—if you’d like to throw a few bucks my way to help with any of this (or the occasional Starbucks), you can PayPal akontis at gmail or click the Donate button on the right.

If you’d like an All Access Pass to my daily Storm Chasing Diary and all my photos, go over to Patreon and become an official Patron of the Princess! Even a pledge of just $1 a month will grant you access!

If you can’t afford Patreon but still want to follow along, worry not—I’ll be posting some updates here and there, and on social media (FB Live is still a pretty great feature). I’ll definitely be making the occasional appearance in Chris’s photos and blogs. (You should bookmark her site  anyway, because TRUST ME…her photos are SO AMAZING.)

Plus, over on http://skydiary.com/tracking , you will be able to check in on us at any point when we’re on the road to see exactly where in the US we are at any given time! (More details on that later.)

As each day passes, I’m getting more and more excited. I’m looking forward to riding Shotgun with the Master…and having my Patrons right there with me in the front seat!

Chris says that Storm Chasing usually begins around second week in May, but she’ll be watching the skies. As soon as everything feels right, I get the call and we hit the road!

OMG I AM SO EXCITED YOU GUYS. Seriously. I want to start packing, like, now. And at this point in my career, I pretty much hate packing.

But I have to be ready to go. Because in May…THE CHASE IS ON!

xox
~Princess Alethea, Storm Chaser Apprentice

No Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,