Most Influential & Distinguished Storm Chasers

With storm chasing being historically a relatively new activity and by the nature of being storm chasers I think we usually don’t discuss often about who we think of as “greatâ€￾ storm chasers. However, I was wondering which storm chasers do you think have had the most influence on storm chasing and are the most distinguished storm chasers. If you name someone please describe some attributes that would put them in this category and of course no self nominations.
 
My nomination would certainly be Tim Samaras.

Influential - because of the following reasons:

1. Successfully Designed a successful probe to be placed in front of a tornado.
2. Successfully implemented such probe to create actual readings
3. Recorded the first "live" video of a direct tornado strike using cameras.
4. Veteran chaser who practices ethical and responsible chasing.
5. Well respected chaser who has been on many television programs worldwide including National Geographic specials, and whose video has renowned awe around the world.

I have never personally met Tim, so I am not certain of how "distunguished" he may be, but certainly is in MY opinion one of the most influential chasers in this generation.

Tim, I know you are a member of this board, and this is not to "inflate your ego" ;) It is simply that you to me were the most favorable person to meet the criteria. Go buy yourself a drink. :D
 
I've talked to Tim in person before on a couple of occasions and I can say he is very friendly and always willing to give you a minute to talk too. One of the first 'well-known' chasers that I've got to meet and definitely got to be one of the smarter ones out there as well with the engineering knowledge he knows...

But, Tim is relatively new when you look at some things... How about we go back even further into the chasing world, the ones who 'started it all' so to say. I know I've ran into a few chasers sites that have some film pictures they have since scanned to put online that were from the 80s, etc... Who was the influention ones before the internet craze of message boards such as stormtrack??
 
My vote would be for Jim Leonard. He once described himself as a storm maniac; I prefer the term stormchasing legend. Jim's passion for stormchasing and his many appearances/ interviews on tv "way back when" are a major reason I'm such a storm enthusiast today.
 
David Hoadley, Jim Leonard, Tim Marshall, Chuck Doswell, Eric Rasmussen, Alan Moller, Joel Ewing, Gene Rohden, Howard Bluestein, to name a few. I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to chase "amongst" the lucky few back in the late 1980's when you could chase and only run into a few chasers, sometimes none if in a remote area. In fact, it was a big deal to run into the big names of the time. The first time we saw David Hoadley's car in the parking lot of a NWS office, my chase partner Tom Willett and I were almost too nervous to go inside. I have no doubt that David Hoadley's, Tim's and other's contributions to Storm Track, especially in the "PT" (pre-Twister) era laid the foundation and inspirations for a lot of future spotters, chasers and scientists.

Warren
 
While I second all the names mentioned, I have to put Dave Hoadley on top. It was a big day for me in the early 1980s when I walked into a small WSO in Indiana in hopes of a forecast and walked out with a paper copy of ST. Meeting him in person caused a big impression, and gave me hope that a non-scientist driven primarily by desire could aspire to gain sufficient acumen to encounter tornadoes. Besides his passion for storms, he possesses a renaissance man's array of talents, including art, poetry, prose and the drive to publish it all in a then non-existent genre.

Jim Leonard was also very kind and encouraging, providing me with photos of some of his successes when I met him in Florida around the same time.

Meeting Dr. Fujita was also a knee-rattler, but it's probably not fair to call him a chaser.
 
I have three names I need to highlight.

Jim Leonard. His passion for storms in unequaled anywhere. He is also willing to share his knowledge with anyone who has a passion for storms. Jim has been chasing since the beginning of time

Chuck Doswell. Numerous articles geared towards education chasers. He is very knowledgeable and shares that knowledge with others.

Al Moller. Another chaser who loves to share his passion for chasing through his photography of not only storms, but scenes throughout the plains. He also shares his knowledge with others who will listen.
 
Having only chased since 1999, and given that I have not spent any time researching the history of chasing, I am not qualified to compile a complete list. I do know of a few names that haven't yet been mentioned, and they jump out in my mind: Roger Edwards, Tim Vasquez, Roger Hill, and Warren Faidley.

Forgive me for omitting others who are equally worthy. Perhaps I will edit this later when their names also pop into my head.
 
Tim Marshall, Tim Vasquez, Chuck Doswell, Warren Faidley, Al Moller, Erik Rassmussen (SP?), Howard Bluestein, and Jim Leonard are just a few that pops out.
 
Beside myself, joke, Gene Moore probably influenced me the most as a storm chaser. Gene Moore seems to have a passion for chasing storms that borders insanity, which I feel is closer to the level of my passion for chasing storms. He also, doesn't seem to be trying to have a 'measuring' problem that drives some other insanly passionate storm chasers.

Howard Bluestein influenced more of the meteorological part of my life instead of the chasing side. He seemed to put his dedication to science above chasing storms, which is very respectable.
 
