New Zealand Bound! (After Storm Chasing!)

Posted in General News, Traveling at 7:54 pm by Rebekah

My two year contract at the weather station on Kwajalein is coming to a close (already?! where did the time go?). While I had the opportunity to renew it, I decided for various reasons to pursue other opportunities. I have loved my time here and there are some people and some things I will miss, but further challenges and interesting weather are calling me.

I just accepted an offer to work as a meteorologist for MetService, New Zealand’s National Weather Service. I am beyond excited to say I will be moving to Wellington, New Zealand this August! The position sounds great, and I look forward to learning more about Southern Hemisphere and New Zealand weather and exploring this beautiful country.

The above photo is the famous Kwaj signpost by the airport, showing the direction and approximate distance in miles to various places around the world. Wellington has been added to the signpost sometime since I first got here, and now I smile whenever I notice it as I pass by–“only” about 2,400 miles further south!

The next few months will bring a lot of traveling for me, as I’ll also soon be flying back to Oklahoma to go storm chasing and visit friends for a few weeks across the Plains. I plan on updating this blog with my latest storm chase adventures this May; hopefully there will be a lot to write about and post photos of! I am going to be chasing with a tablet for the first time; every time I chase I seem to change something up. This year I will have an iPad, and between the built-in GPS, data connection, and various apps, I should be able to get the information I want without having a bulky laptop and cords everywhere. One of my chasing buddies, Dean (coming back from Australia with a couple of his friends) will have the full laptop setup though, so we’ll have double the data!

Anyway, I also plan on updating this (mainly) weather blog more often once I no longer have to dial up to use the Internet at home (really looking forward to high speed Internet again!). I may even start a separate New Zealand blog soon, too.

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Dive Albums Now Posted

Posted in General News at 6:08 pm by Rebekah

Website update:

I just finished uploading to my home page a new section, “Other Adventures”, which so far includes several photo albums of my dive adventures, categorized by subject. Soon there will be other photo albums posted to this section as well, for those interested in some of my adventures outside of storm chasing (I know, I know…is there such a thing?).

Check it out!

Green Sky Chaser Dive Photos

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Winds of Change…

Posted in General News at 6:09 pm by Rebekah

My Dad flies in to Oklahoma City tomorrow afternoon, and we begin the three day drive back to Washington early Monday morning.

I don’t know how to say goodbye to friends here; I prefer to think of it as a “see you later” or “talk to you soon”, as I’ll still be in touch. It’s hard, as even though I look forward to spending time with family and friends in the Northwest over the next few weeks and then moving on to Kwajalein in mid-July, I have spent the last several years of my life in Norman.

I have made many friends here, the best of which have been by me through some great and some not-so-great times.

I have had so many amazing experiences since coming to Norman, and have learned a lot about meteorology. When I first came to Norman in 2005, I knew nothing about storms and not much about the weather. Since then, I have become an experienced storm chaser and have witnessed a couple dozen tornadoes, baseball-sized hail, intense storms, blizzards, and ice storms.

Before I came to Oklahoma, I had never been on a plane and had never been outside the Pacific Northwest. Since then, I have traveled to over half of the 50 states, have gone overseas, and have seen a space shuttle launch (perhaps unrelated to coming here, but you never know). You never know what experiences and opportunities may be waiting around the corner.

I always wanted to go to Oklahoma when I was a kid, and not necessarily for the weather. The musical Oklahoma! was one of the first movies I saw, and while you may laugh, somehow I became quite interested in the state. When I was about five or six, I asked my Mom for maps of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City (I still have them).

Norman, Oklahoma, and the Great Plains: I will miss you, but I will come back to visit in the not-too-distant future. Keep being great.

Friends in the Norman area: I will miss you very much, but we will keep in touch and may we be brought together again soon! All the best to all of you.


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Shuttle Launch Delay

Posted in Astronomy, General News, Space Shuttle at 8:00 am by Rebekah

I’m afraid today’s regularly scheduled world wide weather post is going to be canceled, as I didn’t have time to complete it last night and am not sure I’ll get to it later today.

I found out in the morning that the space shuttle launch would be delayed for at least 10 days, so have been scrambling to change travel plans. As of now, Endeavour is scheduled to launch at 3:47 pm EDT on April 29th. Hopefully this time it will go according to schedule!

Yesterday afternoon/night I went down to Dallas for a Rangers v. Mariners baseball game. It was the much anticipated return of pitcher Erik Bedard, which was a lot of fun to watch!

Still waiting to go chasing again…

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Pacific Tsunami, Northeast Flooding, and Oklahoma Fires

Posted in General News, Weather News at 8:00 am by Rebekah

Yesterday was a pretty wild day, from the Japanese earthquake and the Pacific tsunami to wildfires in Oklahoma and Texas and flooding in the Northeast.

Here are some U.S. tsunami amplitudes I found via the National Weather Service (note the amplitude is the height above normal sea level):
PORT ORFORD OR  –  1724UTC  –  6.1FT/1.85M
ADAK AK  –  1755UTC  –  3.6FT/1.09M
KODIAK AK  –  2211UTC  –  0.9FT/0.28M
LOS ANGELES CA  –  2115UTC  –  1.7FT/0.51M
SAN DIEGO CA  –  2131UTC  –  1.7FT/0.51M
LA JOLLA CA  –  2007UTC  –  1.4FT/0.43M
WESTPORT WA  –  1920UTC  –  2.0FT/0.62M
ST PAUL IS. AK  –  1228UTC  –  2.1FT/0.65M
OLD HARBOR AK  –  2154UTC  –  1.1FT/0.33M
DUTCH HARBOR AK  –  1204UTC  –  1.3FT/0.41M
SHEMYA AK  –  1136UTC  –  5.2FT/1.58M
ARENA COVE CA  –  1834UTC  –  8.7FT/2.65M
CRESCENT CITY CA  –  1656UTC  –  8.2FT/2.49M
SAN FRANCISCO CA  –  1749UTC  –  2.1FT/0.64M
MONTEREY HARBOR CA  –  2013UTC  –  2.4FT/0.72M
NORTH SPIT CA  –  1639UTC  –  3.3FT/1.01M
PORT SAN LUIS CA  –  1745UTC  –  8.6FT/2.64M
SANTA BARBARA CA  –  2229UTC  –  3.2FT/0.97M
SANTA MONICA CA  –  2223UTC  –  2.8FT/0.84M


In other news, the Passaic River is still nearing its crest, now expect to peak around 12 feet tonight.

Also, Oklahoma yesterday was going up in flames (as well as parts of Texas and Colorado); the governor declared a state of emergency for the entire state, as we had at least three dozen or so wildfires burning as a result of strong winds (gusting to 47 mph), temperatures near 80, and very dry conditions. Several grass fires wound up burning a few homes, as firefighters were having a very difficult time trying to get these fires under control.

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