I will return with a more robust update later this week, but I had the pleasure of being the guest on … Continue reading Storm Front Freaks Podcast Episode up!
Season 2, Part 1 has ended, and it went fast!
I hit the ground running upon my arrival in Oklahoma City, following along as Chris Sanner chased 3 times in 24 hours (breaking a personal record). Game ON, I thought; three separate storms in three different locations throughout the state? This had to be a harbinger of an incredibly active late April, right? Noooope. In fact, aside from one other chase day–playing roulette with a crashing cold front on April 25–those first 24 hours produced the most storm action I’d see those two weeks (I was fast asleep when the damaging straight line winds hit the Metro the morning of April 29th).
As I mentioned earlier last month, the Photo Essay component of Behind The Bear’s Cage will be presented separately from the written portion of the project. A selection of the photos have been (and will continue to be) used for illustrative purposes, but the majority of photos I took throughout Phase One will likely never be seen on this blog; their home is elsewhere, on the beautiful website Exposure. Links for all four galleries are provided behind the jump.
I may add more description to the photos to make the timelines of each chase clearer. Unfortunately, I’ve begun the dreaded process of moving, so there may be a slight period of inactivity here through the end of the month. If this ends up being the case, I promise to be back with new content in August!
It’s the end of May, tornado season is at its peak on the Southern Plains, but Chris Sanner is already mentally compiling his off-season “To Do” list. A bit like “summer vacation,” the off-season gives storm chasers much-needed time to rest, sort through the backlog of the past few month’s storm chase video, and edit the hundreds of photographs they’ve taken over the course of the storm season.
What “ends” a chase season is subjective. Some storm chasers choose to shift from the Southern Plains to the Northern Plains and Midwest at the beginning of June, as the severe weather threat pushes North. Sanner rarely chases outside of the area he calls home, so once the summer heat moves into Oklahoma–decreasing the severe weather probability for his area to a minimum–he has the freedom to begin work on projects he’s shelved for the last few months.
For instance, Sanner has a backyard mole problem he needs to tackle, and he and his wife are excited to start as Youth Ministers at a congregation in nearby Yukon, OK. One of the biggest projects Chris will be working on this summer, is creating more content for “Titan U.”
I watched Brandon Goforth eat two meals in one day at Subway. First, a Subway sandwich for lunch at the Cherokee Travel Plaza in Clinton, OK; later, a Subway flatbread pizza for dinner in Dodge City, KS. It was my first day chasing with the Titans, but I was already picking up on a trend.
“You guys should really get Subway to sponsor you,” I joked.
The idea didn’t seem remotely odd to Goforth, because he and Chris Sanner do eat a lot of Subway, with good reason.
Prior to beginning Phase One of this project, the only “storm chasing” I had done was accidental; driving up the New Jersey Turnpike at the same speed as a severe thunderstorm in 2009. I’ve long been interested in severe weather, but the four chases within the initial phase of Behind The Bear’s Cage were my personal firsts. This is what differentiates Phase One from the rest of the project: I had to shift from thinking like a photographer to thinking like a storm chaser.
I’m not referring to the meteorological aspect of the chase (that learning curve is a lot steeper), but rather my introduction to the storm chaser lifestyle. Since I will never again have the “first chase” experience, I’ve decided to begin the written portion of Behind The Bear’s Cage with six important things I learned during my time with Tornado Titans…