This is my ENTIRE storm chasing log book for ANY storm or atmospheric anomaly chased or observed intentionally on an ongoing basis since 1984. Special chases, such as special trips to the US Midwest shall be logged with their own chase log. This is the release of the chase log up until December 2000. This chase log is updated once a year at the conclusion of each chase season or as required otherwise. Keep in mind that this chase log is scientific evidence and portrays my on-going storm chasing research. It has been placed on this page for easy reference and meteorological interests. Please do not plagiorize or copy this document to other sites for distribution. Note that this page may take a while to load on slower modems. A full pictorial log of many chases is also available by browsing the "other chases picture log" from the storm chasing page. Feel free to browse through my main storm chasing log book.

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CHRIS COLLURAS STORM CHASE LOG

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ABOUT THIS STORM CHASING LOG

The following entries are all storm chases and interceptions performed exclusively by Chris Collura, Skywarn storm spotter code B036. All chases and observations are in chronological order and a chase number is assigned to each entry for each chase season by year. Please bear in mind that all observations are revised to modern standards and do not include all storms that occurred in a given area for a particular chase season. Early observations may even be sketchy and awkward. The chase log is also augmented with a small chart at the conclusion of each chase season showing types of observations

Any kind of storm such as a thunderstorm, tornado, waterspout, tropical cyclone, and extratropical storm can be chased or observed. I have tried to keep this log of any storms that I have observed as accurate as possible, while revising terms and expressions to abide by those used by most meteorologists and storm spotters today.

Storm chasing and observation can be extremely dangerous and may result in serious injury or death. I have received intermediate and advanced training for storm spotting in 1996. I strongly urge anyone who is to try their hand at storm spotting to get training before doing so. You must also have a good understanding of meteorology and storm dynamics. "If you don't know what you're doing, Don't do it!" Contact your local National Weather Service office for information on storm spotting and about training to become a Skywarn storm Spotter.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1984 SEASON

1). OCT 14, 9:00 AM - Coastal observation of large southeasterly swells impacting the beaches along Fire Island at Smith Point State Park near Moriches, New York. Hurricane Josephine was about 250 Miles to the south with winds decreasing from 100 to 85-MPH and turning towards the ENE. Josephine’s outer fringe effects were felt in extreme eastern New England. Conditions observed were 45-MPH NNE winds, cloudy skies with light drizzle, and 8 to 15 foot swells with tides 2 to 3 feet above normal. This was the first storm observed by myself. I used a bike to ride to the beach and a boogie board to observe the waves. Documentation was audio recording from a tape recorder wrapped in garbage bags.

This concludes the 1984 chase season. The summary includes an observation of the indirect coastal effects from a hurricane. This was the first intentional observation of any kind of storm. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1985 SEASON

1). OCT 11, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Margate and Coral Springs, Florida along Atlantic Blvd. The storm had 40-MPH winds, Torrential rains, and frequent lightning as I rode through it on my bicycle. This foolish and dangerous chase was the first thunderstorm I ever intercepted intentionally. Tropical moisture and sea breeze activity spawned the storms near a low-pressure trough.

2). NOV 24, 12:00 PM - Observation of coastal effects of Hurricane Kate at Pompano Beach, Florida. The hurricane was about 200 miles to the south on the northern Cuban coast, moving to the west with 115-MPH winds. High-pressure to the north and Kate to the south allowed 40-MPH east winds with one gust to 78-MPH to impact the south Florida coasts. Heavy rain squalls and thunderstorms would move quickly onshore outside of overcast skies with occasional drizzle. Waves from 5 to 10 Feet were observed, much larger well offshore past the reef off Pompano Beach. Tides ran a couple of feet above normal. A hurricane watch and gale warning was in effect for the majority of the day. A bicycle and surfboard was used to observe the coastal effects. Documentation was still photos.

This concludes the 1985 chase season. The summary includes a total of 2 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 1 strong thunderstorm chase and 1 tropical coastal observations were conducted. Remember, a bicycle is NOT a recommended chase vehicle for thunderstorms, and presents a deadly lightning hazard. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1986 SEASON

1). APR 30, 7:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in western sections of Lake Worth, Florida near State Road 7. Heavy rain, frequent lightning, and 40-MPH wind gusts were observed. Conditions causing the storms were a prefrontal wave and surface heating. A 1984 Chrysler Laser was used to chase the storm.

2). MAY 20, 9:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm just south of Lake Worth, Florida along State Road 7. Torrential rains, small hail, frequent lightning, and winds near 60-MPH were encountered as multiple core punches were executed on the storm as it crossed State road 7 between Lake Worth and Deerfield Beach. A jet stream trough aloft with a weak cold front allowed the storms to form in the evening hours. A 1984 Chrysler Lebaron was used to chase the storms.

3). MAY 21, 5:00 PM - Direct penetration of severe thunderstorms from initial development over Coral Springs, Florida and followed to Fort Lauderdale. Torrential rains, pea to dime sized hail, 70-MPH winds, and frequent lightning with close hits were observed during a core punch near Margate, Florida. One lightning hit struck a lake less than 100 feet from the chase vehicle. The storm was part of a multicell storm cluster developing ahead of a weak surface front with a jet stream trough aloft. A 1984 Chrysler Laser was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for the area until 9PM.

4). JUL 4, 6:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong thunderstorm near Tamarac, Florida into North Lauderdale along Southgate Blvd. Pea to dime sized hail, torrential rain, 50-MPH winds, and frequent lightning with close hits were observed in this multicell storm. A low-pressure system aloft and weak surface front caused the storms with surface heating. A 1984 Chrysler Laser was used to chase them.

This concludes the 1986 chase season. The summary includes a total of 4 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 2 severe thunderstorms were involved with 2 strong thunderstorms. Among these chases, a 1984 Chrysler Laser was used in 3 observations and a 1984 Chrysler Lebaron in 1. This season was the first where storms were intentionally intercepted by car after I got my driver's license. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1987 SEASON

1). JAN 5, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a severe thunderstorm and tornado interception. With a guest, Nick Tsokris, the severe thunderstorm was encountered near Sample Road and State Road 7 in Margate, Florida. High winds, heavy rains, and small hail was encountered as this fast moving storm crossed the area. Near Pompano Beach, Florida, on Sample Road, A small tornado was observed on the backside of the thunderstorm. The chasers came within one mile of the touchdown area, where 2 street lamps were downed and several trailer homes damaged. A jet stream aloft and a strong cold front allowed the storms and tornado to develop. A 1980 Ford Pinto was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photographs. A tornado watch was also in effect until 3 PM for this area.

2). MAR 7, ALL DAY - Extratropical gale with associated precipitation and coastal conditions observed. A chase track began in Margate, Florida through a line of strong thunderstorms with torrential rains and flooding northward into Juno Beach, Florida where waves as high as 12 feet were observed. As the gale center crossed Palm Beach by 12 PM, 45-MPH ENE winds gave way to light SW winds, which later increased to 20-MPH. The storm center was partly cloudy with nearly calm winds as it passed by. A tornado was also spawned by one thunderstorm cell in a squall line but was not observed. Documentation was still photos of rough surf and thunderstorms, as well as audio. A 1980 Ford Pinto was used to observe the storm and its effects along the Florida coast.

3). MAY 21, 4:00 PM - Direct penetration of a very strong to severe thunderstorm along Interstate 95 between State Road 84 and Broward Blvd in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Spawned by an outflow boundary from a weaker storm further north, The storm became approaching severe intensity with 3/4-inch hail, torrential rains, 50-MPH winds, and frequent lightning. Unfortunately, lightning killed two people several blocks from the chase area in this storm. Heavy rains also caused street flooding near the storm core. A low-pressure trough and stalled front allowed the storms to develop near the sea breeze front. Documentation was still photos, while a 1980 Ford Pinto was used in the chase.

4). JUN 25, 7:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from near Sunrise Blvd between Interstate 95 and State road A1A. The storm had torrential rains, frequent lightning with close hits, 45 to 50-MPH winds, and small hail. The southern edge of this multicell storm also spawned a tornado, but it was not intercepted. Heavy road ponding of water was also encountered with this storm. Documentation was still photos and audio. A 1980 Fort Pinto was used to chase the storms. An outflow boundary from the north triggered the storms near Fort Lauderdale. An upper trough and weak front caused the storms with late afternoon heating.

5). JUL 7, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration and interception of an extremely severe thunderstorm supercell and tornado touchdown along Interstate 95 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This storm was a rare classic supercell that contained large hail, unconfirmed public reports as large as baseballs, and destructive winds. The chase, accompanied by guest Tony Ihrig, went south along Interstate 95 from Pompano Beach to Fort Lauderdale. A punch through the western edge of the high precipitation core was executed where hail over an inch was observed along with 65 to 70-MPH winds, torrential rains, and continuous lightning with close hits. The rain free base was encountered near Fort Lauderdale airport where a tornado was observed about two miles ahead crossing Interstate 95. The rain free base contained a large wall cloud with strong mesocyclonic rotation. The precipitation even wrapped around the "bear's cage" forming a hook echo precipitation pattern as the tornado was touching down. Debris was observed from both the tornado touchdown as well as from the powerful outflow of the storm to the east. Documentation for this storm was still photos, including the tornado touchdown. Trees and powerlines were downed in this storm, with a roof torn off a home where the tornado hit. Hail damage and flooding also occurred under the worst part of the storm core. A 1984 Chrysler Laser was used to chase the storm, which was caused by extreme instability. An upper trough, surface trough, and daytime heating allowed this supercell to develop. The storm itself was over 20 miles wide and 67,000 feet high during its most active cycle.

6). SEP 10, 5:00 PM - Direct penetration of another very severe thunderstorm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This storm was another HP supercell extending from Deerfield Beach to Pembroke Pines. The storm was followed from Margate to Pembroke Pines with a guest, Tony Ihrig. The most severe core conditions were encountered just north of Fort Lauderdale Executive airport on Cypress Creek road. 70-MPH winds, torrential rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and golf ball sized hail were encountered in this area. A tornado was also associated with this storm near Pembroke Pines, but dissipated before the chasers could get to it. A subtropical jet stream aloft, sea breeze activity, and a low-pressure trough allowed these storms to develop. A 1984 Chrysler Laser was used to chase the storm.

7). OCT 12, 5-7 PM - Chase and observation of a category one hurricane in the northern Florida Keys. Hurricane Floyd formed near Cuba and moved over the Florida Keys then to the Bahamas. The storm peaked with 80-MPH winds as it crossed over the Florida Keys. A chase track, with guest Tony Ihrig, along Highway US 1 was made into Key Largo. Conditions encountered here were 65-MPH southeast winds and light rain, which gave way to a dead calm as the eye, was directly penetrated. As the second half of the storm passed over, light winds and sunny, hazy skies gave way to 80-MPH northwest winds with heavy rains. Downed trees and powerlines were observed in this storm, along with a 3 to 5 foot storm surge that caused some coastal damage and flooding. The well-documented chase included audio and still photographs. A 1980 Ford Pinto was used to chase the hurricane. Floyd only made landfall in the US in the Florida Keys. After that, it passed east of Florida and became non-tropical as it cleared the Northern Bahamas. Once extratropical, this system became part of a devastating storm to strike England nearly a week later.

This concludes the 1987 chase season. The summary includes a total of 7 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 4 severe thunderstorms with one including a tornado, 1 strong thunderstorm, 1 hurricane, and 1 extratropical gale were involved. Among these chases, a 1980 Ford Pinto was used in 5 observations and a 1984 Chrysler Laser in 2. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1988 SEASON

1). APR 30, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm and tornado observation. A rotating severe thunderstorm with 55-MPH winds, torrential rains, and pea-sized hail was encountered along Interstate 95 between Glades and Yamato road in Boca Raton, Florida. The storm had a rear flank circulation and hook pattern that was penetrated just north of Glades Road on Interstate 95. Upon exiting this storms, a large wall cloud with unusually low, rotating clouds was observed about 5-mile northeast of Glades Road. A report came in later that a truck was thrown 50 feet and part of a shopping center damaged near Highway US 1 and Yamato Road that confirmed this event as a tornado touchdown. A jet stream aloft and frontal system allowed this storm to develop. A 1980 Fort Pinto was used in the observation. Documentation was still photos.

2). MAY 19, 4:00 PM - Intercept and penetration of a very strong thunderstorm in West Broward, Florida near Sunrise Blvd and the Sawgrass expressway. A well developed storm with a large inflow area on its southwestern edge that was part of a multicell cluster. Winds gusting over 50-MPH, torrential rains, and lightning were observed in the storm core. Little or no hail was observed. Part of the hood of the chase vehicle, a 1980 Ford Pinto, nearly came off from the winds. An upper trough, outflow boundary, and surface trough allowed the storms to develop. Documentation was still Photos.

3). MAY 23, 12:00 PM - Fringe observation of a strong thunderstorm over Kendall in Dade County, Florida. The storm was on the southern portion of a multicell line of thunderstorms. Traffic and a wrong turn off the Palmetto Expressway turned this chase into an external observation, where frequent lightning in the storm backside about 3 miles ahead and light rain was encountered. The storms were caused by a trough of low-pressure, a weak surface front, and a subtropical jet stream nearby. A 1980 Ford Pinto was used to chase the storms.

4). MAY 26, 4:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm over Hollywood, Florida near Interstate 95 into Northern Miami. Torrential rains, pea sized hail, 50-MPH winds, and frequent lightning was encountered in the storm core. Heavy pond type street flooding caused traffic problems in the area the storm hit. The storm was part of a multicell cluster in which one storm near Coral Springs, Florida spawned a tornado damaging a construction site. The tornado was not intercepted. A 1980 Ford Pinto was used to chase the storms. A low-pressure trough and stalled front provided instability for the storm. Documentation was still photos.

5). JUN 5, 1:00 PM - Direct penetration of a very strong to severe thunderstorm over Boca Raton, Florida just north of Palmetto Park Road. Conditions encountered were heavy rains, winds over 50-MPH, dime sized hail, and frequent lightning with close hits. A large wall cloud was also observed on the inflow side of the storm, indicating a slight rotation on the southwest side of the cell. No funnel clouds or tornadoes developed. As the storm weakened, its gust front was followed along Interstate 95 to Miami where the outflow boundary finally weakened. A 1980 Ford Pinto was used to chase the storms, caused by a low-pressure trough and slight subtropical jet shear. Documentation was still photos.

6). JUN 30, 3:00 PM - Penetration of severe thunderstorms that propagated from Coral Springs, Florida into Miami. This multicell cluster began in Coral Springs near Pine Island Road and Atlantic Blvd. In this area, frequent lightning and torrential rains were encountered. As the storm developed southwards, 50-MPH winds and 3/4 inch hail was encountered near Davie, Florida. The storm back-built further south into Miami near the Palmetto Expressway and Opa Locka. During this cycle, 60-MPH winds and torrential rains were encountered. Heavy flooding was also encountered with this storm. A 1980 Ford Pinto was used to chase the storms. A low-pressure trough and sea breeze activity caused the storms.

7). JUL 7, 8:00 PM - Observation of tropical depression on east coast of Florida. The center of the depression, with light winds was located over northern Fort Lauderdale. A chase into Palm Beach county into the northern portion of the storm was executed. In Boynton Beach, along the coast at Boynton Inlet, 30-MPH NE winds, heavy rainsqualls, and thunderstorms were observed. Seas of 4 to 6 feet lashed at the beach under the northern bands of this system. Winds in Fort Lauderdale were very light, and west at 10-MPH in Miami. The depression weakened as it passed over land shortly after. A 1980 Ford Pinto was used to observe the tropical depression. Documentation was still photos.

8). JUL 10, 7:00 PM - Approach towards a severe thunderstorm in the Everglades at the end of Loxahatchee road in Broward County, Florida. About 1 mile from the storm core, 50-MPH winds were observed in rain free outflow after crossing the gust front. Frequent lightning was observed in the rain shaft of the storm. No rain or hail was penetrated with this storm. A 1980 Ford Pinto was used to observe the storm. Surface heating and a low-pressure trough allowed the storms to develop. Documentation was still photos.

9). AUG 14, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a pulse type severe storm over Coral Springs, Florida. The storm had a small area that contained torrential rains and winds over 55-MPH observed near Pine Island Road and Atlantic Blvd. The storm was part of a multicell line developing in a deep layer of tropical moisture beneath an upper trough. The storm caused heavy street flooding and downed trees in the core area. The chase vehicle, a 1980 Ford Pinto, stalled in a flooded area as the storm core passed by.

10). AUG 14, 8:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near North Lauderdale and Margate, Florida. In this storm, chase partner Tony Ihrig drove the chase track as I guided him through parts of the storm core. The chase vehicle was a 1988 Mazda B2200 Pickup truck. Conditions encountered were extremely heavy rains, 60-MPH winds, and continuous lightning with close hits less than 100 feet away. Damage observed was some downed trees, power outages, and street flooding where 3 feet of ponding was observed. Some stalled cars actually were observed floating in this storm. Documentation was audio recording of the chase. A deep tropical moisture layer, and low-pressure trough allowed a multicell cluster of storms to develop. Training of storm cells dumped the huge amounts of rain that caused the flooding.

11). AUG 17, 4:00 PM - Penetration of the western edge of a severe thunderstorm in Broward and Dade counties, Florida. A severe thunderstorm over Broward county produced large hail as big as golf balls and high winds. The southwest side of the storm core, where winds over 55-MPH, frequent lightning, and torrential rains were fount, was penetrated along Interstate 75 near Miami lakes. Sea breeze activity and a low-pressure trough allowed the storm to develop, which was part of a multicell cluster. Documentation was still photos. A 1980 Ford Pinto was used to chase the storm.

12). NOV 22, ALL DAY - Observation and penetration of the center of tropical storm Kieth as it was crossing east central Florida. The tropical storm first struck Tampa, Florida after forming in the Gulf of Mexico with 65-MPH winds. Weakening, the storm crossed Florida spawning 12 tornadoes and re emerged over the Atlantic near Sabastian and Cape Canaveral with 60-MPH winds. The storm was encountered along Interstate 95 from Palm Beach into Sabastian, Florida. Winds ranging from 45 to 65-MPH were observed with light to moderate rain from 10 to 11 PM. As the storm center was encountered around 12 PM, the sky became partly cloudy with 10 to 15-MPH winds. Along the coast, at Sebastian Inlet, 4 to 6 foot waves were observed with 20 to 30-MPH northwest winds after the storm center passed offshore at about 1 PM. Light rain resumed with 30 to 40-MPH winds thereafter. Tropical storm Kieth became extratropical well east of Florida a few days later. A 1984 Chrysler Laser was used to chase the tropical storm. Documentation was still photos. No tornadoes were intercepted in this storm.

This concludes the 1988 chase season. The summary includes a total of 12 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 7 severe thunderstorms with one including a tornado, 3 strong thunderstorms, 1 tropical storm, and 1 tropical depression were involved. Among these chases, a 1980 Ford Pinto was used in 10 observations, a Mazda B2200 Pickup in 1 and a 1984 Chrysler Laser in 1. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1989 SEASON

1). JAN 22, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a line of strong thunderstorms in western sections of Jupiter, Florida near Interstate 95. The fast moving storm line caused heavy rains, lightning, and 40-MPH winds before moving out to sea. The storm was a squall line developing ahead of a cold front attached to a frontal system moving across northern Florida. A jet stream was also present aloft. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 7 PM.

2). FEB 28, 2:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm over Fort Lauderdale, Florida east of Interstate 95 along Oakland Park Blvd. Torrential rains of 3 to 5 inches per hour, hail exceeding 1/2 inch, lightning, and winds gusting over 60-MPH were encountered. Severe flooding was also observed, including a collapsed construction hill across Interstate 95 near State Road 84. Documentation of this storm was still photos and audio. The storm formed in unstable air where a low freezing level was present due to an upper level trough. Strong upper level winds, which veered with height, were also present. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase the storms.

3). MAR 3, 5:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong thunderstorm in Boca Raton, Florida. Conditions encountered just to the south of the storm core were 50-MPH northerly winds, torrential rain, and frequent lightning with close hits. A guest, Rex Napier, also observed the storm. A brief inspection of the storm updraft base was also made on the storm inflow side. Documentation was still photos and audio. The storm was part of a multicell cluster caused by a low-pressure trough, surface heating, and strong upper level winds. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase the storms.

4). MAR 11, ALL DAY - Observation of coastal effects of a powerful extratropical storm just off the Florida East Coast. The gale forced winds caused very high seas and large swells to affect the entire East Coast of Florida. The observation was done from Boynton Beach, Florida to West Palm Beach at Lake Worth Inlet. Seas were as high as 20 feet with large northeasterly swells and 30-MPH northerly winds. Part of Lake Worth Municipal Pier was damaged by the swells. The north jetty at Boynton Inlet also sustained damage from the breakers. Coastal flooding and beach was also serious at high tide. The waves observed were up to 20 feet with a 15-second swell period. A few close calls where the chaser was nearly swept off a jetty and his surf board broken in half by the waves. The gale formed beneath a strong jet stream and stalled frontal system. A low-pressure system aloft developed and stacked on top of the gale center at the surface. A strong high-pressure system from Canada behind the low allowed a strong pressure difference to set up. A nor’ Easter then formed in the Florida coastal waters. Documentation was still photos. Land observations were done in a 1984 Chevy Camaro.

5). MAR 31, 3:30 PM - Penetration of a strong high precipitation storm in northern Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The worst conditions were encountered near Dixie Highway and Cypress Creek Road. Frequent lightning, 30-MPH winds, and extremely heavy rains were observed in this slow moving storm. The ponding of water along Dixie Highway became so severe that about 3 feet of water stood in some spots. The chase vehicle was literally floating in one of these floods. A guest, Rex Napier, also observed the storm. The storm was part of a multicell cluster that included a tornado, which was not intercepted. A stalled trough of low-pressure, surface heating, and sea breeze activity allowed the storms to develop. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase the storm.

6). APR 20, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Margate and North Lauderdale, Florida along State Road 7. The initial developments in this multicell cluster were followed from Coral Springs, Florida along an outflow boundary. The cells over North Lauderdale became severe with 65-MPH winds and 3/4 inch hail that left an accumulation on the ground. Frequent lightning and torrential rains were also observed in the storm. The chase vehicle, a 1984 Chrysler Laser, nearly spun off the road in this storm. The paint on the vehicle was also chipped by the hail, which at one point, fell in a violent shower. The multicell cluster then evolved into a 15 mile wide supercell and spawned a tornado, which was not intercepted. A strong wind aloft and low-pressure trough allowed the storms to develop with the afternoon heating. Documentation was still photos.

7). MAY 15, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of the southern flank of a very severe thunderstorm near Lauderhill, Margate, and North Lauderdale, Florida. A cluster of storms developed over northern Broward County and triggered an outflow boundary that caused more storms to develop. The cluster then evolved into a supercell storm in which the south side of its core was penetrated. Winds gusting over 70-MPH, hail to 1 inch, torrential rains, and frequent lightning was observed in the core punch. Portions of the core also contained golf ball sized hail up to 1 1/2 inches. The storm had a two-hour severe stage life span. Damage observed were some dents in cars from hail, tree damage, and street flooding from up to 5 inches of rain. A tornado was also produced by the storm north of Pembroke Pines, but was not intercepted. A jet stream aloft, surface heating, low-pressure trough, and thunderstorm complex moving out of the Gulf Of Mexico allowed the storms to develop. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase the storm. Documentation was audio recording and still photos.

8). MAY 23, 8:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Broward County, Florida along the Sawgrass Expressway. Heavy rain, lightning, and 35-MPH winds were encountered in this storm. The strong thunderstorm was part of a multicell cluster, which also contained a severe thunderstorm, not intercepted, with 60-MPH winds, and pea sized hail over Palm Beach, Florida. A trough of low-pressure and surface heating allowed the storms to develop. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase them.

9). JUN 6, 6:00 PM - Indirect penetration and observation of a severe thunderstorm in the Everglades along the Sawgrass Expressway in Broward County, Florida. The eastern side of the storm was intercepted, into the storm gust front. Outflow winds of 50-MPH with flying dust and light rain were encountered in this area just south of Atlantic Blvd on the Sawgrass Expressway. An outflow boundary with associated strong thunderstorms was followed from this area until it reached Miami. The storm was part of a multicell cluster with severe thunderstorms caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect for the area until 8 PM. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

10). JUN 29, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in western Dade County, Florida. A cluster of thunderstorms developed from Fort Lauderdale and back built into Northwest Dade County where a pulse type severe thunderstorm cell was encountered. A brief area of torrential rains, frequent lightning, and 60-MPH winds was encountered with this storm cell south of Griffith road near Highway 27. Sea breeze activity and a low-pressure trough allowed the storms to develop. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase them. Documentation was audio recording.

11). JUN 30, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Hollywood, Florida. A persistent line of thunderstorms over southern Broward County began moving eastward with a southward development into the Miami area. A severe cell was penetrated in this line where 60-MPH winds, frequent lightning with close hits, and torrential rain was found. Several trees were uprooted in this storm and thrown across Miami Gardens Drive. The antenna on the chase vehicle was broken when a downed tree hit it. Street flooding was also observed with this storm. A 1994 Chevy Camaro was used in the observation. Documentation was audio recording. A low-pressure trough and surface heating allowed the storms to develop.

12). JUL 4, 4:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm over Margate and North Lauderdale, Florida. An outflow boundary from a weaker storm to the northwest triggered a small line of thunderstorms to develop. While encountering the line, frequent lightning, 40-MPH winds, and heavy rains were observed. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase the storms, caused by a trough of low-pressure and surface heating.

13). JUL 14, 1:30 PM - Observation of a land spout type tornado over Boca Raton, Florida just west of Interstate 95 between Glades and Yamato roads. The tornado was observed from about 2 miles away, appearing as a transparent tube extending from the cloud base of a light thundershower along the sea breeze front. Trees were uprooted in the touchdown area of this F1 tornado. The tornado lasted for about 10 minutes and disappeared as the weak parent cumulus cloud dissipated. A trough of low-pressure, sea breeze activity, and surface heating allowed the tornado to develop. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to observe the storm. Documentation was still photos.

14). JUL 14, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Coconut Creek, Florida near Sample road and the Florida Turnpike. An outflow boundary from a weaker set of storms over Boca Raton moved southward along the sea breeze front. A severe thunderstorm cell developed near Sample Road in the resulting multicell cluster. A direct penetration was executed on this storm core, where winds over 65-MPH, 3/4 inch hail, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with close hits was observed. Some flying tree debris and flooding was also observed during the core punch. A small wall cloud was also observed on the southwest side of this storm. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase the storm. Documentation was audio recording. A trough of low-pressure, sea breeze activity, and surface heating allowed the storms to develop.

15). AUG 16, 4:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm just west of Interstate 95 along Broward Blvd in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The storm back built southwards along a sea breeze front and outflow boundary from Boca Raton into Northern Dade County. Severe conditions were encountered during a core punch of this near supercell type storm. Winds gusted over 65-MPH, frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, and 3/4-inch hail was observed in this storm. Numerous uprooted trees were observed, street flooding, and billboard signs blown across Broward Blvd. A low-pressure area aloft, low-pressure trough, and sea breezes allowed the storms to develop. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder.

16). SEP 17, 8:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong to severe thunderstorm near Interstate 75 near the Dade and Broward County line in Florida. The storm was a high precipitation multicell storm with near severe conditions. Winds gusted to 55-MPH with torrential rains and continuous lightning as the storm was penetrated. Several close hits were observed, one striking a home with a shower of sparks. The cluster of storms was followed from Coral Springs down to the Miami area with the most intense conditions encountered near Weston and Miramar along Interstate 75. A low-pressure trough and abundant moisture caused the storms. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase them.

17). SEP 21, 3:00 PM - Observation of high swell waves at Jensen Beach, Florida. Hurricane Hugo was currently 200 miles to the east-northeast moving towards South Carolina with 130-MPH winds. Once the storm cleared the wave shadow of the Bahamas, large swells began reaching the Florida northeast coast. Easterly swells as high as 12 feet were observed with an 8 to 12 second period. The hurricane surf even washed over the dunes and into a few homes causing damage near high tide. Winds were 30-MPH from the northwest with scattered high clouds. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to observe the waves from the beach. Documentation was still photos.

18). OCT 9, 5:00 PM - Interception and penetration of a severe thunderstorm over Fort Lauderdale, Florida between Sunrise and Oakland Park Blvd near Interstate 95. A gust front was followed from University Drive and Commercial Blvd into this area where the storm pulsed at severe intensity. Winds gusting to 60-MPH, torrential rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and pea-sized hail was encountered with this storm. The storm was followed as it developed towards Highway US 1 and Sunrise Blvd in Fort Lauderdale. Street flooding was observed with this storm. Moisture feeding into a stationary front with the subtropical jet stream aloft allowed these storms to develop in the afternoon. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used in the chase. Documentation was still photos.

19). OCT 27, 3:00 PM - Observation of high swell waves and a strong thunderstorm just south of Lake Worth Inlet in West Palm Beach, Florida. A subtropical low just east of the area produced 30-MPH northerly winds and a 12-foot northeast swell just south of the inlet. Computed period of the swell was about 12 seconds. A thunderstorm also passed by with wind gusts near 40-MPH, torrential rains, and lightning. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to observe the conditions from the shore. Documentation was still photos.

20). DEC 25, ALL DAY - Observation of extremely cold weather with tremendous ocean swells near Lake Worth Inlet in West Palm Beach, Florida. With temperatures in the upper 20's, a fog hung over the coastal waters, with a waterspout observed beneath a cumulus tower east of West Palm Beach over the Gulf Stream. Swell waves with sets exceeding 15 feet impacting the coast were also observed. Local conditions were clear and cold with 25-MPH northwest winds. These caused some flooding and beach erosion at high tide. The swells had a period of up to 15 seconds. The conditions were caused by a strong high-pressure area from Canada with a powerful gale center off the southeastern United States. The cold front also caused some trees to die from a killer frost. The gale center, with hurricane forced winds, allowed the large swells to sweep into Palm Beach County. A Chrysler Laser was used to observed the conditions from land. Documentation was a camcorder and still photos.

This concludes the 1989 chase season. The summary includes a total of 20 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 10 severe thunderstorms, 1 tornado, 5 strong thunderstorms, and 4 coastal observations, one involving a strong thunderstorm and another a waterspout, were involved. Among these chases, a 1984 Chevy Camaro was used in 18 observations and a 1984 Chrysler Laser in 2. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1990 SEASON

1). APR 15, 3:00 PM - Penetration of very strong to severe thunderstorms in Northern Miami, Florida near Interstate 95. A thunderstorm developed near Hialeah to the west and produced an outflow boundary that allowed a multicell cluster of strong to severe storms to develop. A storm cell penetrated contained torrential rains, winds over 50-MPH, pea-sized hail, and occasional lightning strikes. The storms were caused by sea breeze activity, a low-pressure trough, and subtropical jet stream aloft. A 1984 Chevy Camaro chased the storms. Documentation was still photos and audio recording.

2). APR 29, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in the Everglades about 10 miles west of Weston, Florida on Alligator alley about 2 miles west of the toll plaza. As a core of one of these multicell storms was penetrated, pea to dime sized hail, winds at or exceeding 70-MPH, violent rain, and frequent lightning with close hits was observed. One strike started a small brush fire. Several penetrations were executed on this cell core as it crossed the highway southwards. The storms were caused by surface heating, an upper trough, and subtropical jet stream aloft. A 1984 Chevy Camaro chased the storms. Documentation was audio and still photos.

3). MAY 10, 3:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms developing along a squall line moving across southern Florida. The storms were encountered near Bell Glade, Florida and followed as the line of storms moved southeastwards into Broward County then Fort Lauderdale. Conditions observed in the strongest cell was very heavy rains, 45-MPH winds, and frequent lightning. A tornado formed in the anchor cell of this thunderstorm line in Southern Dade County, and was not intercepted. A 1984 Chevy Camaro chased the storms, caused by a squall line ahead of a frontal trough moving across Florida. Documentation was a camcorder.

4). JUN 4, 5:00 PM - Indirect penetration and observation of severe thunderstorms near the Tamarac and Lauderhill area in Florida. A multicell line of storms with some severe cells was observed, one cell was observed during its development stage. A brief F0 tornado was also spawned by this storm, but was to short lived to be observed. The core of this storm was not penetrated, but trees down, flooding, and tree debris in the street was observed on the southwest side of the storm after it passed. The storm also contained frequent lightning. A 1984 Chevy Camaro was used to chase the storms, caused by sea breeze activity and a low-pressure trough. Documentation was audio.

5). JUN 6, 2:00 PM - Observation of severe thunderstorm and tornado in western sections of Palm Beach, Florida. A chase track towards a possible HP or even classic supercell thunderstorm was executed from the south along State Road 7. The storm was just north of Wellington where a small F0 tornado and wall cloud was observed on its southwestern side. The core of this storm was not penetrated. The supercell later evolved into a large cluster of severe, but non-tornadic thunderstorms as the outflow spread southwards. These storms were confined to inland sections and not observed. The entire life span of this storm was also captured on video from a time lapse video camera mounted on the roof of a house in Margate, Florida nearly 50 miles away. The video clearly shows supercell evolution with SE winds at the ground and west winds at high altitudes. Also the bottom of the storm tower rotates counterclockwise as the storm "blows up" to the supercell stage, right about the time the tornado was being observed in the chase vehicle, a 1984 Chevy Camaro. Sea breezes and surface heating coupled with a low-pressure trough generated the storms. A moderate subtropical jet stream was also present aloft. Documentation was time lapse video from a distance, and audio from the chase vehicle.

6). JUN 11, 6:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms in the Fort Lauderdale area in south Florida. Frequent lightning, heavy rains, and 40-MPH winds were observed. The storms were a multicell cluster of storms developing along an outflow boundary moving southwards. A prefrontal wave ahead of a weak cold front, surface heating, and subtropical jet stream allowed the storms to develop. The storms were followed towards Dania before they moved out so sea. A weak tornado was also spawned by this storm but was not observed. A 1984 Chrysler Laser was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos and audio. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for this area until 6PM.

7). JUN 19, 4:00 PM - Interception of a very strong thunderstorm near Copans Road and Interstate 95 in Pompano Beach, Florida. Frequent lightning, heavy rains, and 50-MPH winds were observed in this area. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of storms, one cell even spawned a small tornado near Miami International Airport, but was not observed. The storm was chased with a 1983 Chevy Cavalier. A sea breeze front, moist, unstable air, and surface trough allowed the storms to develop. Documentation was audio recording.

8). JUN 20, 4:00 PM - Indirect penetration of the eastern edge of a severe thunderstorm in the Everglades along the Sawgrass Expressway between Atlantic Boulevard and Sample Road near Coral Springs, Florida. A multicell cluster of storms, some severe, developed over the Everglades. The rain foot of this storms outflow side was penetrated, where 50-MPH winds and wind blown rains were observed. Frequent lightning was also observed near the gust front of this storm. The storm core was not penetrated directly. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms. A low-pressure trough and sea breezes caused the storm.

9). JUN 23, 5:00 PM - Interception of strong thunderstorms in western areas of Fort Lauderdale Florida. The chase, accompanied by guest Tony Ihrig, An outflow boundary with multicell storms was followed from the eastern Everglades to Pompano Beach, where the strongest cell core was penetrated near State Road 7 in North Lauderdale. Winds near 50-MPH, frequent lightning, and torrential rains were observed. Flooding and some tree debris also were found in the street. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms, which were caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. Documentation was a camcorder.

10). JUN 24, 2:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near northeast Dade County in the Adventura Area near Gulfstream Park. The storm contained 40 to 45-MPH winds, frequent lightning, and very heavy rains as it was penetrated near Biscayne Boulevard and Miami Gardens Drive. This storm was a rather short-lived multicell storm. Documentation was a camcorder. Surface heating and a low-pressure trough caused the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to observe the storms.

11). JUN 25, 3:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near University Drive and Sunrise Boulevard in Broward County, Florida. This storm, also a multicell storm, contained 60-MPH winds, dime to nickel sized hail, torrential rains, and frequent lightning. The storm was chased with a 1983 Chevy Cavalier. Surface heating and a low-pressure trough allowed the storms to develop. Documentation was a camcorder.

12). JUN 26, 7:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorm line in from Palm Beach County southwards to Hollywood, Florida. An outflow boundary from further north moved southwards. This front was originally followed along State Road 7 from Palm Beach County. A multicell line of strong storms forming along this gust front was penetrated where frequent lightning, torrential rains, and 40 to 50-MPH winds were encountered. Flooding was observed with this storm. The storms were produced from a low-pressure trough, and a 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased them.

13). JUN 26, 7:15 PM - Observation of a brief F0 tornado near Atlantic Boulevard and Pine Island Road near Margate and Coral Springs, Florida. A strong thunderstorm, not intercepted, was moving across Pompano Beach at the time the funnel and possible tornado was observed in a small wall cloud on the southwest side of the storm. The tornado did not cause any major damage. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used in the observation. A low-pressure trough and surface heating caused the storm.

14). JUN 27, 2:30 PM - Penetration of a very strong thunderstorm cell near Ives Dairy Road along State Road 7 then northeastwards to near Fort Lauderdale International Airport. Winds near 50-MPH, torrential rains, and frequent lightning was observed. The storm was part of a multicell line of storms developing from a low-pressure trough and surface heating. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storm. Documentation was a camcorder.

15). JUL 2, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a large severe thunderstorm over Pompano Beach, Florida near Atlantic Boulevard. Developing well ahead of a multicell line of storms to the west, a large thunderstorm with a well-developed inflow and small wall cloud on its southwest side was observed near Pompano Harness Track and Palm Aire. The storm moved into Pompano Beach where winds over 60-MPH, large hail to ¾ inch, frequent lightning with close hits, and extremely heavy rains were observed. The storm, possibly an HP supercell, had slight rotation but did not produce any tornadoes. The storms outflow finally spread out of the southern side of the storm and was tracked southward as far as Hollywood where strong storms were found. A wave of low-pressure, upper level low, and surface heating caused the severe storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

16). JUL 3, 8:30 PM - Direct penetration of a large and very severe thunderstorm in Broward County, Florida. At about 7:30 PM, a strong thunderstorm formed just north of Davie near Nob Hill Road. The storm was picked up at that point as it moved slowly towards the northeast. The storm evolved into an HP supercell storm, and tore slowly from its point of origin near Davie to the offshore waters off Deerfield Beach over a span of 2 ½ hours. During this single storm’s journey, many penetrations were executed on its core. The storm had frequent lightning in the Tamarac area with some close hits, one 20 feet above the chase vehicle where a streetlight exploded sending a shower of sparks everywhere. As it moved into North Lauderdale, small hail and 55-MPH winds was encountered with continuous lightning and heavy rains. As it moved into Coconut Creek and Margate, winds were gusting over 60-MPH with ½ inch hail. Lightning also hit the same tree next to the chase vehicle twice, about 5 seconds apart. As the storm moved into Pompano Beach, along Hammondville Road, hail 1 ½ inches was encountered on the southwest side of the storm. The hail covered the road like a thousand golf balls, mixed in with trees lying across the road, illuminated only by continuous lightning and the vehicles head lights. Power was knocked out in this area. The area of large hail contained little rain, just ice! It contained rather light winds and was adjacent to the rain free rear flank of the storm. The storm had rotation, but no known tornadoes were encountered. Continuing into Northern Pompano Beach, the southeast side of the storm was encountered. Here 75 to 80-MPH winds were found with small hail and extreme rains. The storm continued over Deerfield Beach then out to sea, still very severe. Observed damage was flooding, numerous downed trees, roof damage, signs blown down, damage to a car dealership, and a 90-foot section of a concrete wall demolished by winds. The chase vehicle suffered dings and paint damage from the hail. An upper level low-pressure area caused the storms, along with surface heating and a subtropical jet stream aloft. A cap allowed the storms to develop so late in the day, and no other storms developed outside of this supercell. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased the storms. Documentation was audio recording with narration.

17). JUL 13, 5:00 PM - Brief encounter with a very strong to severe thunderstorm near Glades Road and State Road 7 in Boca Raton, Florida. This pulse type storm contained torrential rains, frequent lightning, and winds gusting to 55-MPH. The storm developed from an outflow boundary moving in from the west. A tropical wave, upper trough, and moist, unstable air allowed the storms to develop. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms.

18). JUL 14, 1:30 PM - Penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Margate and North Lauderdale, Florida. The pulse type storm rapidly developed and matured with 50 to 55-MPH winds, small hail, torrential rains and frequent lightning. The storm produced a rather sharp gust front that was encountered near Mcnab Road. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms, caused by an upper trough and abundant warm, unstable air.

19). JUL 21, 3:30 PM - Direct penetration of a small but severe thunderstorm in northern Margate along State Road 7 near the Sawgrass Expressway. A pulse type severe storm developed in an area of thunderstorms. When the core of this cell was penetrated, violent rains, frequent lightning, dime sized ½ inch hail, and 60 to 65-MPH winds were encountered. An area of cold air aloft, sea breezes, and moist tropical air allowed the storms to develop. A 1993 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them. Documentation was still photos.

20). JUL 22, 5:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Western areas of Broward County, Florida. This multicell to near supercell type storm was encountered near Interstate 595 and Interstate 75, where ¾ inch hail, frequent lightning with close hits, winds near 70-MPH, and extremely heavy rains were encountered. The storm lasted more than an hour with severe conditions. Downed trees and flooding was observed with this storm. An upper level low and low-pressure trough, coupled with surface heating caused the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. Another chaser, Tony Ihrig, encountered 60-MPH winds and pea sized hail in the northern side of the storm cluster while observing it with a 1988 Mazda Pickup.

21). JUL 28, 3:30 PM - Observation of heavy swells in the Gulf Stream waters about 10 miles east of Pompano Beach, Florida. Hurricane Bertha, with 80-MPH winds, was 350 miles to the north east of the area at the time. The storm was drifting slowly to the north. Large swell waves about 8 feet high were observed traveling down the gulf stream, with a 1 to 2 foot NW wind chop superimposed on the swell. No swell was found near the coast or at the beach. A 1989 Sea Doo watercraft was used with permission to observe the swells, owned by Tony Ihrig.

22). AUG 3, 3:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms developing in a line of thunderstorms over Western Fort Lauderdale, Florida near Oakland Park Boulevard and followed along University drive to Griffith Road. One strong cell with frequent lightning, heavy rains, 40 to 45-MPH winds, and pea-sized hail was encountered. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms, documented with a camcorder. A sea breeze front and low-pressure trough allowed the storms to develop.

23). AUG 9, 2:30 PM - Interception and direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm over western Coral Springs between Atlantic Boulevard and Coral Springs. The storm developed over the Everglades and moved northeastwards into Coral Springs. The storm contained ½ to ¾ inch hail, torrential rains, 60-MPH winds, and frequent lightning. Flooding and downed trees was observed with this storm. Prior to interception, a spectacular gust front and shelf cloud was observed on the eastern side of the multicell storm. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

24). AUG 10, 2:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm in western areas of Sunrise, Florida near Oakland Park Boulevard and the Sawgrass Expressway. Frequent lightning and 25 to 30-MPH winds were observed with heavy rains. The storm core remained to the west in the Everglades. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms. Surface heating, and a weak surface and upper trough allowed the multicell storms to develop.

25). AUG 11, 4:00 PM - Direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm near Sheridan Street and Interstate 75 in western Broward County, Florida. A multicell line of storms rapidly developed with one cell approaching supercell status. This storm was penetrated several times where torrential rains, frequent lightning with close hits, 65 to 70-MPH winds, and hail to 1 inch. The severe storm cluster produced a gust front that spread into the Miami area later. A strong storm with 50-MPH winds near the Palmetto Expressway and another near Miami International Airport with 35-MPH winds were both penetrated along the outflow boundary through Dade County. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms. A low-pressure trough, unstable air, and surface heating caused the storms. Documentation was a camcorder and still photos.

26). AUG 24, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Interstate 95 and Hollywood Boulevard. The storm was a pulse type storm and contained heavy rains, small hail, 50-MPH winds, and frequent lightning. Two guests, Nick Tsokris and Robert accompanied the chase through the storm. The storm was chased with a 1983 Chevy Cavalier and was formed by sea breeze activity and low-pressure trough. Documentation was a camcorder.

27). AUG 28, 4:00 PM - Indirect penetration and observation of a strong thunderstorm near Pompano Beach, Florida. The multicell storm was penetrated during the late mature stage where 30-MPH winds, heavy rains, and lightning was encountered. This storm had a very dark base and a well-developed shelf cloud associated with its gust front. Surface heating and an upper trough allowed the storms to develop. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them. Documentation was a camcorder.

28). AUG 29, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in the northern Miami area in Florida. When the storm was penetrated, 40-MPH winds and heavy rain was observed. The storm was caused by surface heating and a low-pressure trough. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them.

29). AUG 31, 3:00 PM - Interception of a strong thunderstorm near Interstate 595 and Davie Road in Davie, Florida. Frequent lightning, 45-MPH winds, and heavy rain was observed with this storm. A low-pressure trough and moist, unstable air allowed the storms to develop. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them.

30). OCT 9, 12-1 PM - Observation of the effects of tropical storm Klaus as it was dissipating off the southeast Florida coast. The storm originally formed north of Puerto Rico and became a hurricane. The storm moved west and became affected be a large area of high-pressure to the north near Cape Hattaras and Bermuda. The storm began weakening as it approached Florida but had a large field of gale forced winds well to the north and west of its center. The resulting winds buffeted the Florida coast from Palm Beach to Dade Counties. At Boynton Beach, sustained 30-MPH east winds prevailed with 12-foot seas and tides 2 feet above normal. South of Lake Worth Inlet in West Palm Beach, seas were at least 15 feet with heavy rains squalls and winds gusting around 45-MPH. Tides here were 3 feet above normal with beach erosion. Flooding was also observed as the rain squalls and feeder bands moved inland. Tropical storm Klaus weakened when it became absorbed in another tropical system near Cuba to the south. The land observations of this storm were done in a 1983 Chevy Cavalier. Documentation was a camcorder.

31). OCT 11, 2-8 AM - Interception, observation, and direct penetration of tropical storm Marco as it made landfall in Sarasota, Florida along the Gulf Of Mexico beaches. The tropical storm began as a tropical system near Cuba that moved north into the Gulf of Mexico and strengthened to a tropical storm with 65-MPH sustained winds. Just shy of hurricane strength, the well-organized tropical storm made landfall in the Sarasota area south of Tampa Bay. The outer cloud margin of the storm was reached at 2 AM along Highway 70 about 60 miles east of Sarasota. The chase continued west into the outer then inner rain bands of Marco. Winds increased from 20-MPH to 40-MPH, then to 60-MPH in gusts by a AM. From 5 AM to 6 AM, the chase track passed through the foreword right quadrant of the storm. As Marco made landfall, the primary energy cell core was punched where a long ride through extremely heavy rains, frequent lightning, and southeast winds over 65-MPH with higher gusts was experienced. At about 6:30 AM, the eye was entered on Sarasota Beach. The wind and rain stopped completely. The unique sunrise inside the eye of the storm was observed from a beach on the Gulf Of Mexico on Sarasota Island. The calm lasted about an hour and had a warm temperatures, clear blue skies, and calm winds. A large eye-wall section, shot with lightning, extended a third to half way around the eye with a smaller eye-wall on the south side. An Air force WC-130 was also circling overhead inside the eye. Chasing resumed as the second half moved onshore. Winds began at 50 to 55-MPH from the west and tides began to rise. Seas were only about 3 to 5 feet on the Gulf because winds have been offshore most of the time. By about 8 AM, the last inner rain bands on the storms backside were being penetrated. Observed damage was numerous downed trees and signs, coastal flooding, flooding from rains, and power out in many places. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storm. Documentation was audio recording, a camcorder, and still photos.

32). OCT 24, 4:00 PM - Observation of funnel cloud on the southwestern side of a strong thunderstorm near Commercial Boulevard and Powerline Road. This thunderstorm was not penetrated because of heavy traffic near the storm. The funnel was brief and formed on a wall cloud on the read side of the storm. A jet stream aloft and advancing cold front allowed the storms to develop. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased the storms. Documentation was still photos.

33). OCT 28, 3:00 PM - Observation of heavy sea and swell conditions about 5 miles off shore of Boca Raton, Florida. Waves at the beach were about 3 to 5-foot seas, with 8-foot northeast swells beneath them as you went about 5 miles out, near the Gulf Stream current. A winter like storm was off New England and generated the swells as it moved near Cape Hattaras the night before. A 1989 Sea Doo watercraft, owned by Tony Ihrig and used with his permission, was used to observe the sea conditions.

