This section includes storm chasing related picnics, parties, conventions, or other similar events that have taken place in the year of 2004.

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NSCC Music Presentation For 2004 (Chases Until 2003)


This is a picture of the 2004 annual storm chasers convention getting underway at the Denver International Airport Holiday Inn conference room in Aurora, Colorado on February 7, 2004. Nearly 200 chasers showed up for this event to be treated by some of the best speakers and presentations on storm chasing to date. The total convention was from February 6th through the 8th.
Here is another view of the convention from the vendor area in the back of the room looking towards the front. Tim Samaras did an excellent job on the media aspect of the event, with DV8, mini-DV, VHS, DVD, even PC / Windows presentations all supported and displayed on the "big screen".
This is another picture as the convention was near full and swinging into full gear. Many people brought their own "gadgets", such as cameras, laptops, even HAM / CB radios to "play with" during the whole event. This was an atmosphere ranging from science-lovers to scientists, literally.
The banquet was included for all registered convention members and was a full course dinner with soup, salad, chicken cor-don bleu, and dessert / coffee. The banquet hall is entirely full, the empty seat in the foreground is mine ... I was taking this picture. My group's table is in the foreground, and we were lucky enough to dine with Dave Hoadley, a long time veteran chaser.
Here is a picture across the vendor tables in the rear of the main convention room. The familiar faces of Tim Marshall and Tim Vasquez can also be seen, as self-promoted merchandise is sold and traded. Anything from books and videos to T-shirts and exotic electronics could be had here.
This is a view of the new phased-array doppler on wheels (DOW) trucks parked for demonstrations in the parking lot outside of the convention hotel (Holiday Inn DIA). This next-generation radar uses a special array of many small emitters and collectors, instead of a single beam horn and dish, to transmit many frequencies on separate beam paths in one scan of a storm. Since storms have to be scanned at many angles to get a volumetric data set, causing a conventional system to have to make many time-consuming passes on a storm, this unit can do it in only one scan. The array was developed from military technology and is housed in the flat, square radome.
This is the smart DOW3 (doppler on wheels) truck also parked behind the phased array truck shown in the last picture above. This uses a horn and dish type setup, under a conical radome cover, to scan storms and small-scale weather phenomina. This unit is designed to make multiple scans on a storm, but produces intriguing resolutions of small-scale storm structure.
Here is a picture of myself, taken by Jeff Gammons in the doorway of the DOW3 truck. These were NOT static displays. The trucks and their equipment were up and running, free for anyone to touch in a hands-on way! The dishes were rotating, you could move the little joy-sticks in the controller cab and change the way the dish moves, felt like I was a kid again! This is science at its best.
Here is a view inside one of the control cab of the phased-array doppler on wheels truck. Not a very accomodating place in terms of space, but having all the scientific implements. Here we can see the radar display console to the right and dish movement controller to the left. The driving cab is to the far right. Note the ingenius draws for the keyboards as well as sturdy "military grey" frame for the equipment. Note the mesh over the window in the upper-right that serves as both a hail shield and RF "faraday" shield. Two plexiglass domes also extended above the roof of the vehicle (not visible in this picture), also covered with the same sturdy mesh.
This is a picture of Roger Hill (tornado tour operator and convention organizer) to the left, and Doug Kiesling of BNVN (Breaking News Video Network) to the right. Doug has sponsored the convention and is provinding a wireless air-card (for cellular internet data exceeding 128 K/s) as a major door prize for the convention.
Here is a picture of the former "Weathervine" chase team as well as myself having lunch at the convention hotel on the first day of the convention. From left to right is Kersten Mc Clung, Jeff Gammons (KG4PGA), myself (KG4PJN), Amos Magliocco (KC5VPD), Jason Foster (N3PRZ), and renowned hurricane chaser Jim Edds.
After the convention ended with some great videos on the first day, very few chasers went to bed. Many had their own private parties with their group of fellow chasers that lasted until the wee hours of the mornings. In this picture, we are at Amos Magliooco's suite, complete with full-video setup, pizza, soda, beer, wine, drinks, and everyone's best video. Amos Magliocco is closest in the foreground.
