Review: Storms of 2004 DVD

Kevin Scharfenberg

Synopsis: "Storms of 2004", produced by Greg Stumpf and Jim Ladue, is a very good DVD purchase for a very good cause.

Long review:

Seven of 2004's most severe and memorable tornado events are reviewed. Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the meteorological setup, which is valuable for those of us with short-term memory, and for people wanting to learn more about chase strategy.

Then the major storms of the day are followed from the lenses of a variety of cameras. Sometimes 3 or 4 videos from different angles are displayed side-by-side, offering a different look at the same storm feature from multiple angles...a unique feature of this DVD not available from many other chase videos.

The video itself is excellent, with many close-up views of significant tornadoes and some great time-lapses. The contributors list reads like a "who's who" of storm chasers, including Shane Adams, Sam Barricklow, Martin Lisius, and Bill Reid. The videos include the incredible series of tornadoes on May 12th and May 29th in south-central Kansas, the southern Nebraska monsters of May 22nd and 24th, and the beautiful Mulvane tornado from June 12th, among several others. The memorable videos are accompanied by a very good original musical score by Greg Stumpf and Kinney Adams.

Another feature I liked was the occasional display of a radar image highlighting the location(s) of the chasers taking the video(s). This helps the viewer gain a perspective of where the photographer was positioned, and would even be helpful for people trying to learn more about spotting or chasing storms.

Chasers will be talking about the storms of 2004 for years to come, so this is an excellent compilation video and perfect cure the occasional bout of SDS.