It somewhat bothers me that no one has mentioned Jon Davies, not saying he is "The Best" per say, just thought his name should be mentioned. His reasearch on Cold Core and Non-Mesocylclone Tornadoes has been instrumental to all of our learning I think.
 
I have to say that my number one chaser is David Hoadley. I had the honor of showing him around the National Weather Center earlier this year, and all I can say is he is one nice guy. He did not want to disturb anyone, he was being as polite to people as could be. And just by him starting stormtrack he has been able to influence a generation of up chasers with positive ethics.
 
I've got a ton of respect for veteran chaser Gene Moore...I too was just wowed by Gene when I first met him many years ago and following his strong passion for storms and a great storm chasing career. It is too darn difficult to really pick the chasing "king" though. Just so many great people chasing storms and each brings their own styles and personalities to the chaser community. Some are very quiet and reserved while some bring a huge spark to chasing. The reality of chasing though is not how other chasers affect you... but how you affect other chasers and help support and grow the educated and passionate chaser community.
 
The first one to come to mind is Warren Faidley. Before I could chase, I picked up "Storm Chaser: In pursuit of Untamed Skies" and it quickly became my favorite read. After being hooked to the internet in the late 90's, I learned about other chases (and wx-nuts) like Tim Vasquez, Tim Marshall, Chuck Doswell, and David Hoadley.

Those are my five...
 
Without a doubt the two most influential people for me would be Tim Marshall and David Hoadley, mostly due to their commitment to excellence in the early days of this hobby and eager readiness to impart their experience and knowledge to others, especially though written materials.

There's many other folks I could name as well, many of whom frequent this board but I must make special mention of Charles Doswell, Rodger Edwards and Tim Vasquez for their various endeavours, without whom I wouldn't be able to enjoy this hobby as much as I do.
 
I would have to agree with everyone, Charles Doswell, Rodger Edwards, Warren Faidley, Gene Moore, Jon Davies...etc. Some of the best.

One other person I would add is Jim Reed. He has not chased quite as long as the other guys but has done alot with chasing not only Super cells, but also hurricanes.
 
Like Warren I also remember back in the mid 80s running into guys like Doswell, Moore, and Hoadley at amarillos NWS and being in awe. I was a noob back in 85 but these guys took the time to talk to me and let me actually watch them and the local mets talk about that days target. The guys that have chased for 20+ years before tv specials and pre-twister are the kind of guys I think of when I think of legends.

Even Warren is in that category (yes warren I am actually being nice...lol). He and I chased together for a number of years and we have had our differences about chase styles but I still respect what he has done. he brought images and video to the masses with the help of TWC like nobody else had done up to that time. His lightning photos are incredible. Now ofcourse with tv specials and the internet most chasers are able to share their catches. Man I wish I could take pics like Warrens lightning and Hollingshead's supercells.

Also Tim Samaras with what he has accomplished the past few years is incredible.

There are too many to name but anybody that has chased for 2 decades or more are deserving of praise.
 
I really did not have any influences in my early years, other than an unrealistic ideal of chasing – due to the movie Twister and the local OKC media mania / hype. I really didn’t look up to any one person in the chase community simply because I didn’t really know anyone.

As far as now-a-days, I still really do not have any influences. Yet I still respect many of the pioneers of storm chasing for their part in the hobby.

There is one person however whom I must give a lot of credit, and he is my friend and chase partner - Mr. Shane Adams. He has a career full of successful chases and with a majority of them using nothing but the knowledge and instincts - just like to good old days of chasing - in which he has developed over the past decade. It is those instincts that impress and at times amaze me about his style of chasing. He has natural eye and keen awareness of the storm environment while in the field without using any high-tech equipment for data, other than perhaps his scanner. That is something you don’t find in many post “Twister” chasers these days, including myself. Matter of fact when we started chasing together in 2004, I actually had a hard time getting him sold on using wifi. He just didn’t really care for it and in all reality he didn’t / doesn’t really need it.

Arguably, to many, Shane is taken as a barbarically filthy mouth guy who has his own opinions and doesn’t really give a crap of what others may think of him, and again I give credit where credit is due. Regardless he deserves much credit for his chasing career and IMO is up there even with the veterans (or Distinguished in this case) of chasing. He knows how to chase and I give him much respect for that.

EDIT: One more person I would like to add is Rob Satkus. Although I have not known Rob very long, I have had the honor (and trust lol) to convert his early / mid career VHS chases tapes to DVD and all I can say is OH MY GOD. This is hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of great footage from the mid nineties. That’s only 1994-1996. I still have another decade to covert. Man Rob I should have charged you $50 an hour, I’d be rich!

Mick
 
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Like Mickey, I didn't know a whole lot of chasers, but chasers I look up to and respect, in no particular order...Amos Magliocco, Shane Adams, Eric Nguyen, Jon Davies, Gene Moore, Mike Hollingshead, Greg Stumpf. I used to read their thoughts and opinions on things, religiously.
 
