Tornado Hunters Set to Storm CMT

Tornado Hunters is coming

Hey all! It’s been forever since I blogged but life is crazy! I was hoping to have so many things to talk about for storm season here this summer, but it largely failed to develop. We had a few storms but nothing amazing to blog about. Sadly. Waiting nine plus months for storm season and then having hardly anything to show for it… well, it sucks. Oh well. Thankfully, my favorite chase team didn’t have the brutal season I did.

The Tornado Hunters had a very, very busy summer. Greg tells me they did around 100,000 kms for chasing this summer. Doing that in a year would be crazy. Doing that in a summer. These guys are committed to the chase!

The Tornado Hunters consists of Greg Johnson, Ricky Forbes and Chris Chittick. If you talk to any of these guys for even a few minutes, you will see the passion they have for storms and chasing.

Great helment

Greg Johnson

Ricky Forbes

Ricky Forbes

Chris Chittick

Chris Chittick

From the moment that storms start to make an appearance in the US, these guys run full out until the fall. Thankfully, on occasion, there’s a bit of a break in the weather patterns and they are able to make it home for a while. I imagine that makes their families watch the weather pretty close too. Chris just married this summer and was on the road not long after.

I attribute much of the storm enthusiast (wannabe chaser) I am today to Greg’s chasing. I started watching him a few years ago and couldn’t help but be caught up in his passion for storms. I had the opposite passion. If I could go a whole summer without storms back then, I was thrilled. Now, my 180 degree spin leaves me super disappointed after a season like this.

Greg, Ricky and Chris were approached a while back about the possibility of doing a show. Of course, it was a brilliant idea and they went for it. Last year they did a few webisodes and a few pilot episodes. You can check out my review here and find the webisodes here. They were fantastic. A really gritty look at the world of storms and storm chasing. The guys, and Saloon Media, did an awesome job!

Then we waited. I say we because I was anxious waiting as well to see if the powers that be would want a whole season. I shouldn’t have doubted because the pilot was awesome! Thankfully, they fans had spoken and we got what we wanted. The Tornado Hunters were going to have their season premier in the fall of 2015. There was much rejoicing.

Fast forward to now. The summer has come and gone and we missed the live stream the guys used to have available to us, but we knew that some serious work was going into making this show the best storm show out there. I have no doubt that this season will be amazing. Greg, Ricky and Chris have put their heart and soul into this show. Blood (is that an alligator?), sweat and tears (were the wings worth it, Ricky?) went into this season and I hope that you will join the guys as they show us their life in storm chasing. Only 12 days from now, the premier will air on CMT Canada!

Check out the awesome trailer for Tornado Hunters here!

I know that a lot of you from other countries are asking ‘Will I be able to see it?’ and I really hope the answer is yes. I think that it will be available to see online at some point, but you can also contact your local TV providers and ask them to pick up Tornado Hunters for you! You could even beg them. ūüôā I know the guys would love if everyone everywhere who wanted to see it could. So, make those calls today so you can watch Tornado Hunters with us on October 18th!

You can see the pilot episodes on CMT at the following times to prepare for the season premier!

Thursday October 8

Tornado Hunters (Pilot Ep 1) 11pm ET/8pm PT
Tornado Hunters (Pilot Ep 2) 11:30pm ET/8:30pm PT

Friday October 9

Tornado Hunters (Pilot Ep 1) 6pm ET/3pm PT
Tornado Hunters (Pilot Ep 2) 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT

Sunday October 11

Tornado Hunters (Pilot Ep 1) 10am ET/7am PT
Tornado Hunters (Pilot Ep 2) 10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT

Find Greg on Facebook and Twitter!

Find Ricky on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Find Chris on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Here’s where you can find their website!

Tornado Hunters Banner

~Sarah

Summer Storm Fun in Canada

Monday July 27 tornado mb

Wow, I’ve been quiet lately. Sorry to all you awesome folks who like seeing me post. Guess the summer got to me and I’ve been out doing things rather than posting. Sadly, the ‘things’ I’ve been doing haven’t involved much storm chasing. I’m in this strange place where I very much want to get out and chase everything that even looks promising (or even those that don’t), but I’m not confident enough to go on my own. I can see me getting out there, getting eager to get close to a storm and then finding myself in terrible position. The kind that people don’t walk away from. Yikes! I like my family too much to be risking a lot. Also, there wasn’t much to chase this year. Not within driving distance at least. I seriously considered how disruptive it would be to uproot my family and take a vacation to Oklahoma for a few months. Abysmal would be the word I would use. I now understand why chasers spend hours and hours and months on the road to chase. Sitting still and waiting for storms to come to you is brutal.

