I have to admit, it is quite the conversation starter.
"YOU are a STORM CHASER!?!"
I think if I were geographically located in the plains somewhere, it would be a bit less shocking, but being in south Georgia, I get quite the reaction. I often joke that I am geographically misplaced.
"You mean, you actually go out looking for tornadoes?!"
Well. Sort of. I started back in 2006, shadowing a local storm chaser, learning everything I could about severe weather. I started this blog, and I started connecting with storm chasers throughout the United States. I made some great friendships in the process and learned so many tricks of the trade. I really have enjoyed getting to know people who share the same passion for weather as me. It's an interesting community, full of its own little soap opera-like drama. We have this thing in common though that causes us to converge.
I actually had a great opportunity to chase in the plains in 2007 with the Twister Sisters, Peg and Mel. We were actually shooting a storm chasing reality show, so I got an all expenses paid ride where we went out to chase a high risk, potentially dangerous situation... and missed the one tornado (a high risk with a total of two tornadoes that whole day) by about 20 minutes. We had just left the Badlands that June 7th. Talk about bummed. Leave it to the Dewvoid to kill a high risk day. I was actually jokingly threatened by local storm chasers to be shipped to Hawaii to keep from killing their storms. My bad.
I love weather. I love everything about it. I am drawn to it from deep within, and I don't really understand that. We actually discussed it on that same trip, at one point while driving somewhere between South Dakota and Iowa. What is it about storms that seems to lure us in like a moth to a flame? Are we just crazy?
Storms are destructive and unpredictable and DANGEROUS!!
Seriously, what is wrong with me that I would be interested in pursuing something that I could truly describe as deadly??
The easy answer... I don't really know.
Some locals here might eloquently say it like this...
"SHE AIN'T RIGHT."
But... I know that when I look at the sky as it churns angrily above me, I am mesmerized. I find myself almost lost in it, watching it as it dimples and dips and draws in moisture and climbs to amazing heights while it's rolling and swirling and blasting me with forceful winds and launching electrical strikes.
I am in awe.
I am mystified.
I am drawn to its striking beauty.
I am seeing something that is truly out of my control and completely in God's sovereign hands, and I love it.
As a recovering control freak, I think that last part might be a huge part of it. I am not in control, and God is. I somehow find rest in that. I find hope in that. I find courage and strength in that. I am drawn to that which is way out of my hands, that is so much bigger than me or anything I can pretend to control. It gives me peace to let the storm be the storm and me be the one in awe of it.
That's why I chase... I think.
Have a super fantastic day!