I've always had a fascination with weather since I was a young boy growing up in Topeka. I used to watch tall storm clouds roll in from the west, and wonder what causes such a thing to form. Then, when I was six years old or so, Topeka West High School was hit by a tornado while I was less than a block away at my afterschool sitter. The fascination grew exponentially from that moment.
A few years later, the Andover tornado occurred. I remember this night vividly as we also had two separate tornadoes in the Topeka area that night. That evening, my father found half of a check in our front yard with the address on it out of Andover. So, needless to say, this grew my fascination of storms even more. I thought, "How could a small piece of paper wind up so far away?"
More reading and watching videos about weather occurred as I became a young man. Once I could drive, I was out driving the county roads of Northeast Kansas, trying to find different kinds of severe weather phenomena. Then in college at Washburn University, I took a handful of classes in meteorology and weather forecasting. This is what spurred me on to chasing storms more "professionally". Along with a high school and long time friend, I helped create the Kansas Storm Intercept Team which is comprised of a group of chasers who have a passion for weather who love to keep our followers informed while we chase.
Since the time I began to chase storms, I've chased 50+ tornadoes, some only a few hundred yards away from me. They've ranged in size from the small EF-0s to EF-4 monsters. I'm still trying for that elusive EF-5, hopefully out in the middle of nowhere! Chasing has no geographic boundaries, as long as you can afford it! I've been fortunate enough to have chased in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico with tornado "intercepts" in most of those states. I hope to add more to the list this year!