tornado chasing with ron risman

Tornado Chasing – Capturing Tornados Close Up On A Week Long Chase

by planetMitchLeave a Comment

Ever want to go Tornado Chasing? I do! I haven't managed to make the time or dig up the cash to make it happen, but it is on the bucket list!

My friend Ron Risman managed to go on his second tornado chase this year and brought back some great footage. Ron submitted the following guest post (you can too!)

A few weeks ago Ron Risman headed up a timelapse storm chasing adventure for alumni of his timelapse photography workshops ( The Adventure took them over 3500 miles in 7 days, and through eight different states including Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. During this trip they encountered SOFTBALL sized hail, tornados, an incredible cumulonimbus cloud mushrooming right in front of them, and incredible thunder and lightning displays.

Their group met up with Tempest Tours in Denver where their team of meteorologists led them on a chase to find the best storms each day. The direction they headed was all based on atmospheric conditions such as wind shear, moisture, lift, and instability. Without any one of these variables a tornado cannot form.

On day four (June 28) we hit the jackpot while in western Iowa. We were filming a mesocyclone near Stuart, Iowa when a funnel came out of the cloud. Within minutes the funnel touched down, officially becoming a tornado, and headed directly toward us. We hopped into the van and drove a few miles down the road where we got out and filmed the tornado coming down the road. Eventually a second “rope” tornado formed, and lingered to give us a few minutes to capture it.

Later that afternoon we saw another 2 additional tornados, and hail on the side of the road the size of baseballs and softballs. Think about that! Imagine getting hit by baseball sized hail? It was truly mind blowing.

Also cool from Ron's trip – this awesome photo of lightening bugs and storms!

and hail!

Baseball size hail in Iowa @tempesttours

A post shared by Timeographer (@timeographer) on


(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

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