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2005 Archive News/Blog & Recent Events - George Kourounis

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Tropical Storm Zeta - Dec. 31 2005 - Well the hurricane season officially ended a month ago but this season continues to amaze me, shattering even more records. Tropical storm Zeta is the 27th named storm of the hurricane season and although the storm is not a threat to land and is unlikely to reach hurricane strength, it is still incredible to have yet another system out in the Atlantic.

Happy New Year to all... Keep checking back here in 2006 as I 'm sure it will be another busy one. I have many more adventures planned for the new year so expect more amazing photos, videos and stories from wherever Mother Nature is putting on a show. - George.



Winter Storm - Dec. 15 2005 - A strong winter storm was forecast to slam into the greater Toronto area on Dec 15th but the city got lucky and the worst of the storm hit in the communities in eastern Ontario and portions of Quebec. In downtown Toronto, people we relieved as the y carried out their Christmas shopping or went skating at Nathan Phillips Square by City Hall. Dec 15 2005

Hurricane Season Ends - Nov. 30 2005 - November 30th marks the "official" end of the Atlantic hurricane season but in character with this years hyperactive season, a tropical storm is still churning. Tropical storm Epsilon is no threat to land but it further proves that ANYTHING is possible. The 2005 hurricane season broke numerous records including:
- Most Named Storms In One Season - 26 - The National Hurricane Center ran out of names
- Most Hurricanes In One Season - 14
- Most Major Hurricanes making U.S. Landfall (Cat 3 or Higher) - 4 - Dennis, Katrina, Rita & Wilma
- Most Category Five Storms in One Season - 3 - Katrina, Rita & Wilma
- Most Destructive U.S. Storm Ever - Katrina
- Strongest Hurricane On Record - Wilma with a central pressure of 882 millibars

The Gales of November - Nov. 06 2005 - A deep low pressure system tracking across the area triggered numerous wind warnings across Ontario and gale warnings for the Great Lakes. The strong winds whipped up the waves on Lake Ontario, making for treacherous conditions along the shoreline. The Gales of November

Hurricane Wilma Intercept - Oct. 24 2005 - The record breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season continues. Wilma made landfall in Florida as a strong category 3 storm. I was on location on Marco Island Hurricane Wilma

Hurricane Rita Intercept - Sept 24 2005 - Yet another hurricane this season. I was able to get into good position to intercept hurricane Rita in the city of Port Arthur, Texas. The height of the storm hit at 3:00 in the morning and a large portion of the city ended up under water.

Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Katrina Benefit - Sept. 16 2005 - The Hurricane Katrina benefit event for the Red Cross was a great success. The Bob Cajun restaurant in Toronto was standing room only with people enjoying great Cajun food and live music. We all had a good time helping to raise funds for a great cause. Thank you to all who attended and for those who didn't, please consider an individual donation to the Red Cross. Update - $2500.00 was raised for the relief effort. Thank you all.

Red Cross

Hurricane Katrina Intercept - Aug 29 2005 - A safe intercept of disastrous Hurricane Katrina is now complete. We rode out the storm in Gulfport, Mississippi. My thoughts are with the unknown numbers of victims of this tragedy. A benefit even for the Red Cross is being planned for Toronto. More details to come... Hurricane Katrina

Damage Survey Flight - Aug. 25 2005, Brampton, Ontario - Yesterday I joined Keith Fletcher of AerialFocus.ca (fletch4@sympatico.ca) on a survey flight out to the tornado damage path near Fergus. A lot of cleanup had already been done and many residents were burning the debris and brush that had been strewn about by the tornado. Even with all the cleanup, it was still very clear where the worst damage had been caused by the F-2 tornado that struck the area on the 19th. Luckily, there were no fatalities.

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Aerial Photos Added - Aug. 22 2005, Fergus, Ontario - Many thanks to Keith Fletcher of AerialFocus.ca who kindly provided aerial photos of the tornado damage from the Aug. 19th storm in Fergus.

