My Current Weather

Monday, April 16, 2012

Old VHS Storm Chase Video's Of Supercell T-Storms In SE NM.

June 2, 1999 Near Maljamar, NM

June 10, 1997 Cottonwood, NM
(5 Miles NW of Artesia, NM)

I'm in the process of dusting off the mothballs of some of my old VHS Storm Chase Video's that I have shot here in southeastern New Mexico. More to come.

Do I Really Storm Chase?

I have been hearing rumors recently that I have really never done much storm chasing. Trust me, they are false. So far this spring, I have gone out chasing with my wife once, down to the Pecos-Fort Stockton-Sanderson, Texas areas, then back up to just west of Odessa. That chase was a bust, like a lot of chases are. We chased down in the Fort Stockton area last year, and that was also a bust. This is kind of a bummer because the Trans Pecos Area can be a hot bed of activity. I have gone out twice this year since the Fort Stockton chase. Both chases were here in Eddy County.

I chased a nice supercell thunderstorm west of Roswell, New Mexico last June...I had my live stream up on that one. I am having trouble trying to get my live stream to show the video side on UStream, the audio side works great. Still working on that little problem. Two storms and that was it. Our severe weather season, and my chase adventures, both ended because of the drought last spring. Its not at all uncommon not to have a severe weather season in this part of the world. I have seen up to four or five years in a row in the past with little severe weather.

Prior to last June, I actually had gone out chasing only a couple of times in the past six years, and that too was locally. Up until last June, I was employed at the Indian Basin Gas Plant (as a Gas Plant Operator) located west-northwest of Carlsbad, New Mexico. I worked a rotating 12-hour shift, seven days on, then off, then seven nights on, then off, and back to days again. I also worked a tremendous amount of overtime over the past 10 years while I was at the plant. Prior to that I worked for another company in the Indian Basin area, and also worked a lot of overtime. That tends to kill any storm chase opportunities.

For the past six years, I have ran our local Skywarn Net Control Operations either out of my office at home, or out of the Emergency Managers Office (Joel Arnwine's Office for the first couple of years) here in Carlsbad.

This was done around my horrific work schedule. I can't count the number of times that I have came home from a 12-hour work shift at the plant over the past six years, walked into my office here at the house, and ran our Skywarn Net until midnight or later, then got a couple hours of sleep and pulled another 12-hour workday.

Trust me, at times it was exhausting, but I had fun doing this. Just for the record, my time was free. Eddy County didn't pay me, the radio station didn't pay me, nor did the National Weather Service. I did this not because I had to, but because I wanted to. One of my main goals as the Eddy County Skywarn Coordinator, has been to educate our local population on just how much severe weather we really have here in southeastern New Mexico. I hope that I have increased your situational awareness concerning severe weather here in southeastern New Mexico.

Typically on my days off, I would spend up to 12-hours or more, and sometimes after work, monitoring our local amateur radio repeaters, GRLevel3 and GRLevel2-AE, and directing our local Skywarn Spotter Groups to storms during severe weather outbreaks. And at the same time, I was doing the live updates on our local radio stations KSVP 990 AM, and KTZA 92.9 FM. So again, this meant no storm chasing for me. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining in the least bit, just stating the facts.

So I really haven't done much chasing (not counting this year) in about the past ten years. The above reasons are why, and don't forget those dry springs we have had when there was little to chase even if I did have the time.

It feels great to be back out there doing my thing. I have so missed this. Storm chasing has always been a huge passion of mine, and a big part of who I am. Now, if mother nature will continue to cooperate, and gas prices don't get too high, then maybe I can get some good video and photos this year since I have "retired." Look for them here. :)

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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