Sunday, May 18, 2014

Driving and More Driving...the Chase is on

The chase is on!  Travis, Katie, and I (Hans) left Blacksburg this morning at 9:35 and began our journey west towards the plains.  Our original goal was to get to at least St. Louis, MO....although we figured we may be able to even get as far as Columbia if we really pushed it.  We have since decided to stay at a Super 8 in Warrenton, MO (about an hour west of St. Louis).  We each took shifts driving with a few different rest-stops along the way.  We also stopped for a quick lunch at Hardees in Grayson, Kentucky.  The StormCruzzer truck is getting a lot of attention as heads tilted 90 degrees out windows has been a pretty common occurrence.  Below are the states we've been through thus far....

Crossing the Ohio River near Louisville
We've had a few projects we've worked on along the way in order to be all ready to rock n roll for the rest of the trip.  First off, the mobile hot-spot which we have mounted to an external antennae has worked very well....probably faster than my internet at home.  This has allowed us to successfully install DeLorme Street Atlas USA 2014 Plus on one of the two laptops we've brought along. We have a GPS receiver attached to it through the USB port which uses rapid satellite acquisition to plot our location on this mapping software (Below is what it looks like). This will provide quick route making decisions when we're in the storm environment over the coming days.

We also installed GRLevel3 (shown below) and GR2Analyst which will be our primary source of radar data while tracking storms.  It displays high resolution base products, dual polarization products, and derived products along with Local Storm Reports and severe weather warnings (GRLevel Data Information).

With fast internet and those two necessities all figured out (GPS navigation and radar), we are all set to chase.  The only additional things we'd like to straighten out tonight are 1) displaying our live GPS coordinates online for anyone following us back home & 2) Getting our GoPro to stream live video online.  We hope to sort this out tonight at the hotel along with our chase plans heading into Monday!  Keep up to date with us here---- StormCruzzer

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