Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 9:44AM CDT

Checking in

25 Years of Storm Observing
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I know, it's been three years since I had a gap in blog posts this long. In addition to me just being very busy with work, there hasn't been anything here worth talking about in the weather department. So, this will just be a miscellaneous topic post to keep the gap in posts from getting too big.

My parents were in town from Sunday through Wednesday for an impromptu 'family reunion' with one of my relatives on my Dad's side. That's right, I've learned since moving here that I have two previously-unknown (to me anyway) family connections to St. Louis. My Dad's first cousin's husband is from here, and the husband of one of my cousins (on my Mom's side) is also from St. Louis. Much of both of those relatives' families are still living in the area. That's pretty amazing to me, since I had no clue of that prior to coming here. In fact, I don't think any of the other candidate cities for my 2010 westward move (Louisville, Tulsa, Joplin, OKC) have any such connections.

My parents and I made our usual culinary tour of new places to eat around St. Louis. Family and friend visits are the only occasion when I get out and explore new food options here, so that's always a plus. We also scored several good seats to the Cardinals-Cubs game on Tuesday.

On an unrelated-but-major-note, my West Virginia house finally sold last month. I have an unfinished blog post in the queue about that, so stay tuned.

I don't have much in the weather expeditioning-related subject matter to talk about, but I'll try. I have most of the tornado images from my Great Plains season processed and catalogged, but have yet to build all of the web pages for them on the photo gallery site. That has been a low-priority task on the to-do list, so I don't have an estimate as to when they'll all be 'live' and ready for viewing. I can show you this preview screen capture from one of my Photoshop processing sessions last week:

That, my friends, is the type of tornado I love. Photogenic, high-contrast, out in an open field at in-the-middle-of-nowhere Kansas. It's why I expedition, it's what I hope to see every time. I'm really glad I have some good material and memories like this from this season. Those images and memories are helping me sort through the events of last month. If El Reno had been my only intercept this year, I don't know how long it would be until I chased again. Chasers often talk about having tornado dreams (I certainly have), the bad ones always being where your camera is either lost or not functioning while a beautiful tornado is ongoing. I've had my first truly bad tornado dreams since El Reno, ones of violent wedge tornadoes bearing down on cities where people I know and care about are living. In those dreams, there is a true feeling of fear and helplessness for people eclipsing the sense of amazement I usually have when seeing a tornado in open country. El Reno has certainly deeply affected me, the full extent of which I don't know yet. Take up Golf. It's a lot safer. But all kidding aside Dan.. observing is your hobby, and it seems to be your passion as well. Despite your close call, you were back observing within a week. That says it all. The dreams will subside, and you'll be back out in the Great Plains next spring with the first good setup. I'd bet money on both.
- Posted by JM from BC, Canada

Thanks JM!
- Posted by Dan R. from New Baden, IL

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