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Storm Chasing Growing in S.A

Over the past 7 or so years I have been an active weather photographer, starting off I was using a 2 megapixel point and shoot and was just looking out the window every now and again for some seemingly pretty clouds as well as waiting for the rare Cape Town thunderstorm to roll in so I could grab some cheap video and possibly photos of the storm. At this time I had no idea about ‘storm chasing’ and it was just me following a personal interest.

Over the years though I learned about storm chasing, and began reading up on it whenever I could. I found a ‘mentor’ in weather photography through Gordon Richardson from Capetownskies.com who had been doing what I had been doing but for much longer and with much more knowledge. I contacted him in early 2004 I think it was and since we have been in contact regarding everything weather related, local and international.

Anyway what I’m getting at is how I’ve had the chance to watch the interest in storm chasing in South Africa grow over the years. This is mostly due to the Discovery Channel series ‘Storm Chasers’ which has popularized storm chasing even more so than twister (In South Africa at least). When starting out with storm chasing there was very little interest and support in South Africa, and hence me creating this website. I would search for hours just to find some random pdf study about a tornado that happened somewhere in S.A or about severe storms in Cape Town in the past 10 years.

Now days though I am getting emails from people all over the country showing an interest in storm chasing, and it’s at a great time too. The South African weather service has just finished installing doppler radar which will make storm chasing a bit easier here in South Africa. Each time I receive an email from someone asking to be listed as a chaser on the site it feels as though our tiny little community has gained another soldier in the fight for understanding and experience nature at it’s finest.

I am considering a possible meet up in the upcoming years somewhere in Gauteng where for a period of 4-5 days chasers can be in constant contact and go chasing together, something like what happens in the U.S, because currently we have some chasers but we are yet to establish a real community. It is a goal of mine I hope to make a reality by some time before 2015, though hopefully sooner than later.

I just want to thank all of you whom have contacting me showing your support and interest in storm chasing. Remember you can always get involved in the forums if you so desire, where you can get to know the other chasers a bit better and also stay informed about weather developments.

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