So how long are storm chases?


Once at the target and all data is analysed, the wait for storm development could be brief or nervously long. I constantly analyse what is going on - cumulus cloud development, winds, and how healthy the clouds look in specific areas that may give a clue as to where the main action will develop. If only one storm develops, the decision is easy - chase that one if it is worth while chasing (road network to get to the storm, viability in terms of fuel costs, quality of the storm). If there are several storms, I have to try choosing the best storm out of those based on experience. Even then when on the chase, I continually re-assess the situation as one of the newer developing storms may have intensified and this could mean moving to that storm. In all of this confusion, you have to work with the available network quickly and accurately, ensure you are safe and you are working with the road rules. Sometimes, the chase has to be called off given the road network and environment may make it unsafe. In all, storm chases can last from as little as half an hour to several hours. Most of this time is taken up in driving to and from the event. Some of the best storm chases have been both exhausting yet rewarding. One has to make the most of their opportunities.