Tornado captured on camera near Chugwater, Wyoming

The above feature photo was captured by Jordan Hall. Provided with permission. This nader wanted to celebrate Independence Day by roaming on the Plains!

A cone Tornado has been captured on camera near Chugwater, Wyoming – see in the photo below.

Photo credit: Jordan Hall

The photo was captured by Jordan Hall on the day the Tornado struck – yesterday, 4th July. Find more videos and photos of the Tornado below.

Find more of our articles on Tornadoes that have struck the state of Wyoming here.

RELATED: 2 Confirmed Tornadoes Touch Down in SE Wyoming [VIDEO]

A MUST READ! Storm chasing fatalities since the inception of chasing

Via a thread post on Stormtrack, Dan Robinson and Tim Vasquez have outlined storm chasing fatalities since the inception of storm chasing.

Graphic credit: Dan Robinson

The above bar graph graphic, produced by Robinson, illustrates all the storm chasing fatalities (which is fifteen) since the inception of storm chasing.

Robinson, with the help of Vasquez, wrote extensively about eight separate incidents which lead to the deaths of storm chasers’.

2nd April 1984: The first “in the field” chaser death, Christopher Phillips was a twenty-one year old OU meteorology student from New Jersey. Phillips died when he swerved to avoid a rabbit and his car rolled over into a ditch in Oklahoma.

11th July 2005: Norman, Oklahoma resident Jeff Wear was killed on Interstate 20 near Kilgore, Texas after he hydroplaned in heavy rain and struck a flatbed truck head-on. Wear was returning from a chase to intercept Hurricane Dennis.

6th June 2009:Fabian Guerra of Chicago was killed on Interstate 80 in Iowa when he swerved to avoid a deer, crossed the median and struck an oncoming tractor-trailer in the early morning hours of June 6th. Guerra was heading to Nebraska to meet up with two other chasers for a chase in the area later on that day.

4th February 2012: Andy Gabrielson was killed on Interstate 44 near Sapulpa, Oklahoma in a head-on collision with a drunk driver going the wrong way on the highway. Gabrielson was on his way home from a chase earlier on in Oklahoma.

31st May 2013: Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young were killed when the El Reno, Oklahoma Tornado overtook their vehicle. Richard Henderson, resident of Oklahoma, was killed by the Tornado when he went out near his home to observe the storm and take pictures. Something we didn’t know! A fifth fatality involving a likely chaser was uncovered by researchers studying the Tornado and its impacts.

12th July 2015: David and Mildred Frank were killed when a storm chaser ran a stop sign near the town and collided with their vehicle. We have to stipulate that the Franks were not chasers. The chaser survived with minor injuries and was later criminally charged, receiving a ninety-day suspended jail sentence and one year probation1.

28th March 2017: Corbin Jaeger, Kelley Williamson and Randall Yarnall died when the Yarnall/Williamson vehicle ran a stop sign near Spur, Texas and collided with Jaeger’s vehicle. This particular incident has been in the news recently, as Jaeger’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against The Weather Channel.

According to the thread post, Yarnall/Williamson were chasing and live streaming in “official capacity” for The Weather Channel at the time of the crash.

20th June 2019:Australian, world-renowned photography, Dale Sharpe died after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 2 near Harper, Kansas. You can read more about this accident here.

Thank you to Dan Robinson and Tim Vasquez for putting this together. We learnt a lot from it and we think others will as well. That’s why we’re writing about it! We recommend that you read the replies in the thread, it’s worth it.

FYA: There is another thread on Stormtrack which lists/memorialising all storm chasers who have passed on – read here. WE URGE YOU TO TAKE A LOOK AT IT!

1: A subsequent civil suit by the family yielded a one hundred thousand dollar judgement. Fatal accidents have happened at the same intersection before, and residents had submitted previous complaints. The chaser despite being in the vicinity of severe storms and posting about them to his Facebook page prior to the accident, states he was not “actively” chasing at the time of the accident.

THIS NEWLY-RELEASED STORM CHASING GAME IS INSANELY FUN!

WE’RE SO HYPED ABOUT THIS! The Tornadoes in this game look incredible.

Developed by Little Cloud Games, Storm Chasers is an early-access1, action-simulation game where the goal is to capture the best shots of Tornadoes without dying…

…An in-depth overview, produced by the developers, about the game can be read below.

