April 20 2004

Mar 05, 2012

Haha wow.

At the time of this posting the date is December 15th 2009 – I finally went back and found my original blog from April 20th 2004. It was written on Myspace as that was the only way I documented things back then and all the way till 2009 before I launched this site. I was just 21 years old. Its a shame I decided to actually do something about my lifes passion so late in life. Better late than never though! I consider this my first official storm chase. I had always driven around in bad weather around my neighborhood whenever it would strike. I never really had a reason other than I just liked being out in storms and wanted to see if I could find damage or see something cool, perhaps even this thing called a tornado. However, on this day, it was a little more than that…I didn’t want to wait for the storm to get to me. For the first time, I was intentionally setting out to meet IT.

I was as new of a chaser as there ever could be. I chased with nothing. I just went out there blind whenever something was happening. I am posting this directly from my old blog as it is neat to see how far I’ve come. I didn’t know what supercell meant, I didn’t know what SPC was, I had no NOAA radio, maps, let alone chaser friends. I was just a storm loving junkie who craved severe weather. Well, at least that hasn’t changed!

Anyways, here is the original blog in its entirety. I apologize for the bad language and horrible grammar, but its who I was back then! I can’t deny that, the past helped shape the person I am today.

“Tuesday, April 20, 2004

 

Well i had a great fuckin night! we finaly had some good severe weather
action around here, since becoming a storm chaser is what i want to do
with my life, everytime we get severe weather around here im out
chasing it, and 2nites was wild, tornados did some decent damage aorund
the area….it all started with me and my buddy travis going over to
191st and harlem to check out hotel rates for ozzfest, i already had an
idea that there were storms in the area so i was already on alert…in
one of the lobbys i happened 2 catch a glance at the radar and notice a
nice sized storm cell headin our way, after starin at the radar for a
minute or 2 i planned a route in my head 2 intercept it, the route took
me over to 135th and will cook road [about 6 miles from where i was at,
i got there in about 20 mins] over by tampier lake, right when i got
there we were bombarded with penny size hail for about 2 minutes, it
was raining so hard i couldnt see an inch infront of me it was pitch
black and the roads were flooded, my van was gettin tossed in the wind,
talk about an adrenaline rush! i love chasing!!! altho the storm was
dying by the time we reached it, it was still impressive
had i stayed where i was at, it woulda been nothing but rain, im glad
im so good at doin what i love….”
The last part of that is what catches me the most. “I’m glad I’m so good at doing what I love…”
Wow, good is the last word I would use to describe myself back then. Looking back, what I did was incredibly stupid knowing what I know now. That was the very same storm that produced the deadly Utica, IL tornado. Luckily for me it was weakening. However growing up around here, one is more ignorant to the actual tornado threat.
The day itself, April 20th 2004 was actually a major event here in IL. What stands out about it is it completely caught forecasters off guard. Regular thunderstorms weren’t even in the forecast. Nothing but light showers were observed on radar most of the day. Ive read countless case studies on this event as it is very fascinating. These storms produced major tornadoes, all from an advancing warm front and barely 750 j/kg of CAPE.
Here are the storm reports:
Thanks for checking it out. It isn’t much, but it got the ball rolling!

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