This concludes the 1990 chase season. The summary includes a total of 33 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 15 severe thunderstorms, 3 tornadoes, 12 strong thunderstorms, 2 tropical systems, and 2 coastal observations were involved. Among these chases, a 1984 Chevy Camaro was used in 5 observations, a 1983 Chevy Cavalier in 25, and a 1984 Chrysler Laser in 1. The two coastal observations were done with a 1989 Bombardier Sea Doo Watercraft. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1991 SEASON

1). JAN 15, 4:00 PM - Observation of wall cloud and rear flank section of a tornadic thunderstorm near the Dade and Broward county areas in Florida. The thunderstorm was an HP supercell that moved from Southern Miami to the Fort Lauderdale area. While passing over Hialeah, the storm produced a strong F1 tornado that moved as far north as Perry Airport. The storm was first penetrated near Davie, Florida where very heavy rains and 30 to 40-MPH wind gusts were encountered. When the southwest side of the storm was reached, a wall cloud was found. The tornado itself was not observed. The storm was caused by cold air aloft ahead of an advancing complex of thunderstorms with winds that veered with height. Also, a relatively strong jet stream prevailed aloft. The storms were chased with a 1983 Chevy Cavalier.

2). MAR 3, 4:00 PM - Penetration of severe thunderstorms in Palm Beach County near Wellington and Royal Palm Beach, Florida, along Highway 98. The storm was a multicell cluster containing at least one severe storm cell that actually split into two severe thunderstorms. The cell to the north became briefly tornadic but was not intercepted. Conditions in the southern cell contained ¼ inch hail, lightning, extremely heavy rains, and winds over 60-MPH. The storm moved rapidly to the east at about 55-MPH. Palm Beach International Airport measured 66-MPH winds from this storm. The storm was part of a multicell squall line ahead of a strong cold front. A prefrontal wave, converging moisture, and strong jet stream aloft set the stage for the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased them. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch also was in effect for the area until 5 PM.

3). MAR 3, 5:00 PM - Penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Deerfield Beach, Florida along Interstate 95. This storm was a small pulse type severe storm developing along a squall line. One penetration on this cell was executed where winds 55 to 60-MPH and heavy rain was encountered. The storm was caused by a strong cold front, a prefrontal wave, and a strong jet stream aloft. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 5 PM.

4). MAR 11, 1:30 PM - Observation of large north and northwest wind and ground swell waves in the Gulf Stream waters about 10 miles east of Boynton Beach, Florida. A north swell of 8 to 10 feet with 3 to 5 foot northwest wind seas superimposed on top was observed in the western edge of the Gulf Stream current. Outside the Gulf Stream, only 3 to 4 foot seas from the north or northwest were observed. No swell reached the coast, except for Miami, over 35 miles to the south, were 8 to 10 foot northeast swell hit South Beach. A storm off the New England states generated the ground swell after the passage of a cold front. A 1990 Sea Doo watercraft was used to observe the waves.

5). APR 3, 2:00 PM - Observation of large wind and sea conditions about 5 or 10 miles east of Boynton Beach, Florida. Near the coast, winds were 20-MPH from the north to northeast, with 3 to 4 foot seas. In the west edge of the Gulf Stream, a 10 to 15 foot north to northeast wind swell prevailed. A freighter ship, the Feedship II, was observed rolling in the seas. The entire propeller became visible as the ship’s stern rose completely out of the water. The bow also was lifted where the ship’s keel became visible as it steamed northwards through the seas. A building area of high-pressure from Canada to the northwest following the passage of a cold front produced the seas. A 1990 Sea Doo watercraft was used to observe the waves.

6). APR 4, 3:00 PM - Observation of large wind swell conditions off Boynton Beach, Florida. The winds were northeast at 20 to 25-MPH with 5 to 7 foot seas. About 5 miles offshore, seas of 6 to 8 feet were observed just west of the Gulf Stream current. The seas remained high until breaking on the beach. A 1990 Sea Doo watercraft was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder, waterproofed and mounted on the front of the watercraft. High-pressure to the north of the area and a stalled front to the south allowed the strong winds to prevail.

7). APR 5, 2:00 PM - Observation of heavy sea conditions east of Boynton Beach, Florida. The winds were east to northeast at about 25 to 30-MPH, with seas near the coast of over 8 feet and as high as 10 to 12 feet about 5 miles offshore near the Gulf Stream current. Some heavy but brief wind swept showers passed as the observation was being made. A strong high-pressure area to the north and frontal trough to the south allowed the strong winds to prevail. A 1990 Sea Doo watercraft was used to observe the waves. Documentation was still photos of the seas.

8). APR 17, 8:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Coconut Creek, Florida. The storm was encountered near Lyons Road and State Road 7, and contained 50-MPH winds, frequent lightning, and very heavy rains. A prefrontal wave and low-pressure trough produced the storms, developing along an outflow boundary. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms.

9). APR 25, 4:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm developing near State Road 7 near Belle Glade and Royal Palm Beach, Florida. Winds in this storm gusted to 45-MPH, with heavy rains and small hail. A complex of thunderstorms was moving across central Florida, and a cluster of strong storms formed on the leading edge of it. An upper trough and surface heating allowed the storms to develop. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them. Documentation was a camcorder.

10). APR 26, 2:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Pembroke Pines, Florida near University Drive and Sheridan Street. Conditions encountered were ½ to ¾ inch hail, frequent lightning, torrential rains, and winds over 60-MPH. The multicell storm was penetrated several times during this observation. The storm was caused by an upper trough, sea breeze activity, and unstable air. The storm also spawned a funnel cloud on its northwest side that was observed. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder.

11). MAY 13, 4:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near University Drive in Sunrise, Florida. A brief encounter of 45-MPH winds, heavy rains, and frequent lightning was encountered with this storm. Sea breeze activity and a surface trough helped produce the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them.

12). MAY 15, 1:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm and possible tornado observation in Boca Raton, Florida along State Road 7 near Palmetto Park Road. When the storm was penetrated, torrential rains with ½ inch hail, frequent lightning with close hits, and 35-MPH winds was encountered. When the storm was exited, a wall cloud was on the southwest side of it with a small dust whirl at the ground. This was a weak tornado, probably F0, and did not have a visible condensation funnel. Damage was minimal, if any. The storm was caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased them.

13). MAY 31, 4:00 PM - Penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Highway 98 in Wellington, Florida. The storm was a multicell storm with torrential rains, ½ inch hail, frequent lightning, and 60-MPH winds near its core. The storm was caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them. The area in Palm Beach County where this storm was observed was also in a severe thunderstorm watch until 5 PM. Documentation was audio recording and still photos.

14). JUN 5, 3:00 PM - Interception of strong thunderstorms south of Deerfield Beach, Florida. Conditions observed with these storms were 30-MPH winds and extremely heavy rains. The storms were observed with a 1983 Chevy Cavalier. Sea breeze activity and a weak trough produced the storms.

15). JUN 6, 2:30 PM - Penetration of very strong thunderstorms near North Lauderdale and Margate, Florida. The storms had torrential rains, 50-MPH winds, and frequent lightning with close hits. Some flooding was observed with this storm. A weakening cold front and trough coupled with sea breeze activity allowed the storms to develop. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them.

16). JUN 16, 7:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms in Coral Springs, Florida. Thunderstorms developed southward from the Loxahatchee refuge area west of Deerfield Beach as far as western areas of Fort Lauderdale. In Coral Springs, near Riverside Drive, the storms became strong with 45-MPH winds, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with close hits. An approaching low-pressure trough and surface heating produced the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased them. Documentation was audio recording.

17). JUN 17, 2:00 PM - Direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm near Hollywood and Pembroke Pines, Florida along Hollywood Boulevard near the Florida Turnpike. The storm was a powerful multicell storm which weakened just before evolving to a supercell. The storm core contained 60 to 65-MPH winds, frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, and 1-inch hail. The storm was penetrated several times during its life span of about 30 to 45 minutes. Large hail exceeding the size of quarters was observed on the updraft side of the storm during one of the penetrations. The strong winds and heavy rain were found further east in the storm cell. A low-pressure trough and sea breeze activity produced the storms. Documentation of this storm was a camcorder and audio recording. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storm.

18). JUN 18, 2:00 PM - Interception and penetration of a very strong to severe thunderstorm in Margate and Coral Springs, Florida along Sample Road. Winds were 55 to 60-MPH, with torrential rain, small hail to ¼ inch, and lightning. The storm was caused by sea breeze activity and a low-pressure trough. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them. Documentation was a camcorder.

19). JUN 18, 3:30 PM - Indirect penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Interstate 75 and Interstate 595 in western Broward county, Florida. The storm was a multicell storm and the chase track passed through the gust front and the south side of the strong to severe thunderstorm cell. 50-MPH winds with small hail, frequent lightning with close hits, and heavy rains were observed. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms. Sea breezes, an outflow boundary, and a low-pressure trough produced the storms. Documentation was a camcorder and still photos.

20). JUN 23, 6:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms near the Loxahatchee refuge just west of State Road 7 on Lox Road. Frequent lightning, torrential rains, and 45-MPH winds were observed. A low-pressure trough and surface heating caused the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them.

21). JUN 24, 1:30 PM - Direct penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm just west of Interstate 75 along Hollywood Boulevard. Winds approaching 60-MPH, torrential rains, and frequent lightning was observed in this multicell storm. The storm also produced a meso anticyclone, a large dome of cold air from downdrafts, about 30 miles across after the storm weakened. Tropical moisture and an upper trough helped produce the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them.

22). JUN 26, 5:15 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm along Cypress Creek Road near State Road 7 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A multicell storm cluster formed in central Broward County and developed northward where they were intercepted and penetrated. As the cluster moved northwards, it evolved to an HP supercell. When this cell was penetrated, ½ inch hail, extremely heavy rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and winds at or over 70-MPH were observed. The storm continued north into Boca Raton, where 10 homes were damaged by an F1 tornado produced by the same storm. The tornado was not intercepted. Trees down were observed with this storm. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms, caused by surface heating and a low-pressure trough.

23). JUL 4, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Nob Hill Road and Sunrise Boulevard in Sunrise, Florida. The storm contained 30 to 35-MPH winds, frequent lightning, and heavy rains. A low-pressure trough and surface heating produced the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them.

24). JUL 10, 5:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Palm Beach County, Florida near Congress Avenue and Boynton Beach Boulevard. A strong thunderstorm developed in a multicell cluster of thunderstorms. When this cell was penetrated, 35-MPH winds, frequent lightning, heavy rains, and ½ inch hail was encountered. Two funnel clouds were produced by this storm system but were not observed during the chase. The storm developed beneath a low-pressure area aloft, and was triggered by surface heating. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them.

25). JUL 13, 5:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong thunderstorm in Coral Springs, Florida near Sample Road and University Drive. The storm contained winds gusting near 50-MPH, torrential rains, and frequent lightning. The storm also caused street flooding. The storm was caused by a mid level low-pressure area, surface heating, and a low-pressure trough. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms.

26). JUL 28, 3:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Flamingo Road and Sheridan Street near Pembroke Pines, Florida. The storm contained torrential rains, frequent lightning, and 35 to 40-MPH winds. Surface heating and an upper trough produced the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them.

27). JUL 30, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Sunrise Boulevard and Interstate 95 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The storm was moving rapidly northward from Dade County and when penetrated, had 35 to 40-MPH winds, frequent lightning, and heavy rains. The storm was caused by an low-pressure trough and surface heating. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased the storms.

28). JUL 31, 4:00 PM - Direct penetration of a brief, but very intense severe thunderstorm with damaging winds along Lyons Road just north of the Sawgrass Expressway in Deerfield Beach, Florida. This storm was a slow moving and very intense pulse type severe thunderstorm. The storm was first observed while turning south on Lyons road south of Hillsboro Boulevard. The storm suddenly dropped a wet microburst just north of the Sawgrass Expressway. Within seconds after sighting the rain foot, winds began gusting over 70-MPH. Continuing south on Lyons Road, winds exceeded 75-MPH and approached 100-MPH, shaking the chase vehicle and making a loud roaring or moaning sound. Rain was extremely torrential with ½ to ¾ inch hail and frequent lightning. No more than 5 minutes later, the storm was only producing heavy rain and 25-MPH winds! The possible 100-MPH winds lasted no more that 30 seconds. Fortunately, this violent microburst slammed into the ground in a wooded area between populated areas, and missed a mobile home park off Lyons Road by a half a mile. Of course, trees, signs, and power lines were blown down in the area the pulse storm hit. A low-pressure trough and sea breeze activity produced the storms. A 1983 Chevy Camaro was used to chase the storm. Documentation was a camcorder.

29). AUG 1, 3:00 PM - Indirect penetration and observation of as severe thunderstorm near Perry Airport in Carol City, Florida. The storm was originally severe but weakened at the time of observation. As the storm was penetrated, 35 to 40-MPH winds, heavy rains, and lightning was observed. The storm was a cell on the south end of a multicell line of thunderstorms. A broad tropical low to the northwest, surface heating, and a low-pressure trough produced the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storm.

30). AUG 9, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a small but strong thunderstorm near Davie, Florida just south of Interstate 595 near Davie road. The storm was observed with a rain foot across Interstate 595 while headed eastbound. Near Davie Road, ½ inch hail, heavy rains, lightning, and 45-MPH winds were encountered. The storm was forming along a sea breeze front, and was supported by a low-pressure trough. Documentation was still photos. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased the storms.

31). AUG 14, 4:00 PM - Penetration of a brief but fairly strong thunderstorm along Sample Road in eastern Coral Springs, Florida. Very heavy rains and 50-MPH winds were encountered. The storms were produced by a weak trough of low-pressure and surface heating. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them.

32). AUG 15, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Atlantic Boulevard and the Sawgrass Expressway in Coral Springs, Florida. The storm was part of a multicell line of storms and contained 40 to 45-MPH winds and very heavy rain. A trough of low-pressure and surface heating produced the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased them.

33). AUG 21, 6:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm west of Parkland, Florida near the Everglades. The storm could not be reached, and only frequent lightning and light rain was observed. The storm was a possible HP supercell with a slight rotation, wall cloud, and well developed inflow on its southern side. The storm developed on a triple point between two occluding outflow boundaries. A stationary front to the northwest, surface heating, and low-pressure trough allowed the storms to develop. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storm. Documentation was still photos.

34). AUG 22, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong to briefly severe thunderstorm near University Drive and Mcnab Road in Tamarac, Florida. A multicell line of heavy thunderstorms was found extending from northwest Miami to southern Palm Beach County. A small region of 60-MPH winds was found in the cell near Tamarac, along with frequent lightning and heavy rains. Sea breeze activity, a tropical wave, and a low-pressure trough set the stage for the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased them.

35). AUG 25, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in southern Deerfield Beach, Florida near Lyons Road and Hillsboro Boulevard. Torrential rains, 45 to 50-MPH winds, and frequent lightning with close hits was observed with this storm. The storm was caused by surface heating and a low-pressure trough. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase them.

36). SEP 30, 1:00 PM - Observation of a moderate nor’ Easter affecting Boynton Beach, Florida at Boynton Inlet. Winds were east to northeast at 30 to 35-MPH with rough sea conditions. Waves at the beach were 6 to 8 feet with sets to 10 feet. About 3 miles offshore near the Gulf Stream current, the seas were at least 10 feet. The breakers from this wind swell washed over the jetty at Boynton Inlet. These wind conditions were caused by a strong area of high-pressure to the north and stalled frontal area to the south. Rain showers were also observed during the observation, done with a 1990 Sea Doo watercraft.

37). OCT 31, 8-3 PM - Observation of extremely high swell waves slamming into the barrier islands and beaches of Palm Beach County, Florida. Weather that Halloween day was sunny with light winds and temperatures in the low 80’s. First observation was done off of Lake Worth Inlet in West Palm Beach from about 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The largest swell waves to hit this area in about 30 years were affecting the coastline. Breakers at least 20 to 25 feet, maybe 30 feet, were observed breaking a mile or so offshore of Lake Worth Inlet. Waves at the beach were anywhere from 15 to 20 feet. A pilot boat capsized while trying to enter the inlet at around 1 PM. The observation then continued south to Lake Worth Municipal Pier by 2:00 PM, where waves were observed coming across A1A and destroying the sea wall. At high tide, 20 foot plus waves were observed smashing 200 feet off the end of the fishing pier in seconds. The observation continued south on A1A to Boynton Inlet where 15 to 20 foot waves covered the entire beach and sand transfer station on the north side of the inlet. At one point the entire inlet was covered by a huge breaker. As I was observing this, the wave dragged me 50 feet cutting my feet up and nearly sweeping me into the inlet. Another observer, further out on the same jetty, was swept into a fence on the side of the inlet and suffered severe avulsions to his arm. Damage observed was severe beach erosion, parts of piers and sea walls smashed to bits, huge concrete slabs thrown across A1A and destroying property, waves smashing into the Breakers Hotel and Beach Club, sea buoys torn loose and washed high up on the beach. Tides at one point were 10 to 15 feet above normal in some places! Most damage and injuries occurred at high tide, miraculously, there were no deaths. A very powerful storm with 80-MPH winds was drifting southward east of the New England states until off Cape Hattaras. This huge storm was a non-tropical low that absorbed the remnants of Hurricane Grace. The storm had sustained 80-MPH winds with stronger gusts, a 500 to 1000 mile fetch with a 72-hour duration aiming the swell right towards Florida. The huge swells had a 20-second period in deep water while off Palm Beach. The swell affected the entire area from Florida to Puerto Rico and was similar to an East Coast storm in March of 1962. A 1990 Sea Doo watercraft was used for the extremely dangerous observation of the swell off lake Worth Inlet. The land observations were done with a 1983 Chevy Cavalier. Documentation was still photos of the damage.

This concludes the 1991 chase season. The summary includes a total of 38 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 13 severe thunderstorms were involved, 17 strong thunderstorms, 2 Tornadoes, and 6 coastal observations. There were no tropical systems observed this season. Among these chases, a 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used in 33 observations and a 1990 Sea Doo watercraft was used in 6. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1992 SEASON

1). JAN 23, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in northwest Fort Lauderdale, Florida near NW 31 Avenue and Cypress Creek Road. Heavy rains, occasional lightning, and 45-MPH winds were observed. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms. A cold front and low-pressure trough beneath a jet stream aloft caused the storms.

2). FEB 2, 3:00 PM - Observation of heavy northerly wind and ground swells in the offshore waters near the Gulf Stream 4 to 5 miles east of Boynton Beach, Florida. The northerly swells were traveling southward along the west edge of the Gulf Stream from a storm off Maine. Only small waves were present close to shore, but 8 to 10 foot swell superimposed with a small wind sea from the north ,was found near the Gulf Stream. A 1990 Sea Doo watercraft was used to observe the waves.

3). FEB 5, 10:00 AM - Observation of a weak gustnado type tornado west of Interstate 75 and north of Interstate 595 near Plantation, Florida. The F0 tornado formed along a strong gust front associated with a line of strong thunderstorms. Winds as this line passed shifted from the south to the northwest at 50-MPH with heavy rains. No damage was observed. The storms formed along a strong cold front with a squall line beneath a strong jet stream aloft. The storms were chased with a 1983 Chevy Cavalier. Documentation was still photos. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 11 AM.

4). MAR 28, 6:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Boynton Beach Boulevard along State Road 7 in Boynton Beach, Florida. Lightning, torrential rains, and winds gusting to around 50-MPH were observed with this storm. The storm was part of a complex of thunderstorms where cold air and strong winds were present aloft, with a trough of low-pressure and unstable air. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used to chase the storms.

5). APR 31, 11:00 AM - Observation of heavy northeasterly ground swells affecting the Palm Beach Florida coast at Lake Worth Inlet. The northeast swells, about 15 feet high at times, were breaking at least 300 yards offshore. The swells were being generated by a gale center near Bermuda at the time. A 1990 Sea Doo watercraft was used to observe the waves. Winds at the time of the observation were light with sunny skies. Documentation was still photos.

6). JUN 10, 2:00 PM - Penetration of strong to locally severe thunderstorms in Fort Lauderdale, Florida near NW 31 Avenue and Broward Boulevard. The storm had frequent lightning and 30-MPH winds, but a brief area of ½ to ¾ inch hail was encountered in this pulse type storm. A low-pressure trough and surface heating caused the storms. A 1983 Chevy Cavalier chased them. Documentation was a camcorder.

7). JUN 13, 2:30 PM - Penetration of a very strong to possibly severe thunderstorm near Sample Road and State Road 7 in Margate, Florida. Torrential rains, lightning, and winds around 55-MPH were encountered in a small area during this pulse type storm. A low-pressure trough and surface heating was responsible for the storms. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon chased the storms.

8). JUN 15, 3:00 PM - Penetration of severe thunderstorm conditions near State Road 7 and Interstate 595 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Winds gusting near 60-MPH, ½ inch hail, heavy rains, and frequent lightning was found in this multicell storm. The storm caused by surface heating and a weak low-pressure trough. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms.

9). JUN 20, 2:30 PM - Penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Rock Island Road and NW 62 Avenue in North Lauderdale and Tamarac. The storm core had frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains of over 3 inches per hour, 50 to 55-MPH winds, and small hail. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms. The storm was caused by surface heating and a low-pressure trough.

10). JUN 22, 7:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in northwest sections of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The storm was a multicell cluster of very heavy rain showers and thunderstorms producing rains of 3 to 5 inches per hour. When these storms were penetrated, lightning, extremely heavy rains, and 45-MPH winds were observed. A tropical disturbance near Cuba to the south and a low-pressure trough allowed the storms to train across southern Florida. Some streets were observed under 3 feet of water in this storm. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon chased the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

11). JUL 4, 4:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong to severe thunderstorm in Coconut Creek, Florida. The storm produced frequent lightning, torrential rains, winds 50 to 55-MPH, and ½ inch hail was observed with this storm. An upper trough and sea breezes allowed this storm to develop. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase them.

12). JUL 31, 3:30 PM - Penetration of some periphery of a severe thunderstorm north of Coral Springs, Florida. The storm produced a funnel cloud that was observed near Boca Raton. This touched down as a tornado later in Coral Springs while the parent storm was being penetrated. The touchdown was not observed. Winds in this storm gusted to around 55-MPH, with torrential rains and frequent lightning. A surface trough and sea breeze activity allowed these storms to develop. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase them.

13). AUG 3, 2:30 PM - Penetration of severe thunderstorms in eastern Broward County, Florida. The multicell storm contained torrential rains, winds over 50-MPH, and frequent lightning. The storm was intercepted during the late part of the mature stage. An upper air low and surface heating caused the storms. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storm.

14). AUG 17, 3:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms in Coconut Creek, Florida near Lyons Road. Winds gusted to 45-MPH, torrential rains and some lightning. The storm was caused by a weak surface trough and surface heating. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms.

15). AUG 18, 2:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms in Sunrise, Florida near University Drive and Sunrise Boulevard. Winds gusting to 50-MPH, frequent lightning with close hits, and very heavy rain were observed with this storm. The storm was caused by a surface trough, sea breezes, and surface heating. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms.

16). AUG 20, 1:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Griffith Road and Interstate 75 in Cooper City, Florida. The storm contained very heavy rain, small hail, frequent lightning, and 50-MPH wind gusts. The storm was triggered by sea breezes and a weakening low-pressure trough. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms.

17). AUG 24, 12-10 AM - Interception, observation, and direct penetration of super hurricane Andrew (category 5) in the south Dade County area in South Florida. Hurricane Andrew, the first named storm of one of the quietest hurricane seasons in 50 years, began as a tropical low off the African coast near Cape Verde. It strengthened into a tropical storm north of Puerto Rico and was nearly sheared apart by strong upper air winds. Unfortunately, high-pressure built in aloft quickly, and the storm undergone rapid deepening east of the Bahamas. The storm ripped through the central Bahamas before being pushed west at 17-MPH into Florida. The hurricane strengthened to 165-MPH sustained winds with a pressure of 921 MB! The observation of this storm was conducted from a Red Cross shelter in Macmillan High School southern Kendall near SW 62 Street. The shelter was about 10 to 15 miles inland. From about 12 to 1:00 AM, strong winds and rainsqualls began affecting the area. By 2:00 AM, winds were gusting over 50-MPH with heavy rain showers. This is when I reached the shelter, and parked the chase vehicle between two reinforced concrete walls ignoring all officials’ requests to move it. By 3:00 AM, winds reached hurricane force with numerous power flashes from power lines being taken out and heavy rains. By 3:30 AM, the first 100-MPH+ gust blew through, and everyone was ordered inside. From 4:00 AM to about 5:30 AM, the eye-wall passed by. North to Northeast winds sustained well over 120-MPH with gusts to 168-MPH were observed! Most of the roof was torn off the second floor of the shelter and an entire classroom had its outer wall destroyed. The entire shelter shook and your ears constantly popped from the static (barometric drop) and dynamic (ramming of winds) pressure changes. The wind increased to a load roar similar to a train or jet plane and high-speed jets of water began shooting from under the main steel door of the shelter by 5:00 AM. A brief calm passed shortly after as the space between the outer and inner eye-walls of the double eye-wall hurricane passed by. The wind and rain did not let up completely during this lull. The rain and wind resumed, but on the other side from the south to southeast. Everything began to let up quickly by 6:30 AM. At 7:30 AM, the shelter doors were opened. Damage was extensive, almost every tree down, roofs missing off many homes, almost every car in the shelter parking lot severely damaged or flipped over. A large rescue vehicle parked 50 feet in front of the shelter entrance was now only 5 feet away. Pieces of the school roof were strewn around the sides of the building. Winds at this time were still at least 60-MPH with moderate rains. The clouds in the sky appeared as if they were in time lapse motion. The chase vehicle, parked in its reinforced concrete "nook", was intact. Only a bent antenna and severe damage to the white paint, sand blasted by flying dirt and sand. The journey back to the Miami area took hours, navigating around countless debris, downed trees, and power lines. Some outer feeder bands were penetrated, where 65 to 70-MPH winds and torrential rains were encountered. Flooding was very bad, especially near the waterfront in downtown Miami, where streets were flooded with salt water and boats were high and dry. This storm was the costliest disaster in US history, causing 30 billion dollars in damage, luckily only about 30 people were killed in Florida. Homestead, just south of Kendall, had winds over 200-MPH with over 90 percent of the city totally destroyed. The chase vehicle for this incredible observation was a 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon. Documentation, before, during, and after the storm was a camcorder and still photos. The storm was originally rated a category 4 hurricane but was later upgraded to a category 5 in late 2002 by the NHC! Only two other storms of category 5 intensity hit the US ... Hurricane Camille in 1969 and the "Labor Day Hurricane" of 1935.

18). SEP 28, 11-1 PM - Observation of the coastal effects of the western side of a tropical depression off Cape Canaveral, Florida. Some heavy rains, mainly in squalls, with 30-MPH winds were observed. The ocean had swells as high as 8 feet. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms. The storm later developed into a tropical storm, Earl, off the northeast Florida coast. The storm never came ashore in the US, the closest point was 50 to 75 miles east of Cape Canaveral during its depression stage.

19). OCT 6, 4:00 PM - Observation of heavy northeast swells as high as 10 feet off Lake Worth and Boynton Beaches, Florida. Several miles out, near the Gulf Stream, 8-foot wind waves were observed from the north to northwest. The swells were also observed at Lake Worth Inlet, in West Palm Beach. The 8 to 10 foot swells were being generated by strong winds near gale force in an area just northeast of the Florida East Coast. A 1990 Sea Doo watercraft was used to observe the storms. Documentation was still photos.

20). OCT 28, 4:00 PM - Interception of a brief strong thunderstorm in northwest Fort Lauderdale, Florida near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. The storms contained heavy rains and 35-MPH winds. The storm was caused by a stationary front and upper trough. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms.

21). NOV 10, 2-4 PM - Observation of large wind swell conditions off Boynton Beach, Florida. Easterly winds were observed at 30 to 35-MPH with higher gusts. 10 to 15 foot wind waves, and wind swell, was observed at Boynton Inlet and a few miles offshore. The waves broke about 10 feet high when they reached the beach. A 1990 Sea Doo watercraft was used to observe the waves. The winds and seas were caused by a strong high-pressure area to the north interacting with a stalled cold front to the south with an upper trough. Some heavy rain and thunder accompanied the observation. Documentation was still photos.

22). DEC 10, 1:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms in Palm Beach County, Florida. The storm was part of a squall line where torrential rains and 40-MPH winds were encountered. Some cells along this line were severe but were not intercepted. The storms were caused by a strong cold front and squall line crossing Florida. The storm intercepted was followed from Royal Palm Beach to State Road 7 and was moving at nearly 40-MPH. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms.

This concludes the 1992 chase season. The summary includes a total of 22 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 7 severe thunderstorms were involved, 8 strong thunderstorms, 1 Tornado, 2 tropical system observations, one of which was Hurricane Andrew, and 4 coastal observations. Among these chases, a 1983 Chevy Cavalier was used in 4 observations, a 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used in 14 chases, and a 1990 Sea Doo watercraft was used in 4. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1993 SEASON

1). FEB 22, 7:30 PM - Penetration of the southwest side of a severe thunderstorm near inland sections of northern Palm Beach County, Florida along Highway 710. The storm was part of a multicell squall line and contained frequent lightning, heavy rains, and winds gusting near 60-MPH near its gust front. The storms were developing ahead of a cold front in unstable air beneath a jet stream aloft. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch box was also in effect until 11 PM.

2). FEB 22, 10:30 PM - Penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Margate, Florida near Sample Road and State Road 7. The storm was a rather small severe thunderstorm cell developing along an outflow boundary well ahead of a cold front. Frequent lightning, very heavy rains, and 60-MPH winds were experienced while penetrating this storm. The storm developed ahead of a cold front under a strong jet stream aloft. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch box was also in effect until 11 PM. Documentation was still photos.

3). MAR 13, 4:15 AM - Interception and direct penetration of an extremely severe thunderstorm along Highway 98 midway between Royal Palm Beach and Belle Glade in unpopulated Palm Beach County, Florida. The storm was part of an extremely powerful squall line associated with "The great storm of 1993" as it moved rapidly across Florida. At 4:15 AM, the gust front of the squall line was penetrated with an onslaught of 70-MPH winds from the south southwest nearly throwing the chase vehicle off the road. The storm was then penetrated where wind gusts at or exceeding 100-MPH from the southwest were experienced! The chase vehicle, stopped completely and facing the damaging straight-line winds, had its two left tires lifted off the ground, and was nearly rolled. There was also small hail, extremely heavy rains, and frequent lightning with close hits. The storm was part of a multicell squall line moving eastwards at about 55-MPH, so only one pass was executed on the nearly solid squall line. Damage observed was numerous signs and trees down, even blocking roadways completely. Power out in many places, and roof damage. The storm quickly moved through the populated areas after it was intercepted, causing extensive damage and fatalities. Unfortunately, winds from this squall line killed 40 people in Florida, more than hurricane Andrew in August 1992. Confirmed winds were measured at 109-MPH in the Florida Keys, and over 100-MPH in Bell Glade. In Homestead, a woman was thrown 60 feet to her death by the strong winds outside of her mobile home. Winds and convective cells along this squall line were nearly uniform and referred to as a derecho event. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms. A very strong low-pressure system over the southern Gulf States, with an associated cold front and squall line caused the storms. A very strong jet stream was also present aloft with a strong area of convergence at the surface. Documentation was audio recording and still photos. A tornado watch was also in effect for the entire area until 7 AM.

4). MAR 13, 3:00 PM - Observation of major gale to storm forced winds on the Gulf Of Mexico beaches near Naples, Florida. A major low-pressure area, with hurricane forced winds, was moving across Georgia and Alabama at the time of observation. The cold front passed by and winds prevailed sustained at about 50-MPH from the west and northwest with gusts over 60-MPH. Conditions at Naples Beach were extremely rough surf conditions with 10 to 15 foot waves breaking as far out as you could see. Tides were at least 3 to 5 feet above normal, covering the beach and going over sea walls. Damage was severe coastal flooding and beach erosion on the coast, and downed trees inland. Storm tides in some areas were over 10 feet from this wind event on the Florida West Coast. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used for the land observation. Documentation was still photos.

5). APR 16, 1:00 AM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms near Interstate 595 and Highway 27 in western sections of Broward County, Florida. Frequent lightning, heavy rains, and 35 to 40-MPH winds were experienced with this storm. The storms were caused by a cold front moving through the area. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storm.

6). APR 26, 5:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Tamarac and Coral Springs, Florida near Atlantic Boulevard. Frequent lightning, 35-MPH winds, heavy rain, and ½ inch hail was observed in the storm. A frontal trough and surface heating provided instability for the storms. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase them.

7). JUN 5, 1:45 PM - Interception and direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm in Boca Raton, Florida north of Palmetto Park Road near Camino Real and Military Trail. The observation was made beneath the UDI (Updraft-Downdraft Interface) of this HP supercell type storm. Near this region 1 to 1½ inch hail (golf ball sized) was observed with rain, frequent lightning with close hits, and 60-MPH winds. A funnel cloud was also observed in a well-developed wall cloud on the northwest side of this storm prior to the core punch. Away from the hail shaft, 60-MPH winds, lightning, and extremely heavy rains were observed. The hail caused damage to the paint of the chase vehicle. The storms were caused by a low-pressure trough, surface heating, cold air aloft, and a moderate jet stream aloft. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos and audio recording.

8). JUN 28, 7:45 PM - Direct penetration of severe thunderstorms west of Royal Palm Beach, Florida along Highway 98. The storm was a multicell storm that contained torrential rains, frequent lightning, and winds gusting to near 70-MPH. The storm was developing near a low-pressure trough in unstable, moist air from daytime surface heating. An outflow boundary from this storm spread southeast and reached Dade County by 10 PM. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms.

9). JUN 28, 9:00 PM - Penetration of a small pulse type severe thunderstorm near Coconut Creek and Deerfield Beach, Florida along Sample Road. The storm contained brief wind gusts to 60-MPH with lightning and heavy rains. The storm was developing along an outflow boundary in unstable air ahead of a low-pressure trough. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storm.

10). JUL 22, 6:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Cooper City, Florida south of Interstate 595 along Pine Island Road. The storm contained 30 to 35-MPH winds, lightning, and heavy rains. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storm, which was triggered by surface heating, sea breezes, and an upper trough.

11). JUL 22, 8:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of the southeastern side of a severe thunderstorm north and west of Interstate 75 and Interstate 595 in western areas of Broward County, Florida. The storm core was not intercepted, but the gust front and shelf cloud were observed where 60-MPH winds and light rain was encountered. The storm also contained frequent lightning. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storm. Surface heating and an upper trough allowed the storm to develop.

12). JUL 23, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Coconut Creek, Florida along Coconut Creek Parkway near Lyons Road. The multicell storm contained 60-MPH winds, torrential rains, frequent lightning, and ¾ inch hail. The storm developed near a sea breeze convergence front that encountered a low-pressure trough. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon chased the storm. Documentation was still photos.

13). JUL 27, 3:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Weston and Cooper City, Florida. The strong storm contained frequent lightning, heavy rains, and 40-MPH winds. The storm was encountered just east of Interstate 75. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storm, which was caused by surface heating and an upper trough.

14). JUL 28, 6:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms extending from Boca Raton to Fort Lauderdale, Florida along Interstate 95. The multicell cluster of storms contained very heavy rains and 40-MPH winds. The storms were caused by a weak upper trough and surface heating. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase them.

15). JUL 29, 4:00 PM - Direct penetration to a very strong to severe thunderstorm near NW 31 Avenue and Commercial Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The storm core contained 55 to 60-MPH winds, torrential rains, hail to ½ inch, and very frequent lightning with numerous close hits. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the multicell storms. An approaching trough of low-pressure and sea breezes triggered the storm. Documentation was audio recording.

16). JUL 30, 6:30 PM - Penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm along Interstate 595 from the Florida Turnpike to Highway US 1 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The outflow and gust front from a strong, high based storm spread eastward into Fort Lauderdale from the west. The storm approached severe limits with 50 to 60-MPH winds, torrential rains, and frequent lightning just north of Fort Lauderdale International Airport. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for this area until about 7 PM. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms. A low-pressure trough and surface heating produced the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

17). AUG 11, 2:45 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm along Interstate 595 between Highway 27 and Interstate 75 near Weston, Florida. This multicell storm, developing northward from Dade County, contained winds at or over 60-MPH, torrential rains, and frequent lightning. When the downburst of this storm was crossed, a wind changed from 60-MPH southeast winds to 50-MPH northwest winds was experienced while eastbound on Interstate 595. The storms were caused by surface heating and an upper trough. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon chased them.

18). AUG 12, 2:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm just west of Interstate 75 between Okeechobee road and Graham Dairy Road near Miami Lakes, Florida. This storm was evolving to a near HP supercell type storm with a rotating wall cloud on its southwest side. No tornadoes were produced by this storm. North and east of this wall cloud region, an area of 70-MPH winds, ½ to ¾ inch hail, frequent lightning, and heavy rain was observed. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storm. Documentation was audio recording.

19). AUG 13, 4:30 PM - Direct penetration of severe thunderstorms in Delray Beach, Florida from State Road 7 eastwards to Jog Road along Atlantic Avenue. The storm was produced by a strong gust front that was spawned by a strong thunderstorm west of State Road 7. At one point, the resulting multicell storm cluster had core conditions containing ½ to ¾ inch hail, frequent lightning, torrential rains, and 70 to 75-MPH winds. Powelines and trees down were observed with this storm. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon chased the storms, caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. Documentation was a camcorder.

20). AUG 20, 5:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms near Oakland Park Boulevard, State Road 7, and NW 31 Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Three guests were also present during this chase. Frequent lightning, heavy rains, and 40 to 45-MPH winds were observed. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storm. A weak upper trough and surface heating produced the storms.

21). AUG 28, 5:30 PM - Penetration of severe thunderstorms near State Road 7 in western sections of Boca Raton, Florida. The storm had a well-developed gust front and shelf cloud. When penetrated, an area of frequent lightning, heavy rains, 50 to 55-MPH winds, and small hail was encountered. The storm was caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon chased the storm.

22). SEP 1, 7:00 PM - Observation of the northern portion of an active tropical wave about 2 to 3 miles east of Boynton Beach, Florida. As the convective portion of the tropical wave came ashore, a region of heavy rains, winds gusting to 50-MPH in squalls, and 8 foot seas from the east was encountered. Sea conditions before the wave passage were about 3 to 5 feet with east-northeast winds of 15 to 20-MPH. The strong winds lasted about a half-hour to an hour in a 20-mile wide swath. The strong tropical wave developed near Puerto Rico and crossed the Bahamas before hitting Florida. A 1993 Sea Doo XP watercraft was used to observe the tropical wave.

23). SEP 8, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm in Coral Springs, Florida near University Drive and Sample Road. Torrential rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and winds gusting up to 60-MPH were encountered. The storm was caused by an outflow boundary from a weaker strong storm in Boca Raton, a low-pressure trough, and unstable, moist air. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon chased the storm.

24). OCT 8, 6:30 PM - Penetration of a very strong thunderstorm in Plantation and Sunrise, Florida near University Drive. Very heavy rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and winds over 50-MPH were observed in this storm. The storm caused street flooding. Abundant moist, unstable air and a low-pressure trough produced the storms. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon chased them.

25). OCT 9, 2:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near University drive between Sunrise Boulevard and Oakland Park Boulevard in Lauderhill, Florida. A multicell line of storms, developing near the sea breeze front, began forming in the area after 12:30 PM. The multicell storms remained strong from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. One cell penetrated contained small hail, 65 to 70-MPH wind gusts, heavy rains, and frequent lightning. Tree damage and flooding also occurred with this storm. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms. Surface heating, sea breezes, and a low-pressure trough caused the storms.

26). OCT 30, 2:00 PM - Observation of high seas off Boynton Beach, Florida. The seas were from 8 to 10 feet about 1 mile off Boynton Inlet with a south wind of 30 to 35-MPH. Waves at the inlet were about 5 feet and very choppy. An approaching cold front to the west and strong high-pressure well to the east allowed the strong winds to develop. A 1993 Sea Doo XP watercraft was used to observe the seas.

27). OCT 31, 2:00 AM - Penetration of strong, fast moving thunderstorms near Sunrise Boulevard and Interstate 75 in western sections of Broward County, Florida. The storms were part of a squall line ahead of a strong cold front moving across Florida. Conditions in the strongest cell were 50-MPH winds, lightning, and heavy rains. A strong cold front associated with an early season strong low to the northwest coupled with unstable air produced the squall line and storms. A strong jet stream was also present aloft. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon chased the storms.

28). DEC 18, 11-3 PM - Observation of very heavy ground swells coming into Palm Beach County, Florida at Lake Worth Inlet and Boynton Inlet. Waves at Lake Worth inlet in West Palm Beach were about 10 to 15 feet high with some larger sets, breaking 400 yards off the beach. Tides here were about 2 feet above normal with beach erosion. At Boynton Inlet, Further south, waves were 10 to 12 feet. Here a small fishing skiff pitch poled over a wave and broke in half, washing up on the beach. Deep water revealed wave periods of 15 seconds with waves 12 feet high. A winter storm with near hurricane forced winds east of Cape Hattaras generated the swell. The seas were observed using a 1993 Sea Doo XP watercraft. Documentation was still photos.

This concludes the 1993 chase season. The summary includes a total of 28 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 16 severe thunderstorms, 9 strong thunderstorms, 1 tropical wave, and 2 coastal observations were involved. Among these chases, a 1987 Chevy Cavalier wagon was used in 25 observations and a 1993 Sea Doo XP watercraft in the 2 coastal observations and the tropical wave. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1994 SEASON

1). JAN 11, 4:30 PM - Observation of near gale forced northeast wind conditions with fully developed seas off Boynton Beach, Florida. Just off the inlet, about a mile or so out, waves in excess of 12 feet were observed, with 30 to 35-MPH northeasterly winds. Weather was rain showers and squalls. A large area of high-pressure to the north and stalled frontal trough to the south allowed the strong winds to prevail. Large breakers, above normal tides, and beach erosion was also observed. A 1993 Sea Doo XP watercraft was used to observe the seas. Documentation was a camcorder wrapped in a waterproof, clear plastic jacket.

2). FEB 26, 4:30 PM - Penetration of the northern edge of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Tamiami Trail and Red Road in Miami, Florida. The storm was a multicell storm and contained 50-MPH winds, ½ to ¾ inch hail, heavy rains, and frequent lightning. This storm also caused some flooding. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms. The storms were caused by a stalled frontal system near the area and surface heating.

3). MAR 2, 3:00 PM - Penetration of an active squall line and associated severe thunderstorms moving across central Broward County, Florida near Interstate 595. The storm contained some severe thunderstorm cells with 60-MPH winds and very heavy rains. A sudden shift of wind from southwest to northwest also was noted with the passage of the squall line. Abundant moisture and a strong cold front allowed the storms to develop. A 1987 Chevy Cavalier Wagon was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 4PM.

4). APR 24, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Hollywood, Florida just northwest of Hollywood Boulevard and Interstate 95. The core of this multicell storm contained ¾ inch hail, 70-MPH wind gusts, torrential rains, and frequent lightning. A guest, Jose Chong, accompanied this chase. Some downed signs were noted from the strong winds. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. A low-pressure trough, stalled frontal system, and outflow boundary produced the storms.

5). MAY 18, 5:00 PM - Indirect penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm moving southeastwards over Broward County, Florida near Broward Boulevard and University Drive. During the indirect penetration, 50-MPH winds, heavy rains, and lightning was encountered. The storm continued developing southward, into Dade County, where a funnel cloud was spawned. The funnel cloud was not observed. This chase was aborted due to severe traffic problems on most major roads. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm, caused by a low-pressure trough and weak cold front.

6). MAY 19, 4:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm along Hillsboro Boulevard in Deerfield Beach, Florida between Lyons Road and State Road 7. This very intense multicell type severe storm rapidly developed and moved east over the area. Conditions encountered were winds gusting over 70-MPH, ½ inch hail, frequent lightning, and torrential rains. The storm caused some wind damage in the area. A funnel cloud was also produced by this storm but was not observed. A weak cold front and broad low-pressure area coupled with surface heating produced the storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased the storm. Documentation was a camcorder. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for the area until 5PM.

7). JUN 4, 3:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in North Lauderdale, Florida near Rock Island Road and Southgate Boulevard. Frequent lightning, torrential rains, and 50-MPH winds were encountered. A low-pressure trough and surface heating produced the storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them.

8). JUN 5, 6:00 PM - Observation of a waterspout over the near shore waters of Delray Beach, Florida. A large towering cumulus cloud built up just east of the observation site, Lake Ida Park in Delray Beach. A brief waterspout was produced in the cloud base on the west side of this cloud. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the waterspout. Moist, unstable air allowed development of the waterspout. Documentation was still photos.

9). JUN 10, 6:30 PM - Direct penetration of a large severe thunderstorm near Highway 27 and Interstate 595 along Hollywood Boulevard in western sections of Broward County, Florida. The storm, a multicell storm which evolved to a HP supercell, lasted 2 ½ hours as it slowly moved southeastwards until offshore of Miami. During development and evolution, a large wall cloud and inflow area was observed on the west side of the storm. The storm produced small funnel clouds, and contained small hail, torrential rains, 60-MPH winds, and frequent lightning with close hits in its core. Flooding and trees down were also observed with this storm. The storm was caused by surface heating and a low-pressure trough. A moderate cap allowed the storms to develop this late in the day. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

10). JUN 11, 5:30 PM - Direct penetration of a rather small but strong thunderstorm in the Everglades along Highway 27 about 5 miles north of Interstate 595. This pulse type storm developed along the sea breeze front and contained a small, brief area of 50-MPH winds and torrential rains. Some trees were knocked down along the side of the highway from this storm. The storm was caused by sea breeze activity. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased the storm. Documentation was still photos.

11). JUN 18, 5:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near State Road 7 and Glades Road in Boca Raton, Florida. The storm was part of a multicell line of storms. Winds in the storm gusted to 60-MPH with torrential rains and frequent lightning with close hits. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased the storms, caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. Documentation was a camcorder.

12). JUN 22, 4:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Interstate 595 and University Drive in Davie, Florida. The storm was a multicell storm containing winds over 60-MPH, ¾ inch hail, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with close hits. The storm was part of a line of thunderstorms responsible for signs and trees down, power outages, and a small brush fire observed sparked by a lightning strike. The storm was caused by a low-pressure area aloft and surface heating. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

13). JUL 21, 7:30 PM - Observation of a spectacular tornado touchdown in western sections of Palm Beach County, Florida. A large wall cloud was observed on the southwest side of an LP supercell storm, extremely rare in Florida. A tornado came out of the wall cloud and touched down. Two other separate tornadoes, flanking south of the first one, also touched down, the southernmost one being the smallest. Three tornadoes remained on the ground for nearly 3 minutes, the first one becoming almost as wide as half its height. The event lasted for about 10 to 15 minutes, from first funnel to tornado rope out and dissipation. When all three tornadoes were on the ground, the storm updraft tower took on a distinct corkscrew (Barber pole) appearance, yet only little rain and lightning were observed. The storm remained with a slight rotation long after the tornadoes dissipated. The storm was observed from Lake Ida Park in Delray Beach, about 10 or 15 miles to the east of the storm. Fortunately, the tornadoes touched down in an unpopulated area. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the storm, caused by surface heating and a low-pressure trough.

14). JUL 25, 2:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Flamingo Road and Pembroke Avenue in Permbroke Pines, Florida. The multicell storm contained 60-MPH winds, frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, and ½ inch hail. Some residential areas had 2 feet of standing water from this storm. Some power was knocked out in some areas. A low-pressure trough and surface heating produced the storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them. Documentation was a camcorder.

15). JUL 29, 7:30 PM - Indirect penetration of the eastern side of a strong to severe thunderstorm along Interstate 75 near Miramar, Florida. The storm, although not directly intercepted, still produced 50-MPH winds, small hail, heavy rains, and frequent lightning. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased the storms. A low-pressure trough and outflow boundary produced the storms in moist, unstable air.

16). AUG 5, 5:00 PM - Penetration of a strong to severe storm in the Everglades along Interstate 595 west of Highway 27 and east of the Seminole Indian Reservation. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of thunderstorms. On the eastern edge of this storm, a funnel cloud was observed. When the storm was penetrated, 50-MPH winds, torrential rains, and lightning was found. The storm was caused by a trough of low-pressure and surface heating. Documentation was still photos. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased the storm.

17). AUG 6, 5:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Opa Locka, Florida just south of the Palmetto Expressway. The storm contained frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, and wind gusts up to 60-MPH. The storm was produced by sea breeze activity and a weak trough of low-pressure. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. Documentation was a camcorder.

18). AUG 7, 7:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in southeastern Broward County, Florida along Highway US 1 near Hollywood Boulevard. The storm was a back building storm being initiated by an outflow boundary moving southward from a previous severe storm over Pompano Beach to the north. The storm nearly reached HP supercell status as it reached Hollywood. A well-developed rain foot was observed and penetrated while intercepting the storm. Winds in the core of this storm gusted to near 70-MPH along with hail up to ¾ inch, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with numerous close hits. The storm precipitation, over 3 to 5 inches per hour, overwhelmed storm drains causing manhole covers to fly off. 2 feet of water was observed flooding some streets, and power was out in many places. Downed trees and powerlines were also observed. The storm was caused by surface heating, outflow boundary, and a low-pressure trough. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm.