Be one of those intrepid storm chasers that tracks deadly tornadoes in this online multiplayer video game. Your goal is to shoot the best twisters pictures without dying because of powerful winds and flying debris. Feel the challenge of correctly forecasting and intercepting storms with the optimal vantage points before other players. Get into your car, travel through a big detailed map, activate pods and get as near as possible to snap the best photos. The features of the game can be found below:

GAME MODES
– Single player missions to learn the game basis.
– Online 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2 or 4 vs 4 modes to play against other storm chasers.
– Multiple game mechanics: Photography, Outbreak, Tornado Control… etc.

ENVIRONMENT
– Realistic tornadoes physics with strong winds and props destruction.
– Big detailed map inspired by Tornado Alley landscapes.
– Changing weather conditions and time of day.

GAMEPLAY
– Complexe photographic evaluation algorythm: distance, focus, visible debris… etc.
– Multiple cars equipped with weather radars to spot storm activity.
– Tornado PODS with a flat base to measure wind velocity and direction at ground level.

Other elements of the game include:

  • Image gallery to manage all of your photos and share on Steam.
  • Editable online FM radio station to listen inside your car.
  • You may see a flying cow, just saying!

You can find all the system requirements here. Watch a brief Storm Chasers gameplay video below.

1: As you can see in the opening paragraph, this is an early access game. Essentially meaning, it’s on the market, however the developers are still working on it. HOWEVER…

…Having played it for a little bit already, we can firmly say it’s a lot of fun. We cannot wait to see the final product.

With that being said, You can purchase the game for yourself here. You can read more of our blogs here.

Cone Tornado captured on camera in central Montana

A cone Tornado has been captured on camera in central Montana – on the foothills of the Little Belt Mountains to be precise – see in the photo below.

Photo credit: Lyman Gillen

The photo was captured by Lyman Gillen on the day the Tornado struck – yesterday, 27th June.

However, the National Weather Service office in Billings, Montana posted the photo on their official Facebook account. Find more photos of the Tornado below.

Photo credit: Ron Teig 

RELATED: Tornado touches down in central Montana

Find more of our articles on Tornadoes that have struck the state of Montana here. This state has the perfect scenery for the photogenic nader!

Night-time Tornado captured on camera near Goodnight, Texas

A damaging night-time Tornado has been captured on camera near Goodnight, Texas – north of Highway 287 to be precise – see in the images aka screen grabs below.

The screen grabs were captured by Jeff Piotrowski.

We can assume that Piotrowski captured these screenshots after reviewing his livestream of the Tornado which touched down last night – 22nd June.

Watch the above mentioned live stream below.

We have to mention this Tornado has produced damage – see in the photos below.

Find more of our articles on Tornadoes that have struck the state of Texas here.

Australian storm chaser died this morning following traffic accident in Kansas

We will not be reporting specifics regarding this accident.

Australian storm chaser and world renowned photographer, Dale Sharpe died this morning following a traffic accident in Kansas.

The news of Sharpe’s death was revealed in a post on DK Photography’s Facebook page – read in full in the Facebook post below.

Our thoughts, prayers and love are with the Dale Sharpe’s family, friends and colleagues at this time. The storm chasing community has lost a truly dedicated chaser!

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CHASER #5 – BILL KRANSKI OF TWISTED EXPECTATIONS STORM CHASING

Please enjoy our interview with Bill Kranski of Twisted Expectations Storm Chasing.

What first got you interested in Tornadoes?

I first became interested in chasing tornadoes when I heard my first tornado siren go off as a young kid.  Like many other chasers, instead of going to the basement for shelter, I would go outside to look.

That day I did not see a tornado, but it was enough to send chills down my spine and really perked my interest. That was a day I knew for sure that I wanted to see a tornado in person.

How did you become interested in storm chasing?

I have always had a passion for anything weather related, and nature related, from a very young age I would go from window to window giving my mom constant updates as to what the clouds were doing.

This passion would continue all the way into adulthood when I would try to photograph lightning strikes, wall clouds, or any other cool looking clouds. Then the movie Twister came out and that really perked my interest that people actually go out and look at storms.

At first, I thought it was just a weird hobby that I had picked up and didn’t really ever see anyone doing what I was doing, at least not in my little area of Western Wisconsin.

How did you get into chasing?

I chased locally and regionally when I was a teenager and early on in adulthood. Back then it was a lot harder, you would look at radar data via dial-up internet and then decide to go chase a local area.

