As a kid: I loved weather. Its been that way since I was very young. I remember days when we would watch Harold Taft, the chief meteorologist at NBC 5 explaining what was on his live radar. We had a few close calls, resulting in me sleeping in the bathtub on some extreme occasions. I did the usual weather weenie things, taped specials on severe weather, events happening on TWC, and local things that occurred in the DFW area. I loved science so I wanted to be a volcanologist or meteorologist, giving that I was closer to storms then I was a volcano/earthquake, I chose meteorology.
I got my first camera when I was in the third grade and took a lot of pictures of severe weather and tape-recorded the sounds they made. Every time I had to write a research paper, it was on severe weather. I then got my first camcorder when I was in the eighth grade and I video taped my first supercell in the ninth grade (1992), and it was the most magnificent storm structure I have ever seen as we caught the back side of the supercell. I also taped some gorgeous mammatus clouds forming during sunset.
When I got my car in the tenth grade, I began going after these storms. Most were not very successful because I didnt know what to look for. After I graduated, I went to a junior college and was planning on majoring in meteorology. Thats when I visited the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Ft. Worth. They told me about the huge amounts of weather information on the Internet. So I bought a computer and started to explore the web. It took about five months of reading every paper or article in the SPC, NSSL, Storm Track, Weather Net, and other homepages.
By then it was fall and I went back to the NWS to do research on severe weather. I purchased text books, weather map books and really got interested in forecasting as well as chasing. I also began purchasing all the weather toys I wanted as a kid, finding different ways of mounting them on my vehicle.
Currently: I'm student at Oklahoma University in pursue of my B.S., then maybe my Masters and then dreams of going as far as to get a Ph.D. in Meteorology. I'm also a forecaster for the Oklahoma Weather Lab on occasion, depending on how much time I have to spare each semester. I'm a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) where I receive three of their journals. I'm also a member of the OU Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (OUSCAMS). I also recently got my ham radio's license to aid in the communication with my fellow chase partners and for storm spotting when I'm out in the field. I'm KD5HPZ.
Another growing interest of mine is photography. I LOVE photography! I purchase a decent camera for my freshman year of high school for photojournalism class. Its a Minolta 5000i. I just got another for Christmas with a lot more manual capabilities (Canon A2E with a Tameron II 28-200 lens). I love taking photo's of nature and especially weather. I also recently purchased a medium format camera. I use 35mm Provia for my Canon and medium format Provia for my new medium format camera. I'm planning on using this new camera a few times this year.
Storm Chasing: I began chasing in 1994, and did a lousy job of it. It wasn't until 1996 when I had more time and money to chase. I slowly began getting better at find the right storms. In this hobby, experience is a great lesson on storm chasing. Where have I chased, and where do I consider my domain of chasing storms? Like most, I'll crawl out of boundaries if things look too good to be true. But for the most part, I want to stick to an area outlined in blue on the map. Basically my domain is east of the Rockies, north of I-20 in Central Texas, and west of the heavy tree line. My ideal spot is an area with decent roads and no trees at all. So my favorite of choices would be between AMA and LBB on the Texas Caprock. The yellow colored states are states I've chased in. I average about 15 thousand miles, sometimes much more on certain years. Some chases are over a thousand miles all together, so mileage certainly adds up fast! I usually don't think twice about heading into Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, or Nebraska. Anything further requires a trip up there the day before, or a few days of chases up there. For the most part I try to keep Norman my home, and heading out for 2-3 day excursions with breaks in-between systems. If I didn't have a family I'd be living up in North Dakota in July! Some of my most memorable events included May 25, 1999 incredible supercell event, May 3, 1999 tornado outbreak, October 4, 1998 supercell/tornado outbreak, and many extraordinary supercell days. I've always been plagued with the inability to shoot great video *and* shoot great slides at the same time. After seeing some of Doswell's slides on his chase highlights for 2000. I've decided to go strictly stills this upcoming season, and use the video when things are just right for only video. If you haven't experienced slide film on a gorgeous supercell day, then you are certainly missing out on something intense. I'd recommend going to a local place and purchasing one roll of 100 speed slide film and just trying it out. As some of my friends have said, "I'll never go back to prints."
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