19). AUG 8, 4:00 PM - Penetration of severe thunderstorms near Coconut Creek, Florida along Sample Road near Lyons Road. This storm was a pulse type storm in part of a multicell line of storms moving eastwards out of the Everglades to the west. The storm briefly produced winds over 55-MPH, ½ inch hail, lightning, and heavy rains. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. Documentation was a camcorder. A trough of low-pressure allowed the storms to develop with surface heating.

20). AUG 9, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Sunrise Boulevard and University Drive in Sunrise, Florida. The storm was a multicell storm that originated as a strong storm near Coconut Creek further north. Conditions encountered were 50-MPH winds, ½ inch hail, frequent lightning, and torrential rains. A low-pressure trough and sea breezes allowed the storms to develop. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased them.

21). AUG 23, 4:00 PM - Interception and penetration of a severe thunderstorm over Pembroke Pines, Florida near Johnston Road and State Road 7. The storm contained 55 to 60-MPH winds, ½ to ¾ inch hail, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with close hits. One hit of lightning came within 100 feet of the chase vehicle. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, which were caused by a trough of low-pressure and surface heating. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for the area until 5 PM.

22). AUG 23, 4:00 PM - Direct penetration of a large severe thunderstorm along State Road 7 in northern Broward and southern Palm Beach counties in Florida. The near HP supercell type storm moved slowly southward while producing small hail, torrential rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and winds near 70-MPH. Power was out in several places, and street flooding occurred. The storm also downed trees, powerlines, and signs. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the storms. A cold front well north of the area with a prefrontal trough and surface heating produced the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

23). SEP 4, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm over Hialeah and Miami, Florida. The pulse type storm, near Le Jeune Road, produced winds up to 60-MPH with lightning, ½ inch hail, and torrential rains. Street flooding also occurred with this storm. The storm was caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase it.

24). OCT 16, 3:00 PM - Observation of large ground swells breaking off Lake Worth Inlet in West Palm Beach, Florida. Waves up to 15 feet with 20-MPH northeast winds were observed about 300 yards off the beach south of the inlet. A strong gale with wide field of storm forced winds off Bermuda was generating the northeast ground swell while local winds were generated by a ridge of high-pressure north and west of Florida. A pilot boat nearly overturned when entering the inlet. Beach erosion and tides 2 to 3 feet above normal were observed. A 1993 Sea Doo XP watercraft was used to observe the waves. Documentation was still photos.

25). OCT 31, 3:00 AM - Penetration of a severe thunderstorm in western sections of Broward and Dade Counties, Florida near Interstate 75. The storm was on the south end of a multicell line of storms, and contained 60-MPH winds, torrential rains, and frequent lightning. An advancing frontal system and convergence area produced the storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them.

26). NOV 14, 5:00 PM - Observation of the coastal effects of tropical storm Gordon at and offshore of Boynton Inlet in Boynton Beach, Florida. The storm was offshore of the Florida southeast coast, and with strong high-pressure to the north, caused gale forced easterly winds to prevail over Palm Beach coastal waters. Conditions at Boynton Inlet were 40 to 45-MPH sustained winds from the east with seas breaking at about 12 feet. About 1 mile off the inlet, winds gusted up to 60-MPH in rainsqualls with waves well over 15 feet. Tides were about 2 to 4 feet above normal, with coastal flooding and beach erosion observed. A 500 foot freighter was also was run aground on Fort Lauderdale beach, about 25 miles further south. Thunderstorms, with 50-MPH winds, lightning, and very heavy rains, were also encountered near Boynton Beach and Fort Lauderdale beach. Gordon buffeted the Florida east coast near the Florida Keys and recurved northeastwards making landfall near Fort Meyers. The storm crossed Florida and headed out into the Atlantic. Near Cape Hattaras, Gordon became a hurricane where it did a complete turn back towards Florida. The storm then became hybrid with a large field of hurricane force winds, where large swells returned to Florida. Gordon actually came ashore again in east central Florida as a weak subtropical depression. A 1993 Sea Doo XP watercraft was used in offshore observations while a 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in land observations. Documentation was still photos. A tornado watch was also in effect for Palm Beach County until 8 PM.

This concludes the 1994 chase season. The summary includes a total of 26 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 18 severe thunderstorms, 3 strong thunderstorms, 1 tropical storm, 1 waterspout, 1 tornado, and 2 coastal observations were involved. Among these chases, a 1987 Chevy Cavalier wagon was used in 2 observations, a 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in 22, and a 1993 Sea Doo XP watercraft in the 3 coastal observations including the tropical storm. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1995 SEASON

1). JAN 7, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near I-75 and Highway 27 in western Broward county near Weston, FL. Wind gusts from 60 to 65-MPH with torrential rain and some small hail were observed. Some flooding occurred from the heavy rains. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, caused by a squall line ahead of a cold front beneath a strong jet stream aloft. Storm documented by camcorder. A tornado watch box was also in effect until 5 PM.

2). JAN 14, 2:00 PM - Marine observation of high sea conditions just off Boyton inlet in Boynton Beach, FL. SE winds of near gale forced of 30 to 35-MPH between a high off the SE US coast and a low approaching from the west produced the strong winds with waves from 8 to 12 feet. A 1993 Sea Doo watercraft was used to observe the waves about a mile or two offshore. Some minor beach erosion was observed from the wave action. A tornado watch box was also in effect until 4 PM.

3). JAN 14, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm near State Road 7 in western areas of Boynton Beach, FL along Boyton Beach Blvd. Winds from 50 to 60-MPH with heavy rain were observed with mild flooding. A cold front with its associated wind shift dry line converging with strong SE winds produced a squall line that contained the thunderstorm penetrated. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased the storm. Storm documented by camcorder. A tornado watch box was also in effect until 4 PM.

4). FEB 21, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a fast moving severe thunderstorm near I-95 and Oakland Park Blvd in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Heavy rain and 55 to 60-MPH winds with some flooding were encountered. A cold front producing a squall line caused the storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used for the chase. A camcorder was used for documentation. A severe thunderstorm watch box was also in effect until 4 PM.

5). MAR 18, 12:30 PM - Direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm near I-595 from highway 27 followed to US 1 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Heavy rains, frequent lightning, 60 to 65-MPH winds, and large hail up to one and a half inches which left an accumulation of an inch on the ground near I-95 and I-595! An upper level low and its trough coupled with surface heating produced the storms. The hail did some damage including broken windows and car accidents from skidding on the accumulated hail cover. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased the storms. A camcorder and still photos documented it. A severe thunderstorm watch box was also in effect until 6 PM.

6). MAY 10, 6:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms in Boca Raton , FL near Glades road and I-95. A line of thunderstorms caused by a weak surface trough and sea breeze front activity was followed from near Boynton Beach southeastwards into Boca Raton where small hail. lightning, and torrential rains with 45 to 50-MPH winds were encountered. Some flooding was also observed. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used for this chase.

7). MAY 20, 2:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in western sections of Palm Beach, FL along Highway 27. Torrential rains with zero visibility and 65 to 70-MPH winds were encountered. Some flooding was also observed with lightning. A trough ahead of a weak cold front produced the storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. Documentation was a camcorder.

8). JUN 7, 4:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Sample Road and I-95 in Pompano Beach, FL. Heavy rains with flooding and 50 to 55-MPH winds were encountered. After the storm pushed off Pompano Beach, a small funnel cloud was observed on the storm’s SW corner. A low-pressure trough and surface heating with an upper trough produced the storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in the chase. Documentation was still photos.

9). JUN 13, 10:30 AM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm just west of I-95 along sample road in Pompano Beach, FL. Torrential rains, lightning, and wind gusts 65 to 70-MPH were observed. Some downed trees and flooding accompanied this storm, caused by a strong late season cold front crashing into moist tropical air with an intense squall line. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased the storms and documentation was still photos. A severe thunderstorm watch box was also in effect until 1 PM.

10). JUN 6, 2:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Pembroke Road along I-95 near Hollywood, FL. An upper level low with a trough and abundant tropical moisture spawned a line of thunderstorms in which torrential rains, flooding, 60 to 65-MPH wind gusts, frequent lightning, and small hail were encountered. Some downed trees were also found in this storm. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in the chase and a still camera for documentation. The storm also spawned several funnel clouds that were not observed.

11). JUL 3, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm along the Sawgrass Expressway near Tamarac, FL. A brief encounter of 55 to 60-MPH winds with hail to three-quarter inches was found near the storm’s core. A brief tornado was also spawned by this storm but was not observed. Torrential rains with frequent lightning, flooding, and close strikes were also observed. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in the chase. Documentation was a camcorder. Surface heating and an upper trough helped produce the storms. A temperature drop from around 90 degrees to the upper 50’s was also found near the storm’s core!

12). JUL 9, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm with frequent lightning, heavy rains, and small hail along I-595 and I-95 from Fort Lauderdale, FL into North Miami, FL. An upper level trough with tropical moisture spawned a super cell storm near the sea breeze front. Winds in one section of the storm gusted from 50 to 60-MPH. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in this chase and a camcorder along with still photos was used for documentation.

13). JUL 10, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near I-95 and Commercial Blvd in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Frequent lightning, heavy rains, and wind gusts as high as 50 to 55-MPH were encountered. Some flooding and power outages were also observed from the heavy rain and deadly lightning. A 1994 Chevy Corsica Sedan was used to chase this storm. An upper level trough with tropical moisture allowed these storms to develop. Still photos were taken for documentation.

14). JUL 11, 2:30 PM - Direct penetration of a rapidly developing severe thunderstorm in Fort Lauderdale, FL near US 1 and Oakland Park Blvd. A region of frequent lightning and torrential rains with hail to one half inch and high winds to 60-MPH was encountered near the storm’s core, which caused some flooding and trees down. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in the chase. The storms were caused by a short wave upper trough with tropical moisture at the surface. A tornado was also spawned by this storm but was not observed. Still photos were taken for documentation. A severe thunderstorm watch box was also in effect until 5 PM.

15). JUL 12, 2:30 PM - Direct penetration of another severe thunderstorm in Coral springs, FL near State Road 7 and Royal Palm Blvd. Strong winds from 60 to 70-MPH along with hail to one inch was observed near the core of the super cell storm. Flooding, downed trees, and power outages also were observed. This storm had nearly continuous lightning. Tropical moisture along with both a surface and upper trough produced the storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in the chase. Still photos were used for documentation.

16). JUL 17, 3:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near US 1 and I-95 along Broward Blvd in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Heavy rains with frequent lightning, small hail, and 55 to 60-MPH winds were encountered with street flooding. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. An upper level low and its trough along with tropical moisture set the stage for the storms. A camcorder was used for documentation.

17). JUL 21, 7:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Parkland, FL by the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge at the end of Lox road. Surface heating and an upper trough allowed a cluster of strong to severe thunderstorms to form over the Everglades and move into Western areas of Parkland. Winds gusted from 60 to 65-MPH with torrential rain and frequent lightning were found as the storm moved overhead. Some flooding and downed trees were also observed. This storm had some spectacular updraft base and gust front dynamics. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used for this chase. Documentation was still photos.

18). AUG 2, 2:00 AM - Penetration and observation of a strong category 1 hurricane ERIN making landfall near Vero Beach, FL. The entire chase followed US 1 from Broward County, FL into St Lucie County, FL from 5 PM Aug 1 to 5 AM Aug 2 with the eye of Hurricane ERIN encountered around 2 AM just south of Vero Beach, FL. Winds on the western half of the eye-wall gusted to 75-MPH with light to moderate rains and were sustained at 85-MPH with higher gusts and torrential side wards rainfall on the eastern half of the eye-wall. Conditions inside the eye were starry skies with light and variable winds. The eye-wall could be seen in the eye as a lightning shot stadium effect around you. Tides in this area were from five to eight feet above normal with waves ranging from ten to over fifteen feet. Damage was numerous trees down, some roof damage with flying debris, flooding, storm surge damage to piers and boats, severe beach erosion, and power lines blown down and sparking. A 1994 Dodge Dakota was used in this chase. Documentation was a Camcorder, Audio recorder, and still photos. A hurricane warning, coastal flood warning, and tornado watch were all in effect for the areas the chase took place in.

19). AUG 19, 4:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near I-595 and University Drive in Davie, FL. Heavy rains and lightning was encountered with this storm. Some flooding was also observed. The storm was caused by a surface trough with tropical moisture. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

20). AUG 23, 3:30 PM - Penetration and observation of tropical storm JERRY making landfall in Palm Beach County, FL. Along A1A and US 1 near Delray Beach, FL, the center of circulation could be noted by a brief drop in winds and a change from heavy rains to light rains. South of this area, torrential rains with sustained 40-MPH winds with gusts to 60-MPH were found. Frequent lightning was also found in this area. Severe flooding and accidents were also found under the inner convection bands of this storm. The ocean had four to six foot seas near shore with shifting winds in this storm. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in this observation. Still photos were taken for documentation.

21). SEP 1, 1:30 PM - Direct penetration of severe thunderstorms in Pompano Beach, FL near US 1 and Copans Road. A small area of extremely heavy rains and 60 to 70-MPH winds with frequent lightning was encountered. Some tree damage and flooding occurred as a result. This pulse type thunderstorm was caused by a low-pressure area with abundant moisture left over from the remnants of tropical storm JERRY to the northwest of the area. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

22). SEP 9, 2:30 PM - External observation of a large waterspout on the southwest side of strong to severe thunderstorms with frequent lightning about 15 miles offshore of West Palm Beach, FL. Conditions causing the storms were an upper air low and trough of low-pressure. The warm gulf stream waters aided in the instability. Sea conditions, although not applicable, were 2 to 4 foot NE swells. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the storms from the beach. Documentation included a camcorder, which filmed the entire life span from the early mature waterspout to its dissipation. Still photos were also taken.

23). DEC 19, 2:30 PM - Direct penetration of strong to severe thunderstorms in western Palm Beach, FL along Highway 27. Winds gusts from 50 to 60-MPH with a mild dust storm preceding heavy rain were observed. A winter storm moving up the US East Coast and a trailing cold front with a squall line produced the storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

This concludes the 1995 chase season. The summary includes a total of 23 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 2 tropical cyclones were involved, 15 severe thunderstorms, 4 strong thunderstorms, 1 tornado/waterspout and 1 coastal observation. Among these chases, a 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in 21 observations, a 1994 Chevy Corsica in 1 and a 1993 Sea Doo watercraft in 1 coastal observation. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1996 SEASON

1). FEB 17, 1:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Weston, FL near I-595 and I-75. Heavy rains with brief wind gusts to 45-MPH were encountered. The storm formed along a squall line ahead of a strong cold front and strong upper level winds. The storm was followed from this area until North Miami just east of I-95. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

2). MAR 2, 12:30 PM - Observation of a strong cold front with associated strong thunderstorms moving across western Broward County, FL along Highway 27. A 135-degree wind shift from the SW to N with a 15-degree temperate drop was encountered near the front. Heavy rains and winds gusts 35 to 40-MPH were also observed. A 1994 Dodge Dakota was used to observe the front. Documentation was still photos.

3). MAR 12, 1:00 PM - Observation of heavy northeasterly swells just off Lake Worth inlet in West Palm Beach, Fl. An intense low-pressure area about 100 miles to the east coupled with a strong high-pressure over the eastern US coast, allowed a large area of gale and storm forced NE winds to develop from the Florida east coast extending out into the Atlantic. The storms western edge swept over the Florida east coast causing torrential rains and strong northerly winds. Conditions just south of the inlet were 10 to 15 foot long period NE ground swells with some higher sets breaking as far as a mile from the beach. Some water swept over the entire beach and to the top of the sea wall near high tide. Conditions began as strong north winds and heavy wind swept showers and quickly gave way to partly cloudy skies. A 1993 Sea Doo watercraft was used to observe the waves. The largest wave observed was over 15 feet high and clocked at a speed of 35-MPH after breaking. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup also was used to observe some flooding from heavy rains from this storm inland. Peak winds observed were near 40-MPH from the north. Air temperature remained near 55 degrees. Documentation included still photos and a helmet mounted camcorder.

4). MAR 30, 5:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near South Bay and Belle Glade in Western Palm Beach county along Highway 98 in Florida. Frequent lightning, torrential rains, hail from 1/4 to 1/2 inch, and winds gusting over 65-MPH were observed in this storm. The storm was caused by an upper trough and surface heating and was part of a mesoscale convective complex that had some storms with golf ball sized hail. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

5). MAR 31, 6:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Sunrise, Fl and followed into Southern Palm Beach county from I-595 and University drive to I-95 near Boynton Beach, Fl. Some hail to 1/2 inch, torrential rains with heavy flooding, winds gusting around 55-MPH, and frequent lightning with some close hits observed. The storm was caused by an upper trough and was part of a large complex of severe thunderstorms crossing northern Florida. A 1994 Dodge Dakota was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder.

6). APR 7, 12:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Pembroke Pines, Fl near State Road 7 and Stirling Road. Frequent lightning with some close hits, hail to 1/2 inch, torrential rains, and wind gusts over 65-MPH were observed in a small area while punching the core. A funnel cloud also was spawned just southwest of the area at the time but was not observed. The storm was caused by an upper trough ahead of a surface cold front in a moist and unstable atmosphere. A 1994 Dodge Dakota was used to chase the storm. Documentation was a camcorder.

7). APR 29, 3:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms in Deerfield Beach near 441 and Hillsboro Blvd. A brief area of torrential rains, lightning, and 50-MPH winds was encountered. The storm was part of a cyclic storm area ahead of a cold front with unstable conditions aloft. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the storms. One storm had a well-defined updraft with a slow rotation on its backside. Some heavy flooding resulted from these storms. A severe thunderstorm watch box was also in effect for the area until 6PM.

8). MAY 13, 2:30 PM - Direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm along Sample Road between State Road 7 and the Florida Turnpike near Margate and Coral Springs, Florida. An unusually intense pulse type storm developed on the south end of a small line of thunderstorms and reached severe intensity. During the core punch, torrential rains, frequent lightning with at least two close hits within 100 feet of the chase vehicle, winds gusting over 60-MPH, and large hail over an inch in diameter leaving an accumulation up to an inch on the ground! Some hail, approaching the size of Ping-Pong balls, dented the hood of the chase vehicle. Heavy flooding and downed trees were other observed effects. A large wall cloud formed on the SW side of the storm but did not spawn any tornadoes. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. An upper trough, tropical moisture, and surface heating produced the storms.

9). MAY 13, 10:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Western Broward county, Florida near Highway 27 and Interstate 595. Torrential rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, and winds gusting to near 50-MPH were observed. The storm was penetrated while investigating a strong mesocyclonic rotation that prompted a tornado warning for this area. No touchdown or tornado was observed, but a counterclockwise wind flow with 45-MPH north winds on the west side of the storm and 35-MPH south winds on the eastern side was observed. The storm and its mesocyclone was drifting southwards at the time of penetration. The tornado warning was based on a doppler radar scan at 10:15 PM and was canceled at 10:35 PM. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. An upper trough and tropical moisture produced the storms. The storm was documented with a camcorder.

10). MAY 23, 2:30 PM - External observation of a funnel cloud on the Southwest side of a developing thunderstorm well Northwest of Pompano Beach, Florida. The funnel did not touch down and lasted about ten minutes. The storm later grew into a strong thunderstorm with very heavy rain. A weak area of low-pressure aloft, abundant tropical moisture, and surface heating produced the storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in the observation.

11). MAY 28, 5:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in western Hallandale and Miramar area, Florida. The storm developed near I-75 and Pines Blvd and extended southward. Winds gusting near 60-MPH, small hail to one half inch, frequent lightning, and torrential rains were encountered. The storm was caused by surface heating and an upper trough. The storm damaged a mobile home in the area where the storm was observed. Documentation was still photos and a 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them.

12). MAY 30, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a small, brief, strong thunderstorm with winds gusting to near 55-MPH and torrential rains. The short-lived storm formed near SW 10 Street just west of I-95 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. The storm was caused by a low-pressure trough, both surface and aloft, and surface heating. A 1994 Dodge Dakota was used in the chase. Documentation was a camcorder.

13). JUN 9, 4:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near I-95 and Broward Blvd in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Heavy rains, frequent lightning, and small hail was found in this area. A region of torrential rains and winds gusting near 65-MPH was found just east of US 1 off Broward Blvd in the same area. The storm was caused by an upper trough and abundant tropical moisture and was chased with a 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup. Documentation was a camcorder.

14). JUN 9, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of another severe thunderstorm near Hollywood Blvd just west of I-95 in Pembroke Pines, FL. The storm was a large severe thunderstorm of supercell size and produced from four to seven inches of rain in under two hours! Obviously, extremely heavy rains and street flooding was observed, along with frequent lightning and winds gusting to 60-MPH. The storm lasted over two hours before dissipating and acquired a mesocyclonic rotation at one point. No tornadoes were observed, however, a large wall cloud was found on the storms south side. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, caused by an upper trough and tropical moisture. Documentation was a camcorder.

15). JUN 18, 7:00 PM - Direct penetration of strong to severe thunderstorms near highway 27 just north of I-595 in the Everglades in central Broward County, FL. A small area of torrential rains, frequent lightning, and winds gusting around 55 to 60-MPH was encountered during an early pulse stage of the storm. The storm then grew larger but as a strong thunderstorm with 50-MPH winds. Some close hits of lightning and small funnel clouds were also observed. Abundant tropical moisture and a trough of low-pressure with an upper trough allowed the storms to develop from the late evening heating. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased the storms. Documentation was still photos.

16). JUN 21, 2:30 PM - Penetration of a very strong thunderstorm in Pompano Beach, FL near I-95 and Copans Road. The storm had extremely heavy rains, lightning, and winds gusting to around 50-MPH. The storm was part of a thunderstorm cluster that contained strong and severe thunderstorms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, caused by tropical moisture feeding into a low-pressure trough at the surface and aloft.

17). JUN 23, 4:00 PM - Penetration of another strong thunderstorm in Miami, FL near State Road 7 and NW 79 Street. Heavy rains, frequent lightning with close hits and winds gusting to 50-MPH were observed for a short period of time. The storm was followed southward into the Coral Gables area until dissipation. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm, which also included a guest, Jose Chong. A weak trough of low-pressure and surface heating allowed the storms to develop.

18). JUN 23, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of a large severe thunderstorm near I-595 and I-75 interchange in Weston, FL. Another region of thunderstorms developed further north as another cluster chased earlier in the Miami area dissipated. One thunderstorm in this area reached both severe and supercell status and was directly penetrated as it moved from just north of Davie southwestwards into the Weston and Cooper City areas near Griffith Road and I-75. Extremely torrential rains, small hail, winds gusting around 65-MPH, and frequent lightning. Heavy flooding and numerous close hits of lightning were also observed, which caused power outages and flash fires on power lines. The storm remained severe for almost an hour with its entire mature stage lasting nearly two. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, caused by a low-pressure trough, surface heating, and sea breeze activity. The storm also was in a region that had a cap in place most of the day, leading to explosive storm development due to the late afternoon heating as the cap was overcome. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder.

19). JUN 26, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm just east of I-95 near McNab road in western Pompano Beach, FL. This pulse type severe thunderstorm produced a brief period of small hail, torrential rains, and winds gusting near 70-MPH with frequent lightning. Some flooding, downed trees, and street sign debris was also observed. The hail was about a quarter inch or pea sized in the region of strongest winds. Some close hits of lightning were also observed. A low-pressure trough and surface heating triggered the storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them. Documentation was still photos.

20). JUN 27, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of another severe thunderstorm in Fort Lauderdale, FL near Davie Blvd and I-95. This large storm stretched from northeastern Fort Lauderdale, FL southwestwards to Davie, FL and was on the south side of a thunderstorm cluster. Torrential rains, frequent lightning, and 60-MPH winds were found on the western edge of the storm. The rain also caused heavy street flooding as about four inches of rain fell in about an hour. An upper level low-pressure area and surface trough coupled with daytime heating triggered the storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them. Documentation was still photos.

21). AUG 2, 2:30 PM - Observation of a funnel cloud and possible tornadic activity associated with a small thunderstorm from Powerline Road just north of Sample Road in Western Deerfield beach, Florida. The funnel at one point extended half way down to the ground, and was observed from about five miles to the east if the storm. The thunderstorm, which was not penetrated, had moderate rain and sporadic lightning. The funnel lasted for about 10 to 15 minutes. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the storms, caused by a weak upper trough and abundant moisture at the surface.

22). AUG 10, 6:00 PM - Observation of small brief funnel cloud on the northeastern side of a strong thunderstorm in Western Broward County, FL just west of Highway 27 and north of I-75. The thunderstorm was also penetrated and contained heavy rains, lightning, and 30-MPH winds. Surface heating and an upper trough allowed these inland storms to develop. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them. Documentation was a camcorder.

23). AUG 23, 2:30 PM - Penetration of the northeastern edge of a severe thunderstorm just west of the Sawgrass Expressway and Sample Road in Coral Springs, Florida. A brief encounter with heavy rains, frequent lightning, and 60-MPH winds was observed. The chase track passed just to the northeast of the storms high precipitation core. Some tree debris was also torn loose by the storms strong outflow. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm, which was caused by an upper level low-pressure area and tropical moisture at the surface.

24). SEP 4, 5:00 PM - Penetration a line of strong thunderstorms along Interstate 95 near Linton Blvd in Delray Beach, FL. Winds gusting to 50-MPH, Torrential rains, and lightning was observed. The storms were part of a feeder band wrapping around the western side of intense Hurricane Fran about 300 miles to the east at the time. The hurricane was moving away from Southern Florida and was not directly intercepted. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to penetrate the storms.

25). SEP 21,3:30 PM - Direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm near Jonhson Road and Federal Highway near Hollywood in Southeastern Broward county, Florida. A thunderstorm developed over Western sections of Miami and moved rapidly Northeast at about 30-MPH that became severe with 60-MPH winds over Miami Airport. The storm grew and continued into Southeastern Broward where the chase track began near Pembroke Pines. The storm core at this time had torrential rains and 60-MPH winds. Later, as the storm was followed northeastwards into Hollywood and Dania, torrential rains, frequent lightning, hail up to three quarter inch, and winds gusting near 75-MPH were encountered. The storm core moved offshore thereafter. Damage observed was flooding, trees and signs down, and power knocked out. The storm was caused by an upper and surface low-pressure trough and surface heating. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

26). SEP 22, 1:30 PM - Direct penetration of a very strong to severe pulse type thunderstorm in Sunrise, Florida near Sunrise Blvd and University Drive. A small area of 60 to 65-MPH winds with pea sized hail and torrential rains was found near the storm’s core. The storm was a single cell storm developing ahead of a low-pressure trough. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase it. Damage observed was some trees down and flooding. Documentation was a camcorder.

27). SEP 22, 4:30 PM - Direct penetration of another severe thunderstorm moving eastward over Broward County, Florida. The storm’s core was first encountered near Pine Island and Griffith Roads in Davie, Florida. Winds here were gusting to 60-MPH with heavy rain. The storm was exited and re entered eastbound on Interstate 595 and Interstate 95 where its core had 65-MPH gusts, torrential rains, small hail, and frequent lightning. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm, caused by a trough of low-pressure. The storm caused some flooding and was part of a high precipitation line of thunderstorms that dumped three inches of rain in less than an hour. Documentation was a camcorder.

28). SEP 22, 5:30 PM - Penetration of another very strong to marginally severe thunderstorm with a brief wet microburst of 50 to 60-MPH winds and torrential rains. The storm was also associated with a line of strong and severe thunderstorms ahead of a low-pressure trough. Some close hits of lightning were also observed as the storm crossed Broward County. The storm was followed from just east of Weston, Florida to Eastern Davie. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was also used to chase this storm. Documentation was a camcorder.

29). OCT 8, 12:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm from Highway 27 eastward to I-595 and I-75 in Western Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The storm was part of an active squall line that produced 60-MPH winds, lightning, and torrential rains. Some flooding was observed from the extremely heavy rains. A squall line associated with an area of surface convergence and strong low-pressure trough extending from Tropical storm Josephine over Northern Florida at the time. The storm became extratropical and a feeder band type squall line crossed all of Florida with tornadoes and severe weather. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 2 PM. The storms were chased with a 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup. Documentation was still photos.

30). OCT 12, 2:00 PM - Observation of heavy northeasterly wind swells just off Boynton Beach Inlet, Florida. Large wind waves breaking at 6 to 8 feet near the coast, and wind swells as high as 10 feet a few miles offshore near the gulf stream were observed with 25 to 30-MPH northeast winds. Some wind swept rain showers with 35-MPH wind gusts were also in the area. A strong wind flow between a cold high-pressure area to the north, and a low-pressure area associated with a stationary front to the south caused the high seas. A 1993 Sea Doo watercraft was used to observe the waves. Documentation was still photos.

31). NOV 15, 5:00 PM - Observation of heavy gale and its associated seas about 1 mile off Boynton Beach Inlet, Florida. Winds were sustained from the northeast at 40-MPH with gusts 50 to 55-MPH. An intermittent light rain was also falling due to wind swept shower activity. Seas were mountainous with twelve-foot breakers near shore and over fifteen feet offshore with bigger set waves. The shockingly rolling sea surface took on a whitish green cast with a strong surface current even past the surf zone. The storm was caused by a massive area of Canadian high-pressure parked over New England and a broad tropical low in the Caribbean near Central America. The interaction between these two systems allowed a corridor of gale forced winds to prevail over the marine area east of Florida. Observed damage was severe beach erosion and coastal flooding with tides 2 to 4 feet above normal. The observations were made at low tide with a 1993 Sea Doo watercraft. Documentation was a camcorder in a protective Lexan casing.

32). NOV 15, 11:30 PM - Observation of high tide conditions with a severe NE gale just off Deerfield beach, Florida on the Deerfield fishing pier. Tides were as much as 4 feet above normal with severe beach erosion. Breakers at or exceeding twelve feet were observed nearly breaking over the end of the pier. Some portions of state road A1A were underwater from the storm surge or covered with sand blown or washed in from the beach. Occasional light rain accompanied the winds, which gusted around 55-MPH. The gale was part of a strong high interacting with a broad tropical low across the marine area near Florida. A 1994 Chevy Corsica was used to get to the coastal areas. Documentation was a camcorder and still photos.

This concludes the 1996 chase season. The summary includes a total of 32 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 17 severe thunderstorms were involved, 8 strong thunderstorms, 3 Funnel clouds /tornadoes and 4 coastal observations. No tropical cyclones were directly observed this season. Among these chases, a 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in 28 observations, a 1994 Chevy Corsica in 1, and a 1993 Sea Doo watercraft in 3 coastal observations. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1997 SEASON

1). FEB 8, 5:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Fort Lauderdale, FL near US 1 and Sunrise Blvd. Heavy rains with brief wind gusts to 45-MPH were encountered. The storm formed ahead of a cold front and was caused by surface heating. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

2). APR 12, 1:00 PM - Penetration of a strong to marginally severe thunderstorm in Hialeah just west of the Palmetto expressway near Okeechobee Blvd. A brief area of 50 to 55-MPH wind gusts and torrential rain was encountered during the pulse storm. The storm was caused by an upper trough and area of surface convergence and was part of a storm cluster. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 12PM noon. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased the storms. Documentation was a camcorder and still photos.

3). APR 23, 8:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm about 20 miles north of Interstate 75 along highway 27 in western Palm Beach County. Frequent lightning with close hits, small hail, torrential rains, and 60-MPH winds were encountered as the storm core was crossed. One lightning strike hit the road about 100 feet in front of the chase vehicle and was caught on video. The storm was part of a large system of thunderstorms caused by a trough of low-pressure and prefrontal wave. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 11PM. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

4). APR 26, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration and observation of an extremely severe thunderstorm in northwest Dade County, Florida near Krome Avenue and Kendall Drive. This is where a developing HP Supercell storm was first encountered. Frequent lightning with close hits, large hail about an inch in diameter, violent rainfall, and winds gusting over 70-MPH were observed. The storm also possessed a very strong counterclockwise rotation about a rain free cloud base. This storm remained severe with its core producing large hail and high winds as it slowly moved across Dade county for three hours. A large rotating wall cloud was also observed which at one point, had precipitation circulating around it. This extremely rare, mesocyclonic classic supercell was caused by a low-pressure trough with abundant moisture, triggered by an outflow boundary coming in from the northwest. An unusually strong jet stream directly over the top of the storm allowed it to become a supercell. Damage was downed trees and signs, power outages, and severe street flooding from up to ten inches of rain. A severe thunderstorm watch box was also issued for the area until 7PM. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder.

5). APR 26, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of another very severe thunderstorm along US 1 between Homestead and Kendall in Dade County, Florida. This storm contained hail to three-quarter inch, torrential rains, frequent lightning, and 70-MPH wind gusts were observed. This storm was a portion of a supercell storm that split into two separate severe storms. The second storm also lasted nearly two hours, while the supercell to the north continued to produce hail and high winds. A funnel cloud was also observed from inside the storm core looking southwest of US1 near SW 150 Street and was reported to the National Weather Service immediately. It did not touch down. Conditions producing this storm were outflow from a supercell to the north, a strong jet stream aloft, and an extremely unstable atmosphere. Documentation of this storm, including the funnel cloud, was a camcorder and still photos. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in the chase.

6). APR 28, 6:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm west of Fort Lauderdale, Florida near Highway 27 and I 595. The storm contained torrential rains, lightning, and 45-MPH winds. A squall line containing strong thunderstorms moved across southeast Florida and caused some strong thunderstorms. A low-pressure trough and abundant moisture allowed the storms to develop. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 6 PM.

7). MAY 3, 4:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm just north of Pahokee, Florida along highway 441 on the eastern side of Lake Okeechobee. The storm contained winds over 65-MPH, maybe gusting even higher. The entire lake became whipped up white by the near hurricane forced winds. The strong winds, frequent lightning, small hail, and torrential rains were found as the storm core crossed 441 on the east side of the lake. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, which were caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. Documentation was still photos.

8). MAY 12, 3:00 PM - Direct Penetration of a severe thunderstorm moving across Northern Broward County, Florida. The storm formed in the everglades just west of Sunrise and moved to the northeast across Northern Broward. The most intense activity was encountered near Pompano Beach along Sample road and Powerline road where 60-MPH winds and torrential rains prevailed. Miami radar also indicated a tornado with this storm. A large rotating wall cloud was found on its southwestern inflow side but no funnel clouds or tornadoes were spawned. This storm was part of a system of severe thunderstorms developing under strong upper level winds which veered with altitude. A separate storm, not intercepted, spawned a damaging tornado over downtown Miami further south. A stationary front and moisture also added to the instability. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 5 PM.

9). MAY 28, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Northwest Dade county near Highway 27 west of Hialeah, Florida. The storm had 60-MPH winds, frequent lightning, and torrential rains as the core was punched. The storm also spawned a tornado, but only a wall cloud was observed on the storm’s updraft side as it dissipated when it was reached. Some street flooding was also observed in the storm. The storm was part of a multicell cluster developing ahead of a back door cold front with a trough of low-pressure aloft. Sea breeze activity in the afternoon triggered the developments. The chase vehicle was a 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup.

10). MAY 31, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Bell Glade, Florida near state road 80 and Highway 715. A multicell cluster was moving eastward over the southeastern side of Lake Okeechobee. One cell on the southern side of this cluster became severe. As the core of this cell was punched, Frequent lightning, torrential rains, hail from 1/2 to 3/4 inch, and winds gusting near 65-MPH were observed. Some downed trees and powerlines were found with this storm. The storm was caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. An outflow boundary triggered the severe development. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder.

11). JUN 1, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Sunrise Blvd and University Drive near Sunrise, Florida. Heavy rains, lightning, and winds up to 50-MPH were observed in this pulse type storm. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of thunderstorms caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 6PM.

12). JUN 2, 3:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Boca Raton, Florida along State Road 7 north of Glades Road. The pulse type thunderstorm contained frequent lightning, torrential rains, and winds gusting to near 60-MPH. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of storms forming along an outflow boundary. A low-pressure trough and surface heating allowed the storms to develop. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them. Documentation was still photos. The storm caused some tree damage and street flooding.

13). JUN 13, 4:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Boca Raton, Florida near Highway US 1 and Palmetto Park Road. This storm was a pulse type severe thunderstorm that produced a small area of one quarter to half-inch hail, winds gusting around 65-MPH, torrential rain, and frequent lightning with close hits. The storm caused downed trees and street flooding in the areas where the storm core passed by. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. Documentation was still photos. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, and a weak outflow boundary from the northwest caused the storms.

14). JUN 13, 9:00 PM - Penetration of very strong thunderstorms from Interstate 75 and Griffith Road to Flamingo Road and Interstate 595 in western sections of Fort Lauderdale Florida. A multicell cluster of strong thunderstorms was penetrated where winds gusting from 50 to 55-MPH, frequent lightning with close hits, and extremely heavy rains. Rainfall at two to three inches an hour was observed in some cells in the storm cluster. The storm was caused by surface heating and a low-pressure trough. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

15). JUN 16, 5:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe, tornadic thunderstorm and tornado circulation center near Nob Hill Road and Commercial Blvd near Sunrise and Tamarac, Florida. A large thunderstorm evolved into a short lived supercell storm. The chase track passed southward along the western rear flank of the storm where a low, rotating wall cloud was found over Tamarac. The updraft tower also revealed a striated "barber pole" appearance. Continuing southwards along Nob Hill Road, a funnel cloud was observed overhead with 60 to 70-MPH northeast winds were encountered. A sudden shift to 70-MPH westerly winds was found just north of Commercial Blvd with some tree debris airborne. This was the first contact the tornado made with the ground. The dangerous chase track was changed eastward through the HP core of the supercell where winds over 60-MPH, frequent lightning with close hits, and torrential rains were observed from Tamarac to Fort Lauderdale. Reported damage was flipped cars, powerline damage, trees down, and roofs torn off some buildings. The tornado was an F1 tornado. Fortunately, the chase track passed through the tornado before it strengthened to its peak wind speed. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe this storm. Documentation was still photos of the supercell updraft region. The storm was caused by extreme instability due to surface heating and a low-pressure trough.

16). JUN 17, 5:30 PM - Direct penetration of another severe, tornadic thunderstorm in Coral Springs, Florida near the Sawgrass Expressway and Sample Road. During the development of the severe storm, a lowered rotating wall cloud was observed about three miles northwest on the rear of the storm. Miami doppler radar picked up a possible tornado in this area, fortunately over the Everglades. The touchdown area was not intercepted but the rotating cloud was prior to punching the storm core from the east. Conditions in the storm core were small hail, winds gusting over 60-MPH, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with close hits. One bolt hit a tree about 20 feet from the chase vehicle, blowing a hole in the ground. Some fulgerites were also collected from the impact site. The storm caused some tree damage, street flooding, and power outages as it was followed to the coast eastward along Sample Road through Pompano Beach. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the storm. The storm was a large cell in a multicell cluster developing in highly unstable air. Surface heating and a trough of low-pressure allowed the storms to develop. Documentation was a camcorder and still photos.

17). JUN 18, 10:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Weston, Florida near Interstate 595 and Interstate 75. The storm was part of a multicell cluster forming in the Everglades with an intense cell moving towards the southeast across Interstate 595. The core of this cell was punched, where torrential rain, winds gusting over 60-MPH, and frequent lightning was observed. Powerlines hitting together and sparking were also observed in the storm core. The storm was caused by a weakening low-pressure trough and surface heating in the late evening triggered by an outflow boundary. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

18). JUL 1, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of a very strong to severe thunderstorm near Hollywood, Florida along Highway US 1 near Hollywood Blvd. The storm developed over Fort Lauderdale near State Road 7 and Interstate 595 and moved southeast near the Northeastern Dade, Southeastern Broward border. Conditions observed were torrential rains, winds gusting around 55-MPH, pea sized hail, and frequent lightning with close hits. Some flooding and downed tree debris was also observed with the multicell storm. Documentation for this storm was a camcorder. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. A trough of low-pressure and surface heating triggered the storm outbreak.

19). JUL 10, 6:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Northern Coconut Creek, Florida near the Florida Turnpike and Lyons Road. Frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, and 45 to 50-MPH winds were observed. The storm developed in unstable air near a trough of low-pressure. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. An outflow boundary from this multicell storm triggered a very strong storm which was externally observed from the Florida Turnpike near Sunrise Blvd with frequent lightning. Documentation was still photos.

20). JUL 11, 6:00 PM - Indirect penetration and observation of a severe thundersorm just northwest of the Sawgrass Expressway near Coral Springs, Florida. The storm core of this multicell storm was not directly penetrated because it was about 2 out in the Everglades. Frequent lightning with close hits, moderate to heavy rain, and 30 to 40-MPH winds were observed. A small funnel cloud was also found on the inflow side of the severe cell. An outflow boundary and low-pressure trough triggered the storms in the late afternoon heating. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

21). JUL 12, 4:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Fort Lauderdale International Airport along Interstate 595 west of US 1 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Torrential rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, and 50-MPH winds were encountered in this multicell storm. The storm quickly dissapated but produced an outflow boundary which triggered more storms to develop later furthur south. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. Documentation was a camcorder. A low-pressure trough and sea breeze activity allowed the storms to develop.

22). JUL 12, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Gratingy Pkwy and Opa Locka Airport in Opa Locka, Florida. The storm formed in northern Dade County from an outflow boundary moving southward. One cell in a multicell cluster became severe with core winds near 60-MPH, hail from pea to dime sized, frequent ligtning with close hits, and torrential rains. The updraft base of this storm also posessed slight rotation during the inflow stage of the storm with a striated "barber pole" updraft tower. Some street flooding, trees down, and power outages occurred in the region of the core punch. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, which were caused by a low-pressure trough, outflow boundary, and surface heating. Documentation, including some direct hits of lightning, was a camcorder.

23). JUL 13, 4:30 PM - Penetration and observation of the late mature stage of a severe thunderstorm. When the storm was encountered near Flamingo Road and Pembroke Road near Cooper City, Florida, wind gusts to 50-MPH, lightning, and heavy rains were observed. The storm formed near northern Dade County and moved northwards before weakening near Cooper City. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm, which was caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. Documentation was a camcorder.

24). JUL 13, 5:30 PM - Direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm in Sunrise near the Sawgrass Expressway and Oakland Park Blvd. The core of the multicell to near supercell storm was punched where torrential rains, frequent lightning with close hits, 60 to 70-MPH winds, and hail up to one inch in diameter. The hail left a slight accumulation on the ground. Some trees down, street flooding, and power outages were also observed with this storm. The hail was encountered on the southwest side of the storm while the 60 to 70-MPH winds were found on the southeastern side. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. An outflow boundary, sea breeze front, low-pressure trough, and upper air low all contributed to the severe thunderstorm. Documentation was a camcorder.

25). JUL 15, 2:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near the Sawgrass Expressway east of University Drive in Parkland, Florida. One cell in a multicell cluster of thunderstorms became severe with frequent lightning with close hits, small hail, torrential rains, and downburst winds gusting over 60-MPH. Some tree damage was also observed from the storm. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. A low-pressure trough was responsible for the storms developing with the afternoon heating.

26). JUL 16, 10:00 AM - Observation of a small waterspout just east of Delray Beach, Florida. The waterspout developed beneath a cumulus buildup about a mile offshore and was observed from Lake Ida Park in Delray Beach just north of Atlantic Road near Interstate 95. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in this land observation. An upper trough and sea breeze activity produced the storms.

27). JUL 16, 12:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong to possibly severe thunderstorm near Parkland, Florida along Holmberg Road north of the Sawgrass Expressway. The pulse type storm caused a brief event of frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, and winds gusting around 55-MPH. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. An upper trough and sea breeze activity was responsible for the storms.

28). JUL 18, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong to possibly severe thunderstorm near Deerfield Beach, Florida along Powerline Road between SW 10 Street and Hillsboro Blvd. The pulse type storm caused a brief event of frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, and winds gusting near 60-MPH. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. The storms were caused by sea breeze activity and abundant low level moisture.

29). JUL 19, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida near State Road 7 and Interstate 595. A multicell cluster of strong thunderstorms was first encountered near Lauderhill where a strong thunderstorm was penetrated. This storm had 50-MPH winds, torrential rains, and frequent lightning. Another cell was attached to this cell which became severe over Fort Lauderdale to the southeast. As the core of this cell was punched, torrential rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and 60 to 65-MPH winds were encountered. Heavy street flooding, power outages, and some tree damage was observed in these storms. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. The storms were caused by sea breeze activity, a low-pressure trough, and an outflow boundary. Documentation was still photos.

30). JUL 26, 2:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Coral Springs, Florida near Copans Road and University Drive. A multicell cluster of storms containing a severe thunderstorm cell developed northward from Lauderhill to Coral Springs. The cell was a small cyclic type storm in a multicell cluster and produced frequent lightning, torrential rains, and 60-MPH winds. Observed effects were heavy street flooding and some downed trees. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. The storms were caused by a low-pressure trough and sea breeze activity. Documentation was a camcorder.

31). AUG 3, 6:00 PM - Indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm in inland sections of Palm Beach County, Florida along Highway 27. The storm produced several micobursts one of which impacted the ground before the chaser could get to it. Winds encountered were about 50 to 55-MPH with frequent lightning and heavy rains. Sea breeze activity and a weak trough caused the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A 1994 Dodge Dakota was used to chase the storms.

32). AUG 4, 3:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Deerfield Beach, Florida near Hillsboro Blvd and Interstate 95. Frequent lightning with close hits, wind gusts near 50-MPH, and heavy rains were encountered. Some street flooding also occurred with this pulse type storm. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. The storms were caused by surface heating and unstable air near a low-pressure trough.

33). AUG 4, 5:30 PM - Penetration of another strong thunderstorm in Sunrise, Florida near Oakland Park Blvd and University Drive. The multicell storm contained frequent lightning, wind gusts near 45-MPH, and heavy rains. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. The storms were caused by surface heating, a low-pressure trough, and an outflow boundary.

34). AUG 6, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Interstate 95 and Cypress Creek Road in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The storm was part of a multicell cluster which contained some embedded cells near severe intensity and dumped a few inches of rain in some areas. The cell penetrated contained 50-MPH winds, torrential rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, and small hail. The storm caused street flooding and power outages. One hit of lightning caused and arcing of a powerline which sent a shower of sparks over the chase vehicle. A small possible tornado was also spawned by a storm in the multicell cluster, doing some damage in Pompano Beach. The tornado was not observed during the chase. The storms were caused by surface heating and a low-pressure trough. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

35). AUG 7, 4:00 PM - Direct Penetration of a severe thunderstorm in southern Boca Raton, Florida near Interstate 95 and Glades Road. A large multicell cluster with one large cell quickly developed and reached severe intensity. The cell neared supercell status by 4 PM with hail 1/2 to 3/4 inches, frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, and wind gusts to 70-MPH. Flying tree debris, flooding, and power outages were observed during the core punch. Furthur developments of strong thunderstorms were followed as far as Hollywood and Pembroke Pines near the Dade and Broward county line furthur south. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. The storms were caused by surface heating, a low-pressure trough, and outflow boundary.

36). AUG 8, 4:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from State Road 7 and Commercial Blvd to Interstate 595. A multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms developed in the late afternoon heating. One severe cell near Commercial Blvd and State Road 7 was penetrated where 60 to 65-MPH winds, hail to 1/2 inch, torrential rains, and frequent lightning was encountered. A chase track southward to near Interstate 595 and the Florida Turnpike was executed where another severe thunderstorm cell with 65-MPH wind gusts and small hail was penetrated. The storms caused power outages and some tree damage. The storms were caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them. Documentation was a camcorder.

37). AUG 20, 4:30 PM - Indirect penetration and observation of a severe thunderstorm near Pompano Beach, Florida. The late stage of a short lived pulse type severe storm near Powerline Road and Cypress Creek Blvd was observed where frequent lightning, heavy rains, and 40-MPH winds were found. Although short lived, the severe storm cell produced high winds and one inch hail. The hail was not intercepted. The storm was caused by surface heating and a weak low-pressure trough. A 1994 Dodge Dakota was used to chase the storm.

38). SEP 1, 4:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Flamingo road and Griffith Road in the Miramar area, Florida. The multicell storm had torrential rains, frequent lightning, and 50-MPH winds. This storm as also reported to the Miami National Weather Service. The storm was caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. A 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

39). NOV 2, 1:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong thunderstorm along Highway 27 between South Bay and the Palm Beach and Broward county border in Florida. The storm was part of a multicell cluster well ahead of a cold front moving across Florida. The storm contained winds over 50-MPH, frequent lightning, extremely heavy rains, and possible small hail. Slight rotation was also observed near the southern inflow side of the storm but no tornadic activity was encountered. The storms were caused by unstable air ahead of a cold front with a strong subtropical jet stream aloft. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area valid until 12 PM.