I never had radar data in the vehicle, just me, my car and a camera.  Then I really slowed down on chasing when I had a kid; I had a lot more responsibilities, and between work and raising a child I never made the time to go chasing.

Then as my child was getting older, he started showing some interest in it, and he was also getting old enough where I felt ok to get back into chasing. Plus, I also have an amazing girlfriend that would watch my son before he was old enough to stay by himself.

That was enough to really get me active in the chasing community. I started watching a lot of great videos, went to storm spotting class, and got first aid and CPR certified. Then I really got active again, eventually forming a team with Steven Solie, Twisted expectations, which we currently have six members on our team.

How long have you been chasing?

I have been chasing on and off for twenty five plus years. In the last 3 years I have become more active, but I started when I could first drive, unless you count going from window to window as chasing.

Why do you chase? Do you do it for fun or do you have a purpose?

I think seeing the amazing things that mother nature does is astonishing, anything from sunrises, to sunsets, tornadoes, snowstorms, lightning, squall lines, great landscapes of our country and everything in the middle is just one of the many reasons.

I also chase because I feel like if I am spotting and can get people five, ten, fifteen minutes more warning time, it could save lives. Radars work great, but there is still a lot that radars cannot see and that is why spotting and chasing is so important still.

Plus, the more people that are certified to help with injured people the better in my opinion as they may be the first person on a scene, and you could possibly be the difference in helping someone survive or not.

It’s suffice to say you must have been in some close calls. Have you ever been hit?

I have been in the outer circulation one time while chasing.  This is definitely not where anyone wants to be, but never in the main part of the tornado.

So, the question is. How close have you got?

This year while in Missouri on the Carl Junction tornado, I was working in from the western side of the storm, and we had just got done driving through an area with quite a bit of tree damage and also debris still in the air (small of course).

That’s when I noticed something very strange happening, along with all the wind, I was watching the front of my car and the rain actually started to be pulled up from under both sides of the vehicle, which is when I knew I was too close.

I pulled over and after reviewing my three sixty footage, I could see that what I was driving into at the time was a huge rotation and figured out for sure I was too close.  Another time I was too close, I had some very strong winds, just after a tornado had hit, and it was bending power poles quite a bit.

Last question we have to ask… Do you ever fear for your life?

There were only two times I have felt in danger while chasing, first time was when I had my son with and storms were moving north-northeast at fifty five-sixty miles per hour, we were north of Holmen, WI and I noticed a bear’s cage structure headed straight towards us. 

Which in a great road network is not as bad, you can pick an east road or a south road, but here in Western Wisconsin we have hills, curvy roads and lots of trees. I picked an east-northeast escape route knowing the storm was moving more north, well it took a right turn and kept heading straight toward us as we were trying to get out of the way, going through river valleys, wooded areas and lots of hills.

In the back of my mind I was thinking that I better not harm my son, my family would never let me down for this. The other time was when the telephone poles were bending over so much and there was no visibility on a gravel road, also with trees on the side, maybe not as scary as the time with my son but was enough for me to rethink how I chase. I studied more and started researching areas better before chasing.

This led me to take better routes and live to chase another day.

Thanks to Bill for taking the time out to talk to us. Links for Twisted Expectations Storm Chasing’s website, Facebook and other social media outlets can be found below.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

RELATED ARTICLES

19th June 2018 Prospect Valley, Colorado Tornado – relive the Tornado in video

The above feature photo was captured by William T. Reid. Provided with permission.

We’re going to get straight to the videos for this particular Tornado. However, we highly recommend Silver Lining Tour’s blog on the Tornado.

In the videos below, relive the photogenic Prospect Valley, Colorado Tornado that struck on the 19th June 2018.

Find more of our articles on Tornadoes that have struck the state of Colorado here.

New GoPro footage offers a different perspective of the May 2019 McCook, NE Tornado

The above feature photo is a screen grab which was taken whilst watching Greg Johnson’s video. The GoPro that captured the footage was mounted on the roof ofe the Tornado Hunters truck.

So, you get a storm chasing vehicle perspective, if you get the drift haha.

New footage of the McCook, Nebraska Tornado that struck on the 17th May of this year has emerged online. The GoPro-caught video offers a different and somewhat unique perspective of the Tornado – watched below.

The description for the video can be read in full below.

