|This section includes storm chasing related picnics, parties, conventions, or other similar events that have taken place in the year of 2001. Also, some miscellaneous pictures are included at the conclusion of this web page.
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|Storm chasers and younger, possible future chasers, gather at the SE chaser picnic on March 10, 2001 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Storm chasers, Skywarn spotters, weather enthuisiasts, and their family and friends are all welcome to attend this yearly event.|
|Storm chasers at the first annual SE storm chaser picnic on March 10, 2001 in Okaheelee Park in West Palm Beach, Florida pose for a group picture towards the end of the picnic. In all, about 15 to 20 people showed up from Florida and the SE United States, and consisted of storm chasers, storm spotters, Skywarn coordinators, and parts of their family. Amateur radio and HAM operators also were interested in the storm chasing scene.|
|A group of storm chasers from the SE United States, mainly Florida, converses at the annual SE chaser picnic in West Palm Beach on March 10, 2001. Members here are from the former "Weathervine" chase team, Stormspeed, even the Skywarn organization in Melbourne, FL.|
|Storm chasers and their friends talk, share interests, and watch chase videos at the first annual SE storm chaser picnic on March 10, 2001 in Okaheelee Park in West Palm Beach, Florida. This fun event features food and drink as well as media equipment to show videos and pictures. We are using a generator to power the equipment (two TV's, two VCR's, even a laptop). It's a bring your own food and a bring your best video "show and tell" event.|
|This picture shows myself giving a class on the interpretation and analysis of radar and satellite images. This segment was the main part of the Forecasting Clinic hosted by the former "Weathervine" storm research team on August 11, 2001 at the Wellington community center in Florida. This entire class was also web-casted live. Jeff Gammons is in the background operating my presentation (MS Powerpoint). Larry Hughes, sound and video engineer, is in the far corner and not visible. A total of 34 students, many HAMs and Skywarn members, attended this class. The class ran from about 9AM to 12PM.|
|At the Wellington Community Center, Dave Cornwell teaches class members about how to set up a weather station at home or even on a chase vehicle. This was the first part of the forecasting clinic held at the Wellington Community Center in Palm Beach, Florida on August 11, 2001. In the background there is myself, to the right, and Jeff Gammons, founder of the former "Weathervine" storm chase team to the left.|
|This picture shows Myself as well as the mayor of the city of Wellington, Florida doing an interview in the middle of our forecasting clinic at the Wellington Community Center on August 11, 2001. Here we are discussing important emergency management issues in the case of disasters (hurricanes, floods, etc) and how Palm Beach would handle such events as well as how well prepared the county is for such events.|
|Another picture of the pavilion at Wellington park shows the Skywarn picnic on August 11, 2001 as well as the main chase vehicle used by the former "Weathervine" team, a 1996 Chevy Blazer SUV owned by Dave Cornwell. Note the equipment mounted on the roof of the vehicle.|
|This is a group picture of everyone in the shade at the Skywarn Picnic on August 11, 2001 in Wellington park. The Pavilion had power outlets and we all watched some great chase videos on a TV and VCR we hooked up. The picnic started around 12 noon and continued to about 4 PM.|
|Here is a picture of a large cake prepared by Skywarn coordinators at the Skywarn picnic in Wellington on August 11, 2001. The cake reads "Picnic 2001" and has the Skywarn logo right on it! Totally edible ... Note that the "2001" in the bottom of the picture is already gone!|
|Members of the Wellington HAM Radio Club and Skywarn spotters attend the Skywarn picnic on August 11, 2001 in Wellington park. This event was hosted by the PBC Skywarn network and the Wellington Radio Club. Here we are enjoying some food and drink under the pavilion on the east side of the park. About 40 people showed up for this event.|
What would happen if a tornado hit your area ... Well that's why we have what they call "emergency preparedness excercises". On October 28, 2001, the city of Wellington in Palm Beach County, Florida, in accordance with the emergency operations center (EOC) conducted a tornado excercise to practice emergency efforts and amateur radio (HAM) infrastructure should a disaster ever take place. Here's how it was set. A "mock" tornado event was improvised by myself and the former "Weathervine" storm intercept team. The tornado was an F2 that developed from an HP supercell thunderstorm and passed over Southern Blvd (State Road 98) just west of State Road 7 near Wellington. An imaginary damage area with damage and injuries was improvised with its location as well as simulated spotter / public reports of the storm's effects. The excercise then aimed at getting timely warnings to the NWS during the event as well as emergency / rescue operations after. The main hospital for this simulated event was Wellington Memorial Hospital. The storm event lasted from 1:00 PM through 1:10 PM. Damage assesment and coordination began immediately followed by a mobile command post and "fake shelter" being set up. The outcome summary was 57 people admitted safely to the hospital, any homeless to the shelter, and only 1 fatality. We all did a great job at coordinating and carrying out this event. Most amateur radio operators were with the Wellington Radio Club using their repeater at 147.235 MHz. HAM radio can literally be a life saver!
|During the Palm Bearch County, Florida EOC emergency preparedness excercise on October 28, 2001, a practice damage assesement is being conducted by myself, both former "Weathervine" storm chase vehicles and the mobile command post for the excercise. In the picture here, we are passing through the Little Ranches area near Wellington, Florida. By using a Skywarn network as well as a great collection of amateur radio operators (HAMs), we simulate a tornado strike to the area along an imaginary path. The tornado event is then followed by emergency coordination, police, fire, and other rescue and first aid practices. It is always good to hold such excercises so that everyone involved will be well prepared for a real disaster. HAM radio is a viable and good-will asset to the community if needed. Note the stormy looking sky in this picture, sets the "mood" even more for a tornado drill!|
|This picture shows the former "Weathervine" main chase vehicle, a Chevy Blazer owned by Dave Cornwell (sitting in the passenger seat). Jeff Gammons is in the drivers side door as I stand just in front of the vehicle during a HAM radio emergency operations drill in Wellington, Florida. This excercise included a "fake" F2 tornado, improvised by the former "Weathervine" team and myself, followed by emergency response practices and coordinations. The Palm Beach County EOC conducted this test on October 28, 2001.|
|This picture shows the former "Weathervine" second chase vehicle, a Ford Escape owned by myself, that's me in the foreground! This picture was taken during a HAM radio emergency operations drill in Wellington, Florida in Palm Beach County on October 28, 2001. Note the "Weatherlab" weather station mounted on the roof of the Ford Escape SUV.|
|This is a picture of my birthday cake on my 33rd birthday. This was for a "suprise" birthday party from my parents, friends, and neighbors. Note the storm-chaser flair to the cake, the large tornado, car, even flying debris. The little blue "GI Joe" man standing in the upper left corner of the cake is supposed to be a skydiver landing with a parachute into the whole mess!|
|This composite picture shows three license plates from the fronts of three major chase vehicles at one of the storm chasing conventions near Denver, Colorado. These are vanity plates that chasers proudly present about this unique hobby. The plates on the left are custom name (vanity) plates while the one on the right even has a vanity HAM radio call-sign.|
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