Thankfully, while my season has been terrible, my favorite chase team has been busy. I miss the days they were live streaming but it’s still fun to follow their FB and Twitter sites to get updates. I can’t wait for the season premier of Tornado Hunters on CMT, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Last week, July 27th, the guys were finally chasing in Canada. I love when they chase in Canada. Not only because I am Canadian, but because these guys are local and it just feels right watching them chase here! Plus, that usually means the storms are near me and the chance goes up that we might get hit with some fun!

Yep, I am hopelessly in over my head with this draw to storms. Often times I wonder, in slow seasons, if it would be easier to just go back to hating storms… but I can’t. I’m addicted.

Back to the story. Last Monday the pros were all seeing some sweet weather patterns setting up. Greg, Ricky and Chris (and their entourage) booked it back up here, from Arizona I believe. The day was slow and the afternoon continued on as though there was nothing much to talk about. A friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook of a chaser convergence. Which we had fun with since a chaser convergence in Canada is nothing compared to the ones in the US. He, like them all, was in waiting mode.

Canadian Chaser Convergence by Ryan Crouse

Canadian Chaser Convergence by Ryan Crouse (Yorkton Storm Hunter)

Yep, that’s the Dom 3. Waiting. Everyone waits.

It was worth the wait. Finally the action began and the chaser were off. I spent most of the night following Yorkton Storm Hunter (Ryan Crouse), RAIDEN (Notanee Bourassa) and Nick Schenher live stream. While I didn’t get a chance to see the beast that the storms produced, Greg Johnson, Ricky Forbes and Chris Chittick¬†(the Tornado Hunters) did!

Sweet Wall Cloud

Wall cloud

Since I wasn’t there, maybe next year, I’ll let Ricky describe it.

That moment

“My¬†favorite¬†part of storm chasing is this moment right here. When we get right underneath a massive rotating supercell. A monster chaotic storm over 50,000 ft tall above¬†us yet so eerily calm below, as we watch the clouds start to slowly twist and churn above us. Feeling the rush of the winds blasting into this storm, and then the clouds start to lower. Faster and faster the clouds spin and tighten up, lightning blasting down, torrential rain beside us, and then a huge tornado touches down and its game time.”

Could I be more jealous? Probably not.

Then, as Ricky said, the huge tornado touched down.

MB tornado chittick pic MB tornado July 27 201 MB tornado July 27 2015 tornado tornado MB july 27 2015 July 27 2015 EF2That thing is a BEAST! Wow! It was on the ground for three hours! Three. Hours. That’s only a half hour less than the current record for longest known tornado on the ground, the Tri-State Tornado. Thankfully, though this beast was on the ground for three hours and reached a kilometer wide (I heard) and maybe more at some point, unlike the Tri-State tornado no one was killed in this storm and there was very little damage done. The rating, because of this, was an EF2. The Dom 3 measured the winds on the back of the tornado at 122 MPH. Pretty wild!

Chasers like the Tornado Hunter team, and¬†many others, make it possible to get warnings out early and keep eyes on storms like this so that people in the path can prepare. I’m so grateful for chasers and many people owe their lives to them.

July 27 tornado damagePretty amazing to see the road torn up by that tornado. I can’t imagine the power that was in that storm and in that tornado. I’ve been told it’s not that uncommon for roads to be torn up like this, depending on the age and upkeep of the road. However, I’m still pretty impressed with the damage and the cool shot.

Here’s a sweet video by the Tornado Hunters of the wedge tornado.

http://www.newsflare.com/video/50305/weather-nature/massive-wedge-tornado-in-tilston-mb-canada-clip3

While I miss the live stream these guys used to do, I can’t wait to see the footage of this storm on the new season on Tornado Hunters coming this fall!

