Ways to attack tornado

Mar 5, 2010
Cascade, CO
Forgive me for lack of a better title :)

So I have been a ton of tornado's but still find myself too far east and se east at times. I think academically I have always learned to get ahead and give yourself options.

Curious if that is your approach. I see others right up close even chasing the tornado from the west/behind. Again always taught that you would struggle with RFD from behind etc.

So.....Do I get more aggressive and get closing knowing I might have to trail behind?

Warren Faidley

May 7, 2006
Mos Isley Space Port
It really depends on the set-up, including storm mode (HP vs. Classic vs. LP) and possible mode changes later in the day. Storm speed, dryline movement, terrain, road availability and expected chaser convergence (city vs. rural areas) must also be factored. If it's a capped off environment, it's generally easier to initially chase from the E/SE/S as you can focus on one prime storm w/o worrying about dodging other cells. It becomes more difficult to chase from the east on days when multiple supercells (especially HP's) are close enough so you have to keep an eye on your escape routes being cut off -- or you are constantly trying to outsmart a line of ripsnorters. As a photographer, I need contrast, so I'm always trying to position myself in the S/SE region of a NE moving cell. With the current drought conditions, chasing from the west is almost impossible on big dryline days as you can expect a wedge of dust and haze to engulf the backside of the storm.