View Full Version : Need Your Help, Please!

joel ewing
05-12-2009, 05:39 PM
This is a plea for intellectual... as well as "a feeling in my gut" type of feedback from the very educated and fertile minds of the Storm Track clan. I'm actually writing this for my chase partner / cousin Doren Berge (pron. Bur-ghee), who called me earlier asking my advice...and now is buried at work and can't write this himself. Cuz....I got your back!
I (Joel ) am scheduled to fly into Omaha to begin my annual month of chasing on May 27th. But Doren cleared his schedule and already purchased tickets to fly into the alley on May 18th...giving him a 9 day advance opportunity to chase, prior to me catching up with him. This is turning into a tough chase year. My question to all of you..Would you take your chances and fly into the alley and hope for the best between May 18th thru May 27th?? Statistically, it's a pretty healthy time for tornadoes. OR....Spend the bucks, change the flights and work the alley with me from May 27 thru mid-June?? If so...it's gotta be done quickly.
We BOTH really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you in advance. Joel

Mark Blue
05-12-2009, 08:10 PM
That's a very tough call Joel. I'm actually struggling with my chasecation dates in that I planned them from May 20th through June 2nd. Since it appears high pressure is on the way for the first part of next week and how long it will stick around after that only God knows. So now I'm anxiously looking at models every night, reading the HPC and CPC sites trying to get a handle on what the weather is going to do for the medium and long term time frames, trying to decide whether I should delay the start by a day or two. I know I'm not answering your question, and I doubt anyone really could with any semblence of confidence. You and your cousin will have to watch the forecasts and perhaps plan on chasing in areas you may have never considered before with the way things are going. Or who knows, maybe the discrepancies in the models are leading us in a direction we don't even need to go as good chasing weather is just around the corner! I really hope it works out for you as I can tell you're just as excited as I am!!

Jason Foster
05-12-2009, 09:41 PM
If you/he (anyone) is fairly new to chasing, I think it is a good idea to go with the original dates. This is good for more reasons than I can describe, but I would point on that with multiple down days you have take the time to better learn the geography and practice navigation in the plains. It will also give you a chance to converse with the locals who live and deal with significant weather, which will help give each chaser a better respect and perspective on what they do and why. It may also be good so that as a new chaser you will have an opportunity to meet other more experience chasers to whom you can learn from.

Also, the plains are just a great place to visit, with hundreds of other things to do and see. And in the end, there are no guarantees that there will be much later on either. So then you've done all the extra work to change flights, reschedule work, vacation, and other things, and still not have much to show.

On the flip side, late May and early June is still a great time to chase, it is schedule that I was forced to chase with in my early years because of school finals.

joel ewing
05-13-2009, 12:41 AM
We're not newbies by any means. I've been chasing over 25yrs, Doren for about a decade now.
We were just looking for folks' thoughts on this. I already told Doren, who still has not made his final decision on this...that I'd personally spend the $$ and change the flights. I've always been more of a fan of central / northern plains chasing....which of course.....really gets going thru June.
Thanks for your thoughts.

Jason Boggs
05-13-2009, 07:24 AM
Honestly, I think late May into Mid June would be the right call here. No scientific basis for this, just a good ol gut feeling.

Mark Blue
05-13-2009, 08:02 AM
If you like central and northern plains chasing Joel, then I'd definitely have your cousin switch his plans based on climatology and severe weather moving further north as time progresses throughout late Spring and into early Summer. I just hope this zonal flow pattern breaks up soon and we start getting huge negatively-tilted troughs in the west one after the other! :)

Doren Berge
05-13-2009, 10:10 AM
Thanks Joel I appreciate you reaching out to ST for me. It seems everyone with travel logistics is doing their best to read the "tea leaves." We we're just looking for some other thoughtful opinions. It is the weather after all... Ask and ye shall receive. Thanks for weighing in everyone.

In the end I decided to change my plans. American Airlines wanted to Jam me for Something like $560 to change my flights. I told them they could keep the tickets as it would be cheaper for me book another trip altogether using Kayak or Travelocity... They ended up changing the flights for $150. Not great but not bad considering what I'll save on hotels and travel expenses by NOT sitting under blue skies in May.... Assuming I made the right call.... (I second guess everything this time of year....)

Pushed the whole trip back to June. As much as I love the Southern plains I prefer chasing farther north. And we're sure to stab south anyway. We always do. Now I keep fingers crossed that I made the right move (I'm sure I'll miss an event or three). I placed my bet on June. I'll just sit patient for a couple more weeks.

Thanks again all.


joel ewing
05-13-2009, 10:54 AM
My heart, gut, and everything else says you made the right call here, Cuz.
What prompted me to hope that you'd change your plans was primarily the fact that from Nebraska northward, they're all sitting on low-mid 40's dew points. And they have been basically all chase season. Yesterday Neb. and S.Dakota got a shot of mid-hi 50's dews.....immediately the Nebraska sandhills tornadoed...and now they're back down to hi 30's / mid 40's dews again.
In my book.....no juice = no hope.
Good luck to all chasers today who will be out playing! And thanks ever so much to all of you who read and responded to our little drama here. Joel

Jason Boggs
05-14-2009, 04:39 AM
I think the right call was made here. Good luck to you guys, and have a safe and productive chase season!