Ride The Storm

Mitsubishi wanted to put their All-Wheel Control (AWC) technology to the test against the toughest winter conditions, so they invited us on a grueling road trip to help them track a storm as it moved inland across the country.
WunderMap®
Track the position of the Mitsubishi Ride the Storm car!

The Road Trip

See how it all went down as we chased a storm from San Pedro, California to the Colorado/Kansas border.

Blog From The Road

Posted by: StormChaseMets, 1:54 AM GMT on December 16, 2011
Brrr! We woke up to the coldest temperatures of the trip this morning, the cars thermometers were reading 1 degree! Of course the roads around the hotel were super slick. The cars handled great though, stayed on the road with no sliding. On the way out of town we hit some snowy roads and played there for a while seeing what the cars could do.

After that we sort of booked it for Denver. Saw some beautiful views through the passes, especially around sunset at Copper Mountain. We just got to Denver and are heading out to dinner. But first a quick picture.


Tim and Jess
Posted by: StormChaseMets, 1:08 AM GMT on December 15, 2011
Stayed overnight in Kayenta, where we saw temperatures drop well below freezing. Waking up in the morning we had to be really careful walking to breakfast because of all the black ice and frozen puddles. As things were getting underway, a pickup slide off the road into a ditch in front of the 7 2 11 convenience store. A few of the crew almost face planted too. Not good conditions for driving. Our precision driver, Linda killed it though with the all wheel control system getting us through the Ice. After checking models, we decided to head north to Telluride to try and catch snow in southwestern Colorado. An upper level continued to bring periods of mountain snow, and a valley rain/snow mix as it lifted out of the area. Winter Weather Watches, Winter Storm Warnings, and even an Avalanche Warning were issued for the area in anticipation of today's snowfall.
From Kayenta, we traveled northward and through the Four Corners, before stopping in Dolores to talk to locals about last night's/this morning's snowfall. According to today's Local Storm Reports, the area saw a good amount. To see these totals click through the versions of today's storm report here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/product.php?site=gjt&produ ct=lsr&issuedby=GJT&format=CI&version=1&glossary=0
The locals encouraged us to drive through the mountain passes to catch today's snowfall. We took their advice and found light snow showers as we climbed to an elevation of about 10,300ft. This was a great success! After filming in the mountains, we decided to head to Telluride and finish Day 3 of our Ride The Storm Adventure.

Tomorrow we think we'll hang around the mountains. Even though a weak high pressure system builds into the area, a few high elevation snow showers may hang around some of the highest peaks of the area.

Until tomorrow,
Jess and Tim
Posted by: StormChaseMets, 6:30 AM GMT on December 13, 2011
Day 1. Amazing Rain and a Hint of Snow....

We began our adventure just south of Long Beach, CA at White's Point Beach in San Pedro, CA at 5 a.m. this morning. We set up cars and our weather station and waited for the rain to come in. There were a few light sprinkles at first, but the real rain didn't occur until around 8:00 a.m. By the afternoon rainfall totals for Long Beach Airport reached to 0.62 inches! Heavy rain in the area led to street ponding, areas of flooding, and runoff through the day. Side streets looked like raging torrents threatening to sweep at least one car away. Once the rain came in heavily, we traveled from the beach up into the San Bernardino mountain passes. As we climbed into the higher elevations, we saw snowfall at about 4,200 feet and our cars alerted us to icy roads (kudos to our professional drivers for navigating across these roads). After we passed the mountains, we rode down to Barstow and encounter more areas of moderate rain. This precipitation lightened as we traveled eastward into Arizona.

Today's final rest stop is in Kingman, AZ and the temperature is 32 degrees.

Concerns...
Still tweaking our weather station. We'll provide a link to this data once the station is up and running again-hopefully by tomorrow morning.

Links...
Here's a link to the Preliminary Precip Totals For Los Angeles County through 4 p.m.
http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/total_forecast/getprod.ph p?wfo=lox&pil=RRM&sid=LOX&version=0

Pictures...
Pictures from today's journey will be uploaded soon.