If you haven’t heard of Tornado Hunters on CMT Canada, you’re missing out. Last year they did a few webisodes and a couple episodes to feel out the show and I, along with many others, really liked what we saw!

You can find the webisodes here to prepare for the new season!

In my review last year of the pilot of Tornado Hunters, I said: ‘This show is a very clear look into the lives of these guys and the realities of storm chasing as a profession. All the thrills, frustrations, joys, angers, laughs and tornadoes that go along with it.’ I hope, and expect, that the new season will be the same! I can’t wait to see it and I know these guys have been busting their butts in order to give us the best show that they can!

Ricky, Greg and Chris, I can’t¬†wait for the new season of Tornado Hunters! It’s one of the only reason that I am looking forward to fall.

Find team Tornado Hunter on their website, Twitter and Facebook page!

Ricky: Facebook Twitter

Ricky Forbes

Greg: Facebook Twitter

Great helment

Great helmet

Chris: Facebook Twitter

Chris Chittick

Here’s hoping the season isn’t over for me, or for these guys who will continue to chase as long as the season holds out. I wouldn’t be surprised to find them chasing blizzards next!

How about you? Do you love the thrill of a storm chase? Are you, like me, an arm-chair chaser and watching these awesome chasers do what they do? Maybe, like me, you’re hoping to do some chasing of your own. Tell me your story!

~Sarah

Tornado Hunters on CMT ~ Review

Tornado Hunters

Let me start out by saying a huge THANKS to Ricky Forbes for the invite to the sneak peek screening of the Tornado Hunters TV show set to hit CMT on October 26th!

If you haven’t already watched the webisodes¬†that were released a few months ago, you should! It gave me a pretty good idea of what I would be seeing in the TV show. Here are my thoughts on the webisodes (which I really enjoyed).

I’ve been a fan of storm chasing shows for many years. I’ve watched a lot of them but I found this one unique. I like the focus in Tornado Hunters on the realities of chasing. Yes, many of them show some of the ups and downs of chasing, but I found that Tornado Hunters showed a uniquely honest point of view. The webisodes showed us some of the ugly downsides of chasing and that continues in the episodes for TV. I really liked how they showed the comedy,frustration and action of the profession.

I love the moments with amazing storms, tornadoes and the almost palpable thrill of the team as they capture some amazing footage. They also addressed the tough part of the profession. The fact that slow storm years, being out of position and being unable to chase, all contribute to huge pressure on the guys. This is another reason why I think these guys (and all chasers who do this for a living) are brave. You can learn all there is to learn, you can be in the right place and yet the storms do what they do. There’s predicting, but there’s no predicting when you’re going to go bust. Miles and miles of road, hours and hours of sleeplessness, anxiety and pressure building, it all adds up to one heck of a way to make a living. Makes me extremely grateful that these guys are here to track the weather that is on our doorstep!

This show is a very clear look into the lives of these guys and the realities of storm chasing as a profession. All the thrills, frustrations, joys, angers, laughs and tornadoes that go along with it.

Make sure to set your PVR’s or just cancel all plans¬†and check out Tornado Hunters, airing October 26th, 2014 on CMT!

Thanks again to the guys for letting me come and a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Ricky, Greg and Chris on TORNADO HUNTERS! Can’t wait to see the episodes again and I sure hope that it turns into a whole series for you!

Ricky Show Shot

Ricky proudly showing off the poster he got us to sign at the party!

~Sarah

Tornado Hunters Webisodes Review

Another amazing shot while I was away. Photo by Greg Johnson (Tornado Hunter)

Photo by Greg Johnson (Tornado Hunter)

Hey Readers!

I am so sorry it’s been FOREVER since I’ve posted. Life in the summer. You know how that goes. We actually left home this year and escaped for a blissful two weeks! Mountains, ocean views, family, friends, food (so much food), and peaceful locations that almost made me willing to forget home. However, I admit, there was a quiet nagging at the back on my mind. The weather on the trip was beautiful, hot and sunny. The mountains stretched high into the sky and were majestic and beautiful.

Something was missing though.

I realized quickly that I couldn’t see the horizon and I missed it big time. If there were storm clouds brewing, I couldn’t see them. Nothing developed while we were away and, to add insult to injury, more than once I woke to check FB and saw that home had some amazing storms. I was torn. I loved the vacation but I was missing all the good storm action at home.