40). DEC 1, 2:00 PM - Observation of possible waterspout over the coastal waters off Boca Raton, Florida. A small thunderstorm was externally observed from Interstate 95 near Glades Road where a possible waterspout was seen on the backside of the thunderstorm. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the storm. Surface heating and a low-pressure trough caused the storms.

41). DEC 1, 6:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm along Interstate 95 near Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood, Florida. The storm had very heavy rains, frequent lightning, and winds gusting 40 to 45-MPH. The storm was caused by a passing cold front with warm moist air. A 1998 Dodge Dakota was used to penetrate the storm.

42). DEC 27, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm along Interstate 595 near Interstate 75 in western sections of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The storm was part of a squall line ahead of a cold front moving through south and central Florida. Torrential rains and 50 to 55-MPH winds were observed with the passage of the squall line. The conditions were also reported to the NWS office in Miami. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, caused by a strong cold front, surface moisture, and favorable upper level conditions. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 4 PM.

This concludes the 1997 chase season. The summary includes a total of 42 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 27 severe thunderstorms were involved, 13 strong thunderstorms, 2 Tornadoes, and 2 waterspouts. No tropical cyclones were directly observed this active severe storm but inactive hurricane season. Among these chases, a 1994 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in 38 observations, and a 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup in 4. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1998 SEASON

1). Jan 22, 3:00 PM - Observation of a possible funnel cloud or maybe a brief tornado near Interstate 95 and Linton Blvd just north of Delray Beach, Florida. The funnel developed briefly on the southwest corner of a small thunderstorm cell developing in an area of convergence. The thunderstorm had only 30-MPH winds and heavy rain, but contained broad scale rotation briefly before moving out to sea. A convergence line ahead of a strong cold front with strong wind shear aloft allowed the storms to develop. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 3PM.

2). Jan 22, 3:15PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm along Interstate 95 just west of Pompano Beach, Florida. The storm was also part of an area of convergence well ahead of a cold front. A small portion of the storm was contacted where winds gusting to 45-MPH and heavy rains were encountered. A few miles farther east, some damage from 60-MPH winds was reported by a construction crew. The storm was chased by a 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup and was caused by an area of instability ahead of a strong cold front with favorable upper air conditions.

3). Feb 2, 2:00 PM - Observation of heavy seas at the Deerfield Municipal fishing pier in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Conditions were sustained on shore East to Southeast winds of about 35-MPH with higher gusts. Wind driven waves about 12 feet high were observed breaking as high as the end of the pier. Conditions were mostly cloudy at the time but no rain was present. Tides were also observed a couple of feet above normal with some beach erosion. A high-pressure area to the east and a developing gale center in the Gulf Of Mexico to the west allowed the storms to develop. A tornado watch was also just issued for the area until 8PM. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in the land observation of the sea conditions. Documentation was still photos.

4). Feb 2, 7:30 PM - Possible tornado observation about 15 miles southwest of Miami, Florida near Tamiami trail and the Florida Turnpike. A sudden wind shift from 50-MPH east winds to west with a loud roaring noise was observed. Flash fires as power lines were hit by the possible tornado also were observed. The event lasted only about a minute. This was observed on the backside of a strong to severe thunderstorm, well ahead of a squall line, which moved over Miami and further north with a history of scattered tornadic damage. Little documentation was available, because this happened at night, with a camcorder. A strong low-pressure area, energized by an unusually strong El Niño based subtropical jet stream, and squall line containing supercell thunderstorms caused the possible tornado. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 8PM. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the storms.

5). Feb 2, 8:00 PM - Direct penetration of a large and very severe thunderstorm near Kendall and Coral Gables, Florida near Tamiami trail. This storm was an HP supercell thunderstorm embedded in a powerful squall line moving through southern Florida. This storm contained frequent lightning with close hits, some small hail, violent rains, and most of all, winds gusting anywhere from 70 to near 100-MPH. The severe conditions were reported promptly to the NWS office at 8:10 PM from the storm core. Numerous downed trees, powerlines, and structural damage to buildings was observed in the path of this storm. Heavy street flooding and nearly every block without power was also observed with this storm. The storm also moved northward spawning possible tornadoes, and passed over Miami International Airport where 104-MPH winds were measured. Some cars and a large bus was also observed trapped under or near fallen trees. The tornado from this storm was not directly intercepted. After penetration, the supercell storm was followed from Dade county into Fort Lauderdale but was moving too fast, about 50-MPH, for another core observation. The storm moved offshore near Hollywood and Dania. The storms were part of a powerful prefrontal anomaly associated with a very strong low-pressure area in the Gulf Of Mexico. A region of strong surface convergence with a subtropical jet stream / jet streak overhead coupled with very unstable air allowed the severe outbreak to occur. This storm outbreak involved a strong F2 tornado which caused extensive damage just north of this chase track the severe winds were probably associated with the mesocyclone or rear-flank downdraft. This chase was extremely dangerous! A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area and extended until 2 AM.

6). Feb 6, 10:00 PM - Penetration of strong squall line with strong and severe thunderstorms crossing Florida in western Broward County. Lightning and rain showers were encountered with winds gusting over 50-MPH. A severe thunderstorm cell was passed during penetration of the outflow boundary where a sudden change in winds and sharp drop temperature was encountered. The squall line was near a gale center of low-pressure crossing Florida at the time. A strong subtropical jet stream was also present aloft. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

7). Feb 16, 10:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm just west of Fort Lauderdale, Florida along Alligator Alley just west of highway 27. The storm had lightning, heavy rains, and winds gusting to about 40-MPH. The storm was on the leading edge of a cluster of thunderstorms ahead of an area of convergence near a low-pressure system in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. A strong subtropical jet stream was also aloft. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until about 12 AM.

8). Feb 23, 7:00 AM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms near University Drive and Oakland Park Blvd in Lauderhill, Florida. The strong storms had lightning, very heavy rains, and winds gusting to about 45-MPH. This storm was part of a squall line of thunderstorms moving across Florida, the same line that produced devastating tornadoes in the Orlando area in central Florida several hours before. A subtropical jet stream aloft with a cold front at the surface caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them.

9). Mar 9, 6:00 AM - Direct penetration of the circulation center of a strong F1 tornado crossing Interstate 95 just south of Hollywood Blvd near Hallandale, Florida. The tornado was on the southwest side of a powerful thunderstorm, possibly an HP supercell, embedded in a squall line. Extreme winds began blowing from the east with a violent shift to the west, while a tractor-trailer went flying across the road. Power was knocked out by the storm with numerous power flashes observed. Airborne tree debris also was observed. In between the sudden shift in winds was an area of "calm" about 10 yards wide, which passed across I 95 from the west at about 45-MPH, the same speed Miami doppler radar was tracking the mesocyclone associated with the storm. The storm also caused heavy tree and roof damage in that same area. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase this storm, which was lifted partially as the tornado "eye" passed over. Documentation was a camcorder, in which the video of the truck overturning was submitted to WSVN local Channel 7 news as well as some other media firms. Conditions causing this storm was an area of convergence ahead of a strong cold front with an unusually strong subtropical jet stream aloft. Veering of winds with height also enhanced storm helicity. The storms were also promptly reported to the Miami weather service office. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 7 AM.

10). Mar 9, 6:30 AM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm moving across Hollywood, Florida along Interstate 95 near Pembroke Road. This storm was part of a strong squall line which produced at least three tornadoes, one of which was intercepted directly. This storm was just behind the tornadic storm intercepted earlier, and contained at least 60 to 65-MPH winds, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with some close hits. The storm was part of a squall line developing under a strong subtropical jet stream ahead of a cold front. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 7 AM.

11). Mar 20, 12:30 AM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Plantation, Florida near Broward Blvd and University Drive. The storm was part of a nearly multicell line of severe thunderstorms and contained frequent lightning, torrential rains, and winds around 60-MPH. On radar, the storms appeared as a large "bow echo". This storm was just below the "bow". A region of convergence well ahead of a frontal system, warm unstable air, and a strong subtropical jet stream aloft allowed the storms to develop. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

12). Mar 20, 1:00 AM - Track down and direct penetration of another very severe thunderstorm near Pompano Beach, Florida. After penetration of an earlier severe storm, the chase track preceded northward towards the "rotating head" cell on the northern side of the "bow" pattern. From near Copans and Sample roads and Interstate 95, very strong westerly winds were encountered which gusted at times in excess of 70-MPH. Numerous power flashes also were observed as the strong winds tore up powerlines. This thunderstorm also contained rotation on a broad scale, but no tornadoes were produced. The near supercell storm also had frequent lightning and extremely heavy rains (up to four inches). Damage observed was power lines and utility poles blown down, signs and trees down, and some roof or structural damage to buildings. Heavy flooding was also observed. The storm was also reported to a police officer just after core penetration. The storm was caused by a strong outflow boundary associated with a solid line of severe thunderstorms beneath a strong subtropical jet stream aloft. Documentation was still photos. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

13). Apr 30, 5:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Highway 27 and Interstate 595 in the western Fort Lauderdale area, Florida. The storm was a single cell storm, which contained slight rotation at one point prior to interception. Heavy rains, occasional lightning, and winds gusting to about 35-MPH were observed in the storm. An observation of the inflow side of the storm was made to check for any rotation, but no tornadic activity was observed. The storm was observed with a 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup. Conditions causing the storms were a low-pressure trough, subtropical jet stream aloft, and warm unstable air.

14). May 1, 6:00 PM - Observation of a strong thunderstorm moving offshore of Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach, Florida. The storm was penetrated where lightning, heavy rain, and 30-MPH winds were found. The storm intensified rapidly as it moved over the coastal waters where it could not be penetrated. The strongest winds, gusting to about 40-MPH, were found just south of this storm behind the outflow boundary. An advancing cold front to the west, a subtropical jet stream aloft, and unstable air caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them.

15). May 4, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm along highway 27 about 10 miles north of Interstate 595 in western sections of Broward and Palm Beach, Florida. The storm was part of a line of thunderstorms forming in moist unstable air. The storm contained frequent lightning, 60-MPH wind gusts, small hail, and torrential rains. The storm was also followed eastward into Broward county where it weakened slightly to strong intensity. The storm caused power outages and flooding in some areas. The storm was reported to the Miami weather service office. Unstable air, an upper trough, and outflow boundary produced the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup chased the storms. Documentation was still photos.

16). May 4, 7:30 PM - Indirect observation of another severe thunderstorm over Miami, Florida while heading south on Interstate 95. The multicell storm contained hail and high winds but its core was not intercepted. Conditions encountered were heavy rains, frequent lightning, and 35-MPH winds on the northern fringes of the storm cluster. As Interstate 95 was shut down due to severe traffic, the chase had to be aborted. The storm moved several miles south of the chase track across southern Miami then out to sea. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

17). May 5, 6:30 PM - Brief but direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida near Sunrise Blvd and A1A. The storm was followed from Coral Springs well to the northwest of the Fort Lauderdale area until it moved southeastwards out to sea. The multicell storm became severe with 60-MPH winds, hail to about 1/2 inches, frequent lightning, and extremely heavy rains. Flooding, trees down, and power outages were also observed. Documentation of the storm was a camcorder. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them. The storms were caused by surface heating, outflow boundary, and a trough of low-pressure.

18). May 6, 5:30 PM - Direct penetration of the late stages of a severe thunderstorm in Miami, Florida near Opa Locka. The possible HP supercell storm had a funnel cloud prior to penetration with a weak rotation on its updraft side. The storm core was briefly encountered with 55-MPH winds, hail to about 1/2 inches, frequent lightning, and extremely heavy rains. Flooding, trees down, and power outages were also observed. This rather frustrating chase went through a highly populated region of Miami during rush hour traffic. Documentation of the storm was a camcorder. The storms were caused by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them.

19). June 1, 5:30 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms near Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach, Florida along State Road 7 near Glades Road. Wind gusts to about 40-MPH and very heavy rains were observed in this multicell storm. Surface heating and a weak low-pressure trough caused the storm. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them.

20). June 24, 5:15 PM - Penetration of strong to marginally severe thunderstorms along Highway 27 in inland sections of Palm Beach County, Florida. The storms were part of a multicell cluster and contained 45 to 50-MPH winds, torrential rains, dime to nickel sized hail, and frequent lightning with close hits. The storms formed in unstable air and were triggered by sea breeze activity and an outflow boundary. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

21). June 25, 5:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near northern Margate, Florida near State Road 7 and Sample Road. The pulse type storm core contained torrential rains, 45 to 50-MPH winds, and frequent lightning with numerous close hits. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of storms. Unfortunately, a woman was killed instantly in Miramar further south from a lightning strike in a similar storm. The storms were caused by sea breeze activity and a low-pressure trough. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

22). June 28, 4:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm west of Weston, Florida near Highway 27 and Interstate 595. The storm was on the southwest side of a multicell cluster of strong thunderstorms. Frequent lightning, heavy rains, and 40 to 45-MPH winds. The lightning caused a small brush fire in the everglades. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, which were caused by surface heating and an upper trough. Documentation was a camcorder.

23). June 29, 4:00 PM - Indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm about 5 miles west of Delray Beach, Florida along State Road 7. Conditions encountered were 50-MPH winds, very heavy rains, and frequent lightning with close hits. The storm had a well-developed inflow at one point, but maintained multicell cluster characteristics. Strong microbursts with this storm were observed but were not penetrated. Surface heating and an upper trough allowed the storms to develop. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

24). June 30, 5:00 PM - Penetration of a strong to severe severe thunderstorm along State Road 7 north of Clint Moore Road just west of Delray Beach, Florida. The storm contained frequent lightning, torrential rains, and winds gusting 50 to 55-MPH. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of thunderstorms. One storm spawned a weak tornado in Fort Lauderdale further south. The tornado was not observed. Conditions causing the storm were an upper trough, outflow boundary, and surface heating. The storm was also reported to the NWS Office in Miami. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

25). July 1, 5:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in the Coral Springs and Tamarac area in Broward County, Florida near University Drive and Southgate Boulevard. The storm was a multicell storm with a persistent updraft on its southern side. Frequent lightning with close hits, 40 to 45-MPH winds, small hail, and torrential rains were found in this storm. The storm caused street flooding, tree and minor roof damage in isolated areas. The storm was caused by sea breeze activity and a weak trough of low-pressure. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

26). July 7, 2:00 PM - Penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Jog Road and Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, Florida. The multicell pulse type storm produced frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, small hail, and winds gusting around 55-MPH. The short-lived storm was also reported to the NWS Office in Miami. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm, which was caused by sea breezes and a low-pressure trough.

27). July 7, 3:00 PM - Indirect penetration and observation of the northern fringes of a severe thunderstorm. The storm was located over eastern Broward County, Florida and was developing northward. During the late mature stage of the well-developed multicell storm, the northern portion of the storm updraft and outflow region was encountered near Coconut Creek Parkway and Banks Road in Coconut Creek. Winds gusted to about 45-MPH with lightning and very heavy rains. The storm core, further south, contained hail up to 3/4 inch but was not penetrated directly. During external observation, the storm tower exhibited a full domed anvil with slight knuckling and back shearing. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, which were caused by a low-pressure trough and sea breeze activity.

28). July 8, 1:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in the Tamarac and North Lauderdale area, Florida near State Road 7 and Mcnab Road. The storm contained frequent lightning with close hits, very heavy rain, and winds around 45-MPH. The storm was caused by sea breeze activity and a weak trough of low-pressure. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

29). July 8, 6:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong to possibly severe thunderstorm along State Road 7 near Boynton Beach, Florida. The storm was part of a multicell line of storms developing along an outflow boundary moving eastward. One cell in this line approached severe limits, with lightning, torrential rains, and winds gusting up to 55-MPH. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, which was caused by surface heating, a weak low-pressure trough, and an outflow boundary. Documentation was a camcorder.

30). Aug 3, 5:30 PM - Observation of a tornado on the ground about 10 to 15 miles southwest of the west end of Griffith road in the Florida Everglades. A visible funnel was observed on the Northwest side of a possible HP supercell type storm. The funnel extended from the storm base to the ground with a small debris cloud. Fortunately, the tornado occurred over unpopulated areas. The HP storm moved northwards and was penetrated along Interstate 75 about 10 miles west of Highway 27, after losing its tornadic characteristics. This storm, as it evolved into a multicell type storm, contained 1/2 inch hail, frequent lightning with close hits, extremely heavy rains, and 60 to 70-MPH winds. Outflow from this storm produced an outflow boundary which spread eastwards into Weston and Davie, where more hail and strong winds were encountered as more severe cells developed. Tree damage and flooding was observed with this storm, along with power outages. The storm was caused by a low-pressure trough and sea breeze activity. A cap was also in place allowing storms to develop late in the day with afternoon heating. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. Documentation was still photos of the HP storm and tornado. The tornado was also reported to the Miami NWS forecast office.

31). Aug 3, 7:30 PM - Direct penetration of another severe and possibly tornadic thunderstorm near Rock Island Road in Tamarac, Florida. The storm was part of a multicell line which contained 60 MPH winds, frequent lightning with close hits, and extremely heavy rains. Heavy street flooding occurred with this storm. The tornado with this storm was not intercepted or observed. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. An outflow boundary moving in from the west caused the line of storms to develop aggravated by sea breeze activity and a low-pressure trough.

32). Aug 4, 5:00 PM - Direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm just north of Weston, Florida along Interstate 595. The storm was a multicell storm, nearing HP supercell status, which back-built from the Everglades just west or Coral Springs, southward as far as Miramar. The most intense core conditions were encountered along Interstate 595 and in Weston. Frequent to continuous lightning with numerous close hits, torrential rains, 1/2 to 3/4 inch hail, and wind gusting over 70 MPH were encountered. The storm was reported to the Miami NWS forecast office as 4:48 PM. The storm lasted over two hours, and caused heavy street flooding, downed trees, and power outages. A small funnel cloud was also spawned in the updraft area just east of Weston but was not observed. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder and still photos. The storms were caused by sea breeze activity, a low-pressure trough, and slight cap which broke late in the day.

33). Aug 5, 5:45 PM - Observation of weak rope type tornado and direct penetration of its parent severe thunderstorm along Highway 27 about 5 miles north of Interstate 595 in western sections of Broward County, Florida. The tornado or funnel was a long rope like vortex extending half way down to the ground from the cloud inflow base on the south side of the storm. As this multicell to near supercell type storm was penetrated, 60 to 65-MPH winds, hail to 3/4 inch, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with close hits was encountered. At one point, the inflow side of the storm took on a saucer type appearance indicating a possible mesocyclone. Two outflow boundaries, one from the north, the other from the south, converged forming a triple point where explosive thunderstorm development occurred. A low-pressure trough and surface heating with a weak cap allowed the storms to develop late in the day. The storm remained away from the populated areas to the south and east. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder.

34). Aug 13, 5:00 PM - Observation and penetration of strong thunderstorms in Boynton Beach, Florida west of Interstate 95 near Jog Road. The storms were part of a multicell storm cluster and contained vary heavy rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and 40-MPH winds. A 50-MPH wind gust was encountered prior to entry into the storm cluster as the gust front was penetrated. The storms also caused flooding and power outages. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. A weak low-pressure trough and surface heating produced the storms.

35). Aug 14, 5:00 PM - Direct penetration of a small but very strong to severe thunderstorm along Sample Road in eastern Coral Springs, Florida. The pulse type storm was part of a cluster of thunderstorms. Conditions encountered were frequent lightning with close hits, very heavy rain, small hail from 1/4 to 1/2-inch and wind gusting from 50 to 55-MPH. The short-lived storm was caused by a low-pressure trough and sea breeze activity. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. Documentation was a camcorder. The storm conditions was also reported to the Miami NWS forecast office.

36). Aug 14, 6:30 PM - Direct penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Interstate 95 and Sheridan Street in Hallandale, Florida. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of thunderstorms that developed along an outflow boundary from earlier storms farther north. Conditions encountered were frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rain, and wind gusting from 50 to 55-MPH. The storm also caused street flooding, tree damage, and power outages. Documentation was a camcorder. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm.

37). Sep 25, 12-9 AM - Indirect penetration and observation of the outer effects of a category 2 hurricane, Georges, in the Miami Dade regions of Florida from Florida City to North Miami Beach. The eye of the hurricane brushed the southern keys and Key West with 100-MPH winds, unfortunately, the storm core was not observable because the Florida Keys were shut down to all traffic during the storm. The storms effects were observed in Florida City near highway US-1 for several hours. Some feeder bands and thunderstorms passed through that area with torrential rains, lightning, and winds gusting over 70-MPH. Outside these thunderstorms, winds were anywhere from 30 to 50-MPH. At daybreak, an observation of the beaches was done in South Beach, Miami. Winds here were sustained at over 45 MPH with extremely rough surf. Damage observed was numerous downed trees, some sign damage, power outages, and flooding. The core of the hurricane remained south of the area and was not penetrated. The hurricane was a classic Cape Verde African system with tore a devastating path across the Caribbean from Puerto Rico to the Gulf Of Mexico. At one point, the hurricane was close to category 5 strength near the Windward Islands. The storm weakened as it moved over land in the Caribbean before moving into the Florida Straits off the Cuban coast. A guest Jose Chong accompanied in this observation. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the hurricane. Documentation was a camcorder and still photos. A tornado watch, hurricane warning, and high wind warning were all in effect for the areas observed.

38). Nov 4, 9 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms in Dade County, Florida south of Miami along Highway US 1. The thunderstorms were part of a storm cluster adjacent to a HP supercell storm. The supercell, spawned a tornado which hit Key Largo farther south. This storm was not penetrated because it moved rapidly offshore. The strong thunderstorms encountered contained heavy rains, 40-MPH winds, and lightning. Some street flooding was observed with the storms. The storms were caused by abundant moisture well east of tropical storm Mitch along with a moderate subtropical jet stream aloft that allowed the winds to veer with height. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 12 AM.

39). Nov 5, 7-9 AM - Observation, interception, and penetration of the circulation center of tropical storm Mitch as it crossed over the Florida peninsula. Mitch began as a devastating hurricane in the Caribbean and Central America for more than a week. Finally, the tropical storm moved north into the Gulf of Mexico, and came ashore south of Fort Meyers, Florida. Mitch then quickly crossed Florida as a 55-MPH tropical storm before re-emerging into the Atlantic Ocean off Jupiter, Florida. A chase track from well to the eastern side of the storm center was made along Interstate 595. The east portion had 50 MPH south to southeast winds and moderate rains with gusts to 70 MPH. Very heavy rain, trees and power lines down, and flooding were also observed on this side of the storm. The storm center or "eye" was encountered near the Big Cypress Swamp along Interstate 595 where partly sunny skies and light and variable winds were encountered. West of this region, the western side of the center was encountered, where moderate to heavy rains and 45 to 50-MPH north to northwest winds quickly replaced the calm conditions. The chase track then turned back to the east and crossed the storm center again, exiting it on the weaker southeastern side. Upon leaving the storm center, winds resumed from the south to southwest at 30 to 40 MPH with light rains. This is because the storm was feeling the effects from being over land. Documentation of the storm was still photos. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to penetrate Tropical Mitch.

This concludes the 1998 chase season. The summary includes a total of 39 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 20 severe thunderstorms were involved, 11 strong thunderstorms, 5 Tornadoes, 2 tropical systems, and a coastal observation. Of the five tornadoes observed, one was one of the worst to hit Dade County and another whose circulation center was directly penetrated while a truck was tossed across the roadway! Of the two tropical systems observed an indirect penetration of Hurricane Georges and the other a direct penetration through the center of Tropical Storm Mitch. This season was affected by the worst El Niño of the century. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in all 39 observations. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 1999 SEASON

1). Jan 3, 4:30 AM - Penetration of strong to possibly severe thunderstorms developing along a nearly solid squall line moving across southern Florida. The storms most intense portion was encountered near Oakland Park Boulevard and Pine Island Road in Sunrise, Florida. Extremely heavy rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and winds gusting over 50 MPH were encountered before the squall line moved rapidly to the east at 30 MPH. Street flooding and sporadic power outages were also observed with these storms. The squall line developed from convergence well ahead of a strong cold front under a jet stream aloft. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 7 AM EST.

2). Jan 9, 12:30 AM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near western sections of Miami, Florida along SW 8 street east of Krome Avenue. A cluster of strong thunderstorms developing ahead of a cold front crossed the everglades into Dade County. A small pulse type cell was penetrated where lightning, heavy rains, and winds gusting to about 40 MPH were encountered. A cold front and trough of low pressure produced the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase them. Documentation was a camcorder.

3). March 3, 1:00 PM - Penetration of outflow region of the northern edge of an active squall line bow echo pattern. In the Hialeah area, near Hialeah Park Racetrack, a region of 50-MPH winds with light rain was found with occasionally heavier rains. Flying debris and dust was observed with the gust front passage and some signs were damaged by the winds. This was a strong thunderstorm cell on the northern edge of the squall line. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos. An advancing cold front with a short wave disturbance moving along the subtropical jet stream.

4). April 27, 4:30 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms along Highway 27 near the Florida Turnpike in Northwest Miami-Dade County, Florida. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of storms moving out of the Everglades from the southwest. The storm penetrated had winds over 35 MPH near its gust front, very heavy rains, and lightning. A small fire was observed being started by lightning along the side of highway 27. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. A low-pressure trough and upper trough caused the storms. The storms penetrated were part of a multicell storm cluster that contained some severe storms.

5). April 28, 3:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm just west of Interstate 75 near Miramar Parkway in Miramar, Florida. The storm was a large severe thunderstorm that was part of a multicell cluster of thunderstorms moving eastward from the Everglades to the west. Conditions in the core of this near supercell storm were torrential rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, hail at or exceeding 3/4 inch, and winds over 60 MPH. Power outages and downed trees were observed with this storm, which was also reported to the Miami NWS office. A funnel cloud was also observed on the southwest side of this storm prior to penetration. A low-pressure trough and daytime heating caused the storms, which were chased with a 1998 dodge Dakota Pickup. Documentation was still photos.

6). April 29, 10:00 PM - Direct but brief penetration of a severe thunderstorm north of Sunrise Boulevard along Interstate 95 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The brief, fast-moving storm packed winds over 55 MPH, frequent lightning with close hits, and torrential rains. The core conditions were reported to the Miami NWS forecast office before the storms moved offshore to the east. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, which were caused by a low-pressure trough and outflow boundary.

7). May 8, 6:15 PM - Penetration of a very strong thunderstorm about 5 miles west of Highway 27 along Alligator Alley (Interstate 75) in Western Broward County, Florida. The storm packed winds gusting over 50 MPH, dime sized hail, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with close hits. One close strike started a fire in the everglades. The storm's core conditions were reported to the Miami NWS forecast office. The storms were observed using a 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder. A trough of low pressure aloft and surface heating produced the storms.

8). May 9, 5:30 PM - Penetration of a another strong thunderstorm about 10 miles west of Highway 27 along Interstate 75 in Western Broward County, Florida. The storm packed winds gusting over 50 MPH, torrential rains, and frequent lightning. The storms were observed using a 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup. Documentation was a camcorder. A trough of low pressure aloft and surface heating produced the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 8 PM.

9). May 12, 3:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm from Miami Gardens Drive and Interstate 95 to NW 103 Street in Miami, Florida. The storm began near Interstate 95 where frequent lightning and 3/4 Inch hail was observed. The storm back-built southwestwards into Hialeah and Miami Springs as a large multi-cell thunderstorm where hail to 1 inch was observed with torrential rains and winds over 60 MPH. The storm knocked out power, downed trees, and caused heavy street flooding. A small tree fire was also observed from a lightning hit. This storm was one of many severe thunderstorms to develop over southern Florida due to surface heating and a low-pressure area aloft. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 7 PM.

10). May 13, 7:30 PM - Indirect penetration and observation of a severe thunderstorm over Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A strong to severe thunderstorm was observed from a distance in the Everglades near Highway 27 at about 6:30 PM. The storm was not penetrated, but after it dissipated, an outflow boundary moved eastwards. 30 to 40 MPH winds were observed with the gust front, which was followed southeastwards to the Fort Lauderdale area. The outflow boundary produced a cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms along the coast that quickly moved offshore. Frequent lightning and heavy rains were observed on the western fringes of this storm. This storm was also not penetrated directly. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the storms.

11). May 18, 5:15PM - Indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Miami international Airport and Lejeune Road in Miami, Florida. The multi-cell to near supercell storm was penetrated from the northeastern side where heavy rain, frequent lightning with close hits, 40-MPH winds, and hail up to dime sized was observed. A small rotating wall cloud was observed on the south side of the storm in its rain-free updraft base. A small funnel cloud was observed with this wall cloud. The core of the storm was not directly penetrated and was never reached due to severe traffic problems. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. An upper trough of low-pressure and surface heating caused the storms.

12). May 19, 2:30 PM - Direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm in Hialeah, Florida near le Jeune road southward into Miami near Miami International Airport. The multi-cell to near supercell storm contained heavy showers of hail at least 3/4 inches, torrential rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and winds gusting over 70 MPH. The storm continued back-building southward as its core was repeatedly penetrated. The core conditions were promptly called into the Miami National Weather Service Forecast Office. Heavy flooding, trees down, and power outages were observed with this storm. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. Documentation was still photos. A trough of low pressure, cold air aloft, and surface heating caused the storms.

13). May 20, 1:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Hialeah, Florida along Le Jeune road. Very heavy rains, frequent lightning with close hits, 40-MPH winds, and small hail was observed with this storm. The storm caused some minor street flooding and power outages. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. A weak low-pressure trough and surface heating caused the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

14). June 10, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm just west of Interstate 75 and north of Miramar Parkway in western sections of Broward County, Florida. The storm was part of a multi-cell storm cluster where one cell became intense with some supercell features such as a wall cloud and brief funnel cloud. The storm packed 50 MPH winds, frequent lightning with close hits, and torrential rains when it was penetrated. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, which were caused by surface heating and a weak upper trough.

15). June 23, 3:00 PM - External observation and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Miami International Airport, Florida. The storm was part of a multi-cell storm cluster that back-built northwards from farther south. Conditions observed were frequent lightning, 30-MPH winds, and light to moderate rain. The storm core was not penetrated and the chase needed to be aborted due to traffic problems. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. A weak trough of low pressure and daytime heating allowed the storms to develop.

16). Aug 1, 6:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm just east if the Palmetto expressway in Hialeah, Florida. The multi-cell storm contained lightning, heavy rains, and winds gusting to about 45 MPH. Street flooding and some signs blown over were observed with this storm. Surface heating and moist unstable air caused the storm. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm.

17). Aug 2, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near the Miami / Hialeah area and 103 Street. The storm began as a multi-cell storm developing along an outflow boundary from dissipating severe storms in Broward county farther north. The strongest cell encountered in the area observed contained winds gusting around 35 MPH, very heavy rains, and frequent lightning with close hits. Street flooding was observed with this storm. Surface heating, a very weak upper trough, and moist unstable air caused the storm. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm.

18). Aug 3, 6:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong to severe thunderstorm in western sections of Dade County, Florida to the Northeast of Krome Avenue and SW 8 Street. The storm was on the south side of a line of thunderstorms and produced a tornado a few miles south of the area observed. A tornado warning was valid with this storm until 5:35 PM. The tornado was not observed, but a large wall cloud and rain-free base was encountered with this near HP supercell type storm. The wall cloud also produced a brief small funnel cloud. Conditions in the core of the storm has small hail, frequent lightning, extremely heavy rains, and winds gusting over 50 MPH. Surface heating and an upper level trough caused the storm. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the storm.

19). Aug 11, 5:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near northwestern sections of Miami, Florida along Interstate 75 just south of the Florida Turnpike. The storm was part a multi-cell storm and contained winds gusting up to 50 MPH, very heavy rains, and frequent lightning with close hits. Surface heating, a weak upper trough, and moist unstable air caused the storm. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm.

20). Aug 20, 2:30 PM - Penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Davie, Florida near the intersection of Interstate 595 and University Drive. The storm was part of a multi-cell cluster of storms developing along the sea breeze convergence line. The storm core was penetrated from the Southeast in Davie then again from the East in Pompano Beach near Interstate 95 as it moved to the Northeast. Conditions observed were winds over 60 MPH, frequent lightning with close hits, and torrential rains. The updraft region was also watched before executing the second core-punch in Pompano. Some power was knocked out by the storm and tree damage was observed. A triple point of an outflow boundary triggered the severe cell in this line. A weak low-pressure trough and daytime heating provided the instability. Documentation was still photos. The severe storm was reported to the Miami NWS forecast office. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm.

21). Aug 21, 9:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in western areas of Deerfield Beach, Florida along Loxahatchee Road. The multi-cell storm contained frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, and winds up to 45 MPH. Some street flooding was also observed with this storm. Left over daytime heating and a weak low-pressure trough allowed the storm to develop. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm.

22). Aug 31, 3:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Miami, Florida near NW 103 Street and NW 32 Avenue. The multi-cell storm contained frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, and winds up to 50 MPH. Some street flooding was also observed with this storm. Daytime heating and a weak low-pressure trough allowed the storm to develop. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm.

23). Sept 1, 7:00 PM - Observation of heavy northeasterly swells affecting the Palm Beach area, Florida along A1A. Swells with breaking waves from 8 to 10 feet were observed along the Delray and Boynton Beaches. In Palm Beach, south of Lake Worth inlet, breakers over 12 feet were observed. Weather was sunny with fair skies. The swells were generated by a hurricane, Dennis, which was a few hundred miles to the Northeast of the area. Some beach erosion was observed. All observations were from the shoreline using a 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup. Unfortunately, the observation was rudely aborted when I was ticketed and nearly arrested for obstructing traffic while pulling over in Palm Beach to photograph the breakers! Documentation was a camcorder and still photos.

24). Sept 14, 6:00 PM - Observation of coastal conditions during Hurricane Floyd's closest approach to the Florida East Coast. The Hurricane, with 155-MPH winds, was over the Northwestern Bahamas causing extreme damage at the time of the observation, about 200 miles to the east. Conditions observed were waves over 10 feet and tides a couple of feet above normal. Winds at Boynton Beach, Florida were about 40-MPH out of the North with higher gusts during rain showers. In West Palm Beach, high tides caused water to cover docks at some marinas. Beach erosion and power outages were also observed. Floyd turned north, sparing Florida from an extreme disaster. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used for land observations, while a 1998 Sea Doo GSX watercraft was used to observe the waves. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder. A hurricane warning was also in effect for the area observed.

25). Sept 21, ALL DAY - Observation, interception, and penetration of tropical storm Harvey as it crossed southern Florida. This long chase, logging over 520 miles started at 1:30 AM with a trip to Fort Meyers, Florida when Harvey was 60 MPH 100 Miles to the west in the Gulf of Mexico. Light to moderate rains and 30-MPH winds were encountered at this point. Anticipating Harvey becoming a hurricane, the chase went south to Naples, Florida as the storm track jogged east then southeast. Harvey acquired a poorly defined center with 50 -MPH winds instead. Conditions in Naples were 20 to 30-MPH southeast winds with 5 to 6 foot waves. About 10 inches of rain caused heavy street flooding in some areas of Naples. The storm chase track then went east to Broward and Dade along Interstate 75 then west again along Tamiami Trail. By about 12 Noon, winds gusting to 50 MPH were found from the south with moderate rain near Forty-Mile bend. A large thunderstorm was observed with frequent lightning in this area. The poorly defined center was penetrated where winds decreased to about 10 MPH towards the Marco Island area. The chase track then turned back eastward along Tamiami Trail re-penetrating the region of 50-MPH south winds. Some tree damage was also observed in this area. The chase track returned to the Fort Lauderdale area by 2:30 PM. The remnants of the poorly organized storm center eventually reached the Fort Lauderdale are by 5 PM. All deep convection with this storm occurred southeast of its center. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the tropical storm. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder. A tropical storm warning was in effect for all areas observed. A hurricane watch was in effect for the Florida West coast before Harvey made landfall south of Naples.

26). Oct 15, ALL DAY - Well-documented observation, interception, and penetration of moderate to strong category one hurricane Irene from the Florida Keys through south Florida. This chase logged over 475 miles starting at 6:30 AM with a trip down US Highway 1 to Key West. Squalls and high winds were encountered until 8:30 AM. From 8:30 to 9:30 AM, the eyewall of the storm was penetrated, where southeast winds gusted over 75 MPH with extremely heavy rains. These conditions were reported to the NWS Office in Miami and relayed to the NWS in Key West. After 9:30 AM, the eye was entered near Key West. Winds decreased to light and variable with partly cloudy skies. Tides along the coast were 3 to 5 feet above normal and flooding was heavy, with seaweed covering Roosevelt Road. Street flooding was 2 to 3 feet in some places from rainfall. From 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM the chase continued back up US Highway 1 where the eye was exited near Big Pine Key. Winds quickly increased back to 75 MPH from the south with light to moderate rains. Storm surge was also observed causing damage to marinas and flooding roadways. Several observations were made near Marathon and Grassey Key. Highest winds in these areas were over 85 MPH. The chase continued through the upper keys around 3 PM where 70 to 75 MPH southeast winds and torrential rains were encountered. Winds and rain decreased in Florida City as the eyewall was exited. At around 3:30 PM, in Homestead along the Florida Turnpike, southeast winds gusted over 80 MPH with violent rains in an inner convection band. These conditions were also reported to the NWS Office in Miami. Extreme 70-MPH wind and rain conditions continued northward along the Florida Turnpike and as the chase continued westward along SW 8 Street. The wind and rain let up along Tamiami Trail until the chase reached Fortymile Bend, where 75-MPH easterly winds and torrential rains were encountered. These winds quickly backed around to northeast at 70 MPH in Collier County. The chase turned back to the east and the hurricane eye was once again penetrated at 6 PM along Tamiami Trail in the Miccosukee Indian reserve. Here winds were light and variable but the lower scud clouds did not break. The chase continued eastwards then north along Highway 27 to Interstate 595. Again, 75 MPH plus winds and violent rains were encountered from 6:30 to 7:30 with the eastern eyewall. The winds backed from southerly to easterly during this part of the chase. The conditions near Interstate 595 and Interstate 75 were reported to the NWS office in Miami. The chase ended at 7:45 PM near Sunrise Blvd and University Drive. Irene was a category one hurricane with 85 MPH sustained winds which formed near Cuba and crossed Florida. A hurricane warning, flood warning, tropical storm warning, and tornado watch were in effect for all areas observed. Damage observed was downed trees and power lines, roof and sign damage, power knocked out, storm surge flooding and damage, and severe street flooding. Unfortunately, some deaths occurred with this storm, mainly from power lines. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase Hurricane Irene.

27). Dec 9, 2:00 PM - Observation of large swells breaking south of Lake Worth Inlet in West Palm Beach, Florida. The waves were observed breaking as high as twelve feet about 300 yards offshore. Weather was partly cloudy and cool with scattered cold air cumulus clouds. A funnel cloud was observed beneath a cold cumulus cloud near the western edge of the gulf-stream current but did not come down. The large north-swells were generated from a storm system with 50-Knot+ winds east of New York in the North Atlantic. A 1998 Sea-doo GSX watercraft was used to observe the waves.

This concludes the 1999 chase season. The summary includes a total of 27 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 9 severe thunderstorms were involved, 13 strong thunderstorms, 2 tropical systems, and 3 coastal observations. Of the two tropical systems observed were a direct and well-documented penetration of Hurricane Irene and the other a direct penetration through the center of Tropical Storm Harvey. No tornadoes were observed this season, probably from the effects of La Niña. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in 25 observations and a 1998 Sea-Doo GSX Watercraft in 2. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2000 SEASON

1). Jan 24, 1:15 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm developing along an active squall line moving across Palm Beach county, Florida along highway 27 just south of South Bay. The storm quickly passed by producing torrential rains and at least 60-MPH winds. A tractor-trailer was also blown over from the strong winds! These conditions were immediately reported to the National Weather Service office in Miami. The squall line developed ahead of a strong cold front beneath a vigorous upper-level trough. A strong low-pressure system over the southeast US allowed all these conditions to develop. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

2). March 28, 1:00 AM - Indirect penetration and observation of a severe thunderstorm moving through western sections of Broward County, Florida near Interstate 75. The storm was a small supercell thunderstorm which had a TVS signature indicated by radar when it was in the Everglades. This cell quickly moved across the county and was offshore of Adventura by 1:30 AM. Only light rain and 30-MPH winds were encountered behind the storm. Lightning and some lowered cloud bases were also observed on the backside of the storm. No tornado or funnel clouds were seen. Documentation was a camcorder. The storm was caused by a prefrontal wave coupled with a moderate jet-stream disturbance aloft. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm.

3). April 14, 1:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms along Interstate 75 in western sections of Broward County, Florida. The storms were part of a multi-cell cluster of strong thunderstorms with very heavy rains developing ahead of an advancing trough of low pressure. Conditions in the storms were torrential rains, winds gusting around 40-MPH, and lightning with some close hits. A trough of low pressure produced the storms as abundant moisture was available in the area. Documentation was a camcorder. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm.

4). April 15, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Brighton along highway 721 in northern Glades county, Florida. The storm was an HP supercell storm with a well-defined wall cloud for about 45 minutes. Conditions near the storms core were small hail, winds gusting near 60-MPH, torrential rains, and lightning with some close hits. The storm began as a multi-cell cluster before evolving into the HP supercell. The chase converged and teamed up with Jeff Gammons and David Cornwell from the Weather Information Network and was concluded with three chase vehicles on this storm. Some small funnels were also observed on the inflow side of the supercell. Documentation was a camcorder and still photos. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. The other chasers were using a Toyota and a Chevy Blazer. An upper level low pressure system and surface heating produced the storms.

5). April 15, 9:00 PM - External observation of a severe thunderstorm near Yeehaw Junction and the Florida Turnpike in Osceola county, Florida. The storm was another HP supercell. A large beavers tail and frequent lightning was observed with this storm, which was not penetrated. The chase was done as a team with Jeff Gammons and David Cornwell from the Weather Information Network. Documentation was a camcorder. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. The other chasers were using a Toyota and a Chevy Blazer. An upper level low pressure system and surface heating produced the storms.

6). May 15, 5:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Opa Locka Airport in Miami, Florida. The storm was part of a multi-cell cluster of severe thunderstorms and contained frequent lightning with some close hits, large hail up to an inch, very heavy rains, and winds gusting near 60 MPH. Some flooding and power outages were also observed with this storm. An upper trough and surface heating in very unstable air caused the storms. Some storms in this area had high winds and golf ball sized hail. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect for the area nearby until 7 PM.

------ See Separate Section For Storm Chasing In Midwestern US From May 19 to 29, 2000 (Click HERE) ------

7). May 30, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Hialeah, Florida near NW 32 Avenue and 79 Street. The storm was a multi-cell storm that contained an updraft base that actually rotated slightly for a few minutes. The storm quickly matured and contained very heavy rains, hail to 1/2 inches, gusty winds to 40 MPH, and frequent lightning with some close hits. Sea breeze activity, surface heating, and a weak low-pressure trough caused the storm. A 1998 Dodge Dakota was used to chase the storms.

8). June 6, 3:00 PM - Direct penetration of a very strong to severe thunderstorm near Okeechobee Road and Lejeune road in Miami Springs and Hialeah, Florida. The multi-cell storm had small hail, torrential rains, winds gusting from 55 to 60-MPH and frequent lightning with close hits. Surface heating, sea breeze activity, and a low-pressure trough caused the storms. Damage observed were some heavy street flooding, downed trees and signs, and power knocked out in some areas. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. The conditions encountered were also reported to the Miami NWS Office.

9). June 23, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm along Highway 27 in northwestern sections of Broward County, Florida. The storm was part of a multi-cell line and had small hail, torrential rains, winds gusting over 60-MPH and frequent lightning with close hits. Some small funnel clouds were also observed with these storms. Daytime heating, sea breeze activity, and an outflow boundary caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

10). July 6, 6:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Interstate 595 and Weston, Florida. Frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, possible small hail, and winds gusting near 40 MPH were observed with this multi-cell storm. Surface heating and a weak trough of low-pressure allowed the storms to develop. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

11). July 7, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm along Interstate 595 and University Drive near Davie and Plantation, Florida. The storm was part of a multi-cell cluster and had torrential rains, winds gusting over 55-MPH and frequent lightning with close hits. Daytime heating, sea breeze activity, and a low-pressure trough caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

12). July 11, 5:30 PM - Indirect penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Griffith Road and Interstate 75 and west of Davie, Florida. The storm was a possible small HP supercell which quickly evolved into multi-cell cluster. The chase involved passing through heavy rains, 30-MPH winds, and had lightning. An updraft and inflow notch was observed on the south side of the main cell, from about 5 miles away, which produced funnel clouds. A tornado warning was issued with this storm at 4:45 PM and it was allowed to expire at 5:20 PM. Daytime heating, sea breeze activity, and a low-pressure trough caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

13). July 16, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm along Alligator Alley about 5 miles west of highway 27 in western Broward County, Florida. The storm was on the southwest end of a multi-cell line of thunderstorms. A brief and small wall cloud was observed on the updraft base of this cell prior to entering the precipitation core from the east. The storm had torrential rains, winds gusting over 55-MPH, hail to 1/2 inch, and lightning with some close hits. Daytime heating, sea breeze activity, and a low-pressure trough caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

14). July 18, 5:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm along highway 27 in western Broward County, Florida. The storm was associated with a multi-cell line of strong and severe thunderstorms with a well-developed gust front and outflow. The outflow winds preceded the storm line with 40 to 50-MPH winds observed ahead of the squall line. The storms had torrential rains, winds gusting over 60-MPH, and lightning. Daytime heating, a low-pressure trough, and outflow boundary associated with an MCS propagating southwards caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

15). July 20, 6:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong thunderstorm along highway 27 in western Broward County, Florida. The storm was associated with a multi-cell line of storms. An area of very torrential rains, winds gusting up to 50-MPH and lightning were observed north of Pines Blvd on Highway 27. Daytime heating, a low-pressure trough, and sea-breeze activity caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. A small wall cloud was also observed on the rain-free base of the storm during its updraft cycle. Documentation was still photos.

16). July 26, 6:00 PM - Direct Penetration of a severe thunderstorm along Interstate 75 near Weston in Broward County, Florida. The storm was associated with a multi-cell line of thunderstorms. A cell on the northern side of this line had HP supercell characteristics for a short while and produced a funnel cloud. An intense cell on the south end of the line became severe producing winds gusting around 60-MPH, torrential rains, small hail, and frequent lightning with close hits. The storm produced up to 3 inches of rain an hour causing flooding. The chase vehicle encountered severe hydroplaning from this storm near Weston, and nearly skidded out of control! Daytime heating, a low-pressure trough, and an outflow boundary caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

17). July 29, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong thunderstorm in Northwest Miami-Dade County, Florida near Interstate 75 and Miami Lakes. The storm had frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, winds gusting around 50-MPH. The storm also produced a brief funnel cloud on its northwestern updraft side near Miami Lakes. The storm back-built northwestwards into Miramar west of Dykes road and Miramar Parkway where winds over 50-MPH were observed with torrential rains. The chase vehicle was even pushed onto the shoulder of the slick road due to the high winds! A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. The storms were caused by a tropical wave / trough and surface heating. Documentation was still photos.

18). Aug 14, 5:30 PM - Direct Penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Northwest Dade County, Florida near Graham Dairy Road and Interstate 75. The storm was associated with a multi-cell cluster of thunderstorms and produced winds gusting around 60-MPH, torrential rains, small hail, and frequent lightning with close hits. Daytime heating, a low-pressure trough, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

19). Aug 14, 6:30 PM - Direct Penetration of another severe thunderstorm in west-central sections of Broward County, Florida near Interstate 75 and the Sawgrass Expressway. The storm was an anchor-cell on the southern edge of a multi-cell cluster of thunderstorms. This cell quickly intensified with a slight banding from weak rotation and had a multi-tiered shelf cloud associated with its gust front. The storm rain-free base sported supercell like characteristics before quickly evolving to an outflow dominant storm producing winds gusting around 60-MPH, torrential rains, small hail, and frequent lightning with close hits. Daytime heating, a low-pressure trough, and outflow boundary caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

20). Aug 14, 6:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Western Broward County, Florida near highway 27 and the Florida Everglades. The storm began west of the end of Griffith road with a small wall cloud and frequent lightning. The storm core was west and not penetrated. Multiple funnel clouds were observed with a slight rotation as the storm acquired HP supercell characteristics. A well-developed inflow band was observed feeding into this cell from the east as the storm moved to the SSE. The storm became rain-wrapped and outflow dominant as it was penetrated along Krome Avenue just SW of highway 27. Frequent lightning with numerous close hits, torrential rains, and winds gusting around 60-MPH were observed with this storm. Daytime heating, sea breeze activity, a low-pressure trough, and outflow boundaries caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

21). Aug 29, 7:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm along Alligator Alley in the Florida Everglades about 10 to 15 miles west of Highway 27. The storm was a multi-cell storm that was moving slowly across the area in the un-populated swamps of Western Broward County. The storm contained frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, and 45 to 50-MPH winds. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. A weak low-pressure trough and surface heating caused the storms. An outflow boundary from this storm was followed eastward to the Florida East Coast.

