2 Week Preparation...and Storms in Bristol

Posted on 5th May, 2017

Time is really beginning to ebb away before my third trip to Tornado Alley. The amount of time to prepare is slipping away through my fingers, with this tactic working well to build up the excitement of upcoming storm season. Tour 1 of the Netweather / WeatherHolidays.com are starting in the next couple of days and I'll no doubt be glued to my screen in the evening, watching for every lightning strike, hailstone and tornado they see. 


The SJ6000 Action Cam

The SJ6000 Action Cam


My most recent plans to prepare have seen me buy an action camera from eBay. I am looking for something to supplement my footage, not replace it - so I didn't want to spend the earth on stupidly high quality kit. I settled for the SJ6000 and mini starter kit...although will have to await delivery. I am hoping I can then use it as a makeshift dash-camera for calim protection when driving in my day job. Does anybody have any experience with this camera? I know a few friends own earlier models (and rate it high!), but not heard anything from this one.   Hopefully, keeping with the underpinned intentions of the eyesonjason idea, the camera will be of some use in future projects also!


Additional plans have now come together regarding my travel. It was uncertain if I was to head up to the airport the night before my flight and transfer in the morning. I have now decided to drive on the morning of the flight and use Purple Parking at Heathrow Terminal 5 again (ah, reminiscing my first year chasing...as it's the same location) as they offer great service at a competitive price. I was very impressed with their services last year and highly recommend them.  Fingers crossed for an equally impressive service this year. 


I also need to catch up with everyone whilst away, as well as have access to email, facebook and a way of staying in touch with Hannah, family and friends... with most companies (including my own contract, EE) charging an absolute bomb on roaming charges. Last year, I took out a 1 month rolling contract with Three, which features Feel at Home and enables (within reason) the use of your mobile contract abroad to be the same as what you have at home. This year, I've gone for a 12 month contract (£12/month and with £55 cashback via TopCashBack) - and will be using this as my spare phone card. Great serice and strive to do right for their customers, I look forward to thanking them whilst stateside...


Bristol Storms

The last 2 weeks have seen some relatively stormy weather around the South West UK. It was a stormy end to a day at the eye hospital last week (more details on my personal blog) that saw a lovely cumulonimbus pass over my flat (guess who had his camera ready...)


The first of the Bristol storms - 25th April 2017


This, however, was just the taster of the Bank Holiday Monday weather. Dan Holley, weather forecaster for Convective Weather, forecast a slight risk of convective storms in the central south west of the UK. He was spot on, with a stormy skyline developing around 2pm.  It wasn't long before the systems started to take shape and I was treated to a panoramic view of a thuderstorm to the north of my flat. 


Not every day that you see a thunderstorm roll by in Bristol


I found watching the heavy precipitation cut across the landscape almost as exciting as the flashes of lightning the storm was producing. The crack of the thunder also heightened the excitement as I watched the storm move south west, intensifying by the minute. It wasn't long until I noticed it trying to gain structure... and it was then I noticed the rotation.


I got very excited by the storm trying to produce some sructure... maybe a little too excited


This put me in a quandary - the rotation would be passing over my flat...It wasn't very strongly rotating, but it was rotating.  I questioned what I should do for the best: stay and watch or hit the road and chase. I knew I was low on fuel and by the time I'd prepared myself to rush out and refuel, the storm would be a little too far away. In the end I decided to stay put and film from the doorstep (albeit to the strange looks of my neighbours...).  The resulting footage can be seen below...and you can clearly see the rotation in the clouds.  



Tail end of the thunderstorm showed some mild rotation...enjoy! - May 1st 2017


All exciting stuff to whet my whistle before the real chase season begins. It's not long to go now... and without a doubt, this blog will be updated with the storms as they happen. Keep in touch and I'll catch up with you all soon!


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