One of the storms I missed. Photo by Greg Johnson (Tornado Hunter)

One of the storms I missed. Photo by Greg Johnson (Tornado Hunter)

“The best lightning I’ve ever seen in my life.” Said a chaser who’s seen some incredible storms.

Sigh. Thankfully, since I’ve been home, we’ve had some pretty good storms. One of the things that got me through my storm-free vacation was the much anticipated (by me at least) release of the CMT Tornado Hunters webisodes! The day¬†they released, I stayed up late and watched them all.

I’ve reviewed other storm-chaser shows on my blog before. I am, as a friend called me, a storm-enthusiast and love watching the chasers do their thing. I hope one day to be counted among their ranks, but will take it slow and learn what I need to in order to not only keep myself safe but not to be a hazard to anyone else.

CMT Tornado Hunters

These webisodes were unlike anything I’ve seen yet on storm-chasing. I think it might be the most honest and eye-opening storm-chase series yet. Not only do we get to see some of the storms that these guys chase, we also see the realities of the lives that they live. I don’t know if they HAD to go that direction – if the producers forced the issue – but I was surprised to see the difficulties laid bare. I think it’s awesome to see the storms and I know that’s why most people tune into a show like this, but I think that a lot of us are interested in the¬†truth in¬†this passion. Since storm-chasing is growing in popularity, it’s good to see the hazards and potential pit-falls of a life chasing storms.

The webisodes follow Ricky Forbes, Greg Johnson¬†and Chris Chittick as they follow their passion for chasing all over North America. There’s some storms, some fun, some serious moments and a kiss that I never saw coming. (Sorry, Ricky!)

I appreciate Ricky’s narrating, and his honesty in the ‘First Responders‘ webisode. I think ‘The Homefront‘ episode actually hit the hardest. I would consider a few of the guys on this team friends (though they might think, or wish, otherwise) but I found it hard to see the pain in that webisode. It was a real eye-opener for me that you never can tell what’s going on inside someone. We’re all really good at playing the role, when reality can be so different.

Anyhow, there’s my thoughts on the Tornado Hunter webisodes. I’m lucky that these guys are local and I’m able to chat with them on occasion. It sure adds a different dimension to watching this and watching them live when they are chasing. I love ‘arm-chair chasing’ with them.

Check out the trailer for the upcoming Tornado Chasers show on CMT! It gives me chills! I can’t wait for the premier in October!

You can watch the webisodes HERE.

Arm-chair chase with them HERE when they are live streaming.

Find them

On FB: RICKY, GREG, CHRIS

On Twitter: RICKY, GREG, CHRIS

Also, check out my Chaser Chats with Ricky and Chris as well as many others. More to come soon!

I’d love to hear what you thought of the webisodes! Please leave me your comments!

~Sarah

Weather Wednesday: Boredom and Excitement

Ricky Rainbow

Great shot by Ricky Forbes!

Hey Everyone! ¬†I’ve been pretty quiet on the weather posts lately as it’s been SOOO incredibly boring up here. ¬†We’ve had a few cracks of thunder and a bit of lightning but, for a storm-enthusiast, it’s getting pretty frustrating. ¬†I think I’m going through storm withdrawal. ¬†Is that a thing? ¬†Storm depression? ¬†Anyhow, though the storms are non-existent up here there are still some great chasers to watch in parts of Canada and the US. ¬†I’m surviving on live stream footage right now. ¬†Ugh. ¬†I sure hope that with all this heat, we see something! ¬†Okay, there’s the boredom part of this post. ¬†Now… on to the excitement.

You’ve heard me talk about them before (and you’ll hear it again), but one of my favourite local chase teams is doing something really exciting! ¬†No, they aren’t taking me out chasing, this is something for everyone!

Team Tornado Hunter are doing a show on CMT! ¬†I got to preview the trailer yesterday and it looks like it’s going to be awesome!! ¬†Check out the trailer here:

This is my second year watching these guys chase and I love it.  Not only do they keep the hours of driving entertaining with their banter, insults and chatting with those of us watching the live feed, they also deliver quality and exciting chase moments.  We had a stormy day here this summer, sadly not near me, and it looked like the guys were out of position.  They were commenting on how it might be a bust day, but then decided to check out a cell that had just appeared on radar.

