Tornado: a 3,500 Mile Chase Through 8 States

A beautiful timelapse of tornadoes and severe storms captured during a 3500 mile chase through eight states with leading storm chasers, Tempest Tours.

Tempest doesn’t just look for thunderstorms. They look for prime atmospheric conditions that would be enable the development of rotation and hopefully a tornado. Even with all their expertise, it is still up to mother nature to mix all of the ingredients together in order to deliver tornadoes, and on our fourth day in Southwest Iowa, she delivered.

Ron Risman shared with us the following details on his video:

Day four gave us 4 tornado’s, softball sized hail, and a perfect mid-week event
to make the 8 hours of being in a van each day well worth it. While the footage is exciting and beautiful, we have to keep in mind the price we pay to capture this footage. Cheap motels, long days traveling, eating at gas station convenience stores, and being excited when we can actually eat at a Subway, Denny’s, or other “real” restaurant.

Capturing time lapses of severe storms is challenging, since we’re often only in one place for a minute or two. Storm chasers like to stay just ahead of severe weather and the heavy precipitation, but close enough to capture it. This meant having the camera already mounted to the tripod, the intervalometer already preset, and memory cards formatted and ready to shoot.

Once we stop, we need to very quickly find a composition, check exposure and focus, and start shooting at very fast intervals. We want to make sure to capture at least 90-120 frames, which translates into just 3 or 4 seconds of storm footage.

Storm chasers live for the chase, for the accuracy of their forecast, and for the times when everything comes together as planned. This film was put together from a 7-day journey across the midwest on a quest to capture breathtaking storms and hopefully a few tornados. Over 3500 miles of driving brought us through Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. But it was in Iowa where we struck gold with four tornadoes.

If you want to know more about Ron Risman, don’t forget check the following out:
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