Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
Weather, photography and the open roadClick for an important message

May 21: T-minus 2 hours, web site update

9:05PM EDT - Tom, David and I are here at our 'staging area' for last-minute preparations. Matt is on his way west from Raleigh, and should be here in the next couple of hours - at which time we will finally be officially starting this trip. I never thought I'd see the day! David arrived in Charleston this morning on Amtrak's Cardinal, becoming the first observer to travel east to West Virginia for a storm observing trip :) The four of us have a hotel room booked in Louisville for tonight, giving us a three-hour jump on tomorrow's long haul to Grand Island, Nebraska. This will be the last blog post from our 'home base' - future posts on this page will be from the road! We'll also be activating our Live Event Tracker page shortly.

1:30AM EDT - Tuesday continues to look like an excellent storm observation day in Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, with a good chance of supercells and tornadoes somewhere in that region. As the date gets closer, we will be able to narrow down a more specific target. In the meantime, last-minute preparations continue, including a major overhaul of the Storm Highway main page to complement some of the new things we are doing with the vehicle on the trip. The Live Event Tracker page has also been redesigned and dressed up for its debut voyage.

Still yet to be done is a final clean-up of the car and some fine-tuning of our installations, which we'll have plenty of time to do this afternoon before we leave. The plan of heading out tonight is, so far, still a go. I'll be checking hotels.com for a Louisville, KY lodging spot sometime this morning.

Although it seems a little silly now, I'll make another update to the probability table. As you can see, I'm still too paranoid to type 100% into that first row. I know better than to tempt the weather with absolute statements about our plans. By the way, looking back through our probabilty tables from the past couple of weeks, it appears we did OK with our long-range forecasting excercises. All but a couple of our departure date forecasts gave the greater percentages to the time period when we actually decided to go. Does that mean we're getting better at reading long-range models, or did we just luck out? Yes, I know. Obviously the latter!

Based on the current outlook, this probability table charts the chance of our trip starting on a particular date:

2006 Weather Expedition - Departure Date Probability as of May 21
May 21-2799.9%
May 28-June 40.05%
No trip0.05%

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