Sunday, May 9, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

A big hello to all 16 of our followers and anyone else who is reading this! TTUKa-1 (the better-looking radar in the picture above) is back on the road after an unexpected, but welcome trip back to Lubbock. With operations down for Friday and Saturday and the rest of the V2 armada staying in Amarillo, the TTU teams opted out of the hotel to get a couple of nights in our own beds. The break also coincided with a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Texas Tech Wind Science and Engineering Department, so we were thrilled to be able to make it back for the party and show off all of our instrumentation for the alumni in town for the event.

Prior to the brief trip home, we did get to deploy for the first time in 2010 on an elevated supercell in northwestern Kansas last Thursday. The supercell did not offer much for satisfying research objectives as there was virtually zero chance of it becoming tornadic, but it did offer a great, low-stress deployment to shake off the rust from last season. It was especially nice to get a chance to attempt a coordinated deployment with TTUKa1 and TTUKa2 before we're out on the real deal (which starts tomorrow) to iron out any communications problems.

So, between the "practice" deployment last Thursday and the weekend at home, the TTU teams are well rested, ready, and eager for some tornadic supercells in unpopulated areas to collect data on. And it looks like Mother Nature will oblige us. A deep trough in the southwestern U.S. looks likely to create a severe weather outbreak tomorrow somewhere in central North America, and opportunities for V2 deployments will likely persist through at least Wednesday. So the next time I blog, hopefully I'll have multiple successful deployments to discuss!

Finally, I'm reasonably sure this is of interest to around 0% of you, but it's my blog so I'm including it anyways. One of the challenges of severe thunderstorm field work is finding hobbies to occupy long hours of down time on the road. Over the years, this has led to me becoming a fairly avid birdwatcher. So I'll be using the final paragraph of my postings to update you, the readers, on my progress towards seeing 75 species of bird over the course of V2. Currently, I've picked off most of the likely roadside bird suspects while driving, and have 32 species seen. I'll have to find some opportunities to bird in some better habitat (and not while moving 70 mph) in the upcoming weeks if I'm going to reach the goal.


  1. I suppose, in this sense, I am but a lurker in reading your blog [and have come to like reading all of them!]. I imagine going to bed all the time in hotels must be rather taxing. I know it was one of the things I hated most of all when my family went on vacations...

    I am, too, getting excited over Monday~Wednesday's potential tornado outbreak! I'm a little of a weather-lover, so I am wishing all of you guys at VORTEX 2 much luck! ;o

    Hmm, ah brids~ <3 There are a ton of birds here where I live, so I can see why you love them, too. Good luck on getting your goal of 75 species!

  2. Prairie birds are my specialty. They're awesome :) I hope you get to see some good ones ;) 75 species shouldn't be too hard to attain. Just make sure to swing by a wetland for some extra diversity.

  3. I'm enjoying reading the blog and keeping up on the team activities. Hope you had good hunting in Oklahoma in the past couple of days! I look forward to reading about your travels, birding and research.

  4. Hi Ann Marie! Glad you and Andy are reading! And happy to see another birder make an appearance, so far no legitimate birding opportunities, but I think 75 should be pretty attainable :)
    - Pat