I recently had the opportunity to spend some time at The Summits Edge with my company. Since there website does not have any reviews and is kind of poorly laid out I wanted to post a review to help them out. First off When we got there we were warmly welcomed by Bill Ingold and shown to the gym so that we could get our harnesses on. After a quick briefing on safety we were taken upstairs for a brief but thorough explanation of safety procedure on the high rope course. Everybody had a very enjoyable and safe time on the high rope course and was challenged to the point they were comfortable. After completing the high ropes courses anybody who was not exhausted and wanted to was given the opportunity to try there luck at the climbing walls. We were given a short briefing on safety procedure and allowed to begin. The walls were sufficiently challenging after the strenuous high ropes course. If you have rock climbing shoes I would suggest bringing them as it will make the climb a lot easier on you. Once we had run out of time it was time for lunch which was from the attached red rock bar /grill the pizza was delicious and I would go back here to eat in the future. So if you are looking for something fun to do with you company or other group in the Central Illinois area I would definitely suggest you check out the Summits Edge in Morton.
Personal Setup Score 5/10
The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted a area of concern for Tuesday 3/22/11 for the possibility of severe weather (see below).
..SYNOPSIS MODELS REMAIN CONSISTENT CONCERNING THE LARGE-SCALE PATTERN EVOLUTION THROUGH THIS FORECAST PERIOD. A BLOCKING UPPER RIDGE IS PROGGED TO EVOLVE TO THE EAST OF THE CANADIAN ROCKIES...WITH A LARGE HIGH CENTER STRENGTHENING OVER THE CENTRAL CANADIAN PROVINCES DURING THE DAY TUESDAY. AS THIS PROCEEDS...A LARGE UPPER TROUGH...LIFTING THROUGH THE INTERMOUNTAIN WEST AND ROCKIES BY 12Z TUESDAY...SHOULD GRADUALLY BE FORCED EASTWARD INTO AN INCREASINGLY CONFLUENT REGIME ACROSS THE UPPER MIDWEST...WHILE ANOTHER AMPLIFYING SHORT WAVE TROUGH DIGS TOWARD THE CALIFORNIA COAST. WITHIN THE LEAD WAVE...A SIGNIFICANT EMBEDDED IMPULSE EMERGING FROM THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES IS STILL FORECAST TO PIVOT INTO AND NORTHEAST OF THE MID/LOWER MISSOURI VALLEY IN INCREASINGLY NEGATIVELY TILTED FASHION BY TUESDAY EVENING. THIS SHOULD RESULT IN STRONG MID-LEVEL HEIGHT FALLS OVERSPREADING THE WARM SECTOR OF A SUB 1000 MB SURFACE LOW MIGRATING ACROSS THE MID MISSOURI VALLEY AND UPPER PORTIONS OF THE MIDDLE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. FORCING WILL BE FOCUSED ALONG AND NORTH OF A STRONG MID/UPPER JET STREAK...AROUND 90 KT AT 500 MB...WHICH WILL GRADUALLY VEER FROM A SOUTHWESTERLY TO WESTERLY COMPONENT AS IT PROPAGATES ACROSS THE SOUTH CENTRAL PLAINS/OZARK PLATEAU AND MIDDLE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. GIVEN THE STRENGTH OF THE LARGE-SCALE FORCING FOR UPWARD VERTICAL MOTION...AND THE SIZE OF THE AREA THAT IT COULD IMPACT...A CONSIDERABLE INCREASE IN CONVECTIVE POTENTIAL IS ANTICIPATED ACROSS MUCH OF THE PLAINS...THE MID/UPPER MISSISSIPPI AND OHIO VALLEYS AND UPPER GREAT LAKES REGION. COUPLED WITH THE LIKELIHOOD THAT THIS WILL BE PRECEDED BY THE EASTWARD ADVECTION OF WARM ELEVATED MIXED LAYER AIR THROUGH MUCH OF CENTRAL U.S...THE RISK FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS COULD BE SUBSTANTIAL...AS VERTICAL SHEAR BECOMES STRONG. HOWEVER...IT STILL APPEARS THAT THIS POTENTIAL MAY NOT BE FULLY