The "Suck Zone"

Hey everyone here is a quick update, been busy trying to get footage for everyone on the trip. Had a quick look at Cyclone Jim’s footage of the 5/10 clip and it’s insane how close they were, the tornado is about 10 feet away from their car before and after it hit them. Will be posting when I have a chance. Also have my footage as well. I’m planning on editing all of them at once so we have everyone’s perspective at the same time. There are also pictures from the News9 TV Station as well as a NOAA Doppler Radar Truck that we saw before we started chasing the storm. This truck cost about $1 million to make because of all the equipment. It was run by a few meteorology students from Oklahoma University.
These are pictures from the chase we did on 5/12, it did produce a tornado however it was rainwrapped and we were too far to the south to see it, however I did manage to get some great pictures. It’s amazing when you see this in person, the pictures don’t do it justice. The entire sky is covered and some of these clouds are so low to the ground it’s scary even when it doesn’t produce a tornado:

Hey everyone,

Today we chased a mesocyclone from the Western panhandle of Oklahoma into Texas, got some great footage of initial rotation and lightning, this storm did produce 1 tornado but it was on our southwest side and it was rain-wrapped so we couldn’t see it. It eventually weakened but left us with some great photo opportunities and footage, will post those pictures tomorrow, however I did want to post my first official footage clip, this was one of the first tornadoes that touched down on Monday just south of Wakita before all the chaos ensued:

Here are some photos from yesterday 5-12 when we were chasing in western Oklahoma and in the Texas Panhandle

Have to run, checking out of Days Inn in Clinton, Oklahoma don’t think today is a great day, was up until 1AM last night with Cyclone Jim Leonard (veteran storm chaser) talking about other chases he has been through and all his experience. The man is awesome and check out his videos and images, he’s been chasing hurricanes and tornadoes since 1974!!!!

Hey everyone just posted the Oklahoma City News9 Interview with Ryan and myself, unfortunately I was unable to obtain Ryan’s Tulsa interview, but we’ll see if anyone else managed to grab or tape that! Enjoy! Also have a nice plug for F5Safaris here, they have the website address down, so hopefully Gregg will get some business from this!

PS I cannot watch myself and I cannot believe that I was on TV, I saw that I had that crazy look in my eye describing something and I had to turn it off so please don’t laugh at me, this interview might have been scarier than the actual tornado:

Hey everyone, will post a full update hopefully tonight, we plan on moving into Wichita, Kansas around 10AM CST in a little bit. We went through some more footage last night and have just uploaded some footage from inside Chase2 where one of the vortices hit. We uploaded this footage to CBS and it went national to CNN this morning where myself and Ryan were just interviewed! I have a full DVD and clips of that and will post that interview as soon as I can! For now enjoy this video from inside the vortex:

Hey everyone,

Chased for several hours and nothing initiated so we played frisbee for about an hour outside of Watonka “Where our grandparents will treat you like family!” Anyways we had dinner at the Cattleman’s Cafe and then watched all of our footage from yesterday. I just finished editing several videos and have sent them to CBS where we will be on TV tomorrow morning at 6AM local time in Oklahoma City on CBS, i’m not sure if it’s going to get picked up nationally but as soon as it’s done uploading I will upload the picture from inside the car that got hit right behind us tomorrow morning after the interview!!!!! Check back soon for another video!!!


Hey everyone here’s a quick update with some of photographs from me, Rachel (Australia) and Cath (Quebec).

These first three are the photographs I took just south of Wakita on route 58, we were all out of the car watching the wall cloud build and as it did it shortly dropped the first tornado:

Here are two pictures from Rachel’s footage of the second tornado that hit and was part of the multi-vortex chaos:

Here are some of my photos of the damage to Chase2 which was hit by one of the vortices:


Hey everyone, just edited this clip of Cath’s footage and uploaded it. She was actually out of the window filming this! These vortices were about 150 yards away!!!!!! INSANE!!!! The wireless connection here sucks so i’m slowly uploading my photos, it will take me longer to upload my footage but I have some great clips so keep an eye out for them tonight. It looks like we are chasing this afternoon and it looks promising for tomorrow! Hopefully we won’t be this close again . . .


