Tuesday, June 25, 2013


My friend and co-worker, Justin Pletsch goes on storm chasing adventures. This is done with a professional storm chasing group. This particular one was a 15-day storm chasing adventure, he reports there were storms every day. They take pictures and some take videos. Well, this year was quite an adventure. His group happened to be in El Reno, OK and were in the line of the path of that very tornado that tore through that town.
Justin Pletsch's photo of the El Reno, OK storm at it's peak 2.6 miles wide!
Storm's peak - this was 2.6 miles wide at this point. Picture courtesy of Justin Pletsch
In his words, he says:
"...we had an EXTREMELY close brush with death. If we would have waited 10 seconds more to get the hell out of there, I would not be here right now..."

Please go to this site to see these extreme pictures of the tornado and other cloud formations. These people do risk their lives to take this, so this is one of those things where you do the disclaimer: DON'T DO THIS YOURSELF! Scroll down the page to May 31, 2013 El Reno, OK tornado.

A small part of video that was shot by one of the other drivers in this group made it on the Weather Chanel, and you can click on the link for this here.

I'd like to thank Justin for giving me this opportunity to write about this. I'm so glad he is safe. These are people who go on these tours. This one is called Tempest Tours, for those interested in weather-related events. Storm chasing is extremely hazardous and is not something I'd advise anyone to do, unless you are with a professional group... and are crazy enough to do it.

We were under the gun last night. A bow echo on the radar showed the power behind a storm that approached us. Within moments the sky that had not looked threatening at all, became black as pitch. We were already under a thunderstorm warning, and our weather band radio made another alarm--meaning this was a TORNADO WARNING. I'm not sure if it ever touched down. I only know that the report was that rotaion in the clouds was spotted by a professional spotter (may have been from police). But we only got side-ways rain, some wind and in about ten or so minutes it was okay again. We did go to the basement for a few minutes until it passed. Being out in the country, we are not near enough to hear a siren, and the weather band radio is better than just watching radar, or waiting for someone on the radio or TV to tell you what's going on. They can't be that specific. I recommend a weather band radio to anyone who might have such storms. It could save your life!


  1. How extreme. I've never lived in harm's way, I can't help but think of the pioneers who lived without any technology at all. Stay safe, I'm off to check out the links.

  2. Oh you know I've thought of that too.

    It's been a wet couple of days. I hope we can dry out soon! Flood watches/warnings have gone up too, but we're on a nice big hill, so we're good!

  3. Yikes!

    We're far from Tornado Alley, but every once in awhile, there are warnings and watches for potential conditions.

  4. Hey everyone! The video link that is posted in this entry was taken by another driver with his Go-Pro Camera. As we are speeding away from the tornado, the white van seen in front is the one I was driving.

  5. VEry cool! Go-Pro is used by professionals. I know of one show where the host uses it while hiking trails in the National Parks.

    Thanks for stopping by, Justin!

  6. Hey, William. You ARE a bit far from it. But yeah. It's something most of us don't really want to experience up-close and personal.


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