“This footage of two separate tornadoes on May 17 2019 in McCook Nebraska was shot with a roof mounted GoPro camera. The footage has been sped up to 4x speed.”

AND THAT’S A WRAP FOR THIS ARTICLE!

RELATED ARTICLES

Tornado captured on camera north of Kinsley, Kansas

Update: A close range video of the Tornado has now emerged online – watch below.

Original post: Ladies and gents! We’ve got a nader! A Tornado has been captured on camera north of Kinsley, Kansas – see in the photo below.

Photo credit: Paul Botten

The photo was captured by Paul Botten today. Botten posted the photo on his Facebook account. Find more shots of the Tornado below.

Photo credit: Gee Moore
Photo credit: Tyler Schlitt Photography – taken just west of Garfield, Kansas and just north of Kinsley, Kansas.
Photo credit: Blake Brown – taken northwest of Kinsley Kansas.

Should video emerge of this Tornado, we will post it. Find more of our articles on Tornadoes that have struck in the state of Kansas here

Tornado captured on camera northeast of Arlington, Colorado

The Tornado in the photo was one of seven that touched down. Should video emerge of any of them, we will post them.

A tall grey nader churning up the fields of Colorado! A Tornado has been captured on camera northeast of Arlington, Colorado – see in the photo below.

Photo credit: Jeff Piotrowski

The photo was captured by iconic storm chaser, Jeff Piotrowski on the day the Tornado struck – yesterday, 17th June.

Piotrowski posted an interesting tweet straight after this photo – find below.

Find more photos of the Tornado below.

Photo credit: Ursla Marie Martinez
Photo credit: Ursla Marie Martinez

Find more of our articles on Tornadoes that have struck the state of Colorado here.

Remarkable probe footage of one of the June 2014 Pilger, Nebraska twin Tornadoes

The video is a pretty long watch, however it’s well worth it. The twin Tornadoes struck Pilger, Nebraska on 16th June 2014 – five years ago yesterday.

FYI: The Tornado you will see in the video was the first one of the two that touched down.

In the video below, watch remarkable probe footage of one of the June 2014 Pilger, Nebraska twin Tornadoes.

The footage was captured by the probe produced by Outlaw Chasers – Randy Dean Hicks, Chris Rice & Lisa McGeough.

This isn’t the first time we’ve covered the Outlaw Chasers and their shenanigans – find our other articles below on the chase team below.

Large night-time damaging Tornado captured on camera near Putnam, OK

This video still illustrates the size of it perfectly! According to one chaser, this was one of four Tornadoes in the area. We will have more on that very soon.

A large night-time Tornado has been captured on camera near Putnam, Oklahoma – see in the video still below.

Photo credit: Chris McBee

The video, from which this still was taken from, was captured by Chris McBee last night. McBee posted the still on his official Twitter account.

Videos and photos relating to this Tornado and the damage caused by it can be found below.

Photo credit: Basehunters Chasing

Should more video or photos of the Tornado emerge online, we will post them. Find more of our articles on Tornadoes that have struck the state of Oklahoma here.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CHASER #4 – GABRIEL (GABE) COX OF TORNADO TRACKERS

Please enjoy our interview Gabriel (Gabe) Cox of Tornado Trackers.

What first got you interested in Tornadoes?

I’ve had an obsession with dark skies for as long as I can remember. My parents have a photo of me at 3 years old; I am asleep outside on the lawn after having spent hours watching the clouds. Apparently it was a common occurrence and, no doubt, the start of my love for the sky.

That transitioned into a full-on obsession with tornadoes when, as a kid, I heard reports on the news of towns being struck by these incredibly powerful storms. It just completely blew my mind that a cloud could turn into this larger-than-life force to be reckoned with.

I think the mystery surrounding them also peaked my interest and no amount of books or VHS tapes could satisfy my curiosity. My childhood room was a weather museum filled with posters, tracking charts, tornado experiments… really anything storm related.

How did you become interested in storm chasing?

Even though I had this full-blown obsession with tornadoes as a kid, it wasn’t until 1995 (when I was in fifth grade) that I was made aware of this group of people called, storm chasers.

It was a National Geographic special called ‘Cyclone’ which aired on TV that introduced me to the idea that people could chase storms… and sometimes even get paid to do it! I knew on that day what I was going to do with my life.

How did you get into chasing?

