Severe Storms 8/2/15

8/2/15 – This was a day I had been waiting for. Finally, a really good chance of storms in lower Michigan. The computer forecast models all showed convection overspreading the region all day long, and congealing into a big squall line, then sagging south. That is exactly what happened. The day started off quiet in southern lower Michigan, but off to the north, things were already rocking. Strong to severe storms were already pounding the region with intense wind gusts, heavy rain, large hail and lightning. This activity would be what I waited patiently for as it moved down in my direction. There wasn’t much planning that went into this chase. It was pretty much just pick a spot along the advancing squall line, and hope for the best. I watched the storms for hours, and then I finally took off to the west to intercept a stronger part of the MCS (Mesoscale Convective System). On the way, I was treated to some glimpses of a very nice shelf cloud … Read More…


Strong Thunderstorm – Rockford, MI 6/8/15

After missing out on storms all day, I took a chance on a small rain shower with associated outflow boundary in the evening. This was part of a failed attempt that a storm made, trying to cross Lake Michigan. We were under the influence of a “lake shadow” most of the day. This also meant that our atmosphere hand’t been worked over by any convection, and there was still some instability around. I was on my way westward to pick up a boat I found on Craigslist for fishing, and on my way there, this once small shower, turned into a full fledged thunderstorm. Though this storm never became severe, it was still a strong storm, packing strong wind gusts, small hail, heavy rainfall and lightning. The structure wasn’t half bad either! A nice treat for a day when I thought I wasn’t going to see anything. This storm quickly died after sunset. I chased it south a few miles into the Rockford, MI area. It was moving pretty fast, … Read More…


Southwest Kansas Chase 5/9/15

***FULL CHASE VIDEO BELOW – SCROLL DOWN TO SEE PHOTOS AND READ THE FULL CHASE LOG*** The day started off with a drive north through some of the Wichita Mountains onward to southwestern Kansas from Lawton, Oklahoma. Along the way, we encountered some elevated convection, as well as a deck of Asperatus Clouds. These proved to be quite photogenic. As we moved northward, we were witness to some beautiful scenes, including this one just off the road somewhere in southwest Kansas of a CU field developing across the rolling plains. While waiting for initiation, Michael Gavan and I met up with Blaize Edwards, Jared Stevenson, and Amanda Ann at Presto in Sublette, KS. We talked, joked, laughed, and traded stories for a while. We saw some other chasers rolling through, and also talked to a few of the locals who were quite interested in what we were up to. After that, we were on the road to developing storms to our south. A couple of cells tried to fire closer … Read More…


Electra, TX Supercell – Lawton, OK Flooding 5/8/15

5/8/15 – This was the first day of a short “chasecation” weekend with my buddy Michael Gavan. We were talking about heading down to the plains a few days prior, noting the chances for severe weather to come for Fri/Sat/Sun. The setup looked promising, so we decided to partner up and head out for some good days of storm chasing. Loaded up his Toyota RAV4 and hit the road. We took turns driving all night/day from Allegan County, Michigan all the way to north Texas. We slept in shifts, and for a brief time, stopped at a Walmart parking lot among some semi truck drivers for a 30 minute or so nap. A long grueling, tiresome drive, but well worth it to see some storm action. The drive was about 16 hours long, not including stops for gas, bathroom breaks, or to stretch. Storms began firing and most of which were really junky, and you couldn’t see much. Some of which also had trouble sustaining themselves. The storms we saw … Read More…


Northern Illinois Tornadoes 4/9/15

**FULL CHASE VIDEO BELOW** – Scroll down below the video to read the story, and see all of the photos from this chase. In this video you will see our chase from start to finish. The first small cells, a wall cloud we got underneath, and then the massive wedge tornado which we chased for miles. At one point we even hydroplaned, but CJ gathered it up like a champion, all the while I never took my focus off the tornado while filming it. Toward the end of the video, you’ll see 2 tornadoes on the ground at once. One was a satellite. Intense chase day!! Enjoy the video. 4/9/15 – Where do I begin? This was such an amazing chase day. So many great times, and so many great sights. Prior to this chase day, there was a whole lot of computer model watching, and trying to decide which model was going to be correct, or at least, close to correct. There were difference among the models all the … Read More…


