Friday, May 11, 2007

Welcome to Robin Storm

After taking a long time and thinking about blogging, while reading the many interesting and zany storm related blogs. I decided that after 25 years of running onto ships, while everyone else was running off. I might as well have some fun and journal some of the adventures I get myself into. Especially with mother nature at her spectacular worse. I guess my biggest fear was my writing skills. I am a technical writer not a story teller. But the love of my life, convinced me that I would just do fine, as long as, I wrote just the way I verbalize. So I decided to give it a whirl.

I have the utmost respect for professional storm chasers and weather spotters, they perform a valuable and noble service to the public. They are some of the most unsung hero's I have ever encountered. Though I do admit that some of them are, one tree short of a hammock. I say that because some of us spot weather or chase as a secondary issue. Many in my business do not necessarily chase storms or spot weather as a choice. It's not like you have a choice when your in the middle of the pond and mother nature decides to make your day. Normally one that makes you wonder (many times using some very colorful metaphors) what your doing there in the first place. Most of the storm chasers I have encountered are a zany bunch and I do make the distinction between Professional, NOAA/National Weather Service and University Chasers who chase because of the science, while the others chase because, that's where the storms are. Though they are all a great group.

While I have chased shore-side, most recently spotting a twister in southern Mississippi. I consider myself a rookie. Though I am trained in radar operations and in basic meteorology I have been on only three shore-side chases. At Sea? Oh hell I lost count of how many times I broke my promise to God asking him to get me out of a heavy sea state. Nothing like standing on the bridge of a 750 ft container ship with one engine operational and watching a wave make your bow disappear, praying you don't submarine. For those of you who don't believe in God, I can't tell you what your missing. I am not ashamed to say that during these times I hum the "Saving Grace".

It is funny though. I have been asked how many twisters I have seen and when I say just three, most chasers just smile. But I smile when I ask them how many tornadic waterspouts, not fair weather waterspouts, they have seen. Most chasers and spotters forget that 71% of the earth is covered by water and most do not realize that sub-sea weather systems even exist. We only process thought on what we can see and sometimes only on one plane of thought. While many times what we can't see is far worse. I have seen clear sky's with a calm sea state and 200 feet below? A raging sub-sea storm. These type of storms we are now just beginning to understand. Mother nature is just fascinating and as dangerous as you can't imagine. Greensburg, Kansas was just the tip of Mothers powers and my prayers go to all in Greensburg

Most of the storm blogs on the web are shore-based. It is my hope that this blog will be a combination of both shore-side and at-sea reports. I am expected back at sea in late August. But for now I am getting prepared for a road trip in July.

Of course like anything else the devil is always in the details. And planning is key. So we are in the planning stages of our trip. Our SUV besides having the normal survival and first aid gear will be equipped with a JRC MK1500 portable radome radar and I use StormLab, GRLevel3, Interwarn and Digital Atmosphere as applications. We will also have a satellite phone available just in case. I also get a great deal of information from the four chaser list-servers I monitor. And yes as one WCM told me, great stuff, flame wars and all..

I am hoping that we will also have the pleasure of running into some other storm chasers on the road. Until then as this site develops, I hope I can provide its readers with some good data and some great pictures.

Your comments and assistance are always welcomed.

God Bless