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Storm Chase 2012 - Arrival Day

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So 2 months ago tomorrow, I had the most amazing phonecall - a phonecall that I doubt will ever be topped. Winner of the Netweather storm chasing competition with the opportunity to go chasing in the Great Plains for ten days.

The moment has arrived and after a slightly eventful day of traveling yesterday, I had a great night with fellow guests at a local sports bar. I'm a bit of a lightweight at the best of times without the toll of 24 hours travelling through some pretty chaotic American airports, but nonetheless everyone has been very welcoming and I have a feeling that the next ten days are going to be thoroughly enjoyable, regardless of convective weather.

The flight from Heathrow to Chicago was laid back with more empty seats than people. The only negative being that the one time I did nod off, I slept through breakfast!

Chicago proved to be chaotic, with a 1 hour period to clear immigration and catch a train from terminal 5 to terminal 1. It didn't help that I then waited outside boarding gate B7 as instructed on my boarding pass, only to realise with 5 minutes to spare before take-off that I actually needed borading gate C17!! One training session for the Norwich half-marathon later and I was aboard the United Airlines flight for Denver, Colorado..

Denver airport and the pilot informs us that it is 85°F outisde as we land at approx 13.40 local time. First stop was the gents/tornado shelter!


(Stolen the photo from Ian's blog [url="http://irishtwisterchaser.blogspot.com/2012/06/touchdown-denver.html"]http://irishtwisterc...own-denver.html[/url])

Baggage collection was not the easiest to find - requiring another train journey and an elderley lady who decided to only put her left foot on the escalator and nothing else, resulting in her doing the splits and me freaking out trying to lift her up before the top! Good deed out the way, a quick shower before meeting the rest of tour 5 and hitting the local sports bar for an ambition full rack of ribs and a few pints of Colorado Cider.

I can't wait to hit the road now and explore the central states of the U.S. I gather that the outlook for next week in particular is looking rather exciting with the Storm Prediction Centre claiming "CONFIDENCE IS INCREASING IN POTENTIAL FOR A HIGHER-END SEVERE THREAT IN PORTIONS OF THE N-CNTRL CONUS EARLY NEXT WEEK".

We are due to hit the road shortly and head over to Kansas, before travelling further North to South Dakota for the end of the week. Hail is expected to be the main focus today with only a low tornado risk.

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Cheers Owen, looking forward to following your entries through the tour [img]http://cdn.nwstatic.co.uk/forum//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

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