Fergus Aerial Damage Photos

Fergus Aerial Damage Photos

Confirmed Tornadoes - Aug. 20 2005, Fergus, Ontario - An Environment Canada damage survey team has confirmed that 2 F-2 Tornadoes touched down during yesterday's storms. One near Conestoga Lake and another near Fergus. Here are some pictures of the Fergus tornado damage.

Fergus Tornado Damage

Fergus Tornado Damage

Don River Flood - Aug. 19 2005, Toronto, Ontario - After the severe thunderstorms cleared out of the Toronto area, the residual flooding became a hazard along the Don River in Toronto. Several people had to be rescued as the river overflowed onto the highway.

Don River Flood

Don River Flood

Tornado Warning - Aug. 19 2005, Toronto, Ontario - A tornado warning was issued for many parts of Ontario today, including the Toronto metro area. I was able to observe a wall cloud over top of the city and there was a tremendous amount of lightning, rain and flooding. Numerous reports of tornadoes and damage have been received throughout the Southern Ontario region. These reports are preliminary and need to be investigated.

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New Pictures Added - July 30 2005, Bancroft, Ontario - A few days in rural Ontario made for some nice photographic opportunities including star swirls. Star_Swirl

Dennis The Menace - July 10 2005, Pensacola, Florida - The latest updates from the hurricane Dennis intercept in Pensacola, Florida are now online HERE Hurricane Dennis

Canada Day - July 01 2005, Ottawa - Celebrating Canada Day in the nation's capital with fireworks over the Ottawa River. Fireworks

Tornado Warnings In Ontario - June 14 2005, Toronto - The moist, sticky airmass that's been prompting numerous heat alerts and humidex advisories lately has helped to trigger numerous severe thunderstorms across Southern Ontario as a cold front swept through the area today. Several tornado warnings were issued and so far there is at least 1 report of a tornado spotted near the town of Fergus. There may be others as well, we'll have to wait to get confirmation on the reports. I was able to intercept one of the tornado warned storms just north of Toronto but it was disorganized when I reached it and the warning was dropped. It also worked out well that today I appeared on "The Hour", a TV news show on CBC Newsworld.

Tornado Chase 2005 Complete - May 5th to June 6th - Tornado chase 2005 was a great success with several close encounters with supercell thunderstorms, giant hailstones and tornadoes. The complete daily updates that were filed from Tornado Alley are online:

** Tornado Chase 2005 Web Page **

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TV Appearance - June. 04 2005 - Outdoor Life Network USA - "Countdown - 25 Most Dangerous Places" Features an interview and footage from my Danakil Depression expedition.

Outdoor Life Network

25 Most Dangerous Places


Toronto Sun Article - May. 18 2005 - An article on me appeared in the Career Connections section of the Toronto Sun Newspaper. The article has several factual errors and I have uploaded the article along with clarifications HERE.

New Website Launched!! - May 01, 2005 - Today marks the unofficial launch of my new website - Furious Earth. It's the commercial site where I'll make photos, DVD's and stock footage available to the public for purchase. It's brand new and the required updates will have to wait until I return from Tornado Alley before the site is fully functional.

www.furiousearth.com


New York City - April. 27-28 2005 - I was flown to New York overnight to participate in the filming of an upcoming new series for the Outdoor Life Network entitled "Most Dangerous Places". Watch for it this summer.

New York

CN Tower Stair Climb - April. 23 2005 - Today was the annual World Wildlife Fund climb of the CN Tower here in Toronto. The climb consists of 1776 stairs and I was able to complete it in 18 minutes and 11 seconds, a 20 second improvement over last year's climb.

CN Tower

CANWARN Storm Spotter Training - April. 20 2005 - Many thanks to Rob Kuhn & Scott Keddie for a great storm spotter training session in Kitchener. Each spring, Environment Canada trains spotters how to recognize and report severe weather. These reports are then used by the Ontario Storm Prediction Center to help issue timely weather warnings for the general public.

Magazine Article - April. 08 2005 - My Tornado/Hurricane/Volcano chasing adventures are featured in a full page article in the current issue of Explore Magazine. On news stands now.

www.explore-mag.com


CANWARN Storm Spotter Training - The schedule for the 2005 Ontario Storm Spotter training sessions is now set. Each year environment Canada trains ham radio operators and other weather enthusiasts how to observe & recognize severe weather features and the procedures used to report them to the weather office. If you're in the area and are interested, just show up to any one of them.

