Part of the reason I started this blog (and the website itself, if I’m honest) is to share photos and updates of the various trips and adventures in which I partake. Usually those are hiking trips, or maybe photography-focused trips. Then there are the storm chases. Yes, as in “Let’s go to the Great Plains and find tornadoes” storm chasing.
I don’t actually do a lot of storm chasing for a multitude of reasons, one of them being the fact that storm chasing in places like Oklahoma can kinda be like trying to buy an XBox at Walmart at 6am on Black Friday. It’s a zoo. Not my cup of tea. But as someone who studies weather for a living, how can I not storm chase…at least once in a while, right?
(Side note: I do know people in my field who don’t, and they have their reasons, and that’s cool).
Anyway, to get to the point, beginning this coming Tuesday, I’ll be out chasing storms somewhere in the heart of the U.S. for about 2 weeks with a few friends! We’ve come to refer to this as “Chasecation 2016”, following the convention used last spring (Chasecation 2015), since adding the suffix “-cation” to everything apparently makes it more epic (we also just had “Skication 2016” back in March up at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and it was indeed epic!). Currently, it appears as if the atmospheric conditions will generally be favorable for severe thunderstorms across the central U.S. through the end of May. A few days could be very interesting, especially later next week. Early June is more uncertain (and still a couple weeks away), but it’s possible that we’ll have storms to chase every day.
I’ll be bringing along all my photography gear for this, of course, as well as my GoPro. Last year, my Canon 16-35mm lens “broke” shortly before the trip – its electronics quit working – which meant I had to manually focus the lens and shoot everything at the widest aperture of f2.8. For the non-photography folks reading this, that means all my storm chase photos from last year are blurry at the corners and perhaps not in perfect focus. This time around, though, all my gear is in good working order (knock on wood) – at least as I write this.
There’s no need for me to go into specifics now since I hope to provide consistent (maybe even daily!) blog updates over the next few weeks detailing our adventures. We’ll see, of course. Part of storm chasing involves the possibility of not getting done until late in the evening every day, at which point everyone is tired and ready to hit the sack.
To wet your appetite, I’ll leave you with a few photos taken from Chasecation 2015!