• Farther north could get severe weather
BROOKINGS – "We're chasing super cells."
But not here in the Brookings area. Marcus Gutierrez and Amanda Lindequist, with their National Science Foundation instrument-laden truck parked out front on Main Avenue, were hanging out in Cottonwood Coffee on Tuesday afternoon before heading north.
Occupying a booth, they were happy to talk about their assignment with interested bystanders. Using a lap-top personal computer, they showed videos of some of their storm-chasing experiences. They're no strangers to "Tornado Alley."
Gutierrez, a physician assistant, forecaster and driver, and Lindequist, a meteorologist just graduated from Florida State University (Tallahassee) and on her first weather assignment, were on their way to an area just southeast of Aberdeen.
The inside of the truck, owned by the NSF, headquartered in Boulder, Colo., was packed with six weather pods. Each one weighs in at just over 100 pounds and can be quickly deployed in the path of a storm. Each pod holds a high-definition camera and instruments for measuring temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and barometric pressure.
Gutierrez is a 10-year veteran of storm chasing. He and Lindequist have been on the road since May 1. On May 25, near Russell, Kan., the pair encountered a low-end EF-2 tornado up close and personal. That's the way they like it.
"Close, but not close," Gutierrez said, with a smile.
– Contact John Kubal at email@example.com.