Wednesday, June 30, 2010


The Canute Strom Chasing team is seeking a dedicated intern for the remainder of the season. For more information on the opening, visit:



Monday, June 28, 2010

Signing off!

I went to see my doctor today, and it looks like I’m not going to be able to finish up my internship this season. I was feeling pretty down about the whole thing all morning, but then I realized that even though I broke my leg, I’m pretty lucky to have had such a great month. Ever since I was little I wanted to get up close and personal with a tornado, and I never thought that I’d get to. But I GOT to, and more than once even.

Then, later a package arrived:

Now, if anything could cheer me up – it’s a visit from an old friend! It looks like my luck is going to change for the better.

Thank you for reading, and for all the great comments! The team is looking for a new recruit, so make sure to check in tomorrow for details.

Stay Twisty!


Friday, June 25, 2010


Ok – I super broke my leg yesterday. I don’t really recommend it. Let me breakdown what happened for you.

9 AM (Four hours to “the incident.”)
I wake up and head downstairs to have breakfast. My leg has no idea what’s in store for it today. It’s just hanging out in my shoe, having a grand old time. Poor, sweet, stupid leg – it really has no clue what’s coming. Debbie and I go over the weather information for the morning. She’s been having some trouble getting accurate readings lately with all of the broken equipment, and this morning is no exception. Debbie isn’t comfortable sending me out into the field alone, she tells me to check in with Scott.

10 AM (Three hours to “the incident”)
I drop by Scott’s office, he pulls up his weather feed and decides that I’ll be fine out in the field, he marks a few places on my map. I pack up Frosty’s cameras and take off.

10:30 AM (Two and a half hours to “the incident”)
I get a little lost. Normally when I’ve got somewhere to go I’ve got Frosty with me (although his directions can be a little less than helpful sometimes – he’s the kind of guy who will tell you you’re going the wrong way, but then offers no follow up information about what the right way could be.) but this time I was on my own. Since I can’t drive and look at a map at the same time, and because the GPS unit was being really weird I decided to stop by Ma ‘n Pa’s for directions.

11 AM (Two hours to “the incident”)
Pa gives me some tips on how to get to the spots Scott marked on my map. Pa’s a little strange about giving me directions to the storm. I don’t think he approves of people heading into stormy weather, which makes sense to me now.

11:30 AM (One and a half hours to “the incident”)
I may have spent some time playing the arcade game at Pa’s place. I also may have set the high score. 

12 PM (One hour to “the incident”)
I arrive at my first location. The storm is really starting to get bad.

That bad. That’s noon up there!

I start shooting pictures. The wind is so over-the-top-crazy at the top of the hill that I head for lower ground so I can keep the camera steady. I’m starting to really get into taking pictures. I’m following the movement of the storm and looking for a good vantage point to take a few shots. Things are going pretty great.

12:55 (Roughly five minutes to “the incident.”)

It starts to hail. Then it starts to Hail. Then it starts to HAIL! I decide to run back to the car. Just then a piece of hail the size of baseball crashes down less than a foot away. I decide that this is no time for casual running - this is the time for full-out-crazy-arm-flail-running. So I do that.

12:57 (Roughly two minutes to “the incident”)
There’s the car! I jump in – but it won’t start. The car is broken! It’s a car tragedy! I can’t get the windows back up – hail is flying into the car. There’s an old barn across the field from where I am - I decide to make a break for it.

12:58:48 (2 seconds to “the incident.”)
There’s the barn! I’m running really fast now – I’m at the top of the hill, seconds away from the barn. Things are looking good. I take a step and slip -

12:58:50 (The Incident!)
I’m airborne. I have just enough time to think “I am almost certain that this is going to be its own special kind of bad.” I land on my leg in just the wrong way, and suddenly I couldn’t care less about the hail.

After a few solid minutes of self-pity, and feeling a little jealous of my friends who have “boring” internships, I crawl over to the car and call the homestead for help. In a few minutes Debbie is there, and I’m off to the hospital.