For me, the journey into storm chasing was a less conventional route. I knew in fifth grade what I wanted to do, but after graduating high school with less than stellar math SAT scores and being denied by meteorology programs in several colleges, I questioned my path towards a life of storm chasing. I began realizing that I was right-brain dominant (majorly).

That made me suitable for more creative endeavours, but it left me struggling with anything revolving around analytics or mathematics, which makes up the majority of meteorology. So I thought the dream had hit a dead end and I pursued a career in my other passion, film making, instead. Unknowingly, this set me up for storm chasing in more ways than one. 

How long have you been chasing?

I’ve been chasing storms since the first day I got my license. Having grown up in Maine it mainly consisted of sub-severe thunderstorms or blizzards. My first tornado encounter was actually while I was twenty one, working for a small independent film company in Jacksonville, Florida in 2009. I was sitting at my desk, facing the St. John’s River that runs through downtown, and noticed a funnel like shape above the tree line.

 I hoped on my bicycle and rode towards the river. Sure enough, a large waterspout was sitting 1/4 mile away from me. After it dissipated, and I had ridden back to the office, a second waterspout ended up moving onshore and directly over our building. It was my first tornado and my first opportunity to document one. It reawakened my determination to somehow make storm chasing part of my life.

Why do you do chase?

I really don’t think I could NOT chase. Before I could drive, I was chasing storms on foot with my point-and-shoot camera in the field across from the house I grew up in, letting storms roll in towards me while I watched wide-eyed. As soon as I got my license I was out chasing any cloud with a dark base. For me, there’s something intrinsic about it.

There’s always been a fascination. For a time, after I got married and had kids, I tried to tuck it away and bury it in the “I’m responsible now” folder of my mind. But I lucked out and married an amazing woman who called my bluff and pushed me to go out whenever I could. And I’m so glad she did! The feeling of being under a massive supercell, in close proximity to a tornado, or surrounded by the screaming winds of a hurricane are indescribable.

For me, storms are my cathedral; a place to experience awe and wonder but also to be reminded of my place in the world and to be humbled. There’s no way to fully describe the sensation of it.

Do you do it for fun or do you have a purpose?

It’s interesting that you chose the word “purpose”. There’s been a real journey for me revolving around that word. By nature, storm chasing is fun for me. I’m instantly 10 years old jumping up and down any time I’m under a storm and watching lightning streak across the sky. Part of why I’m out there is to share what I see with people who are, like I was for so many years, unable to experience that beauty and raw power for themselves. But then there are moments when storm chasing is not fun.

Like when I ran into a mile-wide damage path before first responders had arrived, or when I watched neighbourhoods being torn apart by a Category 5 Hurricane. That’s when the reality of what can happen when these beautiful monsters interact with humanity hits hard and I have to recon with why I’m out there in the first place. Enter: purpose. I’m not a scientist or meteorologist.

I’m not out to study how storms form. I’m there because something deep inside pushes me to be there. There’s been a massive amount of guilt coming home after some storms, where I drive away from communities who have lost everything and return to my family. Hurricane Harvey was a breakthrough moment for me though. I decided to sit that storm out. I had a gut feeling that I wasn’t supposed to go, and I’ve learned to never second guess those moments. But in observing the storm from the outside, I noticed something amazing.

 In the aftermath of the storm, the one thing that moved people from across the world to act in kindness to the victims of the storm were images. Photographs and videos were being shared across every available platform and the response from people was empathy, love, and generosity. It’s not really a hidden secret that images can be used to influence people, but for me it was an epiphany as to how important capturing those moments can be. That’s a huge reason I now often refer to myself as a weather journalist.

It’s suffice to say you must have been in some close calls. Have you ever been hit?

I have had two really close calls. The first was a rain-wrapped tornado that formed on the leading edge of a squall line at dusk. My chase partner and I pulled off the road immediately when we noticed rotation on radar.

The blinding rain and fading light made it impossible to see, but within a minute I saw the rain curtains quickly shift directions and knew to hold on. The tornado moved directly over us, rocking the car back and forth, and it was over in a split second. We were extremely lucky that it was very weak, otherwise our car would have easily been tossed.

The second close call was in Canton, TX during the April 29, 2017 outbreak. Through a series of unfortunate events, my car ended up in a flooded ditch with me alone and no way to communicate or receive information. The last radar scan and report I had seen showed a confirmed rain-wrapped mile-wide tornado heading towards me.