Date

Location

Time

Venue
March 29 Sarnia 7:00 PM Lower Auditorium of the Clearwater Arena. 1400 Wellington St.
April 03 Lindsay 8:00 PM Police Station – 6 Victoria Avenue North.
April 04 Windsor 7:00 PM 10720 County Rd. # 34 (also known as Old Hwy # 3 and also known as Old Talbot Rd).
April 14 London 7:30 PM St Judes Anglican Church - 1537 Adelaide St. N. at Fanshawe Park rd. East.
April 16 Orillia 8:00 AM Ontario Provincial Police Headquarters – 777 Memorial Ave.
April 17 Parry Sound 8:00 AM Children’s Aid Society Building – 25 Church Street.
April 20 Kitchener 7:00 PM Room DC1302 - William G. Davis Engineering Building – University of Waterloo – Free Parking Available in Parking Lot B off Phillip St. between Columbia and University Avenues.
May 07 Toronto 8:30 AM Auditorium - Meteorological Service of Canada – Headquarters – 4905 Dufferin St., Downsview, Ontario

Note: Environment Canada does NOT endorse or support storm chasing. They train their spotters to observe from a safe distance.


Spring Has Arrived - March 20 2005 - Spring officially arrived this morning and I'm hoping for actual Spring like weather soon. I'm already making preparations for this year's tornado chase which is only about 6 weeks away. More updates on the trip progress will be posted here as they happen.

Upcoming Appearances - Feb. 24 2005 - Here's a list of a few of my upcoming TV appearances - All times ET.

Feb 25th 11:00 A.M.- Rogers TV Simcoe (Ontario) - Daytime Live.
March 1st 9:00 P.M.- Rogers TV London, (Ontario) - Jim Chapman Live. - Rescheduled to March 15th.
March 6th 8:30 P.M.- The Weather Channel (USA) Some of my footage from the Conway Springs, Kansas tornado will be featured on Storm Stories as part of Tornado Week .

Rogers Television

The Weather Channel

Storm Stories

Discovery Channel - Feb. 11 2005 - The Erta Ale expedition was recently featured on Discovery Channel Canada's flagship science news program Daily Planet. Two video segments can be found online here -

Feb 10, 2005 - Expedition summary including video footage from the volcano

Jan 20, 2005 - Preparations in Canada being made for the descent into the crater.

Discovery Channel Canada

Updates - Feb. 06 2005 - The Erta Ale page has been updated with many new pictures and other details about the expedition and my descent into the active pit crater check out the Erta Ale page. Erta Ale Volcano - Ethiopia

Erta-Ale Volcano Expedition - Feb. 02 2005 - I have now returned from the expedition to Ethiopia and Djibouti having visited the remote Erta Ale volcano. I'll continue to post updates to the Erta Ale page when time permits. Erta Ale Volcano

Roadpost Press Release - Jan. 05 2005 - Satellite phone services for the Africa expedition are being provided by Roadpost. Read the latest press release HERE. www.roadpost.com

Record Number of Tornadoes in 2004 - Jan. 02 2005 - NOAA reports that the number of tornadoes in the U.S. hit a record high in 2004. 1,717 tornadoes were reported in 2004, surpassing the previous record by almost 300. Over 440 tornadoes were reported in the last part of May and the active hurricane season spawned many more. Hurricane Frances spawned 117 tornado reports, the most ever for any tropical storm.

Tornado - May 2004

Polar Bear Dip - Jan. 01 2005 - Oakville, Ontario - The 20th annual Polar Bear Swim in Lake Ontario was a great way to ring in the new year. The water was...well... freezing cold but all proceeds are going to World Vision to assist with the recent devastating earthquake and tsunamis in Asia.

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An Archive of Previous Year's News Items Can Be Found Here

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2005

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Any Questions/Comments?

Send E-Mail To George Kourounis

george@stormchaser.ca


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