Hey everyone,

I’m a little buzzed right now and we’re going through the footage and I can’t get it all uploaded but we saw four tornadoes and our second chase vehicle was hit directly by one of the vortices!!!! All of the windows were blown out!! Here is a video clip from a chaser who was behind us and it shows our rockbox (one of those storage compartments attached to the roof) being blown away close to the last few seconds. It was very scary and incredible, I will post my footage and pictures tomorrow!!!! Was insane and very, very close, we were about 100 feet away from multiple vortices:


Here is the first update since i’ve been in Oklahoma.

I flew in yesterday from Hartford with a layover in Chicago, and then right to Oklahoma City. I’ve never been at an airport where when you get on the plane you have to go outside to board and go up a ramp. And there were two different planes on the strip and a woman that you told where you were going, either “Buffalo” or “Oklahoma” and she then directed you towards the right plane.

After I landed in Oklahoma City I was picked up at the airport by Gregg and Jason, my F5 Safari friends. There I met one other passenger, Ron from Florida who is a first-time chaser this season. (It was at this airport where I spotted this sign by the restroom:)

We then made it back to the hotel, dropped our stuff off and then went to Cattlemen’s which is a local steak place where the line was too long so we went to a different steak place and met up with everyone else on the tour.
The group included Gregg and Jim our meteorologists, Jason and Laura (our drivers), Ron and Rachel (from Australia), Jamie (from Australia), Cathyrn (from Quebec), Ron (from Florida) and Jessica and Ryan (from Ohio).

After dinner, went back to hotel and hung out with the group until well after midnight. Great stories of chasing storms, Australian slang and good laughs.

Had breakfast this morning, did our briefing and concluded today was a positioning day and we were going to be getting ready for the major storm system coming in on Monday. We headed out around 12PM and I am inside F1, the first chase vehicle with Jason, Gregg, Jamie, Cathryn and Ron. We got to Edin, Oklahoma around roughly 2PM and checked into the Baymont Inn & Suites.

After check-in, we then departed for Wakita

where several parts of the movie Twister was filmed, it was there where we went to the Twister Movie Museum where a nice lady by the name of Linda runs it. We had called her prior to our arrival as it wasn’t open, but she said she would be glad to open it for us! So we got there and inside saw a vast number of props from the movie including one of the famous “Dorothy”‘s from the movie. Below are some pictures from the museum.
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After visiting the museum and taking several exterior shots of the water town from Wakita (which can also be seen in the movie Twister), we made our way back to Edin and ate at a restaurant called Napoli, one of the only open Italian restaurants in town.

After dinner, went back to the hotel to work on footage and videos that I had taken, it appears that the footage generated is too big so I have to fine-tune that which I hope to accomplish over the next few days, however the pictures I did manage to upload and put on this blog for you all to enjoy:

Outlook for tomorrow: looks like some decent storms are brewing with strong upper-level support for tomorrow as well as Wednesday. So there is a definite possibility for tornadoes tomorrow so stay tuned as I will upload pictures and updates as to where I am as soon as I have the chance to! Goodnight and will keep you updated tomorrow hopefully around 3ish, hopefully initiations will begin and we’ll be chasing within the Enid area and east towards Tulsa but if need-be we will perhaps traverse to Osage or Bartlesville. Storms are looking to fire up in Kansas and Colorado but we will remain south by the dry line and work the warmer air. Stay tuned!!!!


Hey everyone,

If you’re here then you already know that I am about to embark on a tornado chasing adventure this coming Saturday. It seems that I have a thousand things to do before I make it to Oklahoma City and the crunch is on.  I just received word from Gregg that the forecast looks promising for next week and that we will most likely be in the Texas Panhandle, Eastern Colorado, and Western Kansas.  I still have a few things to get onto my iPod, iPad, and several things to get.  I will be packing Friday and heading out Saturday!

Will update you soon!

-the batman