I was convinced I was going to die that day and filmed a goodbye video to my wife and kids. Miraculously, the tornado turned north and then north-northwest causing it to miss my location by just over a quarter of a mile when it was at it’s widest and strongest point (EF-4). Had I not slid into the ditch, I likely would have blindly driven into it after losing my means of communication and radar.

Two other tornadoes moved near my location while I was stuck; one lifting just to my south and the other (an EF-3) tore through Canton less than two miles to my east. It was definitely a day I won’t soon forget and, as is the case with every chase, it was a learning experience.

Last question we have to ask… Do you ever fear for your life?

The close calls I wrote about above are truly the only times where I have feared for my life, and they proved to be invaluable lessons for our chase team. There have been moments of concern over my safety, but not to the extent that I’ve feared the worst like in those two instances.

For the most part, fascination and excitement are the dominant feelings when I’m out chasing. With the proper experience and precautions, storm chasing can be a safe and enjoyable endeavour. There is certainly always the risk of danger (lightning strikes for one *shiver*), but those risks can be minimized with education and safe practices.

Thanks to Gabe for taking the time out to talk to us. Links for Tornado Trackers website, Facebook and other social media outlets can be found below.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

RELATED ARTICLES

Watch a Tornado in Cozad, Nebraska tear a barn apart!

The motion on this nader is quite something! Watch a Tornado in Cozad, Nebraska tear a barn apart in the video below.

The video was captured by Gage Shaw on the day the Tornado struck – last month, 17th May. Shaw posted the video on his official YouTube account.

Find more of our articles on Tornadoes that have struck the state of Nebraska here.

A tribute to Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young: Produced by Jeff & Kat Piotrowski

Beautifully narrated by Kat Piotrowski

This is the most fitting tribute to three incredibly talented men. No words needed, just watch and listen to the video below.

Jeff & Kat, you did a wonderful job with this tribute. I know Tim, Paul and Carl will be looking down on you two with one big smile!

Gone but never EVER forgotten! RIP Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young. Our thoughts, prayers and love continue to be with the Samaras and Young Family. <3

On the topic of the storm chaser. You can find more of our articles relating to storm chasers and storm chasing here, here and here

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CHASER #3 – COLT FORNEY OF BASEHUNTERS CHASING

Please enjoy our interview with Colt Forney of Basehunters Chasing.

What first got you interested in Tornadoes?

Growing up in Kansas, severe weather was always a part of my life in the spring. I’d say when I was five years old, I would have to run over to our neighbour’s house to use their basement during a Tornado warning. From that point forward, I was hooked on Tornadoes.

How did you become interested in storm chasing?

I would read books and watch videos on storms and Tornadoes and wanted to see them first-hand. It’s safe to suggest I probably owned every Tornado VHS tape ever made including home videos.

How did you get into chasing?

Before I got my driver’s license, I would have my parents drive me to a hill outside of town to watch storms approach. Once I got my driver’s license, I was chasing every chance I got. For the first few years, I just chased locally, within a couple counties from home. I then expanded to chasing tens of thousands of a miles a year in 2008.

How long have you been chasing?

I have been chasing since 2005, almost fourteen years already. Wow, time flies when you’re having fun.

Why do you chase? Do you do it for fun or do you have a purpose?

I chase for fun and as a hobby. I submit reports to the National Weather Service as often as I can as well. I have chased on a research project once back in 2012 – Project ROTATE with Center of Severe Weather Research out of Boulder, Colorado.

It’s suffice to say you must have been in some close calls. Have you ever been hit?

Oh yes, I have had some close calls. In 2011 after dark near Appleton, Wisconsin, we narrowly missed getting hit by a rain-wrapped Tornado. Another instance was when we got stuck in a wheat field. Our dirt road failed to continue east after all maps showed it did. We ended up stuck with several other chasers whilst several Tornadoes narrowly missed us. I could write a book that day! As for getting hit, no.

So, the question is. How close have you got?

There have been a couple instances where I have been right on the edge of the outer circulation of weak Tornadoes.

Last question we have to ask… Do you ever fear for your life?

Honestly, no. A few instances made me a bit nervous for a while like the two mentioned above. I was worried we might get flipped or hit with some debris, but never got that feeling like I was going to die.

