Modern meteorology relies on supercomputers to run models of storms, but nothing can match the excitement of standing in a field watch a tornado tear across the open prairie. If one is careful and safety-conscious, it is possible to enjoy a day like I had on May 19, 2012 in southern Kansas.
As storm chasers converged on the triple point near the Kansas-Nebraska border that afternoon, I opted to take a gamble on a target near the Kansas-Oklahoma border, where the models showed a very brief window of conditions that looked ideal for tornadoes.
I arrived at my target area just as that brief window opened up, and just as a rotating supercell approached from the west. All I had to do was pull over and I had the whole show to myself — everyone else was up in Nebraska. I photographed three tornadoes before the updraft became rain-wrapped. That storm turned out to be one of the only storms that produced tornadoes that day.
May 19, 2012 EF-3 Tornado in Kansas
May 31, 2013 El Reno, Oklahoma Supercell