22). Sep 17, All-Day - Interception and observation of category one hurricane Gordon off the Florida Big-Bend coast north of Tampa, Florida. The hurricane chase was myself in a 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup and Jeff Gammons with former "Weathervine" storm intercept team in a 1999 Toyota Sephia. The first conditions encountered were a large convergence line near Lake Okeechobee while heading west on 710 out of WPB at about 8 AM. One small HP supercell was observed SW of the St. Lucie Canal Bridge on 710. The storm had frequent lightning and a distinct barber-pole / saucer shape to its updraft tower. This storm quickly became rain wrapped but both SVR and TOR warnings were issued for it. This cell was one of many tornado-producing storms on the forward right side of Gordon. Helicity was up to 520 in these areas. Tropical storm forced winds were observed passing through the Tampa area with winds gusting near 50-MPH. Scaffolding on the side of a building in Tampa collapsed into the street from the winds. The core of Gordon was encountered near Cedar Key, Florida from about 1 PM until 8 PM. The storm weakened from 75-MPH hurricane to a 70-MPH tropical storm. Dry air began entering the storm core as it weakened near a front to the north of Florida, and was sheared by an upper trough. Near the broad and diffuse center, winds gusting briefly over 60-MPH with patches of blue skies were observed ... No organized center. These winds quickly changed from East and Southeast to Southwest as we left Cedar Key due to a police roadblock. We left the area at about 9:30 PM because there was no way to observe any coastal areas due to evacuation area and police stipulations. Conditions quickly improved headed back away from NW Florida. One small swath of damage was observed along highway 52 about 25 miles east of Tampa. This was confirmed as another tornado track. The total time was from 4:30 AM (September 17) to 2:30 AM the next day (22 hours) with over 830 miles logged on both chase vehicles! Documentation was still photos and camcorders. A tornado watch was also in effect for all areas observed the entire time of the chase.

23). Sept 29, 7:00 PM - Indirect observation of a potentially severe thunderstorm from Highway 27 and Krome Avenue in western sections of Dade and Broward Counties, Florida. The storm was a small HP supercell type storm that was back building along a line of strong thunderstorms towards the south and southwest. Lightning, heavy rains, and 30-MPH winds were encountered. The storm was observed because of a well-developed structure with many striations on the updraft tower, giving the low flared-out base of the storm a "saucer" appearance. The storm clearly contained a mesocyclone and lasted a few hours before becoming rain-wrapped. Several small funnels and wall-cloud like lowerings were observed on the Rain-free base of this storm. Documentation of this storm was still photos. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storm. A low-pressure trough, abundant moisture with low-level convergence, and slight wind shear produced the storm.

24). Sept 30, 7:00 PM - Penetration of a very strong thunderstorm along Griffith Road west of Pine Island Road in Broward County, Florida. The storm was a strong cell developing along a multi-cell line of storms. Some wind gusts to 50-MPH, torrential rains, and lightning with some close hits was observed. Rainfall was extremely heavy with this line of storms. The storms developed along an outflow boundary pressing southeastwards and were enhanced by a low-pressure trough and surface heating. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

25). Oct 3, 9:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe and tornadic thunderstorm along highway US 1 in East Central Dade county, Florida. This HP supercell storm was on the southern end of a line of strong and severe thunderstorms, which was penetrated from north to south. Frequent lightning, torrential rains, and winds gusting over 55-MPH were observed with this cell near Cutler Ridge south of Miami. An abrupt shift in winds from SW to easterly was observed on the N side of this storm with a shift to light westerly on the south side, possibly associated with the mesocyclone of the supercell. The tornado was not observed due to poor visibility. A region of convergence associated with a sub-tropical low-pressure system and tremendous amounts of tropical moisture caused the storms. The shear-axis associated with the low caused some cells ahead of a line of thunderstorms to spawn tornadoes. Up to 15 inches of rain fell in most areas affected by this storm. Flooding was very severe, with some streets under 3 or more feet of water! Some downed trees and power outages were also observed with the thunderstorms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

26). Oct 6, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of a very strong to severe thunderstorm along State Road 7 (441) in Palm Beach County, Florida near Boynton Beach Blvd. This was a multi-cell storm containing cells that approached severe limits with 60-MPH wind gusts, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with close hits. The storms developed from interactions with outflow-boundaries, surface heating, and a weak trough of low-pressure. Documentation was still photos. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

This concludes the 2000 chase season. The summary includes a total of 26 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 18 severe thunderstorms were involved, 7 strong thunderstorms, and one tropical system. The tropical system observed was an indirect penetration of Hurricane / Tropical Storm Gordon.. No tornadoes were observed this season, probably from the effects of a strong La Niña. There were no coastal observations either. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in all 26 observations. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2001 SEASON

1). Mar 4, All Day - Observation and analysis of a strong squall line across central and southern Florida. The observations began when the squall line was first encountered near Yeehaw Junction and Highway 60 in Osceola County at about 11:30 AM. A strong outflow front and wind-shift occurred ahead of this system. The boundary was sharp and had a 15 (or more) degree temperature drop associated with it. This boundary began as a SW to NE oriented boundary to a WSW to ENE orientation with time. Farther south, near Fort Drum and 441, some strong gustnadoes were observed with the boundary. The track then went south, and southwest around Lake Okeechobee and into Clewiston. Deeper thunderstorms, strong in intensity, were penetrated SW of Clewiston into the Seminole Reservation. Heavy rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and winds gusting near 50 MPH were observed with these storms. The chase ended after 6 PM back in Central Broward County off Interstate 595 and Highway 27. Documentation was a camcorder and still photos. The chase also included Jeff Gammons (with the former "Weathervine" group) driving a Toyota Sepia. The main chase vehicle was a 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup. Conditions causing the storms were a strong cold front, favorable upper air / jet stream dynamics, surface heating and outflow boundaries from other storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was issued by SPC for the southern Florida area until 9PM EST.

2). Mar 19, 1 PM - Indirect penetration and observation of a severe thunderstorm just west of Highway 27 in Western Palm Beach County, Florida. The storm was a high-precipitation supercell storm with a well-developed rotating updraft and strong inflow on the East Side of the storm. A small funnel cloud was also associated with the development of this storm, and extended about 1/3 to the ground. Jeff Gammons accompanied the observation from the former "Weathervine" group on the NE side of the storm. A 45 to 50 MPH inflow wind was experienced on the north side of this storm, with moderate rain and frequent lightning with some close hits. The storm continued until about 2 PM and back-built southward before gusting out just north of I-595 on highway 27 farther south. Dime sized hail. 60-MPH winds, and torrential rains were observed in this area. The storm had a spectacular shelf cloud along its gust front. Instability, surface convergence, and a strong shear profile beneath a jet stream aloft caused the storms. Documentation was a camcorder and still photos. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms, along with a 1999 Toyota Sephia (for the former "Weathervine" chase group).

3). Mar 19, 4 PM - Direct penetration of possible tornadic supercell thunderstorm near Interstate 595 and Highway 27 in Western Central Broward County, Florida. The storm was Doppler indicated as a tornado producing storm but the tornado was not intercepted. The storm evolved from a cluster of some high-based storms in the Everglades that quickly moved into western sections of Fort Lauderdale. As the storm was penetrated, a 50-MPH east wind that quickly shifted to 60-MPH and gusty from the west was encountered with very heavy rains and frequent lightning. This was possibly another small HP supercell storm embedded in a cluster of thunderstorms. The chase was done with the former "Weathervine" storm team in a 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup and a 1999 Toyota Sephia. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder. Convergence, instability, and a strong jet stream aloft ahead of a strong surface low caused the storm.

4). Mar 19, 7 PM - Observation of another possible HP supercell in Glades County, Florida to the north of Highway 98 about 10 to 15 miles west of Clewiston. The storm was a former tornado-producing storm moving northeastwards from Lee County to the southwest. This storm produced a small funnel cloud and a beautiful beaver-tail type inflow band. The storm was externally observed and not penetrated. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder. A surface low, convergence, and wind shear from a jet stream aloft caused the storms. The chase was done with the former "Weathervine" storm team in a 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup and a 1999 Toyota Sephia.

5). Mar 30, 5:30 PM - Observation of squall line and multi-cell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms in Western Palm Beach County, Florida near Lake Okeechobee. A strong outflow boundary was associated with this storm system and spawned multiple dust plumes and gustnadoes. The strongest winds observed were about 40 MPH. Occasional cloud to ground lightning was observed with heavy rain. The severe cells were not penetrated directly along this line. The chase was done with the former "Weathervine" storm team in a 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup and a 1999 Toyota Sephia. An outflow boundary, upper-level disturbances, and surface heating caused the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for this area until 9PM EST. Documentation was still photos.

------ See Separate Section For Storm Chasing In Midwestern US From May 22 to 28, 2001 (Click HERE) ------

6). June 8, 7:00 PM - Observation of a brief but strong thunderstorm along Highway 27 northwest of Moore Haven, Florida. The storm was a small pulse type thunderstorm that produced frequent lightning with close hits, heavy rains, and brief wind gusts near 50 MPH. A 1998 Dodge Dakota was used to observe the storm while passing through this area. The storm was caused by a weak low-pressure trough and sea breeze activity.

7). June 11, 6:00 PM - Observation and direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in western / central Broward County, Florida, along Highway 27. The storm was part of an original cluster of strong thunderstorms that developed from a towering cumulus field along the East Coast sea breeze front. One developing cell had a small but well-defined corkscrew / meso on its western side above its rain-free base. Cells quickly fired around this area and quickly became outflow-dominant with a 50-MPH downburst observed north of Interstate 75 on Highway 27. Tree damage was observed in this area. Farther south, the south end of this multi-cell storm cluster evolved into a small HP supercell type storm. This cell was penetrated from the north where 60 to 65 MPH winds, or higher, small hail, frequent lightning with close hits, and extremely heavy rains were encountered. Winds in this area were from the east, and shifted south once south of the storm core under the rain-free base. The RFB was round in appearance and had a slight "swirl" in its base. Weak rotation was evident. The storm remained this way for about an hour while drifting south, then became outflow dominant sending a gust front type MCS through Miami-Dade county. Sea breezes, an upper trough, and surface heating caused the storm. A 1998 dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos. The storms caused flooding, tree damage, and knocked out power. A brush fire in the Everglades was also started from the lightning.

8). June 16, 1:30 PM - Direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm in Southern Broward County, Florida into Northern Miami-Dade. The storm was a multicell-cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms just east of Interstate 75. The first intense cell was encountered along Hollywood Boulevard near Flamingo Road, where heavy rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and 45-50 MPH winds were encountered. Another more intense cell fired south of this area, and was followed along Hiatus road southward to just north of the Palmetto Expressway. The worst core conditions with this cell was near Miami Gardens Drive, and had torrential rains, frequent lightning with close hits, winds gusting well over 60-MPH, and hail more than ¾ inches in diameter falling hard. The hail covered the ground in some areas. Power outages, trees down, and flooding also occurred with this cell. Many leaves were stripped off some trees where marble to quarter sized hail was found. Surface heating, sea breeze activity, and an upper-level disturbance caused the storms. The worst conditions were also reported to the NWS Miami office. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

9). Jun 22, 12:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a very strong thunderstorm in Tamarac, Florida near Hiatus Road and Commercial Blvd. This storm was a multi-cell storm cluster that contained an intense cell on its southern end. This cell had 45-MPH wind gusts, small hail from pea to dime-sized, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with many close hits. Some tree damage, flooding, and power outages were observed with this storm. A weak upper-air disturbance, low-pressure trough, and sea breeze activity caused the storm. The dissipation stage of this storm cluster also created a powerful outflow boundary that was followed northwards through Palm Beach County into Martin County. The storms along this region became outflow dominant producing torrential rains and winds gusting up to 45-MPH. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos. The worst conditions in Tamarac were also reported to the NWS office in Maimi.

10. Jun 23, 2:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms in western sections of West Palm Beach, Florida near Okeechobee Road west of State Road 7. These storms were multi-cellular in nature and produced frequent lightning with some close hits, torrential rains, and 45-MPH wind gusts. A weak upper-air disturbance, low-pressure trough, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to chase the storms.

11). Jun 25, 6:00 PM - External observation of a large severe thunderstorm in the Florida Everglades near the Seminole Indian Reservation north of Interstate 595 in Hendry County. The storm was not penetrated, except for its gust front as it back-built southwestwards. The storm was a well-developed severe thunderstorm with a back-sheared anvil, inflow bands, and over shooting top. This possible supercell storm remained in the un-populated areas. A funnel cloud was also observed on its southwestern side. The storm also had 71 DBZ on radar. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe this storm. Sea breezes, surface heating and an upper air disturbance caused the storms.

12). Jul 23, 5:00 PM - Indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Hollywood, Florida near the Florida Turnpike. The storm was an outflow-dominant severe thunderstorm (multicell) affecting east central Broward county with 60-MPH winds and heavy rains. 45-MPH winds, lightning, and heavy rain was observed while passing this storm on its north side. This day, although not a chase day, produced numerous severe weather incidences. A tornadic mini HP supercell affected Interstate 75 near Griffith Road in Weston about an hour earlier prior to 4 PM. This cell was observed as it passed my workplace near Tamarac, FL. This storm produced 45-MPH+ south winds as it passed just west of my area. A small inflow region was noted, but no tornado was observed. The storms were caused by a low-pressure system to the NW and a region of convergence (shear axis). A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used to observe the storms.

13). Aug 14, 5:30 PM - Indirect penetration of a very strong to severe thunderstorm along Krome Avenue about 3 to 4 miles southwest of Highway 27 in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The storm was a multi-cell storm cluster with an intense cell on its northeastern side. Frequent lightning with close hits, heavy rains, and winds gusting to near 50-MPH were observed on the outflow side of the storm. The storm also briefly exhibited supercell characteristics with a broad rotation observed on its updraft base. Sea breezes and a low-pressure trough caused the storms. Documentation was still photos. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms.

14). Aug 14, 7:00 PM - Direct penetration of a very strong to severe thunderstorm along Highway 27 north of Griffith Road in Broward County, Florida. The multi-cell storm cluster rapidly developed over the eastern Everglades and moved across Highway 27 as it became outflow dominant. The storm produced frequent lightning with numerous close hits, winds gusting over 50-MPH, and torrential rains. The storms were caused by outflow from previous storms to the SW, sea breeze activity, and a trough of low pressure. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

15). Sept 8, 1:30 PM - Penetration of a very strong to severe thunderstorm along Highway 27 in Western Palm Beach County, Florida. The storm was an intense thunderstorm on the southern edge of a line of thunderstorms and had possible HP supercell characteristics for a brief period of time. A region of strong inflow and rotation of the rain-free base was observed with this storm. A 50 to 60-MPH westerly wind was encountered south of this area (possible RFD) with torrential rains and frequent lightning. An upper air disturbance and weak surface low-pressure area caused the storms to the NW. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to observe the storms.

16). Sept 14, ALL DAY - Interception, observation, and penetration of a very strong tropical storm "Gabrielle" on the Florida West Coast from Fort Meyers to Sarasota. The storm had 70 MPH maximum sustained winds and a pressure of 980 MB at time of landfall near Venice Inlet, where the calm storm "eye" was encountered. This chase was conducted with the former "Weathervine" storm chase team. Portable weather stations on the hood of the 2001 Ford Escape SUV as well as the 1996 Chevy Blazer SUV (formerly with the "Weathervine" group) recorded wind gusts over 85-MPH! Conditions observed were winds at least 70-MPH with much higher gusts, torrential rains, and lightning. Damage observed was numerous downed trees and power lines, roofs damaged or destroyed, fresh water and storm-surge flooding, and boats damaged at a marina. The tropical storm was undergoing a rapid intensification cycle as it was making landfall and could have even been a hurricane. The worst winds were encountered at Venice Inlet just after the calm winds of the storm center passed to the NE. Winds resumed violently from the NW at LEAST 70-MPH. Tides observed were up to 6 feet above normal. Documentation was camcorders and many still photos. A tropical storm warning, hurricane watch, tornado watch, flood warning, and high-wind warning were all in effect for the areas involved in this chase. Total mileage accrued on the 2001 Ford Escape SUV was 495 miles. The driver’s side door had paint damage from a strike from metal debris during the storm observations. This was also the first test of my own weather station that I built for the hood-mount on my Ford Escape SUV. It recorded a wind maximum of 85-MPH and a pressure minimum of 983 MB.

This concludes the 2001 chase season. The summary includes a total of 16 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 10 severe thunderstorms were involved, 5 strong thunderstorms, and one tropical system. The tropical system observed was a well documented penetration of Hurricane / Tropical Storm Gabrielle.. No tornadoes were observed this season, probably from the effects of the strong La Niña still in place since last year. There were no coastal observations either. A 1998 Dodge Dakota Pickup was used in the first 12 observations and a new 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used in the remaining 4 observations. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2002 SEASON

1). Mar 26, 5:00 PM - Observation and penetration of very strong to severe thunderstorms along Krome Avenue about 5 to 10 miles south of Highway 27 in West Central Dade County, Florida. The storm began as a multi-cell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms and was observed from Krome Avenue from a distance of 5-10 miles. The storms were along two intersecting boundaries (outflow / sea breeze triple point). For about 30 minutes, the storms evolved into a small HP supercell type storm with a wall cloud, hail shaft, slight rotation, and numerous CG lightning. This storm remained over the Everglades until its weak meso occluded. The cell cycled as a new updraft and small meso / rotation developed ahead of the original storm and the cell began moving faster southward (radar showed 67 dbz on this cell as this point). The storm continued southward and crossed Krome Avenue, where torrential rains, 50 to 55-MPH wind gusts, frequent lightning with close hits, and pea sized hail was observed. The storm weakened somewhat and was outflow dominant at this point of penetration with radar reflectivity down to 55 dbz. (Jeff Gammons with the former "Weathervine" team provided radar and satellite information during this chase). The storms were caused by sea breeze / outflow boundaries, surface heating, and an upper air disturbance. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

2). Apr 2, 1:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms along Krome Avenue about 5 to 10 miles south of Highway 27 in West Central Dade County, Florida. The storm was as a multi-cell cluster of strong thunderstorms developing along a convergence line and East Coast sea breeze boundary. The storm contained heavy rains, 40 to 45-MPH wind gusts, occasional lightning and small hail. The storms were caused by sea breeze / outflow boundaries, surface heating, and an upper air disturbance. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

3). Apr 2, 5:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of very strong thunderstorms along the East Side of Lake Okeechobee from near Highway 80 NE of Belle Glade, Florida. The storms were observed from their point of initiation, at around 3 PM, along the lake breeze boundary. This formed a narrow line of thunderstorms, with some rather persistent gustnadoes observed along the boundary. As time went on, the line evolved into a multicell cluster, containing at least two strong thunderstorms, then the southern cell of this cluster began showing signs of a small mesocyclone by 5 PM. The cell evolved onto a classic "mini" supercell type storm, and slight rotation persisted for nearly an hour (beautiful banding, inflow "beaver" tail, bell-shaped updraft base, wall cloud, etc). The storm sported a rain-free base and most precipitation was well to its right. The wall cloud had slight rotation, but no tornadoes developed. While most cells in the multicell part of this storm moved to the ENE, the "mini" supercell moved due south at less than 5 MPH. By 6:30 PM, the storm evolved to multicell, weakened, and its mesocyclone dissipated. The storm was then penetrated and had 45-MPH winds and very heavy rains along highway 80 east of Bell Glade. Convergence boundaries, surface heating, directional (storm relative) wind shear, and an upper level trough caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos. Jeff Gammons with the former "Weathervine" chase team also chased with me on this storm.

4). Apr 3, 3:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of very strong and severe thunderstorms in Palm Beach County, Florida from near Belle Glade, eastward along highway 80 to state road 7. The storm developed on the south end of a squall line of thunderstorms moving in from west of Lake Okeechobee. Small showers and thunderstorms explosively developed as the line and associated outflow interacted with them southeast of Belle Glade. This storm kicked up a lot of dust with 50-MPH outflow winds observed. The intense cell on the south end of the line of thunderstorms moved rapidly east and was followed to western sections of the Palm Beach suburbs near Forest Hill Boulevard and state road 7. The storms intensified again into a well-developed multicell cluster of strong and severe storms. The winds observed were near 50 MPH with very heavy rain and some close hits of lightning. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos and a camcorder. Jeff Gammons with the former "Weathervine" chase team also chased with me on this storm.

------ See Separate Section For Storm Chasing In Midwestern US From May 12 to 27, 2002 (Click HERE) ------

5). May 31, 5 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm and indirect penetration just east of Highway 27 in Broward County, Florida west of Miramar. The multi-cell cluster type thunderstorm briefly produced strong winds to 55 MPH that was observed blowing across a lake near a rock quarry. The storm also contained heavy rains and frequent lightning. NWS in Miami had both a severe thunderstorm warning and a tornado warning with these storms. Only some small funnel clouds were noted on the updraft base of these storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms, which were caused by a low-pressure trough, surface heating, and sea breeze convection.

6). June 7, 3:30 PM - Penetration and observation of a strong pulse type thunderstorm near Pines Boulevard and Interstate 75 in Miramar, Florida. The strong but short-lived storm fired rapidly along two intersecting outflow boundaries (one oriented SW to NE moving ESE, the other intersecting it from NW to SE and moving slowly N). The mini "triple point" where these boundaries intersected was also along the sea breeze convergence area and the storm cluster developed just ahead and to the east of it. There was also a weak low-pressure trough and upper trough to the northeast of the area at the time. The storms produced a brief pulse of 40-MPH winds, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with some close hits. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms.

7). July 2, 2:30 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms along Krome Avenue south of Highway 27 in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The storms were part of a multicell cluster and contained strong winds near 50-MPH, small hail, frequent lightning, and torrential rains. An upper trough, surface heating, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

8). July 3, 4:00 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms along Highway 27 in Palm Beach County, Florida about 5 miles north of the Palm Beach County border. The storms were part of a multicell cluster and contained strong winds near 40-MPH, frequent lightning and torrential rains. The rainfall with this system was extremely heavy, and a large shelf cloud was noted on the south side of one of the stronger cells. An upper trough, surface heating, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

9). July 5, 2:45 PM - Direct penetration of a brief severe thunderstorm near Sheridan Street and State Road 7 in Broward County, Florida. The multicell storm was caused by two outflow boundaries, one coming from the south, the other from the northwest from previous severe cells in Miami and Pompano Beach, respectively. The storm over Hollywood near the Seminole Indian Reservation reached severe intensity as these two boundaries interacted near the sea breeze front. The storm contained frequent lightning with some close hits, torrential rains, hail to dime sized, and winds gusting over 50-MPH. Some street flooding, tree limbs broken loose, and power outages were also noted with this storm. The conditions were also reported to the lead forecaster at NWS Miami and a warning was issued for this area. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos. Surface heating, an upper level trough, outflow boundaries, and sea breeze activity caused the storms.

10). July 5, 3:30 PM - Indirect penetration and observation of another severe thunderstorm near Sunrise, Florida along Interstate 595 just south of Oakland Park Blvd. The storm was actually a short lived and small HP supercell storm with a shallow low-level rotation and small "notch" area. Some funnel clouds were noted in this area, which quickly "occluded" and filled in with rain. The core of this storm was not penetrated, but winds over 30-MPH, heavy rains, and frequent lightning was observed east of the cell. After occlusion, the storm filled in with rain and quickly moved east out to sea as a multicell cluster / squall-line segment. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos. Surface heating, an upper level trough, outflow boundaries, and sea breeze activity caused the storms.

11). July 12, 2:00 PM - Observation of a strong thunderstorm over Fort Lauderdale, Florida near Broward Blvd and State Road 7. This was a small storm but persisted for over an hour and at one point, developed a low-level mesocyclone. This storm had the characteristics of a mini supercell storm and produced several wall clouds and mildly rotating scud / funnels beneath its "round" updraft base. The precipitation core to the northeast of this storm had winds up to 40 MPH with very heavy rains and lightning. An upper trough, surface heating, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

12). July 12, 5:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a severe thunderstorm to the Northwest of Weston, Florida along highway 27. This was a possible HP supercell type storm that developed at the intersection of two major outflow boundaries near the east-coast sea breeze convergence line. The storm core quickly became outflow dominant and a squall line / bow-segment type storm crossed highway 27 then into the metro areas near the Sawgrass expressway. The storm contained winds over 55-MPH, torrential rains, and frequent lightning at this point. A large wall cloud was noted in the inflow "notch" of this storm prior to occlusion with 30-MPH SE inflow winds. The upper portions of this storm also had slight banding. An upper trough, surface heating, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos and a time-lapse video of the gust front after this storm dissipated.

13). July 15, 3:00 PM - Observation of a strong thunderstorm over Miramar, Florida near Interstate 75 and Miramar Parkway. This storm was a multi-cell type strong thunderstorm that produced heavy rains and winds to 40 MPH, but deadly and very frequent lightning. Almost a dozen close CG hits were observed with this storm, all less than 1 mile from the chase vehicle! A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos. A weak trough of low pressure and sea breeze convergence activity caused the storms.

14). Aug 8, 7:00 PM - Observation of a strong to possibly severe thunderstorm west of Highway 27 and Krome Avenue in west central Broward / Miami-Dade counties. The multi-cell storm had a very well developed shelf cloud, inflow bands, and rain / hail shafts. The core of this storm was not penetrated but outflow winds of 40-MPH were encountered near the shelf cloud on its southern edge. Suprisingly, not much lightning was observed with this storm despite its organized structure. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos. A weak trough of low pressure and sea breeze convergence activity caused the storms.

15). Aug 12, 4:00 PM - Interception and penetration of a severe thunderstorm in western sections of Broward County along highway 27 several miles south of Interstate 595. The storm was part of a small multi-cell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms with the most intense cell on its southwest side. This cell became persistent and back-built to the SSW. Conditions inside this storm were winds over 60-MPH, small hail, torrential rains, and nearly continuous CG lightning with numerous close hits. The storm weakened somewhat but maintained its slow SSW movement until an outflow boundary from another non-severe storm to its SW undercut its inflow. A small low-level rotation with funnel cloud was observed on the inflow side of this cell prior to dissipation at 6 PM. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, and sea-breeze boundary produced the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

16). Aug 13, 4:30 PM - Interception and penetration of strong and severe thunderstorm cluster near South Bay, Florida and Highway 27 in western Palm Beach county. The thunderstorms were part of an on going MCS on the southeast side of Lake Okeechobee. After 4 PM, these storms weakened and sent an outflow boundary southwards. Meanwhile, a strong to severe cell over Collier County also weakened and sent an outflow boundary northeastwards. The occlusion of these two boundaries, along the sea breeze convergence (well inland due to SE low level winds), fired a severe cell just south of South Bay after 4:30 PM. This cell produced a well-defined funnel cloud half way to the ground at one point near the sugar refinery west of highway 27. The cell also evolved to an HP supercell like structure before RFD gust-out and evolution into a squall line by 5 PM. The storm was also penetrated, and had winds near 60-MPH with frequent lightning and close CG hits. A sea-breeze boundary and remnant low-pressure trough caused the storms with the inland surface heating. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

17). Sep 11, 5:30 PM - Observation and penetration of strong thunderstorms along Highway 27 in western sections of Broward county, Florida near Interstate 595. The storm began as a multicell cluster of strong thunderstorms over the Everglades. One cell developed a weak low-level mesocyclone with a precipitation core, rain-free base, wall cloud, and inflow bands. The storm quickly became outflow-dominant and evolved into a bow segment. Winds in this segment were gusting near 45-MPH with heavy rains and frequent lightning. The storms were caused by low-level moisture convergence well east of a developing tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico and outflow boundaries. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms.

18). Oct 3, ALL-DAY - Interception, penetration, and observation of Hurricane Lili as it made landfall in Southwestern Louisiana near Abeville and New Iberia. The storm was an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 145 MPH that weakened to a category 2 with winds just over 100 MPH at time of landfall near 8 AM. The chase involved a long drive out of Florida on October 2 to the primary target area of Abeville, Louisiana. During the evening of October 2, Jeff Gammons with the former "Weathervine" storm chase team and myself met up with several chasers from the central US including Scott Blair. The "base" was a school in Abeville to observe the storm. Near midnight, Lili had 140 MPH+ winds and made a slight jog to the right so we all adjusted our target using highway 14 to a hotel in New Iberia. Lili continued to weaken over up-welled cooler water near the landfall point to 120 MPH, then 100 MPH at landfall at 8 AM on Oct 3. We began driving south and penetrated the hurricane forced wind-field. Trees began falling and storm-surge began filling the marshes around our vehicles. Law officials noted us we needed to turn around, so we continued back towards New Iberia. The hurricane wind-field soon came into this area, and we all set up in a parking lot to measure and observe the winds. Winds gusted to over 75-MPH with a pressure drop to 988 MB. Winds were strong ENE then shifted SE. This was out cue to shift back west to Abeville along highway 14 because the eye took a jog back west. The winds were ESE and gusted over 100 MPH. Numerous powerlines and trees were observed falling. Many roof pieces began flying across the roads along with leaves and other tree debris. Just east of Abeville, we penetrated the primary energy cell (main convection NE of the eye). Visibility dropped to ZERO with violent sideways rain. The air was filled with debris and tree implements as winds gusted over 100 MPH. We continued west and positioned ourselves back in Abeville just E of the calm eye in the maximum winds. ENE winds quickly shifted south, then south-southwest as a notably clear area passed to our west. Road networks to our west prevented us from penetrating the calm eye, but lowest pressure measured was 975 MB in Abeville. Damage was moderate with numerous downed trees and powerlines, even some major roof damage and downed signs. Flooding was also major in some areas. Ofcourse, power remained out at all times. The storm was now inland and weakened to 90 MPH sustained winds. We headed back east along highway 14, back to New Iberia to document damage and begin exiting the storm with many detours around impassable streets due to power lines / tree damage. By afternoon we were headed back east along interstate 10 for a 15 hour drive back to Florida. Total mileage on this chase was 2054 miles! Maximum stretch with no sleep was 52 hours! Maximum wind gusts, near 110 MPH! Lowest pressure was measured at 975 MB. Documentation was still photos, a camcorder, and audio. A 2001 Ford Escape was used for our part of this chase with many weather instruments mounted on its roof. The NWS issues a flood warning, tornado watch, and hurricane warning for all areas observed. Some extremely severe thunderstorms were also observed on the forward-right side of Lili. One such storm had some of the most violent rain I have ever seen and a meso-low type feature where winds were SE on its NE side and NE on its western side.

19). Nov 16, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Glades County, Florida just to the east of Clewiston, Florida along highway 98. The storm was the remnants of an HP supercell type storm developing ahead of a cold front well to the west. The supercell had a tornado indicated by radar, occluded, and evolved into a small bow type (probably RFD based) segment. This area was penetrated and 45 MPH winds, lightning, and extremely heavy rains were encountered. A 2001 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms, along with Jeff Gammons as a chase partner. Strong dynamic lift ahead of a strong cold front and low-pressure system caused the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for this area until 4PM EST. Documentation was a camcorder.

20). Nov 16, 7:30 PM - Penetration of strong to severe thunderstorms along Interstate 595 near Weston, Florida in central Broward County. This storm was a multicell cluster / line segment moving east at 20 MPH with individual convective cells moving NE at near 45 MPH. This storm had very heavy rains, frequent lightning with numerous close hits, and winds at or exceeding 50 MPH in some areas. The storm caused numerous power outages. A 2001 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Strong dynamic lift ahead of a strong cold front and low-pressure system caused the storms in a high wind-shear environment. A tornado watch was also valid for this area until 9PM EST. Documentation was a camcorder.

21). Dec 9, 8:30 PM - Penetration of strong to severe thunderstorms along A1A near North Miami Beach, Florida in northeastern Dade County. This storm was a small supercell type storm moving north at 15 MPH. The storm was approached from the north, were east winds to 50 MPH were observed with torrential rains and sporadic lightning. Once the core was penetrated, winds quickly let up with a light drizzle and WSW winds 10 to 15 MPH. This was near the rain-free base on the SW side of the storm. The storm had a radar-indicated tornado warning and severe thunderstorm warning on it but no tornado was observed. The wind shift was probably the associated low-level mesocyclone associated with the "mini" supercell storm. Significant flooding was also observed with this storm. Documentation was a camcorder. A 2001 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Strong dynamic lift ahead of a developing low-pressure system well to the NW along with moisture convergence near a warm front caused the storms in a high wind-shear environment. A tornado watch was also valid for this area until 4AM EST.

This concludes the 2002 chase season. The summary includes a total of 21 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 11 severe thunderstorms were involved, 9 strong thunderstorms, and one tropical system. The tropical system observed was a well documented penetration of category-2 Hurricane Lili in Louisiana. Again, no tornadoes were observed this season due to a weakening La Niña. There were no coastal observations either. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used in all 21 observations. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2003 SEASON

1). Feb 22, 8:00 PM - Indirect penetration of the eastern side of a severe and possibly tornadic thunderstorm on Highway 27 about 10 miles north of Moore Haven in Glades County, Florida. The storm was a cell developing ahead of a line of thunderstorms and indicated a TVS on radar with a dbz of 67 and VIL of 48. This storm was a possible HP supercell storm. Penetrating the eastern side of the storm brought 50 to 55 MPH winds, torrential rains, and lightning. Power in northern parts of Moore Haven was also out because of the storm. The main core and tornado was not observed in the dark of night. A 2001 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. Convergence and lift well ahead of a strong cold front caused the storm under a strong jet stream aloft.

2). Feb 22, 10:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm along Highway 27 near the Broward and Palm Beach County borders in Florida. The storm was an intense cell along a line of strong and severe thunderstorms. Extremely heavy rains, 50-60 MPH winds, and frequent lightning was observed with this storm. The storm also had a well-developed gust front and was highly outflow-dominant. A 2001 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. This storm was part of a squall line of thunderstorms well ahead of a strong cold front.

3). Mar 14, 5:30 PM - Observation of a strong thunderstorm east of Belle Glade, Florida. The storm was a strong thunderstorm that had some supercell characteristics (beavers tail, wall cloud, separated precipitation core) for a short while. The storm did not last very long and its core was not directly penetrated. Frequent lightning with a close hit, heavy rains, and 30 MPH winds were observed with this storm. A 2001 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. Surface heating, and low pressure / strong winds aloft caused the storms.

4). Mar 14, 5:30 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm in Dade County, Florida from near Sweetwater and Tamiami trail at the Dade County Youth Fair. This was not a dedicated chase, but some strong winds to 45 MPH, lightning, and heavy rains were observed. The core of this storm did not pass over the fairgrounds. The fair operations were shut down due to the storm, which had core conditions containing hail to dime sized and 60 MPH winds. Documentation of this storm was still photos.

5). Mar 17, 5:30 PM - Distant observation of a very severe thunderstorm from Palm Beach County, Florida. The thunderstorm was over the coastal waters about 30 miles east of Miami. This offered an excellent view of the storm 70 miles away to the northwest. The storm was a full-blown supercell thunderstorm (Meso, 64 dbz, 60+ VIL) with a typical "crown" anvil and over-shooting top. The storm was not penetrated, only observed from afar. A 2001 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. Surface boundaries, and low pressure (cold air) with very strong winds aloft (jet stream max) caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. Surface boundaries, and low pressure (cold air) with very strong winds aloft (jet stream max) caused the storms.

6). Mar 17, 8:30 PM - External observation of severe thunderstorms from along Highway 27 in western Palm Beach / northern Broward Counies in South Florida. The thunderstorms were part of a multicell line moving east across the state at about 30 MPH. Again, the cores of these cells were not penetrated, but frequent lightning was observed. The cores of some storms with this line contained dime sized hail and 80 MPH winds. These storms were missed because it was nearly impossible to catch up with them from behind due to limited road options. A 2001 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. Surface boundaries, and low pressure / strong winds aloft (jet stream) caused the storms.

7). Mar 18, 4:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm along Highway 27 in western Palm Beach / Broward Counties in Florida. The storm was an intense area of multicell storms with lightning, torrential rains, small hail, and 45-MPH winds. The storms moved east, and were intercepted near the Boca Raton area during rush hour with similar conditions. The storm(s) quickly moves offshore thereafter. A 2001 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. Surface heating and remnant instability in the wake of low pressure aloft caused the storms.

8). Mar 27, 3:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe and possibly tornadic thunderstorm SW of Bell Glade, Florida. The storm was a well-developed HP supercell type thunderstorm that developed south of a stationary outflow boundary in strongly backed SE winds. The storm developed at 2 PM, observed west of Highway 27 south of South Bay. The storm evolved onto a supercell and developed a velocity couplet (on radar) with a 48 VIL and 64 Dbz. A large wall cloud and several funnel clouds (one half way to the ground) were observed on the rain-free base of the supercell. It is quite possible that one of these briefly touched down. The storm occluded by 4 PM and crossed highway 27. The storm was followed east into the Palm-Beach Metro areas by 5:30 PM. The storm re-generated an inflow notch and wall cloud west of Wellington, where another funnel cloud was observed. A 180-degree shift in winds was found under this feature (mesocyclone). The storm also produced lightning, torrential rains with 5" accumulations, and winds to 60-MPH. Flooding and power outages were also observed with this storm. The storm moved into the coastal waters by 6 PM, still a supercell. Little hail was encountered with this storm, mainly because the hail-core was not penetrated. A strong upper level low-pressure system, surface heating, and strong speed / directional shear caused the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A 2001 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. The conditions observed with this storm were also reported live via cell phone to Channel 5 News at 5:10 PM. A severe thunderstorm watch and tornado watch were both active for these areas chased until 7 PM EST.

9). May 2, 7:00 PM - Penetration and observation of a strong thunderstorm along Highway 27 in western sections of Broward County, Florida. Torrential rains, lightning with some close hits, and 45-MPH winds were observed with this storm on the western side of the precipitation core about 5 miles northwest of Weston along Highway 25 north of Interstate 595. The storm was a multi-cell cluster of strong thunderstorms associated with an outflow boundary, surface heating, and sea breeze activity. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms.

10). May 13, 6:30 PM - Penetration and observation of a strong thunderstorm along Interstate 75 in central Broward County, Florida. Torrential rains, frequent lightning with numerous close hits, and 45-MPH winds were observed with this multi-cell storm near Sheridan street. The storms were caused by an outflow boundary, surface heating, and sea breeze activity. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Power was knocked out in some areas by the storm.

------ See Separate Section For Storm Chasing In Midwestern US From May 15 to 27, 2003 (Click HERE) ------

11). June 2, 6:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm along highway 27 in western sections of Palm Beach County, Florida. The storm was part of a multi-cell storm cluster with one cell exhibiting HP supercell characteristics for a short time. The storm eventually evolved into an outflow-dominant line which back-built towards the northwest. Torrential rains, frequent lightning with close hits, pea to dime sized hail, and 65 to 70-MPH winds were observed with this storm. An outflow boundary, surface heating, sea breeze activity, and a weak low-pressure trough caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms.

12). July 22, 7:00 PM - Observation and penetration of strong to severe thunderstorms along highway 27 in western sections of Broward County, Florida. The storm was part of an outflow-dominant multi-cell storm line with one intense embedded pulse-type storm. Torrential rains, frequent lightning, and winds near 50-MPH were observed with this storm. An outflow boundary, surface heating, sea breeze activity, and a weak low-pressure trough caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms.

13). July 29, 6:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of strong to severe thunderstorms along highway 80 in Central sections of Glades County, Florida. The storm was a short-lived severe thunderstorm that exhibited supercell (HP) characteristics for a short time (beaver’s tail, small vault, inflow features). Heavy rains, frequent lightning, and winds near 40-MPH were observed with this storm. Inflow into the storm raised a small dust plume during storm development near between Clewiston and Labelle. An outflow boundary, surface heating, sea breeze activity, and a upper-level low-pressure area caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms.

14). Aug 7, 6:00 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Lauderhill, Florida near Oakland Park Blvd and Pine Island Road. The storm was a supercell type storm (HP) embedded in a line of severe thunderstorms. Torrential rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and winds over 60-MPH were observed with this storm. The storm spawned a small funnel cloud and wall cloud on the north side of a small but intense RFD slot. This line of thunderstorms was the same system that produced a damaging tornado farther north in northern Palm Beach County. A low-pressure tough, surface heating, sea breeze activity, and a upper-level trough caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms.

15). Aug 8, 4:00 PM - Observation of outflow-dominant but strong thunderstorms in western sections of Plam Beach County, Florida. The storms had a strong gust front and "rotating head" type low-level mesocyclone on its northern end. Winds to 40-MPH, lightning and heavy rains were observed with this storm. A low-pressure tough, surface heating, sea breeze activity, and a upper-level trough caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

16). Aug 9, 6:30 PM - Observation and penetration of strong and severe thunderstorms near Highway 27 eastward along Interstate 595 in western Broward County, Florida. The strongest thunderstorms had winds up to 60-MPH, frequent lightning with some close hits, torrential rains, and small hail to dime size (sporadically for a short time). A wall cloud also was observed on the south side of this storm under the rain-free base. A low-pressure tough, surface heating, sea breeze activity, outflow boundaries, and a upper-level trough caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder.

17). Oct 13, 5:30 PM - Observation of small but interesting funnel cloud under a small convective shower west of Miramar, Florida west of Interstate 75. The small funnel developed on the NW side of a region of towering cumulus and lasted for up to 15 minutes, at one point, forming a needle funnel 1/3 way from the cloud base to the ground. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used in this impromptu observation. Documentation was a camcorder and still photos. A weak cold front and sea breeze boundaries provided the conditions for the storm.

18). Dec 14, 3:00 PM - Observation and penetration of strong thunderstorms near Highway 27 eastward along Highway 41 in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, Florida. The strongest thunderstorms had winds up to 50-MPH, occasional lightning, and extremely heavy rains. Minor flooding and some power outages were also observed with this storm. This was a multi-cell line of thunderstorms. The storms were part of a pre-frontal wave ahead of a strong cold front. A strong cold front (prefrontal wave), outflow boundaries, and a strong upper-level trough caused the storms. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos.

This concludes the 2003 chase season. The summary includes a total of 18 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 11 severe thunderstorms were involved, 6 strong thunderstorms, and two tornadoes / funnel clouds. There were no tropical cyclone interceptions (bummer!) and no coastal observations done this year. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used in all 18 observations. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2004 SEASON

1). Feb 25, 1:30 PM - Penetration of a severe thunderstorms from near Interstate 595 and Interstate 75 eastward along Interstate 595 then Interstate 95 southward from Broward to northern Dade Counties, Florida. The storms were associated with a squall line / multi-cell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. Heavy rains, sporadic lightning, and winds gusting near 60-MPH winds were observed with these storms. Minor flooding and tree damage was encountered with the storms. A pre-frontal trough and low-pressure system was responsible for the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 4 PM EST.

2). Apr 9, 5:30 PM - Observation and penetration of strong thunderstorms near Parkland, Florida off the Sawgrass Expressway near Coral Springs Drive. The storm was multi-cell cluster of strong thunderstorms. Heavy rains, sporadic lightning, and winds gusting near 40-MPH winds were observed with these storms. A low-pressure trough and surface heating was responsible for the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms.

3). Apr 10, 7:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Krome Avenue and Highway 27 in west-central Broward County, Florida. The storm was part of a small storm cluster that actually had some supercell characteristics on radar before weakening at time of penetration. Heavy rains, lightning, and winds gusting near 35-MPH winds were observed with this storm along Krome Avenue. A low-pressure trough, outflow boundary, and surface heating were responsible for this storm. Documentation was a camcorder. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storm (with Jeff Gammons of the former "Weathervine" storm chase team).

4). Apr 12, 8:30 AM - Direct penetration of severe thunderstorms from north of Interstate 595 along Highway 27 from west-central Broward County, Florida then eastward along Interstate 595 to near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The storms were part of a squall line / line-segment of severe thunderstorms. Torrential rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, very small hail, and winds gusting over 60-MPH winds were observed with these storms. Minor flooding, power outages, and tree damage was encountered with the storms. A pre-frontal trough, strong upper-level dynamics, and a low-pressure system were responsible for the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 11 AM EDT.

5). Apr 13, 3:00 AM - Penetration of a strong to possibly severe thunderstorm near Lauderhill, Florida near the Florida Turnpike and Oakland Park Blvd. The storm was a possible small supercell storm embedded in a cluster of strong thunderstorms. Miami WSR-88D Doppler radar showed a TVS with this storm. Extremely heavy rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, and winds gusting over 35-MPH winds were observed with this storm. The possible tornado was not discernable. Street flooding was encountered with the storm, caused by a pre-frontal trough, strong upper-level dynamics, and a low-pressure system. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms.

------ See Separate Section For Storm Chasing In Midwestern US From May 13 to June 1, 2004 (Click HERE) ------

6). June 22, 3:30 PM - Penetration of a strong to possibly severe thunderstorm near Highway 27 and the Florida Turnpike in Miami-Dade county, Florida. The storm was part of a multi-cell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. Extremely heavy rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, small hail, and winds gusting over 50-MPH winds were observed with this storm. Street flooding, tree damage, and power knocked out were noted with the storm. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storms.

7). July 14, 5:30 PM - Indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Miramar / Northwest Miami-Dade county, Florida near the Homestead extension of the Florida Turnpike. The storm was part of a multi-cell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. Extremely heavy rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, hail up to ½ inch, and winds gusting over 45-MPH winds were observed with this storm. Street flooding was also noted with the storm. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

8). July 15, 5:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in western sections of Pembroke Pines, Florida near Highway 27 and Griffith road. The storm was part of a multi-cell cluster of severe thunderstorms. Extremely heavy rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, hail up to 1 inch (quarter sized), and winds gusting near 65-MPH were observed with the core of this storm. A large rain-free base and wall cloud was also noted on the SW side of the severe thunderstorm cell. Tree damage, power outages, and street flooding were also noted with the storm. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, pre-existing boundaries, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. Documentation was still photos. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. The storm was also reported to NWS Miami via HAM radio (Skywarn net).

9). July 16, 2:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm east of Flamingo Road along Miramar Parkway in Miramar, Florida. The storm was part of a multi-cell cluster of severe thunderstorms with embedded areas of rotation (mini-supercells). Extremely heavy rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, hail up to ½ inch, and winds gusting over 70-MPH were observed with the core of this storm’s northern side. A wall cloud was also noted on the NW side of the developing severe thunderstorm cell and the storm was tornado warned (via NWS radar). Tree damage, power outages, and street flooding were also noted with the storm. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, interacting boundaries, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. The storm was also reported to NWS Miami via HAM radio (Skywarn net).

10). July 19, 11:30 AM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm along Interstate 595 east of University Drive in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The multi-cell storm contained very heavy rains, frequent lightning, and winds gusting over 40-MPH. Street flooding was also noted with the storm. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

11). July 21, 4:30 PM - Penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorms from near Miramar southeastwards to Northeastern Miami-Dade county, Florida. The multi-cell storm was a line-segment of strong and severe thunderstorms. The storms contained very heavy rains, frequent lightning, and winds gusting over 50-MPH. Street flooding was also noted with the storm. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, interacting boundaries, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. An outflow boundary developed in the rural areas to the northwest of Miami and Fort Lauderdale and pushed southeast forming the line of strong and severe thunderstorms. Documentation was a camcorder. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

12). Aug 12, 9:00 AM - Observation of the effects of tropical storm Bonnie off Panama City Beach and Apalachicola, Florida near Highway 98 and Interstate 10. The tropical storm was very disorganized with winds of only 45 MPH, while passing this broad and diffuse center along Highway 10 near Tallahassee a pressure of 1002 MB was measured (reported pressure was 1003 MB). Moderate to heavy rains and 25 MPH winds were observed during the indirect intercept of Bonnie. The storm came ashore in the Florida "big bend" area and weakened. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. Total chase trip mileage was 1,057 miles.

13. Aug 12, 2:00 PM - Observation of a pre-tornadic (possibly supercell) thunderstorm northwest of Gainesville, Florida along Interstate 75. This was the start of the tornado-producing thunderstorms that were to pass through Jacksonville later and produce a large tornado. The thunderstorm had very heavy rains and winds to 35-MPH. Documentation of this storm was digital stills. The storms were observed while headed south in a 2004 Ford Focus. The storms were caused by the forward-right quadrant of tropical storm Bonnie and increased wind shear. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 9 PM EDT.

14. Aug 12, 8:00 PM - Observation of a small but low-precipitation supercell appearing thunderstorm east of Arcadia, Florida along highway 70. The small strong thunderstorm had a mini-vault and striated / tilted appearance. The storm core was not penetrated. Increasing wind shear and surface heating cause the storm ahead of hurricane Charley. Documentation was digital stills. The storms were observed while headed west in a 2004 Ford Focus. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 9 PM EDT.

