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Shifting Gears.....


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Have you ever reached a point in your life, and taken a look around, and noticed not what you don't have, but rather what has changed, and what you could now do that you couldn't before?

It could be something as simple, as say a new truck. In my case, it is exactly that. Allow me to elaborate.

For years, I have been fascinated by various weather phenomena, and living in south Texas, I saw no real shortage of good, powerful s**t, commonly referred to as tropical cyclones, LOL. When I moved to Kansas, one of the larger draws for me was that I was moving into Tornado Alley. But I couldn't DO anything with it, because all the vehicles I owned were too nice to go storm-chasing in.

This year, as I am growing tiresome of constantly playing with cars, along comes a dirt-cheap, and street-beat Dodge Ram. As spring approached, it occurred to me, that things are changing in my life, and I have now, a vehicle I could pursue storm chasing with. So, a couple of weeks ago, I made the choice to go for it this season.

I have figured out everything the truck should be equipped with to safely do this, and already passed my Skywarn spotter certification, which I will receive on the 13th. In addition, I have found an incredible online learning center that caters to the geosciences community that is completely free of charge.

That is why, if you have been on my Facebook, you have seen all the Convective Weather stuff going on. I figured if I am going to do it, I already have some layman's knowledge, I might as well take as many of these courses as I can, and get honestly good at this. There's no real good reason to half-ass a hobby, if you ask me.

If you want to see what I am taking, or perhaps take some yourself, the site is:

http://www.meted.ucar.edu

It's a very informative place to learn all of this stuff, but I will warn you...it's not very easy to do.

So, with the Starion up for sale, and technically no longer a hobby, this is where it's going next!

Tim

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Durango could have been perfect to do that, but who says my Caliber can't? rolleyes.gif

I have always been fascinated by storm chasing, and have always wanted to do it, so this is something I would for sure be interested in looking into.

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Tim, this has always been a love of mine. We don't get lots of wicked weather here, but usually a couple storms a year will produce the 'good s**t' if you know what I mean. Ain't nothin' like sitting on the porch with a glass of Beam, a cheap cigar, and watching a black mass of clouds roll in, followed by a series of branches and debris that juuuusst miss hitting Marilyn. (Where she is parked during this, is planned to block from wind currents, and therefore most flying s**t. So far, other than a few hail dents, nothing has struck her.) My plans for this year are to have my weather scanner installed in my car as well as a mounting point for my camera. I will take a look at that site you posted then, too, thanks. I have a basic understanding of this, and am always eager to learn more. Basic understanding, by our words out here in the sticks, is as such: "s**t's flying, Ethel! Get the camera, a six pack and get in the truck!"

On a related topic, the Gen 4 with Pirelli Scorpion tires holds it's own pretty damn well on slick, mud-packed backroads. :ph34r:

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Rusty, it has been an interest of mine for many years as well. As I said before, my truck will be outfitted with some neat stuff, to help make it both easier, and safer to do.

I'm getting a mobile broadband setup for my laptop, and with that, I will have real-time NEXRAD radar in my truck, along with NWS updates. I will get a USGlobalSat GPS puck to integrate with my radar program to show my location, relative to the rotation areas in the storm.

Of course, with tools like these, I can find where the hail is falling in the storm, and avoid it! There's some other stuff i want to get for my truck as well....like a roof-mounted anemometer to show wind speed, real-time.

What WON'T be happening is setting the cruise control and jumping out to watch my truck go into a tornado.....in the name of science.

Devin, you can do it in the Caliber, just as well as I can do it in the truck. However, I am pre-hailstoned, and not terribly concerned (meaning I won't cry myself to sleep) if it picks up another one or two.

Tim

Edited by Zorin
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What WON'T be happening is setting the cruise control and jumping out to watch my truck go into a tornado.....in the name of science.

Tim

That would be the best thing for a Dodge :ph34r:

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Below the belt......

Tim

Sorry, m8. Wanted to stir Devin up, but he didn't take the bait :lol:

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Sorry, m8. Wanted to stir Devin up, but he didn't take the bait :lol:

Shhhhhhhh..... happy.gif

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Yeah, I wouldn't want a Dodge Caliber Golfball Edition..... mellow.gif

Didnt Mythbusters do something about that ? ? :blink: You may actually get better milage with the golfball modification. dry.gif

Yea Tim, that would be an interesting hobby for sure. A friend of mine from school is actually a professional storm chaser. He comes back home sometimes for visits and has been in our local papers at times with some good stories. You also need to get a top notch digital SLR camera now to get those wild photos.

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Hell Tim, the way we've been the last year or so, you might make a run down here to 'Bama LOL

The storms Friday were a real doosy... It wore me out driving, that damn trailer and cab are just one huge sail.

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Man, I'm actually a little scared to chase in the Dixie Alley. Lots of trees, and hills....very very hard terrain to chase in....you may not know if you are driving right into one!

Yeah, I watched the whole southeast get pounded....here's Friday's storm reports. Enjoy leafing thru.

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/120302_rpts.html

Tim

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Finished the Spotter Training course. Tonight starts the Summer Severe Weather course.

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