Thanks to Colt for taking the time out to talk to us. Links for Basehunters Chasing’s website, Facebook and other social media outlets can be found below.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

RELATED ARTICLES

New Chevrolet commercial features renowned storm chasers

We had to write about it! In the video below, watch a new Chevrolet commercial which features renowned storm chasers, Roger and Caryn Hill.   

You can read the video’s description below.

“Roger Hill loves severe weather. And over the past three decades, he has personally witnessed more than 650 tornadoes – more than anyone on earth. After years of chasing in his free time, he turned his passion into a career, starting Silver Lining Tours. Now, together with his wife Caryn, he guides groups across the country to witness severe weather.

 It’s his dream job, but it’s also demanding; during storm season, Roger and Caryn are on the road for more 100 days straight, driving hundreds of miles per day in pursuit of Mother Nature.

But before the season begins, they go storm chasing as a couple. It’s a promise they made to each other, a yearly adventure that takes them driving across America’s stunning landscape. Watch as Roger and Caryn Hill traverse several states hunting the perfect storm.”

The video was brought to our attention by Roger Hill, however the commercial was posted by CNN. The commercial is currently unlisted on YouTube.

You can read more of our blogs here.

STORM CHASER STORIES: MANITOBA STORM CHASER’S INCREDIBLE CLOSE RANGE INTERCEPT OF THE MAY 2019 TAHOKA, TX TORNADO

Storm chaser stories is a new series of articles in which we give chasers the chance to share their most memorable chasing experience. It will then be presented in the form of a story.

The first storm chaser story comes from Manitoba Storm Chaser Jordan Carruthers. Carruthers tells the story of his close range intercept of the May 2019 Tahoka, Texas Tornado. So without further ado, please enjoy!

May 5th, 2019, is a day that will not soon be forgotten, this day started off like any other chase day, we woke up, picked our target, and hit the road. About an hour after reaching our target the storms began to fire, one to our north and one to our south, It was decision time which storm do we go to? They both looked similar on the radar and were in similar environments, so we had a 50/50 chance of picking the right one.

We happened to notice that the one to our south was developing over a town named Ropesville. So now it was obvious which storm we needed to head for, as we got closer to this cell we started to notice it was attempting to do a classic ‘right-split’. This meant the southern half of the cell was feeding into a better environment and splitting off of the northern half which was in a less than ideal environment. THIS WAS GOOD NEWS FOR US!

After determining which direction the southern half of the cell was going to go, we hopped in our truck and started moving to get into better position to intercept it again, as we were traveling to our new spot. We ran into a couple of storm chasers that we knew from Australia so we pulled over on the side of the road and watched the storm for about 15 minutes, during this 15 minutes the storm did something that we weren’t expecting.

It turned into a high precipitation (HP) storm which is not what we wanted, this meant that if this storm produced a tornado, it would likely be rain wrapped and invisible to our eyes. We continued to watch this storm struggle to stay alive as it became outflow dominant, which in layman’s terms meant it was spitting out all of its potential energy and dying…BUT THEN SOMETHING MAGICAL HAPPENED!

The storm ran into an outflow boundary that was sitting to its south, and when this occurred, it quickly began to rotate right beside us. As we were traveling south towards Tahoka, Texas, my guest in the backseat started shouting, “Look on the ground, Look on the ground”.

I turned my head to the right, I quickly saw what she was shouting about. There was a large area of dust beginning to spin on the ground about one-fourth of a mile to our east. So I quickly pulled the truck onto the side of the highway and hopped out, video camera in hand, and started determining what was happening.

There was no real Wall Cloud or funnel present so at first, I was thinking this was just a Gustnado being caused by the gust front (outflow) of the storm. However, I began to notice the rotation within it. THIS WAS A TORNADO! As I stood on the side of the road, filming the development of this tornado, it began to condense. It quickly became a large, dusty stovepipe Tornado. THIS HAPPENED RIGHT BESIDE US!

I happened to look behind me to see if there was any traffic heading towards this that I had to warn, I noticed a large wall of dust heading straight for us. This was the Rear Flank Downdraft (RFD), if we became engulfed by this RFD we would no longer have visual of the Tornado. There was a possibility of being hit with debris that was picked up by the Tornado.

THAT WAS WHEN I MADE THE DECISION THAT WE HAD TO MOVE! We had three choices,

  1. Stay between the Tornado and the RFD.
  2. Try to beat the Tornado and get to the other side of it.
  3. Drop back behind the RFD and possibly lose visibility.

