Cori has been storm chasing for years. It has only been in the last couple of years that she has started taking pictures and recording her trips. Here are some of her fonder moments watching storms, along with some of the most spectacular pictures she has taken.
When did you start storm chasing and why?
As far back as I can remember I was fascinated by weather, a fascination intensified after receiving a book on weather.
Then in the late 1990’s I started watching storm chasing specials on TV, which piqued my interest even more. In 2002, I talked to my meteorologist brother that storm chased for fun. I got the basics of storm chasing through a storm tour I did with Tempest Tours, and I was hooked!! In 2004, I began chasing privately with Windswept Tours and have been storm chasing with them ever since. The chase experience became larger than the need to find a tornado; it was getting out on the “plains”, surrounded by the beauty and fierceness of nature, driving through the small, quaint towns.
What is the highlight of your trip?
The comradery of the group is essential. We all know our actions together keep us safe. We wait, we are prepared, and we have done everything we can to read the storm correctly. Then comes word of a severe storm forming. We feel the calm, and the intense quiet of anticipation as we approach the area. The excitement of hearing the tornado warning over the weather radio, then the burst of cheering as the tornado starts to form and touch down. You can hear the wind and the click of cameras as the tornado becomes the focal point, as we watch nature in all her force.
Which cars do you use for this event?
I have owned three Dodge Caravans since 1988, and Tempest Tours uses one for their tours, which is why it is my choice for chasing. I know that it handles the roads; especially the farm road well, even though it has more of a car-like chassis than a truck. The Caravan is very stable in high winds. The ability to changes the interior and seat design make it easy to move around, and roomy enough for five chasers, small luggage, and a lot of equipment. If anyone is interested in a “safe” and exciting chase experience, Dean Cosgrove of Windswept Chase Tours is your guide. Drive on!!!!!