15. Aug 13, 1:00 PM - Observation of a funnel cloud / possible tornado southeast of Venice, Florida while headed south on highway 41. The parent thunderstorm was a small HP supercell developing in a feeder band in the right-front quadrant of approaching major hurricane Charley. The funnel lasted only a few minutes as it was passed to the west by a 2004 Ford Focus. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 2 PM EDT.

16. Aug 14, ALL-DAY - Direct penetration, interception, and observation of extremely dangerous and powerful category-4 hurricane Charley in Punta Gorda, Florida just off highway 41 and north of Olympia Blvd. For safety, the worst conditions were observed from the most sturdy structure available, the Charlotte county courthouse. This hurricane developed from a tropical wave that originally came off Africa and became a hurricane south of Cuba. The hurricane turned north then north-northeast and intensified to category-4 with sustained 145 MPH winds at time of landfall. The hurricane came ashore NW of Fort Meyers near Sanibel Island and its small eye, about 5 miles across, moved over Punta Gorda. Conditions observed were violent, sideways rains with winds gusting well over 150 MPH from the southeast, followed by a decrease to 50-60 MPH and brightness with blue sky in a small "chimney" overhead, only to be replaced with 135-MPH sustained winds from the northwest. The storm was moving NNE at 18 MPH so the conditions were relatively short-lived. Maximum measured winds were 174-MPH gusts at Punta Gorda hospital BEFORE the anemometer failed. Weather equipment of our own measured 943 MB (941 was the official hurricane center’s pressure)! Of course, damage was extensive, ranging from trees down, to catastrophic structural failure of buildings. The storm was spend in an enclave breezeway at the Charlotte county courthouse / criminal justice building with Jeff Gammons, Jason Foster (both former "Weathervine" chase team members), and Doug Kiesling (BNVN). The main chase vehicles for our group were a 1999 Chevy S-10 Pickup, 2004 Jeep Cherokee, and a 2004 Ford Focus with weather instrumentation mounted on its roof. Documentation was still photos, digital photos, and a camcorder. This was the worst hurricane to slam into southwest Florida in over 50 years. Total mileage was 522 miles.

17). Aug 23, 12:30 PM - Direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm east of Palm Avenue along Miramar Parkway in Miramar, Florida. The storm was a pulse type severe multi-cell storm cluster. Extremely heavy rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, pea sized, and winds gusting near 65-MPH were observed with the core of this storm. Large trees down, tree damage, power outages, and street flooding were also noted with the storm. One close hit of lightning blew out power and sent a shower of sparks across Miramar parkway. Surface heating, interacting boundaries, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. The storm was reported to NWS Miami via HAM radio (Skywarn net).

18). Sept 3-5, ALL - Penetration, observation, and documentation of large strong category-two hurricane Frances in Saint Lucie County, Florida from near Highway 70 and Interstate 95 eastward to the coastal areas and barrier islands. This hurricane began as an African tropical wave and developed over the tropical Atlantic Ocean. The storm intensified to a category four hurricane with 145-MPH winds and weakened over the Bahamas to category two (105-MPH) before hitting Fort Pierce and Saint Lucie, Florida with winds between 105 and 110 MPH. This storm was moving very slowly, less than 5-MPH to the WNW at time of landfall, so a long period of winds, rain, and storm surge was observed with this hurricane. The storm caused extensive damage to any coastal structures, such as marinas, docks, and boats. An example of this was Chucks Seafood restaurant, along the Fort Pierce causeway, which was mostly destroyed by the wind and storm surge. A mobile home park also was observed being destroyed. Storm tides ran about 5 to 8 feet above normal. The highest winds were clocked by equipment at over 110-MPH at about 12 AM in Fort Pierce and a pressure of 960 MB was measured inside the calm eye of the storm at 2:20 AM on September 5 near Port Saint Lucie with moonlight peeking through breaks in the clouds. Storm surge flooding actually made water flow UPHILL! Other damage observed was numerous signs and trees down, structural damage to some buildings, severe flooding, and power knocked out over a very wide area. The main chase vehicles for our immediate group were a 1999 Chevy S-10 Pickup, 2004 Jeep Cherokee, and a 2004 Ford Focus with weather instrumentation mounted on its roof. Documentation was still photos, digital photos, and a camcorder. A German documentary group also accompanied us on this chase along with some fellow chasers from the US Great Plains. Total mileage was 285 miles.

19). Sept 14-16, ALL - Penetration, observation, and documentation of strong category-Three hurricane Ivan in the Escambia County, Florida area from west of Pensacola through Mobile, Alabama from Interstate 10 through Highway 98 near the coast. This hurricane began as an African tropical wave and developed over the Caribbean sea affecting many places from Venezuela to Jamaica and Cuba before hitting the US. The storm intensified to a rare category five hurricane with 165-MPH winds and weakened over the Gulf Of Mexico slightly to category three to near category four (130-MPH) as it came ashore between Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama. Destructive winds, violent rain, and extreme storm surge was observed with this hurricane. The storm demolished almost every structure along the immediate coast, especially to the right of the eye. Structures inland suffered major or even catastrophic damage, especially in Pensacola. Storm tides ran about 10 to 15 feet above normal, and caused major damage to the Interstate 10 causeway crossing Escambia Bay. The highest winds were observed by myself at the Thomas Hospital in Fairhope, Alabama that exceeded 130-MPH with the eyewall passage, followed by a 1-hour calm period of the eye, then winds from the opposite at over 100-MPH. A pressure of 943 MB was measured inside the calm eye of the storm at 2:45 AM on September 16 in Fairhope with seagulls and brief glimpses of starlight visible in the eye! Other damage observed was numerous signs and trees down, major structural damage to many buildings, severe inland and coastal flooding, and power knocked out over a very wide area. The main chase vehicles for our immediate group were a 2004 Jeep Cherokee, and a 2004 Ford Focus with weather instrumentation mounted on its roof. Documentation was still photos, digital photos, and a camcorder. Total mileage was 1,766 miles.

20). Sept 25-26, ALL - Penetration, observation, and documentation of category-Three hurricane Jeanne in Fort Pierce, Florida east of Highway US 1 to the barrier islands.. This hurricane began as an African tropical wave and developed over the Caribbean sea after causing numerous deaths in Haiti. The storm then meandered east of the Bahamas before intensifying and making landfall in East-Central Florida. Destructive winds, violent rain, and extreme storm surge was observed with this hurricane. The storm caused extensive structural damage in Fort pierce, especially near the coast. Storm tides ran at least 10 feet above normal, unfortunately affecting the same area as Frances did three weeks prior. The highest winds were observed in a Fort Pierce parking garage exceeding 120-MPH with the eyewall passage, followed by a 1-hour period of 25 MPH winds in the northern eye, then winds from the opposite at over 110-MPH. A pressure of 954 MB was measured inside the eye of the storm at 12:45 AM on September 26 in Fort Pierce with brief glimpses of moonlight visible in the eye! Other damage observed was numerous signs and trees down, major structural damage to many buildings, severe inland and coastal flooding, and power knocked out over a very wide area. The main chase vehicles for our immediate group were a 2004 Chevy Blazer, 1999 Chevy S-10 Pickup, 1999 Toyota Camry, and a 2004 Ford Focus with weather instrumentation mounted on its roof. Documentation was still photos, digital photos, and a camcorder. Total mileage was about 285 miles.

21). Oct 20, 5:30 PM - Indirect penetration of a severe and possibly tornadic thunderstorm east of University Drive near Sunrise, Florida. The storm was a small HP supercell type thunderstorm that developed along the east-coast sea breeze boundary as well as other outflow boundaries. The storm began over extreme southern Palm Beach County and developed southward basically along the Florida Turnpike through Broward County as far as Miami-Dade County. The most intense episode of this storm occurred in eastern Broward County, where strong winds and hail was reported. This storm was intercepted from its southwestern fringes, with an awesome view of its gust front (shelf cloud), updraft base with wall cloud(s) and brief funnels, even inflow banding into the storm at mid-levels from the south. Winds to near 50-MPH with heavy rains and frequent lightning with some close hits was also observed. Rotation was noted with the wall cloud. No tornado touchdown was confirmed as the storm was NWS Doppler-radar indicated to be tornadic. This storm did had large hail, but chasing the hail core would have been difficult due to rush-hour traffic. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, interacting boundaries, and sea breeze activity caused the storm. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

This concludes the 2004 chase season. The summary includes a total of 21 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 10 severe thunderstorms were involved, 5 strong thunderstorms, one tornado / funnel cloud, and most impressively, 5 tropical cyclones … Weak tropical storm "Bonnie", violent category-4 (barely under category-5) hurricane "Charley", category-2 hurricane "Frances", strong category-3 "Ivan", and category-3 hurricane "Jeanne"! There were no coastal observations (outside of tropical cyclone intercepting) done this year. A 2001 Ford Escape SUV was used in the first 6 observations then a 2004 Ford Focus Station Wagon in the remaining 14 observations (including all tropical cyclones). This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2005 SEASON

1). Mar 14, 12:30 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Lakeland, Florida near Highway 98 in Polk County. The storm was part of a cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. Heavy rains and winds gusting over 45-MPH winds were observed with this storm. The storm caused wind damage west of the observed area. The storm was caused by a pre-frontal trough and strong upper-level dynamics. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

2). Mar 22, 7:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Saint Augustine, Florida near Interstate 95 in Flagler County. The storm was an HP supercell thunderstorm that developed along the coast and moved offshore. Frequent lightning, 30 MPH winds, and very heavy rain was observed with this storm. The storm core was not penetrated, which had 60-MPH winds and hail to golfball-sized. Slight banding and an inflow tail was also noted with this storm. The storm was caused by a low-pressure trough and strong upper-level dynamics. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 9 PM EST.

3). Apr 7, 6:30 PM - Penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm along Interstate 75 south of Bellview, in Sumpter County Florida. The storm was part of a line of strong and severe thunderstorms. Heavy rains, lightning, and winds gusting over 50-MPH winds were observed with this storm. The storm was caused by a pre-frontal trough and strong upper-level dynamics. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for the area until 7 PM EST.

4). May 3, 5:30 PM - Direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm in Lake Wales (Polk County), Florida south of Highway 60 along Highway 27. The storm was a left-split HP supercell thunderstorm which actually had some anticyclonic rotation with it. A large wall cloud with small funnels was noted on its northwestern side southwest of Lake Wales. Upon penetrating the core of the storm, frequent lightning with close hits, extremely torrential rains, hail up to 1 ¼ inches (slightly larger than a quarter), and winds gusting to at least 65-MPH briefly. The large hail was mixed with a copious amount of ¾ inch marble-sized hail stones that actually left a small accumulation before melting. Damage caused by the storm was some signs and trees down, power out in some areas, and street flooding. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital still photos. Cold air and strong winds aloft, a stalled frontal boundary, initiated by surface heating and sea-breeze activity caused the storms.

5). May 3, 7:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a strong thunderstorm about 15 miles west of Highway 27 along Highway 64 near Sebring (near Highlands county), Florida. The storm was a former severe thunderstorm and exhibited some HP supercell characteristics. Frequent lightning with many close hits, 35-MPH winds, small hail, and very heavy rains were encountered with this storm. Cold air and strong winds aloft, a stalled frontal boundary, initiated by surface heating and sea-breeze activity caused the storms. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

------ See Separate Section For Storm Chasing (Trip #1) In Midwestern US From May 13 to June 1, 2005 (Click HERE) ------

6). June 7, 6:00 PM - Indirect penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Sheppard Road and Highway 37 in Lakeland, (Polk county), Florida. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. Frequent lightning with close hits, 45-MPH winds, and very heavy rains were encountered with this storm. A weak low-pressure trough, surface heating and sea-breeze activity caused the storms. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

------ See Separate Section For Storm Chasing (Trip #2) In Midwestern US From June 9 to June 13, 2005 (Click HERE) ------

7). July 10, ALL-DAY - Interception, observation, and penetration of a major category-three hurricane in the Pensacola area of the Florida Panhandle. Hurricane Dennis, an early but intense hurricane of the 2005 hurricane season in the Atlantic, struck the Pensacola area after a long track across the Caribbean and devastating Cuba. Hurricane Dennis reached a peak intensity with at least 150-MPH winds and a central pressure of 930 mb … VERY unusual for early July! The storm was observed from a downtown parking garage in Pensacola, Florida near the UBS financial building and just west of the beach causeway (highway 98). The storm contracted and weakened to 115 (or possibly as high as 120) MPH at landfall near Pensacola Beach on Santa Rosa Island (including Nevarre and Pensacola Beach). The inner edge of the western eyewall was experienced at our location and wind gusts to 115-MPH, or more were observed for a short time with lowest pressure measured at 965 mb (storm was 950 mb at landfall). Rainfall was "whiteout" conditions (sideways, violent rain) in the eyewall. We did NOT go through the eye of the storm, as small as it was (eye was extremely small at landfall). A 5-8 foot storm surge in the bay was also noted and caused heavy flooding in the downtown area. There was also a lot of tree and sign damage, many power lines down, some roofs torn off structures, and some vehicles moved or flipped over. The hurricane was chased by myself along with Jeff Gammons and Jim Edds (with his own vehicle). The main chase vehicle was a 2004 Ford Focus with a portable weather station mounted on its roof. Documentation was two camcorders (one for HD video, the other mounted on the side of a building shooting DV video), digital still photos, data (barograph plot), and audio. A hurricane warning, flash-flood warning, and tornado watch were also in effect for the area involved in this hurricane.

8). July 12, 6:00 PM - Penetration and observation of a strong thunderstorm near Highway 37 and Interstate 4 in Lakeland, (Polk county), Florida. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of strong thunderstorms. Frequent lightning with numerous close hits, 50-MPH winds, and torrential rains were encountered with this storm. The storm caused flooding and power outages. Surface heating and sea-breeze activity caused the storms. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos.

9). Aug 25, EVENING - Interception, observation, and penetration of category-one hurricane in Broward and Miami-Dade counties in South Florida. The storm started as a tropical depression that developed from a tropical wave east of the Bahamas. The depression strengthened into tropical storm "Katrina" which very slowly moved towards the east coast of south Florida. The storm slowly turned left as it turned into a hurricane with 80-MPH sustained winds. The storm made landfall on the Miami-Dade and Broward county border south of Port Everglades, and continued southwest across the state into the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Katrina was first observed on its right quadrant in Deerfield Beach where high surf, blowing sand, tree damage, and winds gusting over 70-MPH were encountered. While traveling south along A1A, winds increased to gusts over 80-MPH in violent sideways rains in Pompano Beach. The chase track then passed through Fort Lauderdale, west on I-595, then south on I-75 where the eye was entered. In Miami-Dade county, the eye provided 20 minutes of near-calm winds and a pressure of 984-mb measured. The second half of hurricane Katrina was encountered near I-95 in NE Miami-Dade county, and winds gusting near 75-MPH with horizontal rains and tree damage returned. Frequent lightning was also observed in the eyewall of this hurricane. The chase vehicle was a 2004 Ford Focus with a portable weather station mounted on its roof. Documentation was an HD camcorder, digital still photos, data (barograph plot), and audio. A hurricane warning, flash-flood warning, and tornado watch were also in effect for the area involved in this hurricane. The following day, 8-26, myself and chaser Jim Edds were VIP passengers aboard the NOAA Gulfstream IV research jet for a Hurricane Hunters flight!

10). Aug 29, ALL-DAY - Interception, observation, and penetration of an extremely catastrophic category-four (or even five) hurricane between Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi along Highway 90 in Harrison County. Hurricane Katrina gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico and became one of the most intense hurricanes ever at 175-MPH sustained winds with a central pressure of 902-mb on 8-28. On August 29, the storm made landfall just west of Gulfport, Mississippi at about 9 AM local time. Our location was on the right side of the eye under the most intense portion of the eastern eyewall. Winds at our location were sustained at least 130-MPH with gusts to 150-MPH, or higher. The storm surge was even more devastating and was 30 feet in height, or more, near and around Gulfport and Biloxi. This was the highest storm surge ever recorded in the United States! Our place of observation was the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, offering at least 2 stories and reinforced concrete for protection. The eyewall winds were extremely loud and accompanied by driving, violent, sideways rain. The winds made a roar and whistling sound similar to a jet aircraft. Extensive damage occurred on the first floor due to the storm surge. The wind damage was also severe to other structures in the area. Unfortunately, many people were killed in an apartment complex close to the coliseum. About 50 local refugees sought shelter at the coliseum and survived, while their friends and relatives did not. Any vehicles on the level of the first floor were lost due to flooding. Boats and casino barges were also ran inland by the surge. Parts of Highway 90 and neighboring coastal communities simply DISAPPEARED during hurricane Katrina. I was forced to move the chase vehicle, a 2004 Ford Focus Station Wagon, up a flight of stairs during the highpoint of the winds and highest storm surge. The edge of the large eye passed to the west, and a lowest pressure of 950-mb was measured at that time (at landfall, the center of the storm was 915-mb). After the winds subsided the surge quickly receded and we made the task of a long and arduous retreat to Interstate 10 to leave the area to the east. Documentation was an HD camcorder, digital still photos, data (barograph plot), and audio. A hurricane warning, flash-flood warning, and tornado watch were also in effect for the area involved in this hurricane. The storm caused EXTREME damage and flooding in New Orleans, about 60 miles to the west of our location as levees breached from the storm surge. Thousands of people were killed and damages were at least 200 BILLION dollars! This hurricane chase was also accompanied by Jim Edds and Jeff Gammons. This left a sad feeling for a while on all chasers in our group. Hurricane Katrina was the worst natural disaster in the western hemisphere in recorded history. Many people were killed in this storm and damage was un imaginable. May God bless and be with them all.

11). Sept 20, ALL-DAY - Interception, observation, and penetration of category-two hurricane in the lower Florida keys, particularly Key West. The storm started as a tropical depression that quickly developed from a tropical wave in the Central Bahamas. The depression strengthened into tropical storm "Rita" which then moved towards the Florida Straits. Rita remained a tropical storm for some time then organized enough to become a hurricane on the morning of 9-20. The storm threatened all of extreme south Florida but finally passed just barely south of Key West as it began a rapid intensification phase. During its brush with Key West, the central pressure was 975-mb with 100-MPH sustained winds. The northern eyewall passed over Key West, and we set up near the windward facing south and east sides of the island. Maximum observed winds were gusting near 80-MPH with a lowest pressure of 994-mb. Rain at times was horizontal and extremely heavy, and storm surge came over the seawall and roadway at 4 to 7 feet above normal. Rita was to continue into the Gulf of Mexico and become a 175-MPH category-five storm at a record-breaking 897-mb two days later! After that, the storm weakened to 120-MPH and struck Texas on 9-24. Damage observed in Key West were downed trees and signs, and severe flooding from the storm surge. The chase vehicle was a 2004 Ford Focus with a portable weather station mounted on its roof. Documentation was an HD camcorder, digital still photos, and audio. A hurricane warning, flash-flood warning, and tornado watch were also in effect for the area involved in this hurricane.

12). Oct 24, MORNING - Interception, observation, and penetration of category-three hurricane across south Florida from near Everglades City, Southeast of Naples across the Everglades, into Broward and Palm Beach counties where the storm weakened to a category-two hurricane. The storm began in the western Caribbean sea as tropical storm "Wilma" which intensified explosively to the strongest category-five hurricane ever observed in the Atlantic basin, with a pressure of 882 MB and winds sustained at least 175-MPH! The storm then struck the Yucatan of Mexico at category-four during its recurverature to the north, then northeast. Once exiting Mexico, Wilma continued northeast and re-intensified from a category-two storm to category-three with 125-MPH sustained winds and a pressure of 950 MB as it made landfall on the 24th near Cape Romano, FL and crossed the state into the late morning that same day. Wilma weakened only slightly crossing Florida but re-intensified again as it re-emerged into the Atlantic off Palm Beach. It continued into the north Atlantic before becoming extratropical. The intercept of hurricane Wilma began near the Port of the Islands resort in SW Collier County near Everglades City. Here the fir4st eyewall of the storm was encountered with winds gusting to 120-MPH. Many trees were downed and damage to some structures as well as the roof of the resort was observed. The eye of hurricane Wilma was observed near sunrise with light and variable winds and blue sky overhead. The eye was followed into the everglades neat highway 29 north of Tamiami trail until road options became a problem. The "stadium effect", commonly observed by hurricane hunter aircraft, was observed during sunrise inside hurricane Wilma’s 65 mile wide eye! Pressure was measured at 950 to 952 MB in the eye. A downed powerline did damage to the mobile weather station. The second eyewall was encountered on poor roads in central Collier county, and progress was made in 100-MPH+ winds to Highway 29, then Interstate 595 to head east. West winds gusting near 120-MPH were observed with extremely heavy rains. The chase continued east into western Broward County and north (with 110-MPH eyewall winds nearly overturning the vehicle) into Palm Beach County. Many highways, including Florida’s Turnpike, were impassible with downed trees, roof damage, powerlines, power poles, and signs. The chase ended in Boynton Beach, FL on the SW edge of the storm eye where the 110-MPH winds of the second eyewall once again caught up and blew a board into the chase vehicle breaking the passenger side mirror off. A lot of damage observed in Palm Beach and Broward Counties such as many downed trees, power poles, signs, powerlines, even some roofs torn off buildings and homes. Some overturned vehicles and trailers were also observed. Severe street flooding was noted in some areas. Many trees that were not destroyed suffered severe defoliation. Of course, power was out in some areas until the middle of the next month. About 20 billion dollars in damage and at least 60 deaths were caused by hurricane Wilma. The chase vehicle was a 2004 Ford Focus with a portable weather station mounted on its roof. Documentation was an HD camcorder, digital still photos, and audio. A hurricane warning, flash-flood warning, and tornado watch were also in effect for the area involved in this hurricane.

This concludes the 2005 chase season. The summary includes a total of 12 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 4 severe thunderstorms were involved as well as 3 strong thunderstorms. Despite no tornado observations and a lighter-than-normal thunderstorm season, 5 impressive tropical cyclone intercepts were done. The tropical intercepts started with hurricane Dennis at category-3, two chases for hurricane Katrina (the first when at category-1, the second at Category-3, nearly 4), one chase for category-2 hurricane Rita, then finally, hurricane Wilma at category-3! There were no coastal observations (outside of tropical cyclone intercepting) done this year. A 2004 Ford Focus Station Wagon was used in all 12 observations (including all tropical cyclones). This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2006 SEASON

1). Jan 13, 11:30 PM - Observation of strong thunderstorms near Dunnellon along Highway 41 in Marion County, Florida. The storm was a multicell line of strong thunderstorms that contained wind gusts to 45-MPH, heavy rains, and occasional lightning. A pre-frontal squall line was moving through the area but weakened during the later evening. The storms were caused by a cold front / low pressure trough and an upper-air disturbance. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was an HD camcorder. A tornado watch was also valid for part of the affected area until 12 AM EST.

2). Feb 4, 3:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of strong to severe thunderstorms in Broward County, Florida near Interstate 75 and Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines. The storm was a portion of a multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms associated with a prefrontal trough. One stronger storm cell in this line contained weak rotation, with an RFD clear slot, wall cloud, and small funnel clouds. Most storms were outflow dominant, with 40-MPH winds observed and heavy rains. The storms were caused by a cold front, surface heating, pre-frontal low pressure trough, and an upper-air disturbance. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos.

3). April 8, 6:30 PM - Interception and indirect penetration of a severe, and possibly tornadic thunderstorm near the Florida / Georgia border near Highway 47 / 441 southwest of Fargo, Georgia and near Columbia County, Florida. The storm was in a portion of a multicell line of severe thunderstorms and had HP supercell characteristics. A strongly rotating front flank mesocyclone was observed with this storm, with rapidly rotating low clouds and small funnels. This was possibly a weak tornado, but touchdown was not confirmed. Rear-flank winds near 60 MPH and very heavy rains, lightning, and small hail was also observed with this storm. The storms were caused by surface heating, a low pressure trough, and strong wind shear (jet stream) associated with an upper-air disturbance / upper trough. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storm. Documentation was an HD camcorder and still photos. A tornado watch was also valid for part of the affected area until 9 PM EDT.

4). April 8, 7:30 PM - Interception and penetration of another severe thunderstorm in Columbia County, Florida near Highway 441. The storm was in a portion of a multicell line of strong and severe thunderstorms. Torrential rains, small hail, frequent lightning, and winds near 60 MPH were encountered with this storm. The storms were caused by surface heating, a low pressure trough, and strong wind shear (jet stream) associated with an upper-air disturbance / upper trough. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storm. Documentation was an HD camcorder. A tornado watch was also valid for part of the affected area until 9 PM EDT.

5). May 15, 4:30 PM - Observation, interception, and penetration of a very severe thunderstorm near Fort Lauderdale Airport along Highway US 1 and near Interstates 595 and 95 in eastern Broward County, Florida. The storm was an HP supercell thunderstorm with a broad, but well-developed mesocyclone. An RFD clear slot was also noted as the storm crossed over Fort Lauderdale Airport. Tagging rain curtains was observed with this storm (but no tornado developed). The storm caused hail up to 1" in diameter, 65-MPH winds, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with some close hits. An area of small hail covering the side of the roadway was noted near Interstate 95. The storm knocked out power in some areas, and caused some street flooding and tree damage. The storm was caused by a low pressure trough, surface heating, and sea-breeze / outflow boundary interactions. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital still photos.

------ See Separate Section For Storm Chasing In Midwestern US From May 15 to 31, 2006 (Click HERE) ------

6). June 13, ALL-DAY - Interception, observation, and penetration of strong tropical storm "Alberto" in and near Taylor County in the "big-bend" area of Florida. This tropical system showed some signs of trying to become a hurricane during the night of June 12 to June 13 but managed to be a 65-70 MPH tropical storm as it was fighting wind shear above the system from a shortwave trough. The storm came ashore mid-day on June 13 in central Taylor County in the Big-Bend area of Florida's gulf coast as a 65-MPH tropical storm and a lowest central pressure of 995 MB (996 was measured by my equipment in the storm center). The chase was along the Gulf coastal stretch from Horseshoe Beach through Steinhatchee and about 10 miles northward along Beach Road / Highway 361. The calm center of the storm, although broad and diffuse, was experienced during this interception, along with damage south of where the center made landfall, which was mainly caused by storm surge flooding and 50-MPH+ onshore winds. This was a solo chase involving only myself, but did meet and speak to Doug Keisling, also chasing the storm from Minnesota. The chase trip logged about 1008 total miles. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storm. Documentation was an HD camcorder and still photos. A time-lapse of the vorticity center of Alberto was also done in the storm "eye".

------ Observations After This Point May Be In The Central US Due To Job In St Louis, Missouri ------

7). July 13, 6:00 PM - Interception and penetration of a strong thunderstorm north of Interstate 70 near Warrenton, Missouri in Warren County. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. Conditions encountered with this storm were 45-MPH winds, torrential rains, frequent lightning, and small hail. The storms were caused by a low pressure trough, surface heating, and an upper trough. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storm. Documentation was an HD camcorder. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 12 AM CDT.

8). July 16, 7:00 PM - Interception, observation, and indirect penetration of a very severe supercell thunderstorm along Highway 21 in Reynolds County, Missouri. This was a difficult chase in the foothills of the eastern Ozark Mountains. The storm was a classic supercell storm with weak rotation developing in a northwest flow aloft type setup. The storm’s worst core was not penetrated, which contained hail to at least golfball sized with winds to 75-MPH. The worst conditions encountered while grazing the eastern side of the supercell core were 50-MPH winds, torrential rains, frequent lightning, and hail up to 1". Tree damage was also noted with the path of this storm. This long-lived storm actually back-built to southwest and eventually produced baseball sized hail (not intercepted) in Texas County, Missouri. A large wall cloud was also noted on it’s rear flank (updraft was on NW side of storm). A low-pressure trough, surface heating, boundary interactions, and an upper trough caused the storms. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storm. Documentation was an HD camcorder and digital still photos. A rather small severe thunderstorm watch (issued solely for this supercell storm) was also valid for the area until 10:23 PM CDT.

9). July 19, 6:00 PM - Interception and direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm from along Interstate 55 and 6th street near Springfield in Sangamon county, Illinois then southward just west of Interstate 55 and east of Highway 4 in rural areas until around White City in Macoupin County, Illinois. This storm was a violent multicell cluster of severe thunderstorms. The MCS developed moving eastward through southern Minnesota earlier in the day, then turned southeast, then south into Illinois, and eventually southwest into Missouri. This was the same cluster of storms that eventually caused extensive wind damage in Saint Louis, Missouri this same day. Conditions encountered with this storm included hail up to 1", winds well over 70-MPH, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with close hits. Damage to trees, powerlines, and signs were observed. Power was out in many affected areas. A break developed at the southern end of this storm cluster near Macoupin County and Interstate 55 and the northern portion of the cluster weakened thereafter. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, boundary interactions, and an upper trough caused the storms. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital still photos. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 9 PM CDT.

10). July 19, 8:00 PM - Interception and direct penetration of another very severe thunderstorm from near Edwardsville in Madison County, Illinois then southward along Interstates 255 and Highway 15 from East Saint Louis to Belleville, Illinois. The storm developed from a southern split in the previous cluster of severe storms farther north. The southern storm began as an HP supercell thunderstorms near Edwardsville. This supercell has a very suspicious lowering at one point in its inflow "notch" when viewed from the east (most likely a large wall cloud). The storm also had a striated "stacked plate" appearance to its low level mesocyclone. This storm quickly evolved into a bow segment multicell storm cluster and moved south and southwest. The western portions of this high-velocity bow segment devastated portions of the city of Saint Louis with winds near or exceeding 95-MPH. Conditions observed in Illinois were winds gusting over 80-MPH, torrential hurricane-like (sideways) rains, frequent lightning with close hits, and hail to ¾". Damage to trees, signs, and powerlines was extensive in some areas. Some tractor-trailer trucks were also overturned by the winds. Almost every area hit by the storms lost power. Some structural damage to buildings was also noted with the storms. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, boundary interactions, and an upper trough caused the storms. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 9 PM CDT.

11). July 20, 9:30 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm from a distance of 20-30 miles from near Highway 54 in Morgan County, Illinois. The storm was a single severe thunderstorm that developed late after a strong capping inversion weakened. The storm was not intercepted. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, and an upper trough caused the storms. Documentation was digital still photos and an HD camcorder. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storm. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

12). July 21, 11:00 AM - Interception and direct penetration of a very severe thunderstorm north of Interstate 70 and south of Highway 340 near Bridgeton in Saint Louis County, Missouri. This severe storm was another violent wind event just two days after a previous extreme damaging wind event. The storm moved in from Saint Charles County and rapidly eastwards over northern portions of Saint Louis. This storm contained winds over 80-MPH, hail up to 1", frequent lightning, and torrential rains as it was intercepted. Tree damage was heavy and many areas hit by the storm lost power. Signs and powerlines were also damaged. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, boundary interactions, and an upper trough caused the storms. A 2004 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 4 PM CDT.

13). July 22, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Interstate 95 in Broward County, Florida between Sample and Hillsboro Boulevards. The storm was a very strong thunderstorm in a multicell cluster of thunderstorms. Very heavy rains, winds gusting near 45-MPH, small hail, and frequent lightning were observed in this storm. Sea breeze activity, surface heating,, and an upper trough caused the storms. A 2006 Chevy Malibu rental was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 4 PM CDT.

14). Sept 16, 4:00 PM - Interception and observation of an extremely severe and tornadic supercell thunderstorm from near Interstate 90 and Highway 81 in McCook County, South Dakota (west of Sioux Falls) northeastward through Pipestone, Minnesota. The storm was a cyclic classic supercell thunderstorm and produced two (or even possible 3) tornadoes. The first tornado developed southwest of the intersection of Interstate 90 and Highway 81. The tornado began as a cone tornado, crossed over I-90 at the overpass of Highway 81 (the overpass took a direct hit with the core wind flow of this tornado), evolved into a large (1/4 mile wide) stove-pipe tornado, then roped-out about 1 mile north of I-90 near Montrose. The tornado was on the ground for about 20 minutes and came within 1/2 mile of our observation point. Debris was noted falling from the sky and a loud "roar" heard from the tornado during it's stove-pipe phase. The Rear Flank Downdraft also hit at the same time with heavy rain, small hail, and winds gusting to 70-MPH from the west. The storm produced a second tornado, near Highway 19 and county road G that lasted about 2 minutes and destroyed a house. The storm continued northeast towards Pipestone across the border into Minnesota. A third funnel (a thin rope half way to the ground) was noted and could have possibly been a 3rd tornado. This one lasted only about 30 seconds. The storm continued northeast of Pipestone, MN and weakened. Other conditions encountered with this storm were occasional lightning, small hail, heavy rains, and winds near 70-MPH. The main hail core (at least golfball sized) was not intercepted. Damage observed was an overturned truck on I-90, tree debris blown around, and major structural damage to a farm house near Chester, SD. Conditions causing the storms were a surface boundary / dry-line interaction, surface heating, and a low pressure system in a strongly sheared (directional shear) environment / very strong winds aloft. A 2006 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 10 PM CDT.

15). Sept 16, 6:30 PM - Observation and penetration of another severe thunderstorm near Flandreu, MN along Highway 34. This storm was a smaller HP supercell thunderstorm which did not produce a tornado but had a fairly large wall cloud, RFD clear area, and shelf cloud. The storm was penetrated and contained very heavy rains, 40-MPH winds, and small hail on its southern side. The storm weakened north of Pipestone, MN. Conditions causing the storms were surface boundaries, dry-line, surface heating, jet stream aloft, and a low pressure system. A 2006 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 10 PM CDT.

16). Sept 16, 7:30 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm northwest of Brookings, SD to the west of and along Interstate 29. This storm was formerly a tornado-producing supercell storm that evolved into a bow-echo / MCS structure upon our arrival to it. This storm had a linear, but spectacular appearance to it. A large shelf cloud and hail streaks were noted at about 10 miles from the storm. Part of this storm was penetrated and contained very heavy rains, 35-MPH winds, and small hail during its weakening phase. Conditions causing the storms were surface boundaries, dry-line, surface heating, jet stream aloft, and a low pressure system. A 2006 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for this area until 10 PM CDT.

17). Sept 22, 2:30 PM - Interception and observation of an extremely severe and tornadic supercell thunderstorm from north of Interstate 44 from Vichy, Missouri in Phelps County near Highway 63 then through Saint James along Highway 68. The storm was a classic supercell thunderstorm and produced a destructive tornado that struck the northern portions of Saint James, Missouri with severe damage (especially to a gas station) near I-44 and Highway 68. The tornado was noted as a field of airborne debris under a rapidly rotating cloud base on the SW side of the supercell. The tornado was on the ground for about 15 minutes and passed only 1/4 mile south of my observation point! The tornado was at least 1/4 of a mile wide (about 1,500 yards) causing high-end F1 damage. The storm was followed to the northeast along Interstate 44 through Cuba, Missouri. Trucks were overturned on Interstate 44. The supercell storm and its associated tornado continued east and northeast. Other conditions encountered with this storm were very strong winds (over 70-MPH), mainly with the rear-flank downdraft (RFD), small hail, frequent lightning, and torrential rains. The main hail core (up to baseball sized) was not intercepted. Damage observed was severe structural damage to at least one gas station, car wash, debris (building and tree) strewn across the side of Highway 68, power knocked out, and an overturned truck on I-44. Conditions causing the storms were a surface boundary (warm front) and diffuse dry-line interaction, surface heating, and a low pressure system in a strongly sheared (directional shear) environment, and very strong winds (jet stream) aloft. A 2006 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch (PDS for "Particularly Dangerous Situation") was also in effect for this area until 9 PM CDT.

18). Sept 22, 4:30 PM - Interception and penetration of another extremely severe and tornadic supercell thunderstorm in Jefferson County near Lonedell, Missouri along and near Highways 30 and 47. The storm was another classic supercell thunderstorm and produced a tornado which caused damage in the same county. The tornado was not directly observed but the core of the storm was penetrated where very strong winds (over 65-MPH), frequent lightning, torrential rains, and hail up to golfball sized were encountered. A large wall cloud was noticed on the southwest side of this storm, but no rotation was noted. A damage path, however, was encountered behind this storm, that was undoubtedly tornadic in nature. A ranch and house on it was heavily damaged in this path. Conditions causing the storms were surface boundaries, surface heating, and a low pressure system in a strongly sheared (directional shear) environment, and very strong winds (jet stream) aloft. A 2006 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch (PDS for "Particularly Dangerous Situation") was also in effect for this area until 9 PM CDT.

19). Sept 22, 5:30 PM - Interception and observation of another extremely severe and tornadic supercell thunderstorm in Saint Francios County near Knob Lick, Missouri east of Highway 67. The storm was another supercell thunderstorm that moved across and near Pilot Knob and Ironton, and affected extreme northern Madison County. This storm was not penetrated (although its core had at least golfball, or larger hail). The fast-moving storm was viewed from its western to southwestern side, where a large RFD slot and funnel (possibly a tornado) was observed. This is the SAME storm that continued to the east and produced a wedge tornado across the river near Carbondale, Illinois. Conditions causing the storms were surface boundaries, surface heating, and a low pressure system in a strongly sheared (directional shear) environment, and very strong winds (jet stream) aloft. A 2006 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch (PDS for "Particularly Dangerous Situation") was also in effect for this area until 9 PM CDT.

20). Sept 22, 7:30 PM - Interception and penetration of a very severe supercell thunderstorm near Hillsboro, Missouri near Highway 21. The storm was an HP type supercell thunderstorm. The storm had rotation in the mid levels and had the impressive "stacked plates" appearance to its rear-flank shelf cloud. When the storm became more outflow dominant, the core of the storm was penetrated. Strong winds gusting near 60-MPH, frequent lightning, torrential rains, and hail up to quarter-sized was encountered briefly in this storm. This storm did have a history of wind damage and power outages. Conditions causing the storms were surface boundaries, surface heating, and a low pressure system in a strongly sheared (directional shear) environment, and very strong winds (jet stream) aloft. A 2006 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch (PDS for "Particularly Dangerous Situation") was also in effect for this area until 9 PM CDT.

21). Sept 27, 5:30 PM - Interception and penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Bollinger County, Missouri and eastward through Saint Girardeau and to near Mclure, Illinois. The storm was initially encountered near the towns of Marble Hill and Whitewater along Highways 34 and SR A. The storm was a line segment with a very intense storm on its western end (upper winds were WNW, so this might have been a "tail end charley" storm). A small RFD notch was observed on the updraft base of the cell in this region, along with some small funnel clouds. The storm was supercellular briefly before evolving to a multicell cluster of severe thunderstorms. The storm's western fringe was penetrated, and penny sized hail was encountered with heavy rains and winds over 50-MPH. The storm moved quickly east into Illinois and weakened a bit before moving out of reach. Lightning also occurred with this storm, and some minor tree damage was observed. The storm was caused by surface heating, a low pressure trough, surface boundary / shear axis, and strong winds aloft (upper trough and jet stream). A 2006 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for this area until 12 AM CDT.

22). Sept 27, 7:30 PM - Interception and penetration of another severe thunderstorm in Scott County, Missouri from Morley to Sikeston near Highway 77. The storm was a cluster of thunderstorms containing within a possible HP supercell storm. The storm produced nearly continuous lightning with frequent and consistent CG (cloud to ground) strokes. When a portion of this storm cluster was penetrated, penny sized hail, 60-MPH (or more) winds, and torrential rains were also observed. The HP type storm embedded in this storm cluster also produced a wall cloud and possible small funnel underneath it, illuminated by the frequent lightning. An interesting swath of tree damage was also noted about 5 miles north of Sikeston after the storm moved to the east. Power was also knocked out in sections of Sikeston, MO. The storm was caused by surface heating, a low-pressure trough, surface boundary interactions, an approaching cold front, and strong winds aloft (upper level disturbance). A 2006 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also in effect for this area until 12 AM CDT.

------ Observations Before This Point May Be In The Central US Due To Job In St Louis, Missouri ------

23). Dec 25, 5:30 PM - Interception and observation of strong thunderstorms in Western palm beach County, FL near Belle Glade and eastward along Highway 80. The storms were part of a multicell squall-line of strong and severe thunderstorms. The squall line developed ahead of a strong cold front in a moist and sheared environment. The storms intercepted had a spectacular shelf cloud associated with its gust front and produced winds near 45 to 50-MPH with very heavy rains. The storms weakened before reaching the populated areas of Palm Beach County. The storms were caused by a pre-frontal squall line, moisture convergence, surface heating, and an upper-level disturbance. A 2003 Cadillac CTS was used to chase the storms. Documentation was HD video and still digital photos. A tornado watch was also valid for the area that expired at 5 PM EST.

This concludes the 2006 chase season. The summary includes a total of 31 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 18 severe thunderstorms were involved as well as 4 strong thunderstorms. Even more impressive, a total of 8 tornadoes / funnels were observed. A slower than normal hurricane season yielded only one tropical cyclone intercept, where a strong tropical storm was observed. In addition to the Florida chases, much time was spent chasing in the central United States (Midwest) where the extra-high amount of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms were observed this year. There were no coastal observations (outside of tropical cyclone intercepting) done this year. A 2004 Ford Focus Station Wagon was used in 6 chases, a 2006 Ford Focus in 16, and a 2003 Cadillac CTS in one observation. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2007 SEASON

1). Jan 24, 5:00 PM - Observation of a strong to possibly severe thunderstorm from Pembroke Pines through Davie in Broward County, Florida. This storm was a rather strange storm which developed along the point of two intersecting boundaries, a stationary front and sea breeze convergence line. The storm core was not severe, just heavy rains and 30-MPH winds, but it’s updraft region had a persistently rotating wall cloud which did spawn some small funnels. No touchdowns or damage was observed. The storm contained a low-level mesocyclone. The storms were caused by a low pressure trough, boundary interactions, and an upper-air disturbance. A 2005 Ford Focus (rental) was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos.

2). Feb 13, 5:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm in northern Okeechobee County, FL along Highway 441 about 10 miles north of Okeechobee. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. The storm cluster pushed rapidly east and offshore of the FL east coast. Small hail, lightning, very heavy rains, and 40-MPH winds were encountered. Two discrete cells south of the storm cluster later evolved into a large supercell storm off the FL east coast in Indian River coastal waters. These cells were not intercepted. The storms were caused by a low pressure trough, surface heating, boundary interactions, and an upper-air disturbance. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for this area until 7 PM EST.

------ Observations After This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US Due To Job In Dayton, Ohio ------

3). Mar 31, 3:30 PM - Penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Polk County, Iowa just north of Interstate 80 and near Altoona along State Road 945. The storm was part of a multi-cell cluster of severe thunderstorms and contained lightning, torrential rains, winds near or exceeding 60-MPH, and hail up to nickel sized. The storms were caused by a low pressure trough, surface heating, boundary interactions, and a strong upper-level low pressure area. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also valid for this area until 7 PM EDT. Total mileage logged is 792.4 miles.

4). Mar 31, 6:00 PM - Observation of a small but severe thunderstorm in Dallas County, Iowa just east of Waukee, Iowa along Highway 6. The storm was a small LP type "mini" supercell storm in a highly-sheared environment. The storm produced occasional lightning, and reports of 3/4" hail came with this storm. The hail was not intercepted. The storm produced a lowering and small funnels during its mature stage. The storms were caused by a low-pressure trough, surface heating, boundary interactions, and a strong upper-level low-pressure area. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also valid for this area until 7 PM EDT.

5). Apr 3, 3:30 PM - Penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Shelby County, Indiana just north of Shelbyville along Highway 9. The storm was at the southern end of a multi-cell cluster / line segment of severe thunderstorms and contained lightning, torrential rains, winds near or exceeding 60-MPH, and small hail. This storm had a spectacular shelf cloud associated with its gust front. Some small funnels were noted on the storms forward flank. Wind damage occurred near this storm with power outages, tree damage, and parts of a small out building destroyed. This storm had some HP supercell characteristics but was outflow dominant. The storms were caused by a low-pressure trough, surface heating, approaching strong cold front, and a strong upper-level low-pressure area. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for this area until 10 PM EDT.

6). Apr 3, 6:00 PM - Penetration of a very severe thunderstorm in Clark County, Indiana along Interstate 65 and north of Clarksville. The storm was at the southern end of a second multi-cell cluster / line segment of severe thunderstorms farther south than the other segment earlier east of Indianapolis. This storm contained frequent lightning with some close hits, extremely torrential rains, winds gusting over 65-MPH, and nickel-sized (3/4") hail. The main hail core of this storm had hail to 1 3/4" but was not intercepted. This storm had a weak rotating region and prompted a tornado warning for the county to the northeast as well. Power outages and tree damage was also noted with this storm. The storm also caused traffic accidents. This storm had some HP supercell characteristics but quickly became under-cut and outflow dominant. A low-pressure trough, surface heating, approaching strong cold front, and a strong upper-level low-pressure area caused the storms. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for this area until 10 PM EDT.

7). Apr 11, 7:00 PM - Penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Wayne County, Indiana along Interstate 70. The storm was a bow-echo type structure in a multi-cell line of strong and severe thunderstorms. Lightning, torrential rains, winds near or exceeding 60-MPH, and small hail were observed with this storm. This storm also produced an impressive shelf cloud associated with its gust front. The strong outflow winds of the storm also overturned a semi trailer headed westbound on Interstate 70 in Wayne County. The storms were caused by a low-pressure trough, approaching strong cold front and strong surface low, and a strong upper-level low-pressure area (differential PVA and very cold air aloft). A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for this area until 11 PM EDT.

8). Apr 14, 6:00 PM - Observation of a strong thunderstorm passing over northern Dayton, Ohio at the Stillwater Landings apartments in Montgomery County. The storm was being observed (literally at my front doorstep), not chased, and dropped pea to dime sized hail (up to ½"), which covered the ground in some cases. The storm had occasional lightning and thunder, with moderate rains. The storm was elevated in nature and had no strong winds associated with it. The storm was caused by very cold air aloft, and surface convergence on the backside (NW side) of a developing strong low-pressure system. Snow and rain also fell in the same area this hail even occurred, with surface temperatures in the 30’s. Documentation was HD video. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

9). Apr 26, 6:00 PM - Observation of a strong to severe thunderstorm in Union County, Indiana near Highway 27 and Route 44 and west of Liberty Indiana. The storm was a small HP supercell type of storm developing ahead of a squall line of strong and severe thunderstorms. As the line caught up with this short-lived supercell, it evolved into a bow segment and merged with the line of thunderstorms. Frequent lightning with some close hits, torrential rains, winds near 50-MPH, and small hail were observed with this storm. This storm also produced the "stacked-plates" appearance while in supercell mode. A small wall cloud / lowering was also noted at the time of RFD occlusion but did not last long. The storms were caused by a low-pressure trough, approaching surface low, and a strong upper-level low-pressure area (differential PVA / cold air aloft) to the west. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also valid for this area until 10 PM EDT.

10). May 1, 4:30 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm near Wood County, Ohio near Highway 6 30 miles southeast of Toledo and west of Fremont. This storm was a supercell storm, and an RFD (rear-flank downdraft) was noted on the updraft (southwestern side) of the storm. The core of this storm was not penetrated, but contained hail to nickel sized (3/4"). A small wall cloud / lowering was also noted just north of RFD clear-slot but did not last long. The storms were caused by a low-pressure trough, approaching surface low, surface boundary / warm front, surface heating, and an upper trough (NW flow and cold air aloft). A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for this area until 8 PM EDT.

11). May 1, 6:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe thunderstorm near Highway 162 along Old State Road N to the northeast of North Fairfield, Ohio. The storm was a small supercell-like storm on the western end of a cluster of strong and severe storms. When penetrating the storm, large hail (up to 1") was observed covering the ground, along with lightning, heavy rains, and winds over 50-MPH. Some tree damage was noted with this storm. The updraft side of this storm also had some interesting lowerings / funnels, but no tornadoes touched down. The storms were caused by a low-pressure trough, approaching surface low, surface boundary / warm front, surface heating, and an upper trough (NW flow and cold air aloft). A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for this area until 8 PM EDT.

12). May 1, 7:30 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm northeast of Ashland, Ohio in Ashland County from north of that area by about 10-15 miles. The storm was a mini supercell for some time before weakening. The core of this storm was not penetrated (but contained hail to 1"). The storm updraft contained weak rotation, giving the updraft a striated appearance (barber-pole). The storms were caused by a low-pressure trough, approaching surface low, surface boundary / warm front, surface heating, and an upper trough (NW flow and cold air aloft). A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for this area until 8 PM EDT.

13). May 1, 8:30 PM - Observation of another severe thunderstorm south of Ashland, Ohio in Ashland County near Interstate 71. The storm was highly outflow-dominant but had some HP supercell characteristics. The core of this storm passed with small hail, frequent lightning, torrential rains, and winds near 60-MPH. The largest impact of this storm that it produced large amounts of rain in a short period of time, and caused flash flooding. The storms were caused by a low-pressure trough, approaching surface low, surface boundary / warm front, surface heating, and an upper trough (NW flow and cold air aloft). A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for this area until 11 PM EDT.

