Storm chaser (n) – an individual pursues any severe weather condition, regardless of motive, which can be curiosity, adventure, scientific investigation, or for news or media coverage. [x]
Much of the general public met storm chasers in 1996, with the release of Twister. Yet chasing storms isn’t a new practice. In the United States, it can be traced back to hundreds of years ago. Benjamin Franklin (yes, that Benjamin Franklin) dabbled in chasing tornadoes on horseback after witnessing one while traveling from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. While meteorology has made considerable advances, and much more is understood about the mega thunderstorms that explode in the skies of the Great Plains every year, the wonder has never subsided.
Behind The Bear’s Cage is an ongoing photo essay exploring the unknown world of storm chasing in the United States, through the lens of an outsider. The project, initially an experiment, was launched by Philadelphia-based photographer Conor Clancy in the spring of 2016. Following a successful trial run, Behind The Bear’s Cage will continue this year (2017), delving even further into the culture of storm chasing.
For photos from 2016, visit the project’s Exposure.co website.