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© 2016 by APEC Engineering & Laboratory, LLC

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First Post: A learning experience!

April 30, 2016

 

I have decided to post a log of my hail chasing activities. Yesterday marked the first hail chase event for team "Give'em Hail" and it was a fun learning experience, though we did not encounter any appreciable hail. Our team, Gary Treider, John Ewell, Greg Winterton and myself assembled in Midlothian and enjoyed about two of training on how to set out our hail pads, how to collect hail samples and what to pick up and what to avoid. We learned about the safety plan and how we would chase storms but not get ourselves into trouble. We learned about the different functions of our equipment and how to do the various duties for being an effective team. It was fun, we stopped for lunch in Dallas and watched the cloud formations near Canton. After lunch off to Canton we did go. In route we discovered that we had a broken a refrigeration line and lost our coolant and our cold trailer was no about 80 degrees, so much for analysis and hailstones this trip! But we can still set out our hail pads and collect some size distribution data and corresponding splatter data.

 

Well, not so fast, we did not find the hail! We tracked the storms on our radar software, GRLevel 3 until our internet connection failed and then decided to call it a day. It was dark and we had a 1.5 hr dive back. As we pulled into Gary's driveway the hitch on the trailer broke and the electric emergency brakes brought is to an abrupt halt. A bad weld failed and the hitch dropped down about 4". Thank you Heavenly Father we were in the driveway when it happened!

 

Saturday AM, Red 's mobile welding service had me back on the road and I made it back to Austin with no trouble. Our refrigeration repair will have to wait till Monday. The van ran quite well and we were all comfortable the entire trip. Our CB radio was worthless (too much static) and our ham radio was so limited we could not ham with anyone. Cell phones worked very well.

 

No hail, but we learned a ton. Things that only a shake down trip will find. We have much work to do before our next chase, but we will be better prepared and ready to go!

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