14). May 6, 6:00 PM - Observation of a very severe thunderstorm in Broward County, Florida northwest of Coral Springs near the Sawgrass Expressway. The storm was a classic supercell storm, producing a large wall cloud and possible tornado (observed from a distance) in this area. The storm had a striking visual appearance, with vault, beaver’s tail, wall cloud, and striated appearance on its updraft. The storm also produced large hail and winds to 70-MPH. Since the core of this storm was not penetrated, 30-MPH winds, rain, and small hail was encountered. The tornado did not do any damage as it was west of the populated areas (over the Everglades). The storm weakened and a large MCS (cluster) of strong and severe storms then developed towards Miami-Dade County afterwards. A low-pressure trough, approaching upper low, sea-breeze activity, and surface heating caused the storms. A developing area of subtropical low pressure to the northeast also provided a strong NW flow aloft. A 2006 Toyota Corolla (Rental) was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and a camcorder. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for this area until 11 PM EDT.

15). May 15, 6:15 PM - Penetration of a very severe thunderstorm in eastern portions of Whitley County, Indiana on a rural farm road near Dunfee between Highways 30 and 14. This storm was a multicell squall line of severe thunderstorms. This storm had most of its destructive winds well ahead of its precipitation region and was a bow-segment in the line of thunderstorms. At least two major gustnadoes were observed crossing fields in Whitley County. One large gustnado was filled with debris (corn stalks and leaves) and another nearly reached cloud-level. Winds estimated from 70-75 MPH with airborne debris and dust was observed. The storm north of the bow-segment had weak rotation, and a small RFD-like clear slot was noted on its southern side (rotating "head" storm). Only light rain was encountered with this storm, and occasional lightning. The storm also had a history of producing wind damage. Many trees and power lines were observed damaged by the storm. The storm was caused by a prefrontal wave (squall line) ahead of a strong cold front, surface low / trough, surface heating, and an upper-level disturbance. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and a camcorder. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for this area until 10 PM EDT.

16). May 15, 11:00 PM - Penetration of another severe thunderstorm on the western side of Springfield, Ohio north of Interstate 78 and along Highway 68 in Clark County, Ohio. This storm was an HP supercell storm embedded in a cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. A tornado warning (radar-indicated) was issued for this storm. A large wall cloud was observed, illuminated by nearly continuous lightning, north of Interstate 70 and near Medway. Funnels or tornadoes, if any, were not observed. The core of the storm passed and produced torrential rains, 60-MPH winds, frequent lightning, and hail up to dime-sized (1/2"). Some tree damage and power outages were also noted in the path of this storm, which also had a wind-damage history. The storms were developing ahead of a strong cold front, and were supported by a surface trough / low and an upper level disturbance. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for this area until 3 AM EDT.

17). May 23, 5:00 PM - Observation and interception of an extremely severe (and tornadic) thunderstorm in Harper County, Oklahoma near Laverne and west of Buffalo along Highway 270 and Highway 46. This storm was a classic supercell thunderstorm developing just south of a quasi-stationary / warm front boundary and well-ahead of a dryline in very unstable air. The storm explosively developed during convective initiation (capping inversion breeched or overcome), quickly became severe, and developed a mesocyclone in a short period of time. The storm had a large, and rapidly rotating wall cloud / funnels, then (just before RFD occlusion) finally produced a brief tornado lofting tree debris over Highway 46. Partially melted hail was noted on the ground south of this storm, and was measured at golf ball (1.75") to hen's egg (half dollar, or slightly more than 2") sized. Deeper into the storm core, 6 miles west of Buffalo, softball sized hail to 4.25" was confirmed (this size was not intercepted by myself and my group). Winds near 50 MPH were also noted with the storm RFD (Rear-Flank Downdraft). The storm lasted about an hour and a half before moving north of the stationary front and weakening. Conditions producing this supercell storm were directional wind shear (surface low / upper trough), dryline and frontal boundary (ahead of triple-point), and surface heating. Documentation was still photos and HD video. A 2006 Suzuki Aerio sedan was used to chase the storm. A PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch was also valid for this area until 11 PM CDT.

18). May 23, 7:00 PM - Observation and interception of another extremely severe (and possibly tornadic) thunderstorm in Lipscomb County, Texas from near Lipscomb along Highway 305 and points north / northeast. This storm was an HP supercell thunderstorm developing on the southern end of a line of thunderstorms (tail-end Charley). This storm had a large, and slowly rotating wall cloud and several funnels were observed. Some of these wall clouds were observed very close to the ground. This HP (High Precipitation) supercell lasted for roughly 3-4 hours. It had a very impressive visual appearance, with the "stacked-plates" (barber-pole) effect, and visual BWER (Bounded Weak Echo Region, or "vault"). This storm also produced exceptionally large hail, with the largest sizes encountered as big as golf balls during fringe encounters with the core of this storm. This storm also produced very powerful and frequent lightning with many close hits. When in its weakening stages / evolution to multicell cluster (MCS), winds gusting over 75-MPH were encountered on the north side of the storm (mesocyclone) with a wind shift from strong west to easterly and large hail when heading northward. This storm also produced flooding and extremely heavy rains. Conditions producing this storm were directional wind shear (surface low / upper trough), advancing dryline, and surface heating. Documentation was still photos and HD video. A 2006 Suzuki Aerio sedan was used to chase the storm. A PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch was also valid for this area until 11 PM CDT.

19). May 23, 9:30 PM - Penetration of a severe thunderstorm while heading east on Highway 64 and just west of Buffalo, Oklahoma in Harper County. This storm was a multicell cluster of severe thunderstorms. Torrential rains, 60-MPH winds, frequent lightning, and hail up to nickel-sized (3/4") was encountered during the passage through this storm. This storm was part of a large MCS of thunderstorms, and was caused by outflow boundaries, frontal convergence (warm front), an upper trough, and surface heating. A 2006 Suzuki Aerio sedan was used to chase the storm. Documentation was HD video. A PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch was also valid for this area until 11 PM CDT.

20). June 1, Evening - Observation of the effects of Tropical Storm Barry along the southeastern Florida coast, mainly in coastal Broward County. Tropical storm Barry developed in the northwest Caribbean and moved to the north between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula. The storm reached 50-MPH sustained winds during the night of June 1, but weakened to a tropical depression before making landfall north of Tampa, FL on June 2. Due to high wind shear, most of the weather associated with tropical storm Barry was not confined to its weak and diffuse center. Instead, much of the convection and wind was a hundred miles or so to its east, and affected south Florida. During this brief observation, winds gusting to 40 MPH were observed, along with 6-8 foot waves along the FL east coast. The storm also produced about 5-8 inches of rain – Which was actually a good thing since S Florida was recovering from a major drought at the time. The vehicle used to observe this storm was a 2007 Chevy Cobalt (rental). Documentation was still digital photos. A tropical storm warning and tornado watch were also issued for the areas affected by tropical storm Barry. The convection also made for a rough arrival via Airtran Airways into Fort Lauderdale airport the same day.

21). June 6, 4:30 PM - Interception of a very severe thunderstorm and tornado southwest of Wanblee, South Dakota near Shannon County from Highway 44. The storm was a supercell storm that originally began as a classic supercell then evolved to HP mode and subsequent bow echo (intense multicell cluster) there-after. This storm produced a long lived dusty tube type tornado in Shannon County at around 4:30 PM MDT. The latter cycle of this tornado was observed from near Wanblee at a distance of 10-15 miles. The supercell storm occluded and a new mesocyclone developed to the east of the previous (tornadic) one but only produced some funnel clouds. The storm evolved to HP, and produced another barely-visible rain-wrapped tornado southwest of Kadoka, SD before the storm quickly evolved to a bow-echo structure. Both tornadoes occurred over un-populated areas so damage was not observable. The cores of the supercell / bow were not penetrated but winds exceeding 70-MPH and hail up to 1" was encountered on the fringes of the storm. Damage observed was to trees and powerlines, and included a semi-truck blown over in Interstate 90 near Murdo, South Dakota. Conditions producing the storms were a strong low-pressure system, dryline / boundary interactions, surface heating, intense upper-level system / jet stream aloft, and possible up-slope (southeast) wind flow. Documentation was still digital pictures, HD video, and SD video. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. A PDS Tornado Watch was also valid for this area until 11 PM CDT (10 PM MDT).

22). June 7, 3:30 PM - External observation of a very severe and tornadic developing supercell thunderstorm from Interstate 90 in eastern Minnesota (northeast of Rochester and northwest of Winona). This developing storm was observed from a distance of about 15 miles at it's point of closest approach and was not penetrated. Viewing the rear-flank of this highly-sheared storm, a well-defined rear flank downdraft (RFD) clear slot was noted along with a large funnel / tornado like lowering. This is also the same storm that produced tornado damage near Ried, Wisconsin a couple of hours later. Conditions producing this storm were a strong low pressure system and attendant dryline, surface heating, very strong winds / jet stream aloft, and abundant moisture. Documentation was still digital photos. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. A PDS tornado watch was also valid for this area until 12 AM CDT.

23). June 7, 5:00 PM - Interception and observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm from Lacross, Wisconsin northeastward into Wisconsin Rapids along and near highway 173. This storm was a violent supercell (classic) thunderstorm that produced a tornado that struck part of Wisconsin Rapids and affected the area with hail exceeding 4 inches in diameter. The tornado from this storm was observed from a distance of 10 miles, behind an impressive and large RFD clear-slot on the rear-flank of this supercell. This storm was moving northeast at over 60-MPH, so getting "ahead" of it was not an option. Fortunate to the fact that hail exceeding 4" in diameter, although partially melted, was found covering the ground on the southwest side of Wisconsin Rapids. Damage from this hail was extensive, including many cars damaged or destroyed, holes punched in roofs, many trees stripped of leaves and twigs, and even deep craters left in the ground. The largest "gorilla" hail was set at 4.25" (a bit larger than a grapefruit or softball). The tornado path was not observed but was just east of where the largest hail feel. Trees and powerlines down were also encountered with power knocked out. Conditions producing this storm were a strong low pressure system and attendant dryline, surface heating, very strong winds / jet stream aloft, and abundant moisture. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. A PDS tornado watch was also valid for this area until 12 AM CDT.

24). June 7, 10:00 PM - Interception and observation of another severe and possibly tornadic thunderstorm just west of Interstate 39 near the town of Rochelle, Illinois. This storm appeared to be on the leading edge of a cluster of severe thunderstorms earlier moving eastward out of eastern Iowa. The main focus on this storm was lightning photography, but interesting banding and "stacked plate" structure of the storm was revealed by lightning and digital camera time exposures. The storm appeared to be a small classic supercell storm, and a funnel cloud / possible brief tornado was observed (via time-exposure photography) illuminated by both lightning and the lights from nearby Rochelle. This "area" passed to our north and an RFD (rear-flank downdraft) hooked around it, with small hail and winds over 50-MPH. Later analysis of the imagery from this storm revealed a mesocyclone was indeed present and a tornado / funnel cloud clearly presented in time-exposure images. Conditions producing this storm were a strong low pressure system and attendant dryline, surface heating, very strong winds / jet stream aloft, and abundant moisture. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. A PDS tornado watch was also valid for this area until 12 AM CDT.

25). July 10, 5:00 PM - Indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm west of Interstate 75 near Dayton in Montgomery County, Ohio. The storm was a pulse-type severe thunderstorm producing strong winds and frequent lightning on the southwest side of Dayton. The strongest winds observed were about 45-MPH, as the main core of the storm was not penetrated. Heavy rains and frequent lightning was also noted with this storm. The storms were caused by an outflow boundary, surface heating, and weak upper trough. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

------ Observations Before This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US Due To Job In Dayton, Ohio ------

26). July 22, 3:00 PM - Observation of the core conditions of a severe thunderstorm in eastern Broward county, Florida in the city of Fort Lauderdale just north of Broward Boulevard and NW 5th Avenue. The storm was not chased, but observed while stationary during a late lunch. The storm contained torrential rains, frequent lightning with many close hits, winds over 50-MPH, and hail up to penny sized. The storm was a portion of a multicell cluster of strong and severe storms. A low-pressure tough, weak upper tough, surface heating, and sea-breeze convergence caused the storms. A 2007 Ford Focus was involved but not actively chasing this storm at the time.

27). July 23, 5:30 PM - Indirect penetration and observation of a very severe thunderstorm near Sunrise in Broward county, Florida near sunrise Boulevard and Nob Hill Road. The storm was an intense cell (briefly acquiring HP supercell characteristics) in a multicell cluster of strong and severe storms. On the southern edge of the core of this severe storm, torrential rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, and winds near 45-MPH was observed. A report of golfball-sized hail to 1.75" was reported by a sheriff near Oakland Park Boulevard about 1-2 miles away from my position). This storm also had a spectacular shelf cloud, and pronounced green color denoting the hail core nearby. A low-pressure tough, weak upper tough, surface heating, and sea-breeze convergence caused the storms. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase them. Documentation was digital stills.

28). Sept 21, 4:15 PM - Observation of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Cypress Creek Boulevard and Interstate-95 in Broward county, Florida. The storm was a small supercell storm that produced an impressive, rotating wall cloud and funnel clouds. The storm was observed from an office in the area as I was not actively chasing at the time. The storm core was not penetrated, but the mesocyclone and rain-free base passed right over my location. A defined RFD clear slot was also noted on the SW side of the updraft. A low-pressure tough, weak upper tough, surface heating, and sea-breeze convergence caused the storms. A 2007 Ford Focus was involved but not actively chasing this storm at the time.

29). Oct 31, Mid-Day - Observation of the effects of Tropical Storm Noel along the southeastern Florida coast, mainly in coastal Palm Beach County. Tropical storm Noel developed in the Caribbean Sea and moved to the north between Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The storm remained weak and sheared, but reached 50-MPH sustained winds during the day of October 31, but later intensified to a hurricane north of the Bahamas as it headed out to sea and became extratropical a day or two later. The storm’s outer wind envelop affected the southeastern Florida coast as it remained near Andros Island in the Bahamas and moved north. These were the main effects observed, mainly as strong winds to 40 MPH and waves as high as 15 feet in the coastal areas of Palm Beach County. Heavy rain was observed with some outer feeder bands from this storm, and severe beach erosion was also noted. The vehicle used to observe this storm was a 2007 Ford Focus. Documentation was still digital photos and a camcorder. A tropical storm warning was also issued for the areas affected by tropical storm Noel.

30). Dec 8, 2:15 PM - Observation of a weak tornado in Palm Beach County, Florida east of Highway 27 and south of South Bay. The tornado was a weak landspout type tornado developing under a convective shower that formed from the lake-breeze boundary off the southeastern side of Lake Okeechobee. A funnel cloud was associated with a ground circulation (dust / debris) and clearly connected to the base of the convective cell. The convective shower was low-topped in nature and had moderate rain associated with it. Documentation was still digital pictures. A 2007 Ford Focus was involved but not actively chasing this storm at the time. Surface heating and boundary interactions caused the weak tornado on otherwise a fair-weather day!


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2008 SEASON

------ Observations After This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US Due To Job In Chicago, Illinois ------

1). Jan 7, 6:00 PM - Indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Cook County, Illinois to the southwest of downtown Chicago near Interstate 55. The storm was at the extreme northern portion of a line of strong and severe thunderstorms, unusual for this area at this time of the year. Conditions with this severe storm’s northern edge included heavy rains, winds near 50-MPH, small hail, and frequent lightning with some close hits. The storms were caused by a strong low pressure system, surface convergence, boundary interactions, and a strong upper-level low pressure area. Street flooding was onserved with this storm, and several direct hits of lightning to the Sear tower were also documented. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A tornado watch was also valid for this area until 9 PM CST.

2). Jan 19, ALL-DAY - Rather unique coastal observation conducted along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan near Saint Joseph, Michigan near Highway 94. This is my first chase dedicated to lake-effect snow and winter weather. Conditions near Saint Joseph included moderate to heavy snow with strong 30-35 MPH on-shore (NW) winds. Waves as high as 6-8 feet were also observed along the Lake Michigan shore, with freezing spray (some of which left a coat of ice on metal surfaces). Temperatures ranged from -5 to 10 degrees F during this chase. An extremely cold arctic / Canadian high-pressure area interacting with a departing low over the Great Lakes caused the lake-effect snow storm. Documentation was a camcorder and digital photos. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to observe the conditions. A winter weather advisory was also valid for the area in Michigan.

3). Feb 4, 9:30 PM - Penetration of strong thunderstorms along Interstate 65 near Fair Oak, Indiana southward to near Morocco (highway 114) from southern Lake County into northern Newton County. The storms were a portion of a multi-cell squall line of strong thunderstorms moving across the area, rather unseasonable for this time of the year. The thunderstorms contained very heavy rains, small hail, winds gusting over 50-MPH, and frequent lightning with close hits. Extremely dense fog was associated with the thunderstorm environment, and the ground was still snow-covered from a snow storm less than 24 hours earlier! Bad visibility caused accidents, and a semi-trailer was blown into trees in the median on I-65. A warm front and upper-level trough produced the storms. The storms were elevated and ahead of a surface warm-front to the south. A strong jet-stream was also present aloft. No surface heating was noted with this setup. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 1 AM CST.

4). Feb 5, 4:30 PM - Penetration and observation of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm on the north side of Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee along and south of Interstate 240 and 55. The storm was an HP supercell storm developing on the southern portion of a broken line of strong and severe thunderstorms. This storm also produced a significant tornado to the northeast of Memphis and this was observed from a distance from just northwest of Memphis International Airport. Near the core of this storm, 50 MPH winds, very heavy rains, frequent lightning, and small hail was encountered. A large, blocky wall cloud was found in the rain-free base of the storm when headed south on I-240. The storms were caused by a strong low-pressure trough, both surface and aloft, slight surface heating, boundary interactions in a highly-sheared environment. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and a camcorder. A PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch was also valid for this area until 12 AM CST.

5). Feb 5, 5:30 PM - Indirect penetration and observation of a severe thunderstorm near Capleville and east of Memphis International Airport in Shelby County, Tennessee near Lamar Avenue (Highway 78). The storm was a small supercell storm that was northeast of a stronger and more intense storm to its southwest. The storm had frequent lightning and a very large rotating wall cloud. It did not produce a tornado in the immediate area. The storms were caused by a strong low-pressure trough, both surface and aloft, slight surface heating, boundary interactions in a highly-sheared environment. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and a camcorder. A PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch was also valid for this area until 12 AM CST.

6). Feb 5, 6:30 PM - Direct penetration and observation of an extremely severe and dangerous tornadic thunderstorm near the intersection of Airways Blvd and I-240 in Shelby County, Tennessee and points south and east. This storm was a significant supercell storm that was to produce a long track and destructive tornado from southwest of Memphis International Airport then east and northeast near Germantown and eventually as far as Jackson. Observing this storm was very difficult due to visibility (because it was at dusk and in a populated area) but a brief glimpse of the tornado (a large bowl-shaped lowering on its SW side nearly to the ground) was attained. The core of the storm hit, with the tornado passing just 1/2 mile to my south, and winds (core or RFD) gusted from 70-80 MPH, frequent lightning with close hits, sideways and torrential rains, and hail 1" to isolated golfball-sized was encountered. A hasty retreat was made down Airways road south then east on Democrat road north of the airport, then SE Lamar (Highway 78). The RFD blasted to 70-MPH in rapidly clearing air and a large lowering (tornado) was visible to the east with power-flashes (very poor contrast) when making an eastward turn on Winchester road. Extensive damage to residences, a shopping mall, and numerous businesses was observed, especially where Winchester road and Hickory Hill roads meet. Debris was scattered across the street, and many powerlines / trees were down. This damage path was at least 1/2 mile wide and extended SW to NE with areas of more or lesser damage. Power was also knocked out along this path. The tornado also caused more damage and deaths during its long track to the NE at over 60-MPH. A quick radio interview report and damage survey was also conducted after this storm. The storms were caused by a strong low-pressure trough, both surface and aloft, slight surface heating, boundary interactions in a highly-sheared environment. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch was also valid for this area until 12 AM CST.

7). Feb 5, 9:00 PM - Penetration and observation of a severe thunderstorm and possible tornado observation to the southeast of Sikeston in New Madrid County, Missouri along Interstate 55 and south and along Interstate 57 and eastward through Charleston and towards Cairo, Illinois. The storm was an HP supercell storm developing ahead of a multi-cell line of strong and severe thunderstorms associated with the cold front of the approaching low-pressure area. The storm had frequent lightning with some close hits, hail to 3/4", torrential rains, and winds to 60-MPH. A large cone shaped lowering, illuminated by lightning, was noted south of this storm cell before encountering precipitation when about 5 miles south of Sikeston on I-55 (looking NNE). The storms were caused by a strong low-pressure trough, both surface and aloft, and approaching cold front in a highly-sheared environment. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. Documentation was a camcorder. A PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch was also valid for this area until 12 AM CST.

8). Feb 10, ALL-DAY - Coastal observation for high winds and lake-effect snow along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan near and north of Saint Joseph, Michigan near Highway 94. Conditions near Saint Joseph included heavy, blowing and drifting snow with strong 45-50 MPH on-shore (NW) winds. Waves in lake Michigan were observed as high as 10-15 feet, with heavy freezing spray (leaving a heavy coat of ice on metal surfaces). Temperatures ranged from -5 to 5 degrees F during this chase. An extremely cold arctic / Canadian high-pressure area interacting with an intense departing low / Alberta-clipper cold front over the Great Lakes caused the lake-effect snow storm. Documentation was a camcorder and digital photos. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to observe the conditions. A winter weather advisory was also valid for the area in Michigan.

9). Mar 31, 4:30 PM - Penetration of very severe (or possibly tornadic) thunderstorms to the northeast of Springfield, Missouri along Interstate 44 in Webster County. The storms were a portion of a multicell cluster / line of strong and severe thunderstorms. The cell penetrated was an HP supercell / bow segment within the line of storms that contained wind gusts near 70-MPH and hail up to dime-sized. Torrential rains and frequent lightning was also noted with this storm. Debris was observed across Interstate 44 along with trees / poles down and a roof ripped off a building. This storm was the same storm that caused tornado-like damage to the north of Springfield. The actual tornado was not observed, but a cyclonic motion was noted with the storm. The storm was caused by a low pressure system and strong upper-level disturbance. Documentation was digital video and stills. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch also was in effect for the area until 9 PM CDT.

10). Mar 31, 6:30 PM - Penetration of another severe thunderstorm in Van Buren County, Arkansas near Clinton along Highway 65. The severe storm was part of a multicell line of strong and severe thunderstorms. Heavy rains, frequent lightning, small hail, and winds gusting over 60-MPH were observed with this storm. The storm was caused by a low pressure system and strong upper-level disturbance. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch also was in effect for the area until 9 PM CDT.

------ Observations Before This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US Due To Job In Chicago, Illinois ------

11). Apr 9, 5:30 PM - Interception and observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm near Breckenridge, Texas and near Highway 183 and 180 in Stephens County, Texas. The storm was a violent supercell thunderstorm that had a very long track, initiating near Nolan, Texas (near Highway 277 south of Sweetwater) and tracking well to the east and northeast before finally weakening near Collinsville (at least 6 hours later and over 200 miles to the NE of its point of initiation)! The storm was the most intense for a short time as it tracked from near Tye, Texas to points past Breckenridge. This storm produced at least 3 tornadoes during this early stage in its life, and as it was in classic supercell mode (after that it weakened and evolved to HP). 3 tornadoes were observed, including the end-stage of the destructive second tornado that affected Breckenridge. Torrential rains, winds gusting well over 70-MPH, frequent lightning, and golfball-sized hail (or larger) was also encountered with this storm. Damage observed was in Breckenridge, and included an overturned semi-truck, power poles snapped, trees uprooted, and buildings / houses destroyed (or having their roofs torn off). Luckily, no one was hurt in Breckenridge, but I did stop to help out / clear debris. The storm was caused by a warm / stationary front, boundary / dryline interactions, surface heating, intense wind shear, and a strong low pressure system / trough. Documentation was still digital pictures and HD video. A PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) tornado watch was also valid for the affected area until 8 PM CDT. A 2008 Kia (rental) was used to chase the storms.

12). Apr 10, 4:30 PM - Observation of a small but possibly severe thunderstorm in Desha County, Arkansas near Highway 165 and to the northeast of Dumas. This was a small storm that developed along a shear-axis (boundary) and produced some brief funnels on its updraft base. The core of this cell was not intercepted and no damage was observed, except for severe river flooding (from many other storms earlier that day in a squall line) which inundated some homes and farms in the area. The storm was caused by boundary interactions, surface heating, wind shear, and a strong low pressure system / trough. Documentation was still digital pictures and HD video. A tornado watch was also valid for the affected area until 11 PM CDT. A 2008 Kia (rental) was used to chase the storms.

13). May 1, 8:00 PM - Interception and observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm from near Howard / Moline, Kansas and points northeast through Chanute in Wilson County. The storm was followed from its point of initiation at about 6 PM to past Allen County at about 10 PM. The storm also produced a multi-vortex tornado, in which at least one suction vortex was observed on the ground with debris near the intersection of Highway 75 and Highway 39. The storm was a supercell thunderstorm, and evolved between classic and HP (high precipitation) modes. Numerous funnel clouds / possible additional brief tornadoes were also observed with this storm. The storm also produced frequent lightning, torrential rains, winds to 65-MPH, and hail up to tennis-ball sized (2.25"). No damage was observed as most tornadoes, hail, and winds occurred over rural areas of Wilson and Allen counties. The storm was caused by boundary / dryline interactions, surface heating, intense wind shear, and a strong low pressure system / trough. Documentation was still digital pictures and HD video. A tornado watch was also valid for the affected area until 1 AM CDT. A 2008 Dodge Calibre (rental) was used to chase the storms.

24). May 2, 12:00 AM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm near I-35 at the Days Inn motel in Franklin county in Ottawa, Kansas. The storm was a bowed-out line segment of severe thunderstorms, and produced winds gusting over 70-MPH. Frequent lightning, torrential rains, and pea to dime-sized hail was also observed with this storm. The storm caused some wind damage and knocked out power in some areas. The storm was caused by a strong cold front, upper trough (wind shear), and a strong low pressure system. Documentation was HD video. A tornado watch was also valid for the affected area until 1 AM CDT. A 2008 Dodge Calibre (rental) was used to chase the storms.

15). May 2, 6:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Gratiot, Wisconsin and highway 78 in Lafayette County. The storm was a multicell storm but briefly acquired supercell characteristics before evolving to a line-segment. The storm produced small hail, very heavy rains, frequent lightning, and winds gusting near 55-MPH. A wall cloud and RFD (rear flank downdraft) was also noted on this storm before weakening. The storm was caused by an occluding cold and warm front, cold-core low pressure system, surface heating, and upper-level low (differential vorticity / cold air aloft). Documentation was still digital pictures and HD video. A tornado watch was also valid for the affected area until 10 PM CDT. A 2008 Dodge Calibre (rental) was used to chase the storms.

------ See Separate Section For Storm Chasing In Midwestern US From May 17 to June 1, 2008 (Click HERE) ------

16). June 22, 3:00 PM - Penetration of a very severe thunderstorm in Pulawski County, Indiana near Highway 10 and Winamac. The storm was a small supercell storm developing at the southern end of a multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. The thunderstorm contained very heavy rain, large hail to the size of golf-balls, winds gusting near 60-MPH, and frequent lightning. The larger hail covered the ground at times, and downed tree limbs were noted in the street. Conditions causing the storms were an upper trough, surface heating, weak surface trough, and lake-breeze boundary (from Lake Michigan to the north). Documentation was still digital pictures and a camcorder. A 2007 Chrysler Sebring (rental) was used in this storm chase. A best friend (curious about storm chasing and living in Chicago) accompanied me on this storm chase.

17). Aug 14, 4:00 PM - Observation of a strong to severe thunderstorm from near Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida near the Palmetto Expressway. The storm was associated with a cluster of multicell storms, some severe. One cell produced a funnel cloud and possible tornado. A rotating wall cloud / funnel was noted with this storm. This was an observation, and the storm core was not intercepted. The storm also produced frequent lightning. Conditions causing the storms were an upper trough, surface heating, and sea-breeze activity. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

18). Aug 19, 1-9 AM - Observation, interception, and penetration of strong tropical storm "Fay" in southwest Florida (Collier County) from near Marco Island through Everglades City. The storm was a strong tropical storm, which was moving northward from Cuba and the Caribbean, that made at least 3 landfalls in Florida. The storm had sustained winds of 60-65 MPH during this landfall near Everglades City, Florida. The storm made landfall in this area just before sunrise, and winds gusting over 60-MPH was observed with this storm, along with torrential rains and frequent lightning. A storm surge was observed in Everglades city, as well as the calm center of the storm (eye-like feature) just northwest of that are along Highway 41. Damage observed was mainly downed trees and signs, severe flooding, and power outages. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning were in place for this area, along with a tornado watch, valid until 8 AM EDT.

19). Aug 31, 8 PM - Observation of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Vacherie, Louisiana from along highway 20 in the Saint James Parish. The storm was a small tropical-cyclone "mini supercell" storm developing along an outer feeder band from hurricane Gustav, which was about 150 miles to the southeast of the location at the time. The storm produced brief strong winds and occasional lightning, but was not penetrated. A funnel cloud / possible brief tornado was observed with this storm from a distance of about 10 miles. No damage was encountered. Conditions causing the storms were an unstable air-mass, approaching low-level shear (right-front quadrant of tropical ctclone), and a region of convergence (feeder band). A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital stills and a camcorder.

20). Sept 1, ALL-DAY - Observation, interception, and penetration of a strong category two (border-line category 3) hurricane "Gustav" in southwestern Louisiana south of Interstate 10 from the Terrabonne Parishes, then eastward as far as Gulfport, Mississippi. Hurricane Gustav was a moderate hurricane with winds of 110-MPH at landfall in Louisiana (just shy of major hurricane strength). The storm core and eye was also intercepted, as well as the right-front quadrant of the eyewall. Conditions encountered were heavy rains, some violent (sideways and torrential) and very strong winds (gusting over 100-MPH). The observation was made inland from the Gulf of Mexico (for safety), but a later observation (east of the storm) near Gulfport revealed extensive flooding and storm surge, which was as high as 10-15 feet. Extensive damage was observed to homes, signs, and businesses – especially mobile homes, where roofs were torn off – Near Houma, Louisiana. Street flooding was also severe, and many downed trees, power lines, and debris made some roads impassable. The calm eye was encountered, and a central pressure of 959 MB was measured while inside the eye, with a bright (mostly cloudy) sky overhead. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital stills, a camcorder, audio, and HD video. A hurricane warning and tornado watch was valid for the area the chase took place in for most of the time. Two chase partners of mine accompanied me on this chase.

21). Sept 12-13, ALL - Observation, interception, and penetration of a strong category two (border-line category 3) hurricane "Ike" in southeastern coastal Texas in Galveston Island (also Galveston County). Hurricane Ike was a moderate, but exceptionally large hurricane with winds of 110-MPH at landfall in Galveston, Texas (just shy of major hurricane strength). The storm core and eye was also intercepted, as well as the forward-right side of the eyewall. Conditions encountered were violent (sideways and torrential) rains and very strong winds (gusting near 110-MPH). A storm surge of at least 15 feet (with waves at least 20 feet on top) affected the entire island. Complete destruction was noted to anything along or near the coast. Wind damage was also observed inland, and included downed trees and power poles, some roofs torn off homes, and structural damage. Flooding was severe, even a mile inland, and cars were observed floating in a parking garage just before landfall and arrival of the calm eye, which was between 2 to 3 AM CDT. The calm eye was experienced, with moonlight shining through breaks in the clouds and light fog at the surface. The 40-50 mile-wide eye lasted for quite a while, and a pressure of 955 MB was measured in the eye (952 MB was official at landfall according to NHC). Numerous fires were observed before, during, and after the passage of hurricane Ike, one which consumed a row of homes in about an hour’s time. An impressive pile-up of boats, debris, and marine vessels were strewn across the I-45 causeway after the storm. Some dramatic rescues were also documented because at least 25% of the people in Galveston failed to evacuate. A 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser (rental) was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital stills, a camcorder, audio, and HD video. A hurricane warning and tornado watch was valid for the area the chase took place in for most of the time. One chase partner of mine accompanied me on this chase.

This concludes the 2008 chase season. The summary includes a total of 21 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 14 severe thunderstorms were involved as well as 1 strong thunderstorm. A total of 9 tornadoes / funnels were also observed among the chases. An active hurricane season yielded 3 tropical intercepts, including one tropical storm and two hurricanes. In addition to chasing in Florida, a considerable amount of chasing was done in the central United States (Midwest), accounting for the extra-high amount of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms observed this year. There were also two unique coastal observations (outside of tropical cyclone interceptions) done this year, mainly in the Great Lakes region during the winter months (lake effect). A 2007 Ford Focus was used in 14 chases, a 2008 Kia rental in 2, a 2008 Dodge Calibre in 3, a 2007 Chrysler Sebring in 1, and a 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser rental in one chase. Please note that a SEPARATE chase log and details has been prepared for the period of May 17 through June 1 for a dedicated storm chase trip to the central USA. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2009 SEASON

1). May 20, 2:00 PM - Observation of strong to severe thunderstorms in western sections of Palm Beach County, Florida along Highway 27. The storm was multi-cell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms, and was the first intentional storm intercept during an EXTREMELY slow year of 2009. Heavy rains, sporadic lightning, and winds gusting over 30-MPH winds were observed with these storms. The main storm cores (with winds near 60-MPH) were not penetrated, and small funnel clouds were observed with these storms as well. A low-pressure trough, upper-level-low, area of convergence, and surface heating was responsible for the storms. Documentation was digital stills. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

2). May 24, 12:00 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm in central sections of southern Broward and northern Dade Counties in Florida along Highway 27. The storm was a small supercell-like thunderstorm developing along an outflow-boundary and tornado-warned (radar indicated). No tornado was observed with this storm, but a wall-cloud and rotating rain-free base was found near the SW quadrant of the storm cell. The severe storm core was not intercepted directly, but contained hail up to ¾". Maximum winds encountered were near 30 MPH with occasional heavy rains. A low-pressure trough, boundary-interactions, and surface heating was responsible for the storms. Documentation was digital stills. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

3). May 24, 1:00 PM - Observation of a strong thunderstorm in west-central sections of Palm Beach County in Florida along Highway 27. The storm was a small supercell-like thunderstorm developing along an outflow-boundary moving to the NW. A small but rather impressive rotating wall-cloud was noted with this storm cell. The storm core was not penetrated. Maximum winds encountered were near 30 MPH with occasional heavy rains. A low-pressure trough, boundary-interactions, and surface heating was responsible for the storms. Documentation was digital stills. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

4). May 25, 3:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a severe thunderstorm in central sections of Broward County in Florida along Highway 27 and southeastward to near Interstate 75. The storm was a severe thunderstorm associated with a cluster of strong and severe storms. Winds exceeding 60 MPH, torrential rains, hail up to ¾", and frequent lightning were observed near the core of this storm (which later contained hail up to golf ball sized). Some funnel clouds were also observed with the updraft portions of this storm. The storm caused some minor wind damage and flooding. A low-pressure trough, sea-breeze / boundary-interactions, and surface heating were responsible for the storms. A guest accompanied me on this intercept. Documentation was digital stills. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

5). May 26, 3:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm in western sections of Miami-Dade County in Florida just west of the Palmetto Expressway and north of Doral. The storm was a severe thunderstorm associated with a cluster of strong and severe storms, and featured a low, rotating base, wall cloud, and some HP supercell characteristics before gusting out. Funnel clouds were observed under the rotating wall cloud on the forward-flank meso associated with the updraft-phase of the severe storm. The core, containing hail to 1", was not penetrated. Frequent lightning, 50-MPH winds, and heavy rains were encountered with this storm. The storm caused some minor wind damage and major street flooding along the Palmetto Expressway (Highway 826). A low-pressure trough, sea-breeze / boundary-interactions, and surface heating were responsible for the storms. Documentation was digital stills and digital video. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

6). May 27, 1:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm in central sections of Miami-Dade County in Florida just south of Highway 836 near Coral Gables. The storm was a severe thunderstorm associated with a cluster of strong and severe storms. Frequent lightning, 50-MPH winds, heavy rains, and small hail were encountered with this storm. The storm caused some minor wind damage and street flooding. A low-pressure trough, sea-breeze / boundary-interactions, and surface heating were responsible for the storms. Documentation was digital stills. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

7). May 27, 1:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of another strong to severe thunderstorm in central sections of Miami-Dade County in Florida just east of the Palmetto Expressway (Highway 826) near Miami International Airport and NW 25th street / NW 75 Avenue. The storm was a severe thunderstorm associated with a cluster of strong and severe storms. Frequent lightning, 50-MPH winds, heavy rains, and small hail were encountered with this storm. The storm caused some minor wind damage and street flooding. A low-pressure trough, sea-breeze / boundary-interactions, and surface heating were responsible for the storms. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

------ Observations After This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Short Chase Trip ------

8). June 5, 5:00 PM - Observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm over Goshen County, Wyoming and near La Grange. The storm was a violent classic / cyclic supercell that produced a large tornado that was on the ground for nearly 30 Minutes. This supercell storm was observed from a distance ranging from 5 to 25 miles, and the large tornado was visible from as far as Highway 71 south of Harrisburg (Banner County, Nebraska). The tornado did not affect populated areas, and was a large cone tornado with a rope-out stage observed at distance. The core of the storm was not penetrated, and contained winds gusting over 60-MPH, frequent lightning, and hail reported to 4.5 inches (slightly larger than a grapefruit). Conditions producing the storms were surface heating, upslope wind flow, a dryline and boundary (triple point) interactions, low pressure area, and upper trough. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A 2009 Chevy HHR was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 10 PM MDT.

9). June 5, 8:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of another extremely severe and possibly tornadic thunderstorm from southeast of Harrisburg in Banner County, Nebraska from near Highway 71 then again to the east in Morill and Cheyenne counties from Bridgeport to southwest of Lisco. This storm was initially a classic supercell storm that produced two large funnels southeast of Harrisburg. The storm also produced hail up to baseball sized at this point. Golfball sized hail was observed at my location. The storm was abandoned as it moved east due to poor roads and picked up again near Dalton along highway 385. At this point, a very large wall cloud was observed with strong rotation and numerous funnels. This could quite possibly have been a broad, weak tornado (EF-0 / EF-1). The storm evolved to HP supercell with a very striking visual appearance / vault southwest of Lisco. Poor roads and isolated hail to baseball-sized warranted another hasty retreat. Heavy rains and 60 MPH winds were also encountered, along with frequent lightning. The worst part of the storm core was not penetrated, and contained 4" (softball sized) hail. Conditions producing the storms were surface heating, upslope wind flow, a dryline and boundary (triple point) interactions, low pressure area, and upper trough. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A 2009 Chevy HHR was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 10 PM MDT.

10). June 7, 5:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of an extremely severe, and possibly tornadic thunderstorm along and near the Kansas / Nebraska border / Highway 99 from near Summerfield, Kansas in Marshall County and eastward towards Du Bois, Nebraska near Highways 8 and 50 in Pawnee County. The storm was a classic supercell thunderstorm that was observed from initiation west of Summerfield and followed to its point of weakening to an LP storm (due to its inflow being cut-off from another supercell to the SE). The storm came very close to producing a tornado with excellent rotation and rain wrap during its most intense phase. An unconfirmed report of a tornado was associated with this storm, but only a rapidly rotating wall cloud was observed south of Humboldt. The storm had hail up to softball-sized (4"), but the core was avoided and not penetrated. Winds near 40 MPH (inflow / outflow) were observed along with moderate rain, small hail, and frequent lightning with some close hits. Conditions producing the storms were surface heating, intersecting boundaries (triple point), low pressure area, and upper trough. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A 2009 Chevy HHR was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 11 PM CDT.

11). June 7, 8:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of another extremely severe, and possibly tornadic thunderstorm from near Falls City, Nebraska in Richardson County, across the Missouri River through Oregon, Missouri along Highway 159 / 59, and into Daviess County near Altamonte, MO and Interstate 35. This dangerous classic to HP supercell storm developed southeast of the original supercell storm earlier in Marshall County, KS and had little "competition" from nearby storms (southernmost "Tail-End Charley" cell). The storm core, near Oregon, Missouri, consistently was producing incredible hail approaching, if not exceeding 5" (one chaser report was 5.25")! Hail at least grapefruit sized was observed on the backside of the storm passing through Oregon, with the VORTEX II teams / other chasers creating a massive chaser caravan. The storm produced many rapidly rotating wall clouds / funnels with a powerful (60 MPH+) RFD. Of course, the core was not penetrated, but still winds to 60 MPH, frequent lightning with close hits, torrential rains, and large hail (largest observed falling was quarter sized as the storm weakened later). A large funnel / possible brief tornado was observed with this storm near Maysville in DeKalb County from near Highway 6. Conditions producing the storms were surface heating, intersecting boundaries (triple point), low pressure area, and upper trough. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A 2009 Chevy HHR was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 11 PM CDT.

12). June 7, 10:30 PM - Observation and direct penetration of a very severe, tornadic thunderstorm from near Clinton and DeKalb counties in Missouri, near and west of I-35 and south of Cameron and Osborne. The storm was an HP supercell storm, and hail up to golfball-sized (with isolated pieces to half-dollar) as 1.5" to 2" was encountered with 60-70 MPH winds, torrential rains, and continuous lightning with numerous close hits. A wind shift from strong easterly to strong westerly was encountered when exiting the storm core to the south (mesocyclone). Once clear of precipitation, the storm updraft region was observed from the south at a distance of 5 miles or so, illuminated by the frequent lightning. A large wall cloud, and subsequently, a large silhouette of a tornado became visible for several minutes. Spotter reports confirmed this, putting the tornado in southern DeKalb County over open farmland. The storm weakened and evolved to multicell afterwards. Conditions producing the storms were surface heating, outflow boundary interactions, low pressure area, and upper trough / jet stream aloft. Documentation was still digital photos, audio, and HD video. A 2009 Chevy HHR was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 11 PM CDT.

------ Observations Before This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Short Chase Trip ------

13). June 14, 4:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm in Broward County, Florida just south of Interstate 575 in Davie near University and Pine-Island road. The storm was a severe thunderstorm associated with a multi-cell cluster of strong thunderstorms. Frequent lightning with some close hits, 50 to 60-MPH winds, heavy rains, and small hail were encountered with this storm. The storm caused some tree damage, power outages, and street flooding. A low-pressure trough, sea-breeze / boundary-interactions, and surface heating were responsible for the storms. A guest accompanied me on this impromptu intercept. Documentation was digital stills. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

14). June 18, 7:00 PM - Observation and direct penetration of a severe thunderstorm in west-central sections of Palm Beach County in Florida along Highway 27 between Belle Glade and the Palm Beach County line. The storm was within a multicell cluster / line segment of strong and severe thunderstorms propagating southward across Florida. Winds encountered were 60 to 70-MPH with torrential rains, hail up to dime sized, and frequent lightning with close hits. Some funnel clouds were also noted with the updraft regions of the storm. A low-pressure trough, boundary-interactions, and surface heating was responsible for the storms. Documentation was digital stills and digital video. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect for the area until 7 PM EDT.

15). June 27, 2:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a strong thunderstorm in eastern Glades County near Highway 98 and east of La Belle, Florida. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of strong thunderstorms. Winds encountered were near 45 MPH with heavy rains and frequent lightning. Surface heating, sea / lake breeze boundary-interactions were responsible for the storms. Documentation was digital stills. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

16). July 17, 8:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm in central sections of Broward County in Florida along Interstate 75 and near Griffith Road. The storm was part of a multicell cluster of thunderstorms. The core of the severe cell was not penetrated, and 45 MPH winds, very frequent lightning, and heavy rains were observed on the western fringes of the storm. A low-pressure trough, sea-breeze activity, and surface heating was responsible for the storms. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

17). July 18, 7:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Broward County in Florida east of Interstate 75 and south of Sunrise Boulevard near Sunrise / Plantation. The storm was part of a multicell cluster / line of strong and severe thunderstorms. Conditions encountered were 60 to 70 MPH wind gusts, hail up to ½" (dime sized), torrential rains, and frequent lightning with some close hits. The storm caused street flooding, some tree damage, and knocked out power in some places. A low-pressure trough, sea-breeze activity (boundary interactions), and surface heating was responsible for the storms. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

18). July 20, 1:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Miami-Dade County in Florida east of the Palmetto Expressway and south of SW 8th Street. The storm was part of a multicell cluster / line of strong and severe thunderstorms. Conditions encountered were 60 to 70 MPH wind gusts, hail up to ½" (dime sized), torrential rains, and frequent lightning with some close hits. The storm caused street flooding, some tree / sign damage, and knocked out power in some places. A low-pressure trough, sea-breeze activity (boundary interactions), and surface heating was responsible for the storms. A 2007 Ford Focus was used to chase the storms.

19). July 26, 12:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Mississauga, Ontario (Canada) south of Highway 401. The storm was part of a squall line of strong and severe thunderstorms. Conditions encountered were 40 MPH wind gusts, hail pea to dime sized, heavy rains, and frequent lightning with some close hits. The storm caused street flooding, and knocked out power in some places. A low-pressure trough, cold front, and cold air / strong winds (jet stream) aloft were responsible for the storms. A large funnel cloud (half-way to the ground) was also observed on the southern side of one of these storm cells near Pearson International Airport (YTC). A 2009 Suzuki Maruti was used to chase the storms.

------ Observations After This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Short Chase Trip ------

20). Sept 30, 6:30 PM - External observation of a severe thunderstorm near and east of Dodge City, Kansas from Kiowa to Pratt County. The storm was a high-based supercell storm developing ahead of the dryline and on an impinging moisture axis. The storm lasted for about 2 hours, and weakened afterwards. The storm core had hail to at least quarter sized, heavy rains, and frequent lightning. The storm core was not penetrated, but the storm was observed from about 50 miles distance during peak intensity. Conditions causing the storms were a low pressure area, dryline, surface heating, upper trough / jet stream aloft, and convergence area. A 2008 PT Cruiser (Rental) was used to chase the storm. Documentation was still digital photos. A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect for the area until 11 PM CDT.

21). Oct 1, 5:30 PM - Interception and penetration of severe thunderstorms in Barry County, Missouri near and north of Casseville. The storms were part of a line of strong and severe thunderstorms, and contained frequent lightning, heavy rains, ¾" hail, and winds gisting over 60-MPH. Conditions causing the storms were a low pressure area, cold-front, surface heating, and an upper trough / jet stream aloft. A 2008 PT Cruiser (Rental) was used to chase the storm. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect for the area until 7 PM CDT.

------ Observations Before This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Short Chase Trip ------

22). Oct 23, ALL-DAY - Observation of high winds and coastal effects along the shore of Lake Ontario from south of Mississauga, Ontario (Canada) and westward to near Oakville / Burlington. The conditions were 30 to 40 MPH (sustained) winds from the east and air temperatures of 45 degrees F with light rain. This was ahead of a strong low pressure system to the southwest of the area, with a high pressure area to the northeast. Waved from 4 to 8 feet were observed along the shore of Lake Ontario with some overwash. A 2008 Hundai Excel was used to observed the conditions. Documentation was digital stills and digital video.

23). Dec 18, 11:00 AM - Observation and penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Miami-Dade County in Florida near Kendall and the junction of US Highway 1and the Palmetto Expressway. The storm was a small rotating (former supercell) storm embedded in a cluster of showers and thunderstorms. Conditions encountered were winds near 50 MPH, heavy rains, and occasional lightning. A small wall cloud was observed on a ragged rain-free base on the southern side of this cell. The cell produced a tornado earlier when it was over Homestead (about 10 to 15 miles south of the position observed). The tornado was not observed. A low-pressure system, upper trough, warm-front / convergence area was responsible for the storms. A 2008 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos. A tornado watch was also valid for the affected area until 1 PM EST.

This concludes the 2009 chase season. The summary includes a total of 23 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 19 severe thunderstorms were involved as well as 3 strong thunderstorms. A total of 2 confirmed tornadoes and 3 funnels were also observed among the chases. There were no tropical cyclone interceptions done this year. In addition to chasing in Florida, a considerable amount of chasing was done in the central United States (Midwest) as well as a couple in Canada, making for the first international storm interceptions. A 2007 Ford Focus was used in 13 chases (mainly in Florida). Rental vehicles were a 2009 Chevy HHR, used in 5 chases, a 2008 PT Cruiser in 2, and both a 2009 Suzuki Maruti and a 2008 Hundai Excel used in the strong thunderstorm and coastal observation in Canada, respectively. A 2008 Ford Escape SUV was also added and used in the last chase. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2010 SEASON

1). Feb 5, 7:30 PM - Observation of a strong thunderstorm in Miami-Dade County in Florida near Miami Lakes and NW 67 Avenue and north of the Palmetto Expressway. The storm was a small HP "mini" supercell storm and radar indicated a tornado TVS signature / mesocyclone with the storm. The storm was observed from my residence and passed just to my north. Conditions observed were occasional lightning, moderate to heavy rains, and winds near 40 MPH. The main core was not penetrated and passed north of the area, but a rotating wall cloud, possible funnel clouds, and RFD was observed with the storm. An approaching strong cold front, upper trough, and a pre-frontal convergence area were responsible for the storms. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the affected area until 8 PM EST.