Here is another view of the private party and Amos Magliocco's suite. We had two TV's setup as well as many laptops. I real "geeks" party I shoudl day (no pun intended).
This is another funny shot of me finishing up the last of my first three beers, shot by our "all time joker", Doug Kiesling. I had no idea I was having my picture taken here. To the left, Dave Drummond and his girlfriend enjoy the chase videos.
This is veteran hurricane chaser Jim Edds indulging in his Sprite at Amos Magliooco's suite at the high point of the post-convention private party. Amos Magliocco (KC5VPD) deserves a special thanks for the room, food, and hospitality he put in for all of us at the party.
Tim Samaras, shown here, is a very unique and interesting person. He was a major player in making the convention happen. He is also a veteran storm chaser, and a scientist. Here he is talking about his HITPR (Hardened In-situ Tornado PRobe) and it's final successful mission of measuring conditions INSIDE a violent tornado.
Videos, slides, films, you name it! The 2004 convention had anything from amateur storm chase video to detailed scientific accounts. In this picture, we see a tornado radar from the DOW truck(s), a complicated RADAR equation with lots of Greek characters, two cars crashing on an icy road, storm surge in hurricane Isabel, a box falling off a truck before hitting a car (that was hard to watch), and Tim Samaras's detailed account of the tornado probing experiments. If you like storm science and video, this was the place for you ... Great job everyone!!
Here is a portrait of another scientist, Josh Wurman, of NSSL (National Severe Storms Laboratory). This man was a key player in the Doppler On Wheels (DOW) program and has done many intercepts in the field. Here he is giving a detailed speech on RADAR imagery and close-up storm structure.
Howard (or "howie") Bluestein, shown here, is a humble and casual scientist who has worked with severe storms long before many of us even knew about them. This man is telling the history of his long chase career, his participation with the NSSL, and life-long passion for storms.
This is a picture of Tim Marshall, who is a storm chaser, scientist, and structural engineer all rolled up into one. His area of expertise besides storms and chasing is also damage assessment, especially for tornadoes and straight line winds. Here he is talking about tornado damage patterns.
This is a picture of Dr Greg Forbes, senior severe weather meteorologist with the "Weather Channel". This is the main on-camera meteorologist who is responsible for studying and forecasting severe weather on the cable TV based network. Here he is talking about his life as a meteorologist and how he got to work for the "Weather Channel" (TWC).
This is Dave Hoadley, a storm chaser from a very different background. He began chasing in the 1960's, and was a good companion to another storm chasing legend, Roger Jensen (now deceased but acclaimed to be the "first storm chaser"). Dave Hoadley chased when there were few major highways, in-capeable vehicles, and most importantly, no cell phones, no Internet, no data options! He chased by knowledge and the seat of his pants, before most of us chasers now were even born. I remember seeing this man on science specials before I even came my fears of thunderstorms when I was a young boy. Here he is telling his long and intriguing chase-career story.
After an absolutely fabulous presentation by Dave Hoadley on his storm chasing life-time, the entire convention applauds, then stands up and applauds some more. Dave Hoadley was one of the last speakers at the convention.
On Sunday, February 8, the convention ended before noon ... Where to now? The former "Weathervine" chase team, including myself, decided to rent a 4x4 SUV for one day and drive to the Rocky Mountains west of Denver, Colorado along I-70. Here we are, packed into a Jeep Cherokee, with (from left to right) Doug Kiesling with BVNV, myself (KG4PJN), and Kersten Mc Clung in the back, and Jeff Gammons (KG4PGA) and Jason Foster (N3PRZ) in the front. Be sure to check out the OUTDOORS section of this site too for more "mountain chase" pictures as we took a 100 mile trip west of town into some remote places nearly 12,000 feet above sea level, Kersten being the one most affected by the altitude.
This picture shows Jason Foster (N3PRZ) trying to pack a snow-ball to throw at us at the Fremont Pass at over 11,300 feet elevation. Snow is hard to pack to make a snow ball at this height because it is so cold (it was around 5 above zero Farenheit here). Also notice that Jason is standing in at least three feet (over 36") of new snow! You could not walk here without snow shoes, and you would sink way into the soft powder-snow. Pulling yourself out was also hard because you get tired really fast at over 11,000 feet.
Here is a group picture, taken by Doug Keisling of BNVN, of the former "Weathervine" chase team high in the Colorado Rockies at over 10,500 feet. From left to right is myself (Chris Collura - KG4PJN), Jason Foster - N3PRZ, Doug Keisling (BNVN), Jeff Gammons - KG4PGA, and Kersten Mc Clung.


