| Tornado Chasers

What kind of severe wx knowledge should a new chaser have before heading out?


Hey Brecky! The most important thing that I took away from my SkyWarn class, and I don’t think this has been mentioned yet, is keep your head on a SWIVEL! You may get completely immersed when you finally spot that first tornado and lock your eyes on it and from out of the blue, something can and will sneak up behind you. LOOK EVERYWHERE! Above you, beside you and most importantly, behind you!

Also, don’t listen to those people who tell you not to chase “just for the fun of it.” Every storm chaser began chasing because of the rush and the excitement of it. You’re no different than they were at your age. If you enjoy storm chasing, do it! If the people that are telling you not to “because its cool” didn’t think so themselves, they wouldn’t be doing it, right? You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders, (swiveling apparatus :slight_smile: ) and you seem to know what equipment and software to use, so just be safe and have fun! You’re going at it more intelligently than most!

Good luck and chase on!


Thanks SO MUCH, I felt my first chase week was a success but not too eventful! I did lots of driving, listening to music and I got to see NM, TX, OK, CO, WY, & NE. It would have been great to have a navigator with me! I can say one thing though, I learned a lot by just looking up at the sky and seeing what the SN online classes, SkyWarn, and textbooks taught me about thunderstorms…it is amazing UP there! Where I live in Western Washington we don’t get to see those textbook thunderstorms! Thanks to all of you that helped me have a great first chase and all the chasers I met out on the road.

USE my swivel apparatus, go it! It doesn’t swivel as well now days though, LOL! My neck has lots of wear and tear damage from over 10 years of springboard diving.

I am one of those ladies that was told NOT to start a business, but if I hadn’t my husband, Dutch would not have been on a reality TV show and one of the best artists in our industry. With that being said, I can now call myself a “CHASER” and to always go with your heart, but consider what other suggest.

All I need now is to do LOTS more studying on my forecasting tools, ugh, not as easy! Always learning, is my motto! Love your encouragement, mbowserjr! Oh, and I agree with you, that every chaser began chasing because of the rush! (It’s not a bad thing, though!) Thanks again.


Anytime! Here’s a GREAT example of why keeping your head on a swivel is important!


I am also a “self-taught” chaser! Even though EVERY tornado is unpredictable, you’ll see some consistencies with what part of the storm that they form in, (most in the rain free base of the wallcloud,) but again, they’re unpredictable, especially if you’re chasing an HP, you might not even see it. I would avoid those types of setups altogether as they are the most dangerous. The best vantage point is usually 1-2 miles away, so unless you have a DOMINATOR, you really don’t need to get any closer than that. Keep studying your software and get familiar with it, otherwise you just need more field experience! You have your first multi state chase under your belt, so you’re on the right track!


@reedtimmer Hi Mr. Timmer! My name is Justin. I used to watch your show Storm Chasers when I was younger and loved it. I’m 14 now, and was wondering if you have any advice to get into storm chasing. I live in small town Iowa, so there isn’t really a whole lot of people around here that chase.
Thank you!