REALIZED. OBSERVATIONAL AND MODEL DATA CONTINUE TO INDICATE THAT A SUBSTANTIVE INLAND INCREASE IN BOUNDARY LAYER MOISTURE OFF THE GULF OF MEXICO TO THE WARM SECTOR OF THE LOW IS UNLIKELY...THROUGH AT LEAST THIS PERIOD...AS LOW-LEVEL RIDGING IS SLOW TO LOSE INFLUENCE OVER THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN GULF. STILL...LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE CHARACTERIZED BY MID 50S TO LOWER 60S SURFACE DEW POINTS SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS...WHICH COULD BECOME FAIRLY NUMEROUS OR WIDESPREAD ACROSS UPPER PORTIONS OF THE MIDDLE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY LATE TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. ..PLAINS/MISSISSIPPI VALLEY CONFIDENCE IS GREATER THAT SURFACE DEW POINTS NEAR OR JUST ABOVE 60F MAY BECOME COMMON IN A CORRIDOR FROM NEAR THE SURFACE CYCLONE EAST SOUTHEASTWARD ALONG A STALLED FRONTAL ZONE EXTENDING INTO THE OHIO VALLEY. BENEATH THE NOSE OF A PLUME OF ELEVATED MIXED LAYER AIR...THIS IS EXPECTED TO BE SUFFICIENT TO CONTRIBUTE TO MIXED LAYER CAPE IN EXCESS OF 1000 J/KG...NEAR THE MISSOURI RIVER EASTWARD ACROSS PARTS OF SOUTHERN IOWA AND NORTHERN MISSOURI BY PEAK HEATING. STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP AS STRONGER FORCING FOR ASCENT OVERSPREADS THE REGION DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON. THIS SHOULD INCLUDE A FEW SUPERCELLS BEFORE GROWING UPSCALE INTO A MESOSCALE CONVECTIVE SYSTEM...WHICH SHOULD TRACK EAST SOUTHEASTWARD ALONG AND JUST SOUTH OF THE FRONT. WITH THE BOUNDARY LAYER JUST TO THE NORTH OF THE FRONT EXPECTED TO BE RATHER COOL AND STABLE...TORNADIC POTENTIAL WITH STORMS CROSSING THE BOUNDARY MAY BE LIMITED. DAMAGING WINDS AND LARGE HAIL STILL APPEAR TO BE THE PRIMARY CONCERNS WITH THE CONVECTION...WHICH COULD CONTINUE AND SPREAD INTO PARTS OF THE LOWER OHIO VALLEY TUESDAY NIGHT. ADDITIONAL...MORE WIDELY SCATTERED...STORM DEVELOPMENT IS EXPECTED ALONG THE DRY LINE TO THE SOUTH OF THE LOW...ACROSS EASTERN PORTIONS OF THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PLAINS DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EVENING. SUPERCELLS ARE POSSIBLE...PRIMARILY WITH THE RISK FOR LARGE HAIL AND LOCALLY DAMAGING WIND GUSTS. ..KERR.. 03/21/2011
For those chasers who live in Iowa or can’t wait for a Nice setup I say go for it. However with gas prices as high as they are and it being so early in the season I will elect to sit this one out unless something changes drastically in later runs. As many chasers know Iowa has a 90% fail rate with Tornadoes in the past few years so most will have no problem avoding it.
I have had the pleasure to play with my Motorola Xoom for a few weeks now. As a storm chaser and a tech enthusiast I am always looking for storm chasing technology. I believe that the Motorola Xoom could replace your aging laptop for storm chasing. I used my Xoom for 20hrs on a single charge as a wifi hotspot this would eliminate the need for a data card if you insist on using your laptop. There are several great weather radar apps for android. Including Storm Chaser Weather Radar and Pykl3 Radar. Currently there are not really any good tools for android for forecasting however Weather Geek Pro and the F5 App. Promise to change this in the coming weeks. I plan to chase at least once using nothing but my Motorola Droid Phone and my Motorola Xoom Tablet. I will let everybody know how that turns out so stay tuned.
Below is a quick look at a alpha version of Pykl3 Running on a Motorola Xoom.