Andy Cole's Stormchase blog

Back on the plains in 2019 to share in nature's spectacle

The 2013 Team

About Andy Cole
Hi, I am a fairly average guy who usually lives the 9-5 life working in the City of London as a business consultant. Obsessed with the wilder side of the weather since an early age, my first tornado related memory was watching the Wizard of Oz aged approximately 5 (by the way the depiction of a tornado in that movie is pretty startling given that it was made in the 1930s – obviously the flying house section not withstanding). I have memories of wanting to go stormchasing from my early teenage years, I used to scour the tv listings in the Radio Times each week hoping for documentaries about tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes and the like. My most treasured video posession was a BBC documentary about Hurricane Gilbert from god knows when, it was regular fodder for may days off sick from school.

I have been planning this trip for a very long time, I’ve lost count of the number of people I have tried to bore with my hair-brained plans to actually do it. You know who you are. Well they are not hair-brained anymore, I’m finally biting the bullet and heading off to the plains. Hopefully I actually get to see something!



About Tony Gilbert

A quick hi to everyone interested!

A brief bit about me; well always been hooked on any thunderstorm that are maybe passing by and not just for the flash and bang but pretty much the reasoning behind it!

Been a member of TORRO for over 15 years now and worked up my position to director for a couple of years. My association with TORRO allowed me to pursue my interest and gave me the chance to pass my findings on to the public via numerous TV interview, damage site investigations  and press associations. That aside, my real goal as always has been to be up close and personal to big storm activity. In short I was never really one to hide in the bushes when the big stuff was out there. It therefore follows suite that I do not care to chase as a ‘storm tourist’ but moreover as a ‘storm chaser’! Maybe a bit scary for some, I am not content with filming a rampant supercells through my view finder but much prefer to be directly under the ‘Wall Cloud’!…and whilst I have a healthy fear of death I do believe that if one is confident and has done the homework you can sometimes play very close to ‘hell’s gate’!. In a sense this means running your chase position very close to the region likely to produce tornadoes! Most don’t like to do this but well hey the personal choice is always ours where nature is concerned! Witnessed several tornadoes and worked two seasons as a storm tour guide for ‘Silver Lining’ in the USA. Have been very close to a big tornado but wud like to be just that bit closer and still come out in one piece!

There are no guarantees regarding a fruitful 2 weeks chasing state side but all in all we need to make the most of what is available. I always love to photo good storm structure, witness big hail (if under cover), surging road floods, thunder bolts close at hand and winds that can throw you off your feet! 🙂

Ultimately storm chasing is not easy solo (and yes I have tried it) . Team work is the best way forward with a minimum of 2 in the car. ie. one driving and the other running radar and navigating. All in all I love the great plains culture , steaks and beer. So whilst it all works out to be more expensive than 2 weeks in the caribbean I truly believe it is worth it! Andy looks keen and says that he will rough it if necessary so that sounds good to me! I’m also hoping to pass on my several years of knowledge to him so that he can use this information for any further storm chasing in the USA!

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