I’m going home tonight to get some rest the weekend, and we’ll be deciding if I’ll be able to return to the homestead this season Monday.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Pete was injured while out in the field this afternoon, and has been taken to the hospital for observation. He asked me to update his blog to let you know that he’s okay – and will be filling you in on the details soon.

Thank you,


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Maybe I need to think about something else! I’ve been spending so much time every single day obsessing about storms and tornados that I think it’s starting to make me a little crazy. Last night I had a stress dream about a tornado that was so bizarre I thought I’d tell you about it here.

In my dream, the team and I were chasing down a huge tornado – but this time, instead of logging a bunch of data – I actually caught the tornado.

Suddenly everyone was really worried – we had caught this huge tornado, but we had no idea what do with it. Do we take it to the homestead and tie it up in back? Will we have to feed it? What if it gets loose? Will it invite its friends over?

We tried to set it free again, but it just followed us around like a lost puppy. It was equally cute and terrifying.

I asked the rest of the team if they’ve had any stress dreams about tornados and, it turns out that everyone has. Frosty’s was my favorite - he once had a dream where he forgot to study for a test and a tornado gave him an F on an exam.

Speaking of Frosty, he’s been pretty pleased with my photos lately. We’re expecting a pretty big system to move through the area tomorrow, and he wants me out in the field. He’s given me some of his good equipment and wants me to really “get into the middle of things.” I’m really excited, I hope I get some good shots tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


When I was at Ma ‘n Pa’s store this morning to restock the chase vehicles, and I ran into a few members of another chase team. I’ll be honest, it was totally weird. We’ve been so busy chasing storms lately that I’ve forgotten about the Green Skies competition. With all that money up for grabs *cough*enough to hire a certain intern permanently*cough* it’s no surprise that there’d be a lot of teams trying to get in on the action.

I don’t think I’ve said much about the Green Skies competition – basically the team that gets the best results this season receives a huge grant to establish a state of the art storm tracking and chasing facility. Our team is a favorite to win, but Scott is quick to remind everyone that the prize isn’t won until every storm is tracked and logged.

The team I met today is headed by a woman named Brooke. She seemed pretty nice, but she was definitely trying to pry information out of me about what our team was up to – lucky for the Canute team, I don’t actually have any clue about what’s going on, ever :P

When I got back to the homestead, I told Scott about running into Brooke. He seemed pretty irritated, but happy that I didn’t give away any of our secrets. He told me that next time someone tries to get any secret information out of me, I should throw them a “bum lead” He made me practice my misinformation skills.

SCOTT: Ok. I’m the other team leader. “So, where’re you headed this week?”

ME: Maine.

SCOTT: No. It has to make sense.

ME: Ok.

SCOTT: So where’re you going this week?

ME: Few hundred miles north.

SCOTT: No. that’s what we’re actually doing.

ME: Few hundred miles south?

SCOTT: There’s a system there as well. So no.

This is the first time I’ve had any difficulty being wrong about something.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend Statistics

Equipment Problems: Blown fuses in the Doppler, Patch cords chewed by mice, fifty mm lens scratched by hail, anemometer lost (possibly at the Coney-opolis), communication equipment failure

Hours of driving logged: 19

Hours of sleep logged: Six (all weekend!)

Best quote of the weekend: Frosty “It looks like it’s dancing and also destroying a barn!”

Reoccurring Accident of the weekend: Scott driving off with coffee on the roof of his car. (three times)

Chase air guitar solos: Four (that I saw – possibly more)

Most embarrassing moment: Reviewing the tapes and hearing the really dopey things we say when we see a tornado – an excerpt:

“ME: Wow!


SCOTT: Man, that’s a twister alright!

DEBBIE: Uh-huh!

ME: Wow!

CHASE: That one means business!

ME: Tornado!”

Parking tickets received: 3

Confirmed Tornados Spotted: 4

That’s right, four. We saw so many tornadoes this weekend that we had to give them nicknames to keep them straight (if you were curious, they were - Barn Stormer, Lefty, Haily, and Slowpoke.) I finally got to see what it’s like when the chase season is in full swing – and now I need to sleep for a thousand years (and then enter a million numbers into a spreadsheet.)

Until tomorrow,

Stay Twisty!