Up until now I've stayed away from this thread because it reminds me of a popularity contest. But seeing it again, I think rather than just posting who's cool, it is good to give credit where credit is due, especially to those people who have tempered and influenced MY OWN growth in chasing and storm forecasting. It's hard to picture where that would be without the high standards of Charles Doswell, the early visions of David Hoadley that appear in the earliest Stormtrack issues, the contributions to storm forecasting of Rich Thompson and Roger Edwards, the intellectual generosity of Tim Marshall, the sheer passion of Jim Leonard and Roger Jensen, the flair for research by Jon Davies, and so forth. I also have to give credit to Gene Rhoden, a peer who started a little earlier than me; we both grew up in Dallas and were immersed in north Texas chasing in the 1980s. My personal favorite would have to be Alan Moller because we both share strong interests in the forecast perspectives and in some of the philosophical aspects.

As far as who has contributed the most to storm chasing itself, I don't feel qualified to answer for that as so many people have contributed in many different ways. I can only mention those who influenced me personally.

Tim
 
I think also I should mention who has been an influence to me as a chaser is Mike Hollingshead.

Yes, Mike is a relatively newer chaser. But the photography and video that Mr. Hollingshead has developed in the 10 years or so he has been chasing definately puts him in the class of "veteran chaser" - and few would argue that his photography is no less than benchmark - the standard to judge against.

Mike's work has been seen and viewed worldwide, I am certain, millions of times. I have often wished that I could obtain photography that is close to his standard, and maybe someday that will be the case. I have no doubt that Mike Hollingshead will continue to be one of the most influential chasers in today's generation, as judged by the many awestruck fans in his YouTube comments, and by chasers who continually are amazed at his chasing success in both statistics and photojournalistic quality. Hollingshead to me is one of the most influential chasers to exist - despite his relative newness on the chasing scene.
 
Wow, so many people come to mind.
Tim Marshall with his passion and enthusiasm for forecasting and chasing as well as the aftermath of the storms.
David Hoadley for the pioneering of our hobby. He's been out there longer than most of us have even been alive, and can so eloquently express in words and his incredible drawings what we experience.
Jim Leonard with his passion for all rotating things as well as his skill and knowledge in tropical forecasting.
Tim Samaras for his incredible discoveries. The man is a genius and his findings will revolutionize the way we look at tornadoes and lightning.
Roger Hill for his never-ending passion for the chase. Exactly how DOES he find all the tornadoes?
Mike Hollingshead for his awesome photography. He brings back not only the majesty of the storms but the simple beauty of the Plains as well.
Jon Davies for his research in cold-core tornadoes. He gives us ways of finding things to do in the "off season".
 
I'm always impressed with the chasers that were able to be so successful back before all the technology came along where almost anyone can now track a storm with a laptop, cell phone and GPS, etc.

In the 80s, I became familiar with Bluestein, Faidley, Marshall and a few others.

Some of the modern day chasers that demonstrate excellence in their knowledge of weather, photography, forecasting, etc. are obviously Hollingshead, Snyder, and so many others (forgive me if your name wasn't listed).

At the end of the day, my two biggest influences that sparked my extreme interest in chasing were Faidley and Marshall. Today, we have so many good ones, it's almost impossible to list. :)
 
Wow, so many people come to mind.
Tim Marshall with his passion and enthusiasm for forecasting and chasing as well as the aftermath of the storms.
David Hoadley for the pioneering of our hobby. He's been out there longer than most of us have even been alive, and can so eloquently express in words and his incredible drawings what we experience.
Jim Leonard with his passion for all rotating things as well as his skill and knowledge in tropical forecasting.
Tim Samaras for his incredible discoveries. The man is a genius and his findings will revolutionize the way we look at tornadoes and lightning.
Roger Hill for his never-ending passion for the chase. Exactly how DOES he find all the tornadoes?
Mike Hollingshead for his awesome photography. He brings back not only the majesty of the storms but the simple beauty of the Plains as well.
Jon Davies for his research in cold-core tornadoes. He gives us ways of finding things to do in the "off season".

Wow, my response would be exactly as same as yours...you couldn't have said it any better, Angie!

My only addition would've been W. Faidley. I read his book 'Storm Chaser, In pursuit of untamed skies' back in 1996 when I was only 16 at that time...needless to say that I was 'hooked' after that. I've noticed that you are a member here, Warren, and I thank you for getting me into storm chasing.

And David Hoadley..."And we saw it. The World's most famous storm chase vehicle. The plates read IN-FLOW "(excerpts from 'Storm Chaser'). THAT...is what chasing legends are made of.

I had the honor of meeting Mr. Hoadley at the 2004 and 2007 National Storm Chaser Convention. Needless to say, I felt like I should've done the Waynes World "We're not Worthy" chant and repeatedly bow before him, LOL!

Wow, you can tell that I am looking forward to Spring!
 
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