Stuck in the middle of a storm? Or want to chase a storm? So you can photograph it but don’t know how at the expense of your safety? Here are a few tips before you engage in any of it.


Don’t do it alone

It is difficult to do the chasing and photographing at the same time. There is the driver, the one who is chasing the storm along with the navigator and forecaster sitting beside him. Then there are people who are riding along with them at the rear seats of the car who will be able to focus on capturing the storm in their camera. Each individual is entrusted with a responsibility and they must ensure they do their job well. Though there are gadgets and applications that are available to help you navigate and forecast, it is difficult to focus on driving, watch the storm and photograph them. So don’t be over confident and set out alone.

Be a weatherman

It is important to gain some insight into the weather before you set out storm chasing. You must know which end of the cloud to look at and understand the cloud patterns and pressure points to be able to tell if the rising storm is going to turn into a deadly tornado or if it’s just a false alarm. Then again, no weatherman can be accurate. There’s always the risk involved. Venture at your peril.


Be part of a community

Storm chasers are people with exceptional knowledge about the weather, the storm patterns and everything related to it. While some of them are self-taught, the others have degrees or doctorates in meteorology or climatology. Befriend such people with authority on the subject and you will get an opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge at an accelerating pace. But again, do it at your peril. Nobody can guarantee your safety.

Storm chasing is no hobby

More and more people are getting out of their houses to chase storms because of popular shows like storm chasers. This has created a lot of buzz around storm chasing. As a result, causing problems to serious storm chasers who get stuck in the middle of the enthusiastic crowd with no knowledge on the consequences. Due to such problems, serious storm chasers are avoiding chasing on days like this.

Tornadoes are not the ultimate goal

It is exhilarating to witness a thunderstorm with 30-50mph winds at your back. Watching it spin faster as it gets bigger with the clouds and forming a thick wall of gas is an most awe-inspiring sight. But tornadoes are destructive and take lives every year, so aiming to catch one at the cost of people’s lives is not a good idea. But, if you get a chance to witness a harmless tornado in the middle of nowhere with not a single house around, go ahead and shoot.

~ Zahid H Javali / Pics: Pixabay