2). Feb 24, 2:30 PM - Observation of a strong thunderstorm in Palm County in Florida near along Highway 27 just north of the Broward / Palm Beach border. The storm was a small thunderstorm that contained a small low-level mesocyclone. The storm contained winds near 40-MPH, heavy rains, small hail, and occasional lightning. An approaching strong cold front, upper trough, and a pre-frontal convergence area were responsible for the storms. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the affected area until 8 PM EST.

3). Mar 29, 10:30 AM - Observation of a strong to severe thunderstorms moving offshore from near Miami Beach in Miami-Dade County, FL. The storms had some rotation (HP supercell) and a large wall-cloud / funnels were observed over the ocean from a distance of about 5 miles. The core of the storms were not reached / penetrated, but contained winds over 60 MPH. A line of thunderstorms with heavy rains and 40-50 MPH winds also pushed through after the first storms moved offshore. A low-pressure trough, upper trough, and a pre-frontal convergence area were responsible for the storms. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. These storms also caused numerous traffic accidents, some serious. A careless motorist rear-ended my vehicle after this chase causing minimal damage. Documentation was still digital photos. A tornado watch was also valid for the affected area until 11 AM EDT.

------ Observations After This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Short Chase Trip ------

4). April 22, 3:30 PM - Interception and observation of an extremely severe thunderstorm between Guymon, Oklahoma and Liberal, Kanasas from along Highway 54 (Near Hooker / Tyrone) mainly in Texas County, Oklahoma and Seward County, Kansas. The storm was a classic supercell thunderstorm, and produced at least one weak tornado during its observed life-cycle of a couple of hours. A possible view of the brief tornado was made from a distance of about 5 miles. The storm core was not penetrated, but winds (inflow) of about 35 MPH were experienced, along with frequent lightning. The storm core also had hail at least golfball sized. Conditions causing the storm were a dryline / frontal boundary interaction (triple point), surface heating, a low pressure area, and strong winds (divergence) aloft / wind shear. A 2009 Kia Forte was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 10 PM CDT.

5). April 22, 6:30 PM - Interception and observation of an extremely severe thunderstorm near Perryton, Texas in Ochiltree County from along Highway 83. The storm was a classic supercell thunderstorm with a possible tornado (not directly observed). The main core of the storm (also with 60 MPH+ winds and frequent lightning) was not penetrated, however, a region of large hail (1") covering the ground was encountered with inflow winds to near 50 MPH roughly 5 miles from the storm core (hail was falling from storm anvil). Conditions causing the storm were a dryline / frontal boundary interaction (triple point), surface heating, a low pressure area, and strong winds (divergence) aloft / wind shear. A 2009 Kia Forte was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 10 PM CDT.

6). April 23, 4:00 PM - Observation of an very severe thunderstorm near Perryville, Arkansas in Perry County near Highways 9 and 10. The storm was a multicell storm cluster with an embedded and intense HP supercell. The storm was also tornado warned (radar indicated). The of this storm was not penetrated, but the chase path came across hail fig and a hail accumulation on the ground behind the storm near Harris Brake reservoir. The storm core contained winds to about 60 MPH and hail up to 1". The storm was followed to near I-40 and the town of Morrilton (where tornado sirens were activated). Conditions causing the storm were surface heating, a low strong pressure area, and strong winds / cold air aloft. A 2009 Kia Forte was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 8 PM CDT.

7). April 23, 6:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Lonoke, Arkansas in Lonoke County along and near Highway 70. The storm was a multicell storm and contained winds near 60 MPH, small hail, torrential rains, and frequent lightning. Conditions causing the storm were surface heating, a low strong pressure area, and strong winds / cold air aloft. A 2009 Kia Forte was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 8 PM CDT.

8). April 23, 9:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe thunderstorm near Prescott, Arkansas in Nevada County along and near Interstate 30 and southward along Highway 371 (eventually to near Stamps). The storm was a supercell storm (possibly tornadic) and contained winds over 70 MPH, large hail to about 1", torrential rains, and frequent lightning with some close hits. The tornado (if any) was not observed once in the rain-free region of the storm. Conditions causing the storm were surface heating, a low strong pressure area, and strong winds / cold air aloft. A 2009 Kia Forte was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 3 AM CDT the next day.

9). April 24, 4:30 AM - Observation of a very severe thunderstorm at a motel off exit 223 of Interstate 30 in Texarcana, Arkansas in miller County. The storm was an intense multicell storm that pushed through the area, and the observation was made right at where I was staying for the night. Winds over 60 MPH, hail up to 1", some covering the ground and entering the room of the motel when the door was opened, torrential rains, and very frequent lightning with close hits. Conditions causing the storm were surface convergence, an approaching area of strong low pressure, and strong winds / cold air aloft in a highly sheared environment. A 2009 Kia Forte was used to chase the storms. Documentation was HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 8 AM CDT.

10). April 24, 11:30 AM - Observation and indirect penetration of an extremely severe and violent tornadic thunderstorm from northwest of, and to near Yazoo City, Mississippi in Yazoo County from highways 49 and 61 with the chase coming to and end near Highways 49 and 16. This storm was a violent, and long-track HP supercell storm, that originated in northeastern Louisiana, crossed the ENTIRE state of Mississippi, then weakened in western Alabama. The storm was also a very fast-moving storm, so getting in front of the storm was difficult. The storm core had large hail and very strong winds. The most tragic aspect of this supercell was the large long-track tornado it produced, with nearly a 150-mile long path, and a width of 1.75 miles! A brief view of this tornado, although rain-wrapped, was encountered in the storm core, about 3-5 miles northwest of Yazoo City. Tress / other small debris was also noted falling OUT of the sky in this area. A path was chosen to divert to the northeast and around the storm because of the danger, coming back around to 49 and heading south into Yazoo City. Winds at least 70-75 MPH were encountered in this area, from the east and southeast. The damage path was encountered behind the storm, still in strong winds and rain, and much of the area south of town, near Highway 49 and 16, had catastrophic EF-4 tornado damage. The chase had to be aborted to help with clearing roads / assisting emergency personnel in Yazoo City. The storm continued to the NE out of sight thereafter, as I was helping with the victims of the storm. Unfortunately, 4 people were killed in Yazoo city, so this is NOT a happy chase log. Conditions causing the storm were surface convergence, an approaching area of strong low pressure, and strong winds / cold air aloft in a highly sheared environment (divergence aloft and strong veering of winds with height). Helicity in this area was also a staggering 1000 with CAPE near 3,000 (and EHI of near 19)! A 2009 Kia Forte was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills HD video of the damage / emergency efforts. A PDS tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 1 PM CDT (and extended to 8 PM CDT).

------ Observations Before This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Short Chase Trip ------

11). May 6, 3:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Davie and Hollywood in Broward County, Florida near Sheridan Road and University Drive. The storm was a small multicell cluster of strong thunderstorms developing along the sea breeze boundary. Conditions encountered were winds near (or exceeding) 50-MPH, small hail (pea to half-inch), torrential rains, and frequent lightning with some close hits. The storm was caused by an upper trough, surface heating, and sea breeze / boundary interactions. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills and video.

------ Observations After This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Another Chase Trip ------

12). May 10, 4:30 PM - Observation of an extremely severe and violent tornadic thunderstorm in Grant County, Oklahoma from near Highway 81 and the town of Renfrow. The storm was a classic supercell thunderstorm that evolved to a violent HP storm that produced at least two tornadoes, both multi-vortex in nature, and one a wedge tornado west of Renfrow, Oklahoma. Both tornadoes were observed, one (near Wakita, Oklahoma) from a distance, and the multi-vortex / wedge from a few miles directly in its path. Large hail was also observed falling from the anvil of the storm, up to 1", with 50-60 MPH inflow winds. The main core of the storm was not penetrated. Light rain and frequent lightning was also noted with the supercell. Damage was anywhere from downed trees to major damage to homes in the tornados path, particularly near the town of Renfrow. The storms were caused by an intense (Colorado) low-pressure system, upper-level low, dryline and warm-front (triple-point) interactions, and surface heating. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Forte was used to chase the storm. A PDS tornado watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

13). May 10, 6:30 PM - Observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm in Osage County, Oklahoma from near Highway 60 and from Ponca City to near Pawhuska. The storm was a large classic supercell thunderstorm with multiple areas of rotation. An indirect penetration was executed across the storm core and rain hook, and into the rain-free (mesocyclone) of the storm. Hail up to 2" was observed, with very heavy rains, lightning, and 60-70 MPH wind gusts. A possible tornado, although rain wrapped but weak, was encountered west of Burbank, Oklahoma. Leaves / tree debris was also noted falling from the sky. Farther east, two tornadoes were observed, one at a distance, to the east near Pawhuska, and another closer to the north of Highway 60 near Shidler. Tree damage and downed powerlines were encountered with this storm. The storms were caused by a strong low-pressure system, upper-level low, approaching dryline, and surface heating. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Forte was used to chase the storm. A PDS tornado watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

14). May 10, 7:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe thunderstorm in Chautauqua County, Kansas from near Highway 99 and Highway 166 near the town of Sedan and eastward to southeast of Havana. The storm was a supercell storm, possibly formerly tornadic, evolving to an intense line segment as the dryline boundary surged in from the west. The storm had winds gusting near 60-65 MPH, torrential rains, lightning, and small hail. The storms were caused by a strong low-pressure system, upper-level low, dryline, and surface heating. Documentation was digital stills. A 2009 Kia Forte was used to chase the storm. A PDS tornado watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

15). May 11, 5:30 PM - Observation of a short-lived but severe thunderstorm southwest of Cordell, Oklahoma along Highway 55 and towards Carter in Beckham county. The storm was an LP supercell developing ahead of a dryline bulge. During its high point, it probably had dime-sized hail and strong inflow winds (over 35 MPH). The core of the storm was not penetrated. The strong capping inversion, and lack of substantial forcing to over come it, caused the storm to quickly dissipate, leaving only an orphan anvil behind. The storm was caused by a dryline, upper trough, surface trough, and surface heating. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Forte was used to chase the storm. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

16). May 11, 8:30 PM - Observation of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm west of Vici, Oklahoma along Highway 60 in Ellis and Woodward counties. The storm was a supercell thunderstorm, starting out as classic (or even HP), and weakening to LP before dissipation. The core of the storm contained hail to 2", but was not penetrated. A tornado was observed in the rain-free area as well as a large RFD clear slot northwest of Harmon. Frequent lightning and 40+ MPH inflow winds were encountered as well. The storm had a very striking visual appearance (BWER "vault" and "barber pole" updraft striations) during its LP phase near dusk. The storm was explosively developing on the intersection of the dryline and warm-front boundaries, and was supported by strong winds aloft, an upper trough, a low pressure trough, and surface heating. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A 2009 Kia Forte was used to chase the storm. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM CDT.

17). May 12, 4:30 PM - Observation of a very severe and possibly tornadic thunderstorm near Kingman, Kansas in Kingman County near Highways 400 / 54 and east of Highway 14. The storm was an HP supercell storm, developing in a broken line / cluster of severe storms. The core of the storm, containing hail up to 3" was not penetrated, but hail ahead of the storm to golf-ball size was observed. Heavy rains, 60 MPH winds, and frequent lightning were encountered. A large wall cloud was observed near Kingman before the storm became outflow dominant. The storm was caused by a low pressure system / trough, upper trough, surface heating, and a frontal boundary / gravity-wave interaction. Documentation was still photos and HD video. The chase vehicle was a 2009 Kia Forte. A tornado watch was in effect for the area until 10 PM CDT.

18). May 12, 6:00 PM - Observation and penetration of another very severe thunderstorm near Spivey, Kansas in Kingman County near Highways 42 and 14. The storm was an HP supercell storm, embedded in a broken line / cluster of severe storms. The storm was indirectly penetrated, and a wall cloud / large rain-free base were observed. The storm quickly became outflow dominant, and produced winds to 70 MPH (blowing dust / gustnadoes were observed ahead of the storm gust front). Small hail, torrential rains, and frequent lightning with some close hits were also observed. The storm was caused by a low pressure system / trough, upper trough, surface heating, and a frontal boundary. Documentation was still photos and HD video. The chase vehicle was a 2009 Kia Forte. A tornado watch was in effect for the area until 10 PM CDT.

19). May 12, 11:30 PM - Observation of a very severe thunderstorm from a hotel along Interstate 29 and just east / south of Interstate 435 in the northern sections of Kansas City, Missouri in Platte County. This severe storm was observed from a motel while wrapping up the chase trip, and was an intense blow / squall line segment. Winds over 70 MPH with sideways torrential rains, small hail, and frequent lightning with some close hits were observed. A Mc Donalds sign was damaged across the parking lot during the storm. The storm was caused by a cold front and attendant low-pressure system, upper level low, and warm air advection (low-level jet aloft). Documentation was HD video. A 2009 Kia Forte was used in this storm chase. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 12 AM CDT.

------ Observations Before This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Another Chase Trip ------

------ See Separate Section For Storm Chasing In Midwestern US From May 18 to June 1, 2010 (Click HERE) ------

20). June 3, 4:00 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm over Hollywood, Florida in Broward County from near I-595 and southward along Flamingo Road. The storm was a multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. The core of the storm was not penetrated. 40 MPH outflow winds were experienced on the western side of the late stages of the storm. A small funnel was also observed. The storm was caused by an upper trough, surface heating, and sea breeze / boundary interactions. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills.

21). June 5, 6:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm near Sunrise, Florida in Broward County from near I-595 and Nob Hill Road. The storm was a multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. The core of the storm was not directly penetrated, but heavy rains, frequent lightning, and winds near 45-MPH were experienced. Some tree damage was also noted. The storm was caused by an upper trough, surface heating, and sea breeze / boundary interactions. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills.

22). July 23, 9-11 AM - Observation of tropical storm Bonnie in Miami-Dade County coastal and inland areas in Florida. This tropical storm was a minimal tropical storm, with a poorly defined center, and maximum sustained winds of 40-MPH. The storm was observed near the coast at Miami Beach and its circulation center about 15 miles south of Miami and Kendall. Heavy rains, occasional lightning, and winds gusting to near 50-MPH were observed in this tropical system. The tropical storm developed from a tropical wave a day earlier over the SE Bahamas and the storm made landfall in extreme south FL as it moved to the west and northwest. An upper air low imparted shear on the NW part of the tropical system, causing it to remain a weak tropical storm. A calm and partly cloudy area with light winds was noted near the circulation center of the tropical storm. Damage was minimal, mainly small tree branches, and some street flooding was noted. Traffic and accidents made for an extremely frustrating chase, with travel times to Miami (from Fort Lauderdale) near TWO hours (a distance of about 20 miles)! Ocean waves in the 5-7 foot range and tides a foot or so above normal were observed near the beach. . A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills. A tropical storm warning was also valid for the area(s) observed.

23). Sept 19, ALL-DAY - Observation, interception, and penetration of a category one hurricane on the island of Bermuda from St George through Elbow Beach. The hurricane, hurricane "Igor", affected the island from September 19th through the 20th. The center of the storm, with a pressure of about 955 MB (strong for a category 1 storm), passed just to the west of the 14-mile wide island. The right-side of the storm affected the entire island of Bermuda, with high winds and waves. This chase required a flight from Florida to Bermuda and much of the chasing was done either on foot or by taxi cab! Igor was also an extremely large hurricane, with the gale-forced wind envelope alone over 850 miles wide. This exposed Bermuda to a very long period of hurricane conditions. Conditions observed were winds gusting over 85 MPH, heavy rains, and large and battering waves (some over 30 feet in height). Tides ranged from 3 to 8 feet above normal. Damage observed was mainly to trees and power lines, but numerous boats were damaged in the storm. Hurricane Igor was an oceanic hurricane that originated off the coast of Africa near Cape Verde, and crossed the Atlantic basin (at one point being a strong category-4 storm with winds up to 155-MPH). Igor weakened in the Canadian Maritimes on September 22 (the storm fully recurved at that point). No vehicle was involved in the interception, and the island of Bermuda was under a hurricane warning the entire time Igor was a threat.

24). Sept 29, 3:30 PM - Observation of a small funnel cloud and parent strong thunderstorm in Broward County, Florida near I-595 and Pine Island Road (near Plantation). The storm was a small strong thunderstorm with heavy rains and winds gusting near 35-MPH. A small funnel was observed on the eastern side of the storm updraft region, about 1/3 way to the ground. No damage was observed. The storm was a small storm developing in a convergence area ahead of a surface / upper trough with weakening Tropical Storm "Nicole" well to the southeast of the area. . A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was digital stills. A tropical storm warning was in effect earlier in the day, but was taken down as Nicole remained offshore and weakened into a low pressure trough.

This concludes the 2010 chase season. The summary includes a total of 24 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 18 severe thunderstorms were involved as well as 3 strong thunderstorms. A total of 10 confirmed tornadoes (or funnels) were also observed among the chases. There were two tropical cyclone interceptions done this year (one tropical storm in Florida and a hurricane overseas). In addition to chasing in Florida, a considerable amount of chasing was done in the central United States (Midwest) as well as a hurricane intercept in Bermuda. A 2009 Ford Escape was used in 8 chases (mainly in Florida). Rental vehicles were a 2009 Kia Forte, used in 15 chases during two separate chase trips. An additional chase (Central USA in late May 2010) is in a separate area and not shown in this log. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2011 SEASON

1). Jan 21, 1:30 PM - Observation of a strong thunderstorm in Miami-Dade County in Florida near the Palmetto Expressway from I-75 through Highway 836. The storm was a small HP like storm with broad, weak rotation. Conditions observed were occasional lightning, very heavy rains, and winds gusting over 40 MPH. A small funnel / wall cloud was observed on the southern (updraft) region of the storm west of Hialeah near Doral. An RFD clear area / subsidence was also noted on the backside of the storm before it weakened and moved east over the coastal waters. An approaching strong cold front, surface heating / sea breeze activity, upper trough, and a pre-frontal convergence area were responsible for the storms. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still images.

2). Jan 25, 6:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm near Hardee and Highlands Counties, Florida from southwest of Sebring, Florida and Highway 27 and eastward along Highway 98. The storm began as a classic supercell thunderstorm, with a very impressive structure, rare for Florida, and evolved to HP during the latter part of its lifecycle. The storm initiated to the SW of Sebring, well ahead of a squall line to the west, and tracked across the state to the ENE then out to sea near Palm Bay before the squall line caught up with it. A large rotating wall cloud, impressive RFD clear slot, and possible tornado was observed from a distance with this storm east of Sebring in Highlands County before dark and poor road networks. The storm also produced frequent lightning, 60 MPH winds (RFD), and heavy rains. The core was not directly penetrated. Conditions causing the storms were a warm frontal boundary (oriented NW-SE), pre-frontal convergence area (oriented SSW-NNE), pre-frontal surface heating, and a strong upper trough / jet stream overhead. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. Documentation was still photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 9 PM EST.

3). Jan 25, 9:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm in Palm Beach County, Florida near and to the south of South Bay along Highway 27. The storm was a portion of a squall line of strong and severe thunderstorms. Frequent lightning, heavy rains, and winds gusting near 60 MPH were observed with the passage of the storm gust front. An approaching strong cold front, upper trough, and a pre-frontal convergence area were responsible for the storms. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 9 PM EST.

4). Mar 10, 12:00 PM - Interception and penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm from along Interstate 75 in Northeastern Miami-Dade / southeastern Broward Counties in south Florida. The storms were a multi-cell line of strong and severe storms passing through south Florida. Conditions encountered were strong winds to 60 MPH, heavy rains, and moderate lightning. Tree damage was observed with the passage of the squall line of strong and severe storms. The storms were caused by a strong cold front, surface heating, and low pressure trough. Documentation was still digital photos and digital video. A 2009 Ford Escape was used the chase the storms.

5). Mar 28, 6:30 PM - Interception and penetration of a strong thunderstorm in Broward / Miami-Dade Counties in Florida from near University Drive and Miramar Parkway and a bit southward to near Perry Airport and the Palmetto Expressway. The storm was a small "mini" supercell type storm. Conditions encountered were strong winds to neat 45 MPH, very heavy rains, and frequent lightning. A slowly rotating wall cloud was observed on the southern side of the storm (no funnels or tornadoes were spawned). The storms were caused by surface heating and low pressure trough. Documentation was still digital still photos. A 2009 Ford Escape was used the chase the storms.

------ Observations After This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Short Chase Trip ------

6). April 24, 4:00 PM - Interception of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm near Baird and along Highway 283 and about 5 miles north of Interstate 20 in Callahan County, Texas. The storm was a classic / HP supercell tornadic storm moving northeast from near Abilene, Texas to near Moran. At least two tornadoes were observed with this storm. The first was a stove pipe / elephant trunk tornado observed at close range (less than 1 mile) from along Highway 283. This tornado lasted roughly 5 minutes, and weakened before hitting any roadways. The second tornado was from the left-split of the same supercell as it evolved to HP mode, and was basically a very large rotating mass / wall cloud observed near the intersection of 283 and farm road 576. The tornadoes occurred over open / rural country and did not affect any populated areas. The core of the supercell, with possible hail to 4" (grapefruit sized) was not penetrated, however, 70+ MPH winds (mainly RFD), hail to 1", torrential sheets of rain, and extremely frequent lightning with numerous close hits was encountered. The storm continued northeast towards Moran producing additional funnel clouds. The storms were caused by a stationary front, developing dryline, strong wind shear (strong winds aloft), surface heating, and a low pressure trough (surface low and trough aloft). A 2011 Hyundai Elantra was used to chase4 the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 12 AM CDT.

7). April 24, 6:00 PM - Interception of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm northeast of Abilene and north of Interstate 20 (Clyde) in Callahan County, Texas. The storm was an intense tornadic HP supercell moving northeast from near Abilene and over open country. Another tornado was observed with this storm, with a rapidly rotating wall cloud and later a broad area of rotation with smaller vortices briefly touching the ground on the eastern flank of the storm. The core of the supercell, with at least baseball sized hail (2.5+") was not penetrated. Winds near 65 MPH, hail to 1", heavy rain, and frequent lightning was also observed with this storm. The storms were caused by a stationary front, developing dryline, strong wind shear (strong winds aloft), surface heating, and a low pressure trough (surface low and trough aloft). A 2011 Hyundai Elantra was used to chase4 the storms. Documentation was still digital photos and HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 12 AM CDT.

------ Observations Before This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Short Chase Trip ------

8). May 14, 4 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a strong to possibly severe thunderstorm in Glades County, Florida south of Highway 98 and west of Clewiston and southwest of Airglades Airport. The storm was a thunderstorm which exhibited supercell characteristics for a short time. The core of the storm was indirectly penetrated, and contained winds gusting over 30 MPH, heavy rains, frequent lightning with some close hits, and small hail. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital stills.

9). May 19, 6 PM - Observation and penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm in central Broward / Palm Beach Counties and along Highway 27 in inland Florida. The storm was a cluster of strong and severe storms, and winds gusting over 50 MPH, frequent lightning, small hail, and very heavy rains were observed. A weakly rotating wall cloud was also observed with the updraft of this storm. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital stills.

------ See Separate Section For Storm Chasing In Midwestern US From May 20 to May 31, 2011 (Click HERE) ------

10). June 12, 4 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe thunderstorm in Broward County, Florida near Weston and Sunrise and near Interstates 75 and 595. The storm was an intense multicell cluster of severe storms, one of which exhibiting HP supercell characteristics for a short time. The store core had winds gusting over 60-MPH, frequent lightning, torrential rains, and hail at least 1" (some isolated to golfball sized). Tree damage, flooding, and power outages were also caused by this storm. A wall cloud was also observed with the updraft of this storm. A guest accompanied me on this intercept. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital stills.

11). Aug 2, 5 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm and possible tornado from a distance of about 5 miles in eastern Broward County, FL from along Interstate 95. The severe storm was over northern portions of Fort Lauderdale (north of Sunrise Boulevard) and its core was also indirectly penetrated (near Broward Boulevard). The storm had heavy rains, winds gusting over 50 MPH, and frequent lightning with close hits. A possible tornado was also observed on the southern portion of the thunderstorm cell from a distance of about 5 miles from just south of Fort Lauderdale Airport. The possible tornado was over northern portions of Fort Lauderdale and near Pompano Beach. Conditions causing the storms were seabreeze activity, a low pressure trough, and surface heating. The storm was observed with a 2009 Ford Escape. Documentation was digital stills.

12). Aug 25, 6 PM - Coastal observation of the outer effects of hurricane Irene while it was about 150 miles to the east over the NW Bahamas. The costal observation was from Deerfield Beach in Broward county northward to near Boynton Beach in Palm Beach county, Florida. With the western fringes of the tropical storm forced wind envelope touching Palm Beach county coastal waters, the main effects from the storm were very high waves. A large southeast swell, with waves as high 10-12 feet, made its way through the channels of the Bahamas and into the FL east coast. Several people were also observed injured after being swept off their feet and into rocks on the north side of Boynton Inlet. Some required paramedics and sustained spinal / head injuries. Other effects were from a rain squall producing winds over 50 MPH in gusts as well as tidal over wash and severe beach erosion. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to do the observations, and documentation was digital stills and HD video.

13). Aug 27, ALL-DAY - Interception, observation, and penetration of strong category one hurricane "Irene" in coastal areas of North Carolina from near and east of Beaufort, NC and working northward to near Pantego and finally eastward to near Nags Head, NC. The storm made landfall near Cape Lookout, NC as a strong category-1 (almost a 2) hurricane with sustained winds of 85 to 90 MPH. Gusts to 115 MPH were reported just north of the initial target area east of Beaufort and east of Smyrna, NC. Very strong winds and a storm surge at least 5-7 feet above normal was observed, as well as passage of the calm eye. Flooding was extensive, with numerous trees and power lines down, and flooded homes. Most roads became impassible in these areas. The storm tracked north through the Pamlico Sound, weakening slightly. The chase traveled back north along Highways 17 / 70 and eventually to Highway 264, which was rendered impassible. Fresh water flooding inland was severe, caused by nearly a foot or rain falling in just 6 hours. Finally, Highway 64 was taken east to Nags Head for the final intercept of the core of the hurricane. Extensive damage was observed east of Columbia, NC from a strong tornado spawned earlier by Irene’s right-front quadrant. This chase involved flying into Raleigh, NC (about 150 miles from the landfall area) and driving to the target area(s). The chase vehicle was a 2010 Hyundai Accent. Documentation was digital stills, HD video, and audio recording. A hurricane warning and a tornado watch were in effect for the areas chase throughout the entire chase.

14). Sept 24, 4 PM - Observation of a strong thunderstorm in Deerfield Beach in Broward County, Florida from a residence near Military Trail and south of SW 10th Street. The storm was a multicell thunderstorm cluster associated with some strong and marginally severe storms. The storm observed contained very heavy rains, frequent lightning, and 45 MPH winds. Surface heating, a low pressure trough, and sea breeze activity caused the storms. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to do the observation. Documentation was digital stills.

15). Oct 18, 9:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm in Broward County, Florida along Interstate 75 from near I-595 and southward to the Miami-Dade / Broward County border. The storm was an HP (high precipitation) supercell storm developing in a broken cluster of strong and severe storms. The core of the storm was penetrated, and very heavy rains, frequent lightning, and winds near 50 MPH were observed. Once south of the storm core, a large rotating wall cloud and funnel was observed in low light conditions west if I-75 near Pembroke Pines. A wind shift was encountered, with a weak RFD surge noted as the tornado passed to the northwest. Power flashes were notes as the lower wall cloud was northeast of my location (near Sunrise, FL). Tree damaged was also later observed in this area, however, a more thorough check of damage revealed a far-worse scenario. The tornado caused a damage path over a mile in length and up to 150 yards wide near 136 Avenue and NW 8th Street in Sunrise. Damage was upper-end EF-2 (confirmed) with homes suffering structural damage, cars flipped over, and roofs torn off. The tornado also caused extensive damage in a mobile home park. No one was killed. The storm was caused by a subtropical low pressure system, convergence, weak surface heating, and a convergence area in an area of moderate low-level wind shear. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storm. Unfortunately, the storm was at night, so no video or pictures were possible. A tornado watch was also valid for the area until 10 PM EDT.

16). Oct 28, 6:00 PM - Observation of a strong to possibly severe thunderstorm over rural areas of Miami-Dade / Broward Counties in the Florida Everglades (near Krome Avenue and Highway 27). The storm was a small supercell storm and was observed from a distance of about 5 miles. A large and rotating wall cloud, with occasional funnels, was observed on the southwest side of this storm, while it showed a "hook" signature on radar for at least 30 minutes. The storm core was not penetrated. No damage was observed, except for flooding in Broward County later on as the supercell evolved to a multicell cluster of strong thunderstorms containing torrential rains and strong winds. Conditions causing the storms were a low pressure trough, the remnants of tropical storm "Rina", surface heating, and an upper trough. . A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital still photos.

This concludes the 2011 chase season. The summary includes a total of 16 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 11 severe thunderstorms were involved as well as 3 strong thunderstorms. A total of 6 tornadoes (or funnels) were also observed among the chases. There was one tropical cyclone interception done this year (a hurricane in NC) and one coastal observation. In addition to chasing in Florida, a considerable amount of chasing was done in the central United States (Midwest). A 2009 Ford Escape was used in 13 chases (mainly in Florida). Rental vehicles were 2011 Hyundai Elantra and a 2011 Hyundai Accent, used in 2 chases during two separate chase trips. An additional chase (Central USA in late May 2011) is in a separate area and not shown in this log. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


OBSERVATIONS FOR 2012 SEASON

1). April 4, 1:45 PM - Penetration and observation of a severe thunderstorm just west of Interstate 95 and north of Sheridan, Road near Hollywood, Florida in Broward County. The storm was a multicell cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms. One intense cell developed in this cluster, moving ESE, and became a small HP supercell storm. This cell was followed from near Interstate 75 and Pines Blvd and eastward through central to eastern Broward county. The storm was most intense near Interstate 95 before moving offshore. A rotating wall cloud was also observed with this storm along with a weak RFD clear slot early in its development. The core of the storm had extremely heavy rains, hail up to 1" (nickel to quarter sized), frequent lightning (with numerous close hits), and winds gusting to near 70 MPH. Some tree / sign damage was observed, as well as some flooding. The storm developed in an area of convergence well ahead of a cold front, and was supported by a low pressure trough, seabreeze activity, and surface heating. A 2009 Ford Focus was used to observe the storms. Documentation was digital stills.

------ Observations After This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Short Chase Trip ------

2). April 14, 1:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm to the northeast of Russell, Kansas in Russell county from near Highways 281 and Highway 40 and points northeast towards Lucas, Kansas and Luray near Highway 18. The storm was a slightly elevated HP supercell storm, developing near a northward moving warm front that gradually became surface based. This storm also produced the first reported tornado of the day, which I was the first one to observe and report. The tornado developed just northeast of Russell, KS and quickly became rain-wrapped. Id continued northeast and was followed to near Luray then Lucas where it was briefly observed again to the north of a road (Highway 18) blocked by downed powelines. The powerlines were snapped over a wide path (roughly 1/4 mile wide) but the tornado pretty much remained over very open and rural areas. Heading back towards Russell, more tree / powerline damage was observed near 193 / 192 streets, but somewhat narrower, and I had to divert around another blocked road. The storm also contained wind gusts to near 50 MPH, lightning, small hail, and very heavy rains. Conditions causing the storms were a rapidly developing Colorado low pressure area, warm front, surface heating, an intense upper trough, and strong vertical wind shear. A 2012 Chevy Malibu was used to chase the storms. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A PDS tornado watch was also valid for this area until 6:00 PM CDT.

3). April 14, 4:00 PM - Observation and penetration of an extremely severe and tornadic thunderstorm near Rush Center, Kansas in Rush County, Kansas from near Highway 96 Highway 4. The storm was an intense classic supercell storm, and highly cyclic, producing several tornadoes (in which two of the last ones were observed). The core of the storm was not penetrated, and contained hail to baseball sized. The storm had a very striking "stacked plate" visual presentation when viewed from the northeast, with a cone / stovepipe tornado visible under it. This first tornado weakened, and a second one formed near Highway 96 and tracked to the northeast to near Bison, where it dissipated. The second tornado had a beautiful rope structure, and the remnant circulation passed over me on a farm road west of Bison and just south of Highway 4. Other than that, lightning, heavy rains, and winds near 45 MPH were also encountered with this storm. Conditions causing the storms were a Colorado low pressure area, dryline, surface heating, intense upper trough, and strong vertical wind shear. A 2012 Chevy Malibu was used to chase the storms. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A PDS tornado watch was also valid for this area until 6:00 PM CDT.

4). April 14, 6:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a extremely severe and violent tornadic thunderstorm from near Lyons in Rice County, Kansas along Highways 56 / 14 and points northeast through Geneseo along Highway 4 and eventually to near the southern side of Salina, Kansas in Saline County near Bridgeport. The storm was a violent classic supercell, and produced the strongest reported tornado of the day, at EF-4 strength, and with winds up to 200 MPH. The storm was first encountered west of Lyons, Kansas and did a split, the core of the storm was indirectly penetrated (between these two splits, which was fortunate, as Highway 56 happened to go through this "soft spot" in the storm). Lightning, violent (horizontal) rains, winds over 70 MPH, and golfball sized hail were found during the penetration to get east of the storm. Once east of the storm, and west of Mitchell, the rain free base of the southern split was noted, developing a pronounced RFD clear slot, and violent tornadogenesis ensued. The tornado began north of Lyons, as a multi-vortex tornado, then matured as a wedge tornado (at least 3/4 mile wide at times), and evolved to a stove pipe, smaller cone, then lifted by about 6:45 PM northwest of Bridgeport. This well documented tornado was on the ground for at least 45 minutes, luckily avoiding any major towns (pavement was reported scoured by this tornado), and damage observed was mainly trees (debarked) and powerlines destroyed. The cyclic supercell storm continued to the NE past Salina, and went on to produce more (but smaller tornadoes). Conditions causing the storms were a Colorado low pressure area, dryline, surface heating, intense upper trough, and strong vertical wind shear. A 2012 Chevy Malibu was used to chase the storms. Documentation was HD video and digital stills. A PDS tornado watch was also valid for this area until 9:00 PM CDT.

5). April 14, 9:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe and formerly tornadic thunderstorm to the southwest of Salina, Kansas in Saline County just west of Interstate 135 and north of Assaria, Kansas. The storm was a weakening supercell storm, with a history of producing tornadoes earlier. The storm was observed mainly for lightning and hail observation, so the core of the storm was avoided due to the discouraging danger of chasing tornadoes at night. Conditions encountered were continuous lightning, hail and hail fog (marble sized hail covered the ground in one area behind the storm south of Salina); heavy rains, and winds at least 50 MPH. A rotating wall cloud and funnels were also observed with this storm, illuminated by lightning. The storm eventually weakened north of I-70 near Solomon, Kansas. Conditions causing the storms were a Colorado low pressure area, dryline, surface heating, intense upper trough, and strong vertical wind shear. A 2012 Chevy Malibu was used to chase the storms. Documentation was HD video. A PDS tornado watch was also valid for this area until 1:00 AM CDT.

------ Observations Before This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Short Chase Trip ------

6). May 7, 9:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a strong thunderstorm near Weston, Florida in Broward County near Interstate 595 and Highway 27. The storm was a multicell cluster of strong thunderstorms. Winds near 45 MPH, heavy rains, and frequent lightning were observed with this storm. The storm was caused by surface heating, a weak a low pressure trough, and weakening seabreeze activity. A 2009 Ford Focus was used to observe the storms. Documentation was digital stills.

7). May 10, 4:30 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm near Boca Raton, Florida in Broward and Palm Beach Counties from near Interstate 95 and Sample Road to points northwest, and southward. The storm was a multicell cluster of strong thunderstorms with a small embedded HP supercell. Winds near 40 MPH, small hail, heavy rains, and lightning were observed with this storm. The storm was caused by surface heating, a low pressure trough, and outflow boundary / seabreeze interactions. A 2009 Ford Focus was used to observe the storms. Documentation was digital stills.

8). May 14, 5:00 PM - Observation and penetration of severe thunderstorm in west-central Broward County, Florida from near Interstate 595 and Highway 27 to the southeast near Sunrise and Weston along Interstate 75. The storm was an HP supercell storm, unusual for southern Florida. A large rotating wall cloud was observed over the open Florida Everglades and to the west of Sunrise. A well-defined RFD clear slot and some funnel clouds were observed with this storm before it was undercut by outflow. The storm core was penetrated, where winds gusting near 65 MPH, small hail, frequent lightning (with some close hits), and extremely heavy rains were observed. Some tree damage was noted with this storm as well. The storm was caused by surface heating, a low pressure trough, and outflow boundary / seabreeze interactions. A 2009 Ford Focus was used to observe the storms. Documentation was digital stills and HD video.

------ See Separate Section For Storm Chasing In Midwestern US From May 19 to June 2, 2012 (Click HERE) ------

9). June 14, 8:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a strong to severe thunderstorm in Miami-Dade County, Florida from near Interstate 75 and Hialeah / Sweetwater. The storm was an intense multicell storm. The western edge of the storm core was penetrated, where winds gusting near 50 MPH, very heavy rains, frequent lightning (with some close hits) were observed. Some street flooding was noted with this storm as well. The storm was caused by surface heating, a low pressure trough, and outflow boundary / seabreeze interactions. A 2009 Ford Focus was used to observe the storms. Documentation was digital stills.

10). June 14, 9:00 PM - Observation and indirect penetration of a severe thunderstorm in central Broward County, Florida from near Interstate 595 in Weston to Highway 27. The storm was an intense multicell / supercell storm with a brief rotating updraft observed over the Everglades north of Weston, illuminated by lightning. The storm quickly evolved into a multicell cluster / line of strong and severe thunderstorms. Conditions observed with this storm were winds gusting near 60 MPH, possible small hail, very heavy rains, and very frequent lightning (with some close hits). Some street flooding, tree damage, and power outages were noted with this storm as well. The storm was caused by surface heating, a low pressure trough, and outflow boundary / seabreeze interactions. A 2009 Ford Focus was used to observe the storms. Documentation was digital stills.

11). June 15, 7:00 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm in western Broward, Florida from along Interstate 595 in the Florida Everglades and near the Miccosukee Indian reservation. The storm was an LP (evolving to classic) supercell storm, unusual for a Florida thunderstorm. The storm core, containing dime sized hail (down from baseball sized a bit earlier, when the storm was near Henry County) and 60 MPH winds, was not penetrated. The storm had a striking visual appearance, with banding / striations on the updraft tower, well-developed RFD and wall cloud, beaver's tail / inflow bands, and weak vault. A funnel cloud was also observed with the storm during its most intense point as it moved SSE. Frequent lightning was also observed with this storm, as it remained over un-populated areas. The storm was caused by surface heating, a low pressure trough, wind shear, and outflow boundary / seabreeze interactions. A 2009 Ford Focus was used to observe the storms. Documentation was digital stills. A severe thunderstorm watch was also valid for the area until 9 PM EDT.

12). July 28, 4:30 PM - Observation of a strong to severe thunderstorm and weak tornado from along State Road 98 in eastern Glades County, Florida and east of Clewiston. The storm was a multicell cluster of strong thunderstorms producing very heavy rains, lightning, and winds gusting over 40 MPH. One thunderstorm over eastern portions of Clewiston developed weak low-level rotation on its inflow / updraft side, which was to the NE of the storm core. A weak land-spout type tornado was observed with this portion of the storm at a distance of about 5 miles. The tornado lasted no more than 30 seconds, and was over the swamp areas to the north of Clewiston and on the SW side of Lake Okeechobee. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating and seabreeze convergence / boundary interactions. Documentation was digital stills of the weakening tornado. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to observe the storm.

13). Aug 17, 6:00 PM - Observation and penetration of a strong to severe storm in Broward County, Florida from near Sunrise Blvd in Plantation and into western sections of Fort Lauderdale near I-95 and Davie Road. The storm was a multicell cluster of strong to marginally severe thunderstorms. Conditions encountered were winds near (and exceeding) 50 MPH, torrential rains, small hail, and frequent lightning with some close hits. Conditions causing the storms were surface heating and seabreeze convergence / boundary interactions. Documentation was digital stills. A 2009 Ford Escape was used to observe the storms.

14). Aug 26, ALL-DAY - Observation and penetration of a strong tropical storm "Isaac" in the lower Florida Keys, Mainly Key West, in Monroe County, Florida. The chase was basically observation of strong winds, rains, and minor storm surge down Highway US 1 and around Key West. Some flooding was observed near Mallory Square and on the south side near White Street Pier. Winds gusting to near 70 MPH were observed in an intense band of thunderstorms north of the center of Isaac, which passed about 10-15 miles to the south of the Island. Winds died down a bit, but no calm was observed with the storm center. Damage was mainly flooding, some power outages, and some trees / signs down. Large waves were also observed crashing over the White Street Pier as well as near a marina north of Mallory Square. The storm originally developed south of Hispaniola / Cuba and after passing Key West, continued into the Gulf of Mexico and eventually formed Hurricane Isaac that affected the Northern Gulf Coast. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storm. A friend of mine, Jeffrey Lam, also chased with me on this intercept. Documentation was digital stills, audio, and HD video. A live stream was also used via a dash mounted camera when mobile wifi was available. A hurricane (later downgraded to a tropical storm) warning and tornado watch was also in effect for the area (tornado watch box valid until 8 PM EDT with re-issuance until 9 AM the next day).

15). Aug 28-29 BOTH - Observation, interception, and penetration of a category one hurricane "Isaac" in the northern Gulf coastal States from Alabama, through Mississippi, and into Louisiana. The chase path was primarily around Interstate 10 and Highway 90, with chief observation areas from near Dauphin Island in Alabama, Gulfport and Waveland in Mississippi, and from New Orleans to Houma in Louisiana (especially in the Terrebonne Parishes). Storm surge flooding was first encountered at the Dauphin Island Parkway mid-day on Aug 28, making the roadway impassible. Hurricane Isaac was a very large hurricane, and storm surge effects were exacerbated by both the large storm size and long duration of the winds (due to the slow movement of Isaac to the NW). Storm surge approached 12 feet (very large for a hurricane with 80-85 MPH sustained winds). Extensive storm surge flooding and damage was observed along the coastal areas with this storm. Inland, in non surge flooded areas, torrential rains and winds near 80 MPH were encountered, especially from Houma and southward to near Chauvin along Highway 56. The large eye was also encountered, with calm winds and an eerie low fog in the storm center (968 mb at landfall). No blue sky was observed because of the low stratus / fog in the eye, but the rain and wind stopped. Damage observed was to trees, signs, and powerlines. Power was out in many areas, and many roads blocked by fallen trees. The eye was exited during the morning of Aug 29, along Highway 90 when headed back to New Orleans, and the eyewall was encountered with violent (horizontal rains) and winds near 80 MPH. This continued well to the east, past New Orleans, and as far east as Biloxi, Mississippi. Storm surge was very severe near Lake Ponchatrain east of New Orleans. Only wind damage / blown out windows was observed in New Orleans proper. A line of tornadic thunderstorms (HP supercell and possible tornado) was also encountered during the afternoon of Aug 29 near Gulfport. The storm was exited near Mobile Alabama later that day. A 2009 Ford Escape SUV was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital stills, audio, and HD video. A live stream was also used via a dash mounted camera when mobile wifi was available. A hurricane warning and tornado watch was also in effect for the areas chased (tornado watch boxes valid from Aug 28 through Aug 30 most of the time).

16). Aug 29, 3:30 PM - Observation and penetration of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm near Gulfport, Mississippi along Highway 49 and near Stone and Harrison counties. A brief low-contrast funnel was observed with this HP supercell storm, that was embedded in the rain-bands from Hurricane Isaac to the west of the area. A violent wind shift was associated with passage of the (possible) rain wrapped tornado with RFD winds gusting well over 80 MPH. The tornado was rain wrapped. The storm also contained lightning, violent rains, and winds gusting over 80 MPH. Conditions causing the storm were enhanced low-level wind shear, and convergence in hurricane Isaacs feeder bands. Documentation was digital stills and video, as well as a live stream of the storm (active with mobile wifi via a dash camera). A 2009 Ford Escape was used to chase the storms. A hurricane warning was also in effect for this area, and a tornado watch valid until 4 PM CDT.

------ Observations After This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Short Chase Trip ------

17). Oct 12, 7:00 PM - Interception, observation, and indirect penetration of a very severe and tornadic thunderstorm to the northeast of Plainview, Texas in Hale County and near Highways 86 and 207 and east of Interstate 27. The storm was a classic to HP supercell storm. Two small tornadoes were observed with this storm. The first one was a brief tornado under a large wall cloud, and the second was with another "cycle" of the supercell that was multi vortex in nature. The tornadoes were brief and probably EF-1 or less. No damage was observed as the storm was over open country. The core of the storm was not directly penetrated, and contained hail to at least baseball sized. Quarter to golfball sized hail was encountered northeast of the storm when diverting around the core to get into position for the tornadoes. The storm also had 60 MPH winds, frequent lightning (with some close hits), and very heavy rains. The storm had a very striking visual appearance as well (striations, vault, and ominous wall cloud). The storm was caused by a dryline and stationary front interaction, surface heating, upper trough, and developing low pressure system. A 2012 Dodge Avenger was used to chase the storm. Documentation was audio, digital stills, and HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 2 AM CDT.

18). Oct 13, 4:00 PM - Observation of a severe thunderstorm near and to the southwest of Binger, Oklahoma in Caddo County and near Highways 152 and 146. The storm was part of a line / cluster of strong and severe thunderstorms, and possibly an embedded HP supercell storm. A rotating wall cloud was observed with this storm before it was undercut by outflow. An impressive shelf cloud (and "whale's mouth" effect) was observed with this storm. The storm also produced small hail, frequent lightning, very heavy / sideways rains, and winds gusting over 70 MPH. Some tree damage was observed as well. Conditions causing these storms were a Pacific cold front / dryline interactions, surface heating, upper trough, and low pressure system. A 2012 Dodge Avenger was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 9 PM CDT.

19). Oct 13, 5:30 PM - Observation of another severe thunderstorm near Lawton, Oklahoma in Comanche County and near Highways 7 and 65 and east of Interstate 27. The storm was an HP (or even classic) supercell storm. A rotating wall cloud and rain curtains was encountered east of Lawton and south towards Walters, where a small funnel was also observed. The storm contained 60 MPH winds, lightning, heavy rains, and hail about the size of quarters. Conditions causing the storm was an advancing dryline (south of its intersection with a Pacific cold front), surface heating, upper trough, and low pressure system. A 2012 Dodge Avenger was used to chase the storm. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tornado watch was also in effect for the area until 9 PM CDT.

------ Observations Before This Point May Be In Central / Midwest US For Short Chase Trip ------

20). Oct 26-28, ALL - Coastal observations and indirect interception of category one hurricane "Sandy" while it made its closest approach to the east of Florida. Sandy was a category one hurricane (formerly with 110 MPH winds earlier on October 25-26) passing through the Bahamas. The storm evolved to a subtropical hurricane on October 27, and eventually a devastating extratropical storm off New Jersey on October 29 before making landfall that same day with 90 MPH winds. The conditions observed were mainly heavy rains and winds gusting to 50 MPH (tropical storm conditions on October 26 and early on the 27th). The biggest impacts along the Palm Beach county coastal areas were extremely large swell waves and a moderate storm surge from its effects. Some coastal flooding, severe beach erosion, and damage to some piers and beachfront property was observed. The large swells were the largest observed since October 1991 (Perfect Storm) in and offshore of Palm Beach County / Boynton and Lake Worth inlets. A 2009 Ford Escape as well as a 2008 SeaDoo watercraft was used to observe these conditions. Documentation was digital stills and HD video. A tropical storm warning and heavy surf / coastal flood advisory as also in effect for the areas.

This concludes the 2012 chase season. The summary includes a total of 20 chases or observations. Out of these chases, 16 severe thunderstorms were involved as well as one strong thunderstorm. A total of 9 tornadoes (or funnels) were also observed among the chases (some multiples from the same severe storm). There were 3 tropical cyclone interceptions done this year (tropical storm and 2 hurricanes) and one coastal observation during one of the hurricanes. In addition to chasing in Florida, a considerable amount of chasing was done in the central United States (Midwest). A 2009 Ford Escape was used in 13 chases. Rental vehicles were 2012 Dodge Avenger (used in 3 chases) and a 2012 Chevy Malibu (used in 4 chases) for the two separate chase trips. An additional chase (Central USA in late May 2012) is in a separate area and not shown in this log. This information was prepared exclusively for the National Weather service and the team of Skywarn storm spotters.


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