Tomorrow's Outlook...
Head to Flagstaff, AZ and up to the Grand Canyon. Moisture from this system will kick out snow accumulations of 4 to 10 inches through Wed. morning at elevations of 5,500 feet. Snow amounts of up to 14 inches will be possible above 7,500 feet. After this we hope to head eastward into the Southern Plains to catch some frontal rain and storms on Wed.

Be sure to keep up with us throughout the day on twitter @WunderJess and @WunderTim!

Until tomorrow,
Jess and Tim
Posted by: StormChaseMets, 6:24 AM GMT on December 11, 2011
Weather Underground meteorologists Jess Parker and Tim Roche, we have a mission for you, should you choose to accept it.

Your mission: Ride the Storm

Track a strong Winter storm from the West Coast to the Plains in all-terrain vehicles...before Christmas. While tracking the storm, you should document every type of precipitation and Winter conditions possible. This should include rain, snow, wind, freezing conditions, and, if possible, freezing rain. To fulfill the requirements of this mission, we are going to require documented proof via WunderPhotos and videos posted via twitter. Your mission will not be fulfilled unless the entire Weather Underground community can follow your progress via a weather station attached to one of your vehicles. This weather station must be transmitting to Weather Underground constantly, even in the montainous areas of the West.

Your Target: West Coast storm December 12th

After weeks of monitoring a stagnant weather pattern for much of the country, mission control has finally pinpointed your target storm. You are to travel to Los Angeles on Sunday, December 11th, approximately 24 hours before a Pacific storm hits Southern California. From there, you will meet up with sleeper agents who will assist you in your mission. In advance of the storm, fellow covert agents at the National Weather Service have issued a Special Weather Statement for your target area, predicting what you are to expect from the first part of your mission. Note, especially, the first line of the statement, "A cold storm system to impact the area". The storm should be cold enough to lower snow levels to 3,000 - 4,000 feet during the first part of your mission. You should pay particular attention to the watches and warnings during your travel. The storm is already cold enough to instigate Winter Storm Watches for the hills of Southern California, promising a decent chance at rare December Winter weather in what is normally sunny California.

Agents Jess and Tim, please rest up once you get to Southern California, because your mission does not end at the border of California and Arizona. You are to investigate the storm as it moves into the Southwest. The storm may play tricks on you, hiding the Winter-type precipitation in various places in Arizona, but you are experts. You are not to come home unless you find that snow and track the storm into the treachous mountains of the Rockies. You should have no problem finding snow there, but please remember to document your trip as much as possible so we can follow you here back at home base, Weather Underground.

Agents, all of us here at Weather Underground are depending on you. So, please, take this mission seriously.

Oh yeah, and this blog will self-destruct in 5 seconds.
Posted by: StormChaseMets, 7:49 PM GMT on December 10, 2011
What do people typically think of when they hear the words Winter Weather or Winter Storm? For some, there's that sense of excitement of getting fresh powder for skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. In the younger crowd, there's also that burst of happiness of having a potential Snow Day during the school year. And for others, young and old, there's the desire to stay warm and cozy indoors. While Tim and I have felt all these feelings at some point in our lives, that initial excitement of forecasting and catching the storm remains. So for this week, we have teamed up with Mitsubishi to travel cross country and follow a storm system as it develops and changes from the California coast through the Midwest. You can keep track of our journey here on our blog and via Twitter (@WunderJess and @WunderTim) and Facebook as we post pictures and stories throughout the week.

The adventure begins Monday!
Jess and Tim
Meet The Meteorologists
Jessica Parker
Meteorologist
Jess Parker

Jessica completed her Earth Systems Science and Engineering studies at the University of Michigan. While there, she concentrated on Meteorology/Atmospheric Science, and dabbled in Climate Change Studies. After turning down an opportunity to be a tornado chaser on reality TV, Jessica decided to venture off to sunny California to pursue a career as a Meteorologist. She found a new home at the Weather Underground in San Francisco.

Tim Roche
Meteorological Developer
Tim Roche

Tim Roche graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Meteorology in 2005. While he was at Rutgers he forecast for TV stations, Public Utilities as well as provided a surf forecast for the New Jersey coast.He joined the Weather Underground soon after graduating.

About The Vehicles