Chasing and Emotionalism

How is your emotional demeanor on the field?

  • Quiet, loner type

    Votes: 17 19.1%
  • Sociable, somewhat excited

    Votes: 20 22.5%
  • Somewhat excited, tend to raise my voice sometimes

    Votes: 23 25.8%
  • Excitable, tend to overreact at times

    Votes: 15 16.9%
  • Highly excitable, tends to yell and holler at times

    Votes: 5 5.6%
  • Extremely excitable, enthusiastic, visibly awestruck

    Votes: 5 5.6%
  • Incredibly emotional, prone to outbursts, sometimes lacks good judgement

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • "Stormgasmic" with emotion, extreme excitement and hyperactiveness

    Votes: 3 3.4%

  • Total voters
Dec 10, 2003
Great Plains
How do you rate your own reactions to chasing in the field? There are a wide variety of different ways to express yourself on the field. Show us the answer that best describes yourself, and then elaborate with a post below.

In chasing there are many types of individual ways to express yourself. There are those who love to chase alone, and video footage reveals very little emotion. Other chasers nearly hyperventilate and become hoarse at the atmospheric display. Be honest if you choose to participate. I'm hoping to see a pattern or two emerge here.

I will admit to being somewhat exciteable, especially the first few chases of the year. If I allow myself to holler and yell, I attempt to do that off camera. However, being an extroverted individual, restraint is sometimes difficult. I try to never allow my emotions, however, to interfere with my logic and judgement. It is, in my opinion, a fine balance for me to have to maintain. Having a lifelong passion for severe weather can definately spill out in emotion on the field. Everyone's different however, and the chase videos certainly reflect that.
Last edited by a moderator:
I think the poll choices stop a little short on the excitement end for some folks.
The first time I had success chasing, I definitely went off the deep end a few times. I had my picture taken with my first tornado, there was lots of hollering and fist pumping, etc. Then my camera ran out of memory at just about the most inopportune time possible, and I let out my fair share of expletives. I guess everybody gets one time to be a n00b. :p

Now that those experiences are out of the way, I try to stay as understated as I can. I could make a bad choice and mess up my vehicle if I get too emotional (I've come close enough times to know that), so I have to be able to maintain an even keel even if I miss by just a short distance. And, I figure the more experienced chasers I may run into out there will be a lot more open to conversation if I keep calm and focussed.
Totall depends on what is going on and directly on how tired I am. If it's been a while (more than a week) since a chase and a great storm is going, I am much more outwardly excited about what it going on than if I have been chasing for many days straight and just drove many hundred miles and/or haven't rested much in the previous days.
I would say the third choice best describes my outward demeanor, although the "visibly awestruck" description certainly fits as well. Inwardly, however, I'm often turning sommersaults when something interesting or unusual is happening. I have been embarrassed on a couple of occasions by my own careless and meaningless chatter, only discovered later on video. I'm more careful about what gets on video these days.
I am not overly emotional about stuff. I think I got my dad's patience, which comes in handy when I have to drive for hours, and end up in New Mexico, realizing there is a huge spider in my car and it is 4am. I don't really freak out about stuff. I get excited about seeing cool storms but I don't make a big scene. I learned my lesson once when I was gabbing too much on my video one time in Muskogee.
*Warning, rambling ahead*

I chose the third response, but that only applies when something interesting is happening. I think the point of your poll was to find out how people react while actually on a storm. In this case, I'd definitely be a #3 candidate and on some occasions a 4. I've only been chasing for a few years now, so when something good comes along I can sometimes overreact. Definitely something I'm working on.

However, as most readers here are well aware, chasing is more than just thunderstorms. When I'm not actually on a storm, I am very much a loner on the road. You will very rarely see me with a chase partner. At the most, I'll caravan with somebody. Chasing is a form of therapy for me. A time for self reflection. I have never loaded up my car with friends to go on a chase. The only time I really meet up with any other chasers is if we happen to be on the same storm or at a convergence. There is nothing like cruising along a country road with the windows down, radio off, taking in the sights, smells, and sounds of the Great Plains while the towers start going up. Just waiting for what might happen that day. I just can't imagine having the same experience with 3 other people stuffed in my car.

After the event of that day is over, I enjoy the long drive home almost just as much (sometimes more depending on the day I had). Watching the flashes of lighting in the distance on the ride home is therapy in itself. So, I'm definitely a loner in that aspect. Maybe sounds strange to many of you, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I guess I’m just introverted.

Can you tell I've got a little case of SDS? Can't wait to get back out there. We're getting close though. Last year my first chase was on March 12th, 2006. A very successful day/night that was (although I unfortunately wasn't on the "5 state supercell"). Hopefully we can get a good early-mid March event again this year in the midwest.

*Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Ramble over.*
Last edited by a moderator:
I voted for the fourth option. I guess that best explains me when I'm chasing severe storms. I've seen around 30 tornadoes and some insane structure in the past few years, and I don't think I have ever screamed when I saw something spectaculer -- excluding my infamous scream over the 3/12/2006 Springfield tornado.

<sidenote> Man, it's been so long since I even wrote to this forum, or anything chase-related. I'm finally feeling a bit of SDS :eek: </sidenote>
15 years ago, I sounded like an idiot! Ten years ago, I sounded like an overage idiot! Today, umm.... :)

Seriously though, I think as with most folks, your first few times you can't help but be excited, after a while, perhaps a little more relaxed?
I chose the third option. If you ever want to use your video in a professional setting you must keep it as candid as possible (ie. no yelling and screaming and somersaults, lol). But for most the video they shoot is for themselves and maybe other chasers to enjoy so that's no big deal. That's really my reasoning for trying to keep it cool on camera because I'm after making the best possible production I can while on the road because without good footage, you can only edit so many "mistakes" and "uh-ohs" out of the film. I'm not going to say being excited is bad though, because I was very excited at the sight of my first tornado so I know the feeling :p