Storm Chasing 2012 in Photos

I have put together a photo gallery containing all of the best images from my 2012 storm chasing season. The gallery is from newest to oldest, and begins in October. You will see all kinds of amazing stormy scenes in this set. Enjoy and feel free to share this entry! Click any image for a larger view. … Read More…


“Earth Eater” Supercell – Paducah, TX – 5/30/12

On May 30, 2012 we were in Texas tracking the potential of severe weather. There was a Moderate Risk of severe weather, mainly for Oklahoma, however, we decided to play the southwest corner of the Slight Risk area in northern Texas. (If you want to see video, photos, and screenshots, scroll down) There were 2 distinct supercells. You can see that clearly here in this Radar Loop of the storms. The first big supercell fires, goes tornado warned, and drops a tornado in Paducah, TX, before shoving off to the SE. We passed through the town of Paducah, TX where we came across a grass fire in the distance (most likely caused by lightning) and some tornado damage. Most notably sheet metal that had been peeled away and scattered about. We also passed by a barn that housed classic cars that had taken a hit from the tornado. We were en route to the cell which had a history of large hail, damaging winds, and a tornado, until we noticed … Read More…


Texas Supercell 5/28/12

The image on the left is a composite of video cuts. The lightning was intense in this storm, so I came away with a lot of good shots. We began chasing this storm in it’s early stages when it was just developing a core. Hail had already been reported up to at least quarter size, so we knew it was a healthy storm. Plus it looked rather menacing on radar. It was high based for what seemed like forever. We were hoping it would produce at least a small tornado, but the most tornadic thing we got out of it was a shear funnel right overhead. That wasn’t a downer really though, because this storm was an absolute beast. We core punched it a few times, and each time was more exciting than the last as the storm continued to gain strength. We experienced blowing dust, high wind gusts, heavy rain, large hail and insane lightning. The largest hail we experienced was ping pong ball sized. At times in the … Read More…


Nebraska Chasing 5/27/12

Left image is of a supercell with a nice wall cloud. Middle and right images are screen shots of the stream showing the gustnadoes. Another successful day of chasing in Nebraska. We started the day off with cumulus clouds as usual. We were playing around on old farm roads, waiting patiently for initiation. We all danced for donations to Sexy And I Know It by LMFAO and Mike Phelps developed a new dance move. The Phelps Flop. He took a spill while attempting a moon walk it appeared, it was difficult to tell because we were all laughing so hard. He injured his elbow pretty good but he was alright. Once cumulus started gathering we took off chasing. We got under this one batch that looked really good, and followed it for many miles as it grew. We were treated to some mammatus, a nice updraft base, and a nice rain/hail core. We drove through some hail, following another chase vehicle which is pictured below. Our storm finally matured and … Read More…


Iowa Speedway and Severe Storms near Wahoo, NE 5/23/12

Left image is of a sunrise at an Illinois gas station on the way to Nebraska. After a lot of planning and preparing, the first chase day had finally arrived. Our friend Bob picked me up from Michigan and brought me down to Indiana to stay at his house to wait for Mike and John, who drove from Georgia to Indiana to pick me up. From there, we took turns driving and sleeping all the way to Iowa. We drove all night, but made it. Michael Phelps, John Capper, and Myself were all very tired, but ready for action. On the journey, I noticed the Iowa Speedway which was set a little ways off the highway. I didn’t have to say much for Mike and John to be on board with the idea of getting on the track, and streaming a lap around it live on StormScapeLive.com. It seemed like an easy enough task, but we were prepared to be denied. I went in and talked to the good folks … Read More…