The chase was on and those of us who were watching settled in for what we hoped would be an amazing show. ¬†Well, we sure weren’t disappointed! ¬†Soon the lightning began, the rain came and suddenly we were hearing ‘Do you hear that?’ as Greg spoke to the guys. ¬†The pulse-pounding, adrenalin-filled moments came when the live feed became intermittent (storms are really good at killing reception) and we were only able to get glimpses of the action. ¬†Rain pounding horizontally across the road, debris blowing, Ricky taking the truck into a ditch as the storm got really intense. ¬†Nothing like spotty data reception to make your watchers want to pull their hair out. ¬†The night ended¬†in the guys stuck in a farmers field, having gotten off track. ¬†At 2 am, those of us still watching began sending out messages to anyone and everyone who might be in the area to get the guys out. ¬†I debated hopping in our 4×4 Blazer and driving out to see what I could do. ¬†They were about 3 hours away at the time and I figured they’d be well out by the time I got there. ¬†It was an awesome day to watch!

Here’s the video of this chase with a surprise that we didn’t get to see on the live feed:

If they have data reception in the area they are chasing, these are the guys to watch!

I’m so excited to see their new series and I know it will be a blast to watch! ¬†Make sure to mark August 18th on your calender and see these guys in action on CMT!

Greg RFD RickyChris Chittick

Are you looking forward to seeing ‘Tornado Hunters’? ¬†

Here’s the link to ‘Tornado Hunters’ on CMT!

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Greg Johnson!  Have a great day, Greg.

~Sarah

Weather Wednesday

Well now, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a Weather Wednesday. ¬†Who the heck wants to see me whining about winter weather? ¬†Not I. ¬†So, here we are!! ¬†This is NOT about winter weather.

Today sees the first severe weather threat in our province! ¬†If you know my blog, you know I’ve been waiting for storm season to arrive. ¬†Reed Timmer just flew in and he and Sean Schofer will be out chasing in the Dominator 3! ¬†You know when Reed arrives, makes a trip to Canada, that things are going to probably be pretty interesting.

IMG_20130922_103253

Reed, Sean and Mike from last summer.

I’m so excited that the chasers are here today! ¬†Can’t wait to watch the live streams and see what’s going to happen today! ¬†Also chasing today are two of my favourite local chase teams! ¬†Craig Hilts and Team Tornado Hunter! ¬†I’ve been waiting eight months for Craig Hilts, Greg Johnson, Ricky Forbes and Chris Chittick to finally start chasing locally!

Craig

Craig Hilts. I want a photo of me in front of a storm like that!

Greg

Greg Johnson ~ Tornado Hunter. Miss the helmet!

RFD Ricky

Ricky Forbes ~ Tornado Hunter Driver. ‘

Chris Chittick

Chris Chittick ~ Tornado Hunter Photographer. 

This is an exciting day, even if I don’t see anything! ¬†Storm season is here and I’m hoping it will be a dynamic one!! ¬†Here’s a few of my favourite photos. ¬†Can’t wait to see some sweet structure this summer! ~Sarah

Beautiful SK storm by Andrea Clarke (https://twitter.com/2CPhotographySK)

Beautiful SK storm by Andrea Clarke (https://twitter.com/2CPhotographySK)

1D3C0996-Edit(final)

Awesome photo by Craig Hilts of Prairie Fire Photography (http://www.prairiefirephoto.com/)

Bolt from the Blue

‘Bolt from the Blue’ by Craig Hilts of Prairie Fire Photography (http://www.prairiefirephoto.com/)

Storm barn july 24-13

Awesome storm shot by Greg Johnson (http://tornadohunter.com/)

storm30

Wicked storm structure by Greg Johnson (http://tornadohunter.com/)

Let’s chat: ¬†I’d love to hear if you’re excited for storm season, or if you would rather storm season stayed away? ¬†Where are you and what kind of storms do you normally see?