Here is a picture of hurricane-chaser Jim Edds (KG4TBE), Jeff Gammons (KG4PGA) and Myself (KG4PJN) at the Tech-TV studios in San Francisco, California while on a production for the "Screen Savers" segment of their programming. The Tech-TV staff did an absolutely fabulous job at getting myself and the former "Weathervine" storm-chase team out to California with full accomodations for this event.
Here is a picture of the Tech-TV studio during our portion of the production. Jim Edds and Jeff Gammons are to the left. Executive Josh, who did a great job at making this all happen, is in the foreground. The view here is from the front "stage" area of the studio towards the small audience area in the back. You can even see a portion of the large "boom" type camera used in the filming.
This picture shows the newly designed "Weatherlab III" weather station set-up and operating on a demonstration table for the Tech-TV production. This cool "gadget" was one of the major show highlights and can be seen in further detail by checking out the "Weatherlab III" site in this STORM CHASING section of this web site (or by clicking HERE).
Here is another picture of the "Weatherlab III" portable weather station on display after the show filming. Tech-TV's "Screen Savers" is a LIVE TV show, filmed in front of a LIVE audience too! My job was explaining all the components of my system as one of the executives, Patrick, interviewed me. After the shoot, some members of the audience were free to examine the equipment.
Here is another "group picture" of the major former "Weathervine" team members and Tech-TV production executive, Patrick just after completing our portion of the show. From left to right is Jeff, Patrick, Jim, and myself.
This is a picture of the silouetted figures of Jeff Gammons, Myself, and Jim Edds with the Golden Gate bridge in the backgound. This was just before returning to Florida the day after our time with Tech-TV.
Jeff Gammons, Jim Edds, and Myself stand near the surf-line of the Pacific Ocean at San Francisco beach to wrap up a great trip with Tech-TV. This was a special treat for Jeff Gammons ... He has never seen the Pacific Ocean before. He just couldn't resist putting his feet and hands in the 50 degree water, the "surfer" in him was just itching to ride the 8-12 foot surf!


The picture above was taken by Dave Lewison and shows a group shot of some of the chasers in front of Mark Rascovich's ranch home in Piedmont, Oklahoma. Mark "Rocky" Rascovich, host for this event, is the fifth person from the left in the very front row. Myself and our chase group is the next row just behind.

This picture shows the back yard at Mark Rascovich's ranch house in Peidmont, Oklahoma with some chasers mingling and eating. A total of nearly 100 chasers showed up during the day, including tour groups.
This is a picture of the barbacues at the storm chaser picnic at Rocky's ranch house. Food included hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken, cold-cuts, crackers, cheese, deviled eggs, and chase videos!


Hurricane Charley blasted through Punta Gorda, Florida on Friday, August 13, 2004 causing extensive devastation. This section shows myself and the former "Weathervine" storm chase team at the "Rally On The River For Charley" event at memorial Park in Punta Gorda along the Peace River. Our presence at this event accomplished two things, to promote and sell our DVD and VHS videos of the storm (covered extensively by our six camera crews), and more importantly, to help raise money (through donating a portion of our sales) to help with disaster relief and rebuilding efforts. We thank everyone who allowed us to attend this event, the people who showed up, and the city of Punta Gorda, Florida.

Here is a picture of our setup at the event, which started at about 1 PM and lasted until fireworks at 8 PM. The chase vehicles used in the hurricane chases this year were all set up for display, including mine with the "Weatherlab" weather station. A full video display area as well as sales area was set up in front of the vehicles.
This picture shows Jason Foster's (N3PRZ) Chevy S-10 pickup truck with DVD and VHS videos for sale on the tail-gate.
The event ended with a spectacular, in-your-face fireworks display. In this picture, the "Weatherlab" station is in the foreground.

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