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StormChase Adventures

April 28, 2002  Day of the SuperCells!

(Photo of Spring Hill, TN storm which begins targeting a neighborhood south of Murfreesboro, TN)
    Wow....what a day.  I traveled approximately 350 miles around Middle Tennessee for this event.  The big story of the day was the tornado touchdown south of Murfreesboro, TN.  I intercepted that storm at Spring Hill, TN as it came through, and at that time it had already developed a wall cloud.  I was unable to stay with the storm due to the combination of the speed of the storm and poor back roads.
    The second wave of severe storms moved in during the afternoon hours.  I traveled south to Maury County where a tornado warning was issued at the same time I arrived into position.  I shot video of a large wall cloud which appeared to be rotating.  I got spooked because large rain drops began falling which I knew could be a sign that large hail was about to fall.  I also knew I was directly in the path of the Doppler indicated tornado.  In order to escape the approaching hail shaft, I shot east back to I-65 at a high speed signaling other drivers to turn around.  At I-65, I shot south to the next exit in Marshall County where I shot more footage of the rotating wall cloud.  I was still in the path of the storm.  My storm chase had turned into a storm escape.  I again shot further south to the next exit where I caught more footage; which was the footage that later made the evening news.  This storm chase was difficult because the storms were moving to the southeast.  This storm movement put me on the run for at least 15 miles.  Other spotters reported seeing a tornado on the ground with this storm, but I did not hear of any damage from this particular storm.


2001 Storms
July 5, 2001  Storms from the North West

    Many warnings were issued that day including several tornado warnings.  I did not witness any severe events. Some damage was reported across the area including one confirmed brief touchdown in North Nashville.

May 31, 2001  Cyclonically Rotating Thunderstorm Complex

    There is probably a better term to describe this type of storm complex (if you know the term, please email me).  This storm proved deadly when a tornado touched down in Cannon County killing one person.  I caught a wall cloud associated with this same storm earlier as it crossed I-65 at Columbia, TN.  I was definitely in the right place at the right time that day.

April 15, 2001 Squall Line

    A squall line raced across Middle Tennessee Easter morning just after sunrise. Winds up to 70 mph were reported.  Damage was wide-spread, which included the following: downed trees, a large radio tower was blown down, and the new Nashville Super Speedway suffered damage in the bleachers.
    On my storm chase, I only saw two large limbs down and winds up to 50 mph.  This event happened one day before the April 16, 1998 Nashville tornado anniversary.
 

February 24-25, 2001  Squall Line

    A squall line moved through Middle Tennessee midnight/early morning hours.  Before going out to a residential spotting point, the line of storms appeared to be slightly weakening (as forecasted).  While sitting on a hill in Franklin, TN around 12:30 AM Feb.25, a tornado warning was issued for southern Maury County.  The projected path was approximately 20 miles away, and I thought the line was still weakening; so being impatient, thinking this would be my only chance of seeing anything, I headed south to look for damage.  I encountered horizontal rain mixed with small hail near the Williamson/Maury County line.  This was a little scary knowing that I could be in the path of a developing tornado not yet detected by the Doppler, and while most people had pulled over, including the State Trooper, I decided to keep moving in order to leave a possible tornadic path.  I was also concerned about trees on the side of the interstate possibly blowing down onto the car if I stopped. Rotation was later detected in that storm as the squall line continued intensifying.
    A tornado warning was issued for Franklin, so I made a U-turn and headed back North.  No touch downs were confirmed from this warning.  I only saw minor wind damage (small limbs, and blown over trashcans).