Unexpected Fun

So, I was writing with my friend Leslie over Skype last night and she posed a challenge for me. ¬†A blog post about “the last time you had more fun than you expected to. Something that surprised you with joy.” She also put a proviso on it. ¬†It couldn’t be about¬†my¬†kids, my man, or God. ¬†My initial thoughts were ‘um, what does that leave me’ and¬†‘that’s basically my life right there’. ¬†Once I got past those thoughts though, it led me to a realization that there’s more to me than only those things. ¬† So, of course, it’s going to be storm related. ¬†ūüôā

Bolt from the Blue

‘Bolt from the Blue’ by Craig Hilts

I have an interesting relationship with social situations.  I love them if they are full of people I know, or at least partially know.  I am super uncomfortable with ones where the majority of the people are unknown to me.  I know most people are similar.

I also have an interesting relationship with Twitter. ¬†I think it’s awesome in the summer when all the storm-chasers are posting updates and photos of storms that they are following. ¬†I don’t like how time-consuming it is. ¬†Confession: I joined and quit three separate times before it stuck.

Unless you’re a Twitter person, ‘tweetup’ won’t make a lot of sense to you. ¬†Honestly, I still don’t really get them completely. ¬†A ‘tweetup’ is a get together with a bunch of Twitter people in real life. ¬†Like a party, with mostly people you’ve never met in person before. ¬†It’s a combination of uncomfortable and cool all at the same time. ¬†You could potentially make some awesome friends, or you could want to swear off Twitter entirely.

I had a combination of those experiences my first tweetup.  I met some really strange people, but I made some awesome friends.  (@ItsGodzirra and @mellowdeekay, you two redeemed my first tweetup and I am so grateful for you both!)

My second tweetup is where the unexpected fun happened. ¬†One day I was thinking about storms and tweeted out ‘Anyone ever thought of putting together an storm tweetup?’. ¬†Thankfully, an awesome local weather specialist saw the tweet and ran with it! ¬†She had way more resources to get it done and I’m grateful she did it!

So, the storm tweetup was born.  I had my usual trepidation as the day approached.  Wavering back and forth between wanting to go and wanting to stay home in my safe zone.  Yes, I do this all the time.  Taking a risk is not something I do easily.  Yes, I still want to go out and storm chase!  Unpredictable weather is less scary than the unpredictability of people.

However, I had made a decision at the beginning of last year to be more brave. ¬†To step out of my comfort zone more often. ¬†Not in a dangerous way… though I think there’s always a danger outside of the comfortable little boxes we tend to sometimes live in. ¬†To be bolder. ¬†To not let fear rule my life. ¬†I’m a work in progress. ¬†There are many times where something hard happens and I consider staying in my comfortable little box. ¬†This was not going to be something I would let fear take. ¬†I wanted to go.

storm33

Photo Credit to Greg Johnson

When I arrived I was shaking.  Yep, shaking.  I was greeted at the door, thankfully, by a familiar face.  Greg Johnson, the local Tornado Hunter, had a brief conversation with me and put me at ease a bit.

Settling in at a table with the only other person I knew, I listened to storm-chasers talk about the storms they’d seen, the gear they use, the anticipation of the next season and the sadness that the year was wrapping up. ¬†It was great! ¬†As a new ‘storm-enthusiast’, this was awesome. ¬†Hearing the stories and the excitement just made me want to get out there more.

Greg gave a talk about his storm year. ¬†2013 was a wild year in the US for storms and Greg, Ricky and Chris were down there for a lot of it. ¬†I really enjoy hearing about storms and I find Greg a really dynamic speaker. ¬†He took questions after and I was able to learn a lot. ¬†At one point, when the questions dies down a bit, Greg looked at me and said ‘Sarah, I find it hard to believe that you don’t have a question‘. ¬†Yep, I’m making a name for myself as being someone who asks a ton of questions… annoying and otherwise. ¬†ūüôā ¬†The conversations continued and I got to meet some great local chasers and hear some great stories.

I walked away from the experience really glad that I went.  Not only did I meet some great people and hear some awesome stories, but I learnt a lot about storms and what it takes to chase them.  Thanks to everyone who made the experience an awesome one!  Looking forward to the next one!  Good luck this year in your chasing!

Storm 1

My own photo from my first storm-spotting trip.

When was the last time that you had more fun than you expected? ¬†The last time that you were surprised by joy? ¬†I’d love to hear about it!

~Sarah