Storm Chasing 2012 – The Best Chases

Today is December 31st, the last day of 2012. For some it was a good year, for others it was a bad year. For me, it was a mix of both. This year wasn’t friendly to all storm chasers. The nationwide drought situation played a huge role in the lack of storms in the United States. One thing we didn’t have a shortage of, was heat, and dry air. It was extremely difficult if you were a chaser to get footage of tornadoes this year. I mean certainly, many chasers did intercept tornadoes this year, but overall, it was a lackluster year. That’s great for the general public, but sucks for a storm chaser. This year I was able to do a proper US plains tour through tornado alley, thanks to my friend, and chase partner, Michael Phelps of stormscapelive.tv, my sponsor Mike Curtis of Farm Bureau Insurance, and all of my friends and fans who have donated to me over this past year. This tour took us everywhere from … Read More…


Fall Colors at Harold Baurie Roadside Park

It was a beautiful day in Michigan today with temperatures in the low 60s, bright sunshine, and just a light breeze. I decided to go out and photograph some of the past peak fall colors. I went down to the Harold Baurie Roadside Park to see what I could find. A lot of times those smaller parks can have some big photography rewards. I was was definitely pleased with the setup. Nice little park. Picnic tables, toilets, and a couple of barbecues. Oaks and Maples dominated the area, with a couple of Aspens mixing in here and there. There were still quite a few leaves on some of the trees, while others were almost, or completely bare. We haven’t had an ideal year with the drought and heat, then it’s been cold and windy a lot this fall when the colors were really peaking, so there wasn’t much of a chance to get out to get any good shots. Today though I experienced some very nice “past peak” fall colors. … 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…


Garden Of The Gods 5/25/12

On May 25, 2012, we toured Garden Of The Gods located in the city of Colorado Springs, CO. This was a spectacular experience. The color contrast of the area was an amazing sight to behold. The rock formations, stunning, and the weather was perfect. We toured the whole park, then went up into the mountains and go a great view of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, and the surrounding area. It was an awesome experience, one I would definitely do again one day. We spent basically the entire day up there, with no storms to chase nearby, this was definitely a nice alternative. We were over 9,000ft up at one point. The reddish color to the rocks and dirt was accented nicely by the sun as it set as well. Below is a collection of images from the tour through Garden Of The Gods and up into the mountains, including images of Pikes Peak. Click any image thumbnail for larger view. We were treated to a lovely sunset over the mountains … Read More…


Castlewood Canyon State Park 5/25/12

On May 25, 2012 we toured Castlewood Canyon State Park in Franktown, CO. It was a very neat place, lots of photogenic rock formations and plenty of natural beauty. Finding wildlife proved to be difficult in the heat of midday, but I managed to get some nice landscape shots out of it. Tons of butterflies and flowers. I did get one shot of a butterfly, and also a Honeybee. The weather was absolutely perfect. Bright blue sky and sunshine with a bit of a breeze. Castlewood Canyon State Park has a network of trails through the park and a number of observation decks that offer some great canyon views, as well as a very pleasant nature walk experience. Click here to see a zoomed in Google Map of the park. Enjoy my images below, and also a short video I recorded of the canyon from one of the observation decks. … Read More…


Nebraska Chasing, Take Two 5/24/12

What was supposed to be simply a travel day to Denver to pick up Chris Johnson, turned out to be a chase day as well. The conditions were marginal, but some cumulus were already beginning to gather in the late morning, and continued to build into the afternoon hours. SBCAPE was around 500j/kg, and there was about 20-30kts of effective bulk shear to work with. Some elevated convection was ongoing to the north, and this activity, perhaps with an associated outflow boundary or some sort of small MCV touched off a few storms to the south of the main cell which eventually became tornado warned with confirmation of a tornado not too far north of where we had spent the night. That sucked, but thankfully the tornado wasn’t all that impressive anyway, so it’s not really much of a loss. We instead chased a couple of strong storms that eventually died off and we made our way into Colorado. Below are videos and images from May 24, 2012. Day 2 … Read More…