I chose option two! I hopped in the truck, punched the gas pedal and started racing the Tornado. I started catching up to it, however it came very obvious that we were not going to be this thing. As I was travelling south, the Tornado was travelling southwest. It became clear we were getting closer to each other, so I pulled over onto a median. I watched the Tornado as it crossed the highway about two hundred yards in front of us. At this point in time, we were still in a safe position between the Tornado and the RFD attached to it.

Having watched the Tornado cross the road a mere two hundred yards in front of us, I was once faced again with a decision – moving south or moving north through the RFD. I looked behind me and noticed a clearing in the RFD that I could easily punch through, and get a better overall visual of the Tornado. So essentially, that’s what I did. I turned the truck around and started driving through the RFD. Once I got through, knowing we were safe, I pulled onto a pull-off on the highway. I hopped out of the truck and carried on shooting. What I saw was one of the most incredible views I’ve ever seen!

This big dusty stovepipe Tornado was pulling dust from miles around it. It was like a scene from the movies, I knew I had to stick with this thing. I quickly hopped back in the truck and started heading south, chasing the Tornado once more! By this point, the RFD was in a position that it wasn’t obscuring our view. However, it was beginning to drop hail in our path. So now, we had to be cautious and stay as close as we could to the Tornado, without getting into the hail. Every time we would start getting into the hail, we would pull over and let it move away from us again.

By this point, the Tornado was becoming severely rain and dust-wrapped, becoming harder to see. We were driving south on the highway and happened to notice the Australians that we ran into earlier parked off to the west of the highway. We pulled in behind them and began our celebrations, we showed them our photos, and they showed us the photos they captured. We just sat there describing what we just experienced.

This was the moment that we decided to call the chase off, as we could no longer see the Tornado, due to dust and rain. It would be far too dangerous to intercept it once again. Find some of my favourite photos in the gallery below.

Wow, what a story. Thanks to Jordan for sharing his story with us. Links to Jordan’s social media outlets relating to chasing can be found below.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Patreon

Thanks for reading our first storm chasing stories article, stay tuned for the next

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CHASER #2 – TIM MARSHALL

Please enjoy our interview with Tim Marshall.

What first got you interested in Tornadoes?

I was always interested in the weather and kept daily weather observations when I was a kid. However, a Tornado struck my town on the 21st April 1967. I was ten years old and the destruction I saw (F4/EF-4) made me want to study Tornadoes for the rest of my life. The track passed about one mile north of my house. My house was not damaged, but a neighbour on the block lost some siding.

How did you become interested in storm chasing?

I heard about storm chasing back in the 1970s. They were doing that the University of Oklahoma (OK). On the 23rd May 1974, storm chasers tracked down a Tornado that hit Union City, OK. I really wanted to see a Tornado from a distance instead of being in one.

Photo credit: Ryan McGinnis

How did you get into chasing?

My first ever chase was in 1976 in northern Illinois. I didn’t get serious about chasing until 197 when I went to Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas (TX). I saw my first Tornado in May 1978 near Edmonson, TX as I drove to Lubbock to attend graduate school.

Just to clarify, how long have you been chasing?

Since 1976. I have chased every year since.

Photo credit: Ryan McGinnis

Why do you do chase? Do you do it for fun or do you have a purpose?

It’s safe to suggest I chase for many reasons. To challenge myself forecasting, learn about Tornadoes and of course, photograph them. I’ve been a part of five projects with the Center of Severe Weather Research (CSWR) where we dropped instrumented pods in front of Tornadoes. We had great success on the 9th May and 24th May in Sulphur, OK and Dodge City, Kansas.

It’s suffice to say you must have been in some close calls. Have you ever been hit? 

I’ve been close but not hit directly, thank goodness. On the 9th May 2016, we deployed a pod cat close range and as we were leaving, a house lost a roof next to our truck + power lines went down. Lucky enough! We drove away just in time.

Photo credit: Ryan McGinnis

So, the question is. How close have you got?

Outer circulation

Last question we have to ask… Do you ever fear for your life?

Not really. I know what I’m doing and I get serious and focused when a Tornado is near…

Photo credit: Ryan McGinnis

Thanks to Tim for taking the time out to talk to us! Please be sure to read Tim’s short bio – which you can download and read by clicking the download button below.

RELATED INTERVIEWS