Winter Storm Chase Season '07-'08 Begins...

Feb 8, 2005
Metropolis, Illinois
September 1, 2007

Winter Storm Chase Season Begins...Canada/United States

Fall is almost here and that means that Winter Storm Chase Season will soon begin! I am already looking forward to an active season. Current plans are to photograph New England Snowstorms, during January and February - see "Upcoming Events Section" of my blog. I will be staging in Boston for what will hopefully be an eventful season. I am also hoping to photograph a Northern or Central Plains blizzard. I will be in Quebec City to photograph the Ice Hotel during the Winter Carnival, which will be held in February. Something new this year will be live blogging - onto my new site. I am also planning on using video for the first time.

So let's ALL HOPE FOR AN AMAZING (and early) WINTER AHEAD! Let the games begin!

Some highlights from the last couple of years.

My journal entry from December 28, 2006.

I parked my car, got out, and looked around. I was in awe at the size of the wet snowflakes falling from above. They reminded me of one of Walt Disney's creations...a tapestry come to life. A world of make believe. But this wasn't make believe...this was real. The air was full of silence. The only sounds filtering through this quiet mountain town was the hushed sound of snowflakes hitting the ground - a testimony to just how large the flakes were. I could hear myself breathing...wisps of "fog" streaming into the air as I exhaled into the cold. Occasionally the winter silence would be broken by a branch snapping under the weight of the heavy snow. Was I actually standing here...all alone - in the midst of one of the most beautiful winter landscapes I have ever experienced?

The trees appeared to have been decorated by an invisible hand. Garlands of white, laced each drooping branch. It was as if the town had been decorated for the holiday season. Beautiful mounds of white could be seen sliding down the windshields of the vehicles parked alongside the roadway. Attesting to how wet the snow was. I laughed as I looked around and thought "this is what the world would look like if a gigantic shaving cream can exploded."

The crunching of the snow, under my boots, rekindled memories from my childhood. Those cold winter nights walking to my grandmothers house on the family farm. The winter landscape illuminated only by the moonlit cirrus sky and grandmothers porch light...casting a golden glow across the snow to light my path along the way. Crunch...crunch...crunch - I would hurry along - coyotes howling from the back fields. In my mind I always imagined them closer than they actually were. I would hurry into her house...removing my coat, scarf, and gloves I headed straight for her wood stove - full of burning logs that we had cut earlier in the year. I would warm my hands from the rising heat. Meanwhile, grandmother would grab the pop-corn popper - a metal pan with a long handle. The lid would slide open and we would pour in the a matter of minutes popping noises filled the little room in the middle of her house.
It seems like those memories were from just yesterday...but they were many years ago. Now here I am in Boulder, Colorado. Standing in the midst of another winter storm. I remind myself, as I often do, that life is short. Winters are even shorter. Enjoy the moment...and so I do.

Brrr a cold wind smacks me in the face. I looked around once again. The scene before me was one straight out of Charles Dickens Tale. Heavy wet snow blanketed me. I stood there for a few more moments, I was lost in a daydream. Mesmerized by the snow. I almost forgot to push the shutter button. After all that is why I came to Boulder. To photograph this snowstorm. This one moment in time.


Boston, Massachusetts - Nor'easter 2003

Boston, Massachusetts - Nor'easter 2003

Boston, Massachusetts - Nor'easter 2003

Paducah, Kentucky - Ohio Valley Blizzard 2004

Boulder, Colorado 2006

Peoria, Illinois - Winter Storm 2006

Peoria, Illinois Winter Storm 2006

Peoria, Illinois Winter Storm 2006

Boulder, Colorado - Winter Storm 2006

Peoria, Illinois Near Blizzard 2006

Colorado Snowstorms 2006

Boulder, Colorado Wet Snow Event 2006

Denver Post - December 2006

Evergreen, Colorado Winter Storm 2006

More photographs, of my recent chases, can be viewed here on my photography site.
You can also read analysis of recent events at this location.
I can't wait for the winter storm season to return. Since the severe weather season is largely over (except for maybe a few autumn events) I'm starting to really look forward to it.

I'm also hoping for an active winter!
Love the pictures.

I look forward to fall, October is my favorite month in fall but I am not looking forward to winter. Really, it is odd for me because I hate winter and don't care much for snow but yet I love taking pictures of it when we get several inches of snow dumped on us. And I also seem to love ice storms, especially the ones that causes chaos. What I hate most about winter is the 20-30 degree temps that come with it.

Here are some of the pictures I took last winter when we had several inches of snow dumped on us..



I certainly can't wait! Although, it wouldn't be quite the same if we skipped over the classic mid-late fall synoptic bombs that bring SVR to the south, high winds to the Great Lakes, and blizzard conditions to the north.

While I can't make full scale winter chases, I have just as much fun analyzing the storm. I must admit, Beau... your PC setup with +10 LCD panels is quite impressive to say the least.
Its pretty much a toss up on what I like better, severe weather season or winter. In case you did'nt know, I spent almost 15 years total in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, a place very dear to my heart, I hope to move back there sometime soon after the kids are grown but the Mrs. has already made it clear that I could go, but she'll stay chance of us going anywhere after Oklahoma is the Brainerd, MN. area where most of her family lives. There, you average around 50" of snow a winter and some honkin' cold temps. For now, I'll be praying for at least another fling of some semblance of winter like we had here in Oklahoma last year.

I have chased a few significant winter storms in the past and hope to do many more. One good thing about living here in Oklahoma is your never too far from your favourite type of weather, be it snow in Colorado or that stray hurricane that makes it into the gulf.

I have a feeling we may be in for some interesting events this coming winter, but I'll hold off on doing a winter prediction for now, especially being I'm still licking my wounds from the largely bust summer forecast I made back in May...:p
I love the winter season, but it doesn't compare to chasing tornadoes. I'm really hoping for some good winter storm events since last year I got very motivated by the constant storms we got. I've become very interested in filming winter storms and floods as well such as back in July but that's a different story. Before I can think about winter though I am focused on the fall tornad season! Cheers to a snowy winter!!!:)
I certainly can't wait! Although, it wouldn't be quite the same if we skipped over the classic mid-late fall synoptic bombs that bring SVR to the south, high winds to the Great Lakes, and blizzard conditions to the north.

While I can't make full scale winter chases, I have just as much fun analyzing the storm. I must admit, Beau... your PC setup with +10 LCD panels is quite impressive to say the least.

Winter provides some of the best photo opportunities. I would actually take winter over spring! I just love snow photography. That is just me though. I am hoping to capture a real blizzard this season. We shall see!

Thanks...that set-up is used for emergency management here in McCracken County and our neighbor to the west - Ballard County. With some of the current software on the market you can pinpoint where and when something is "likely" to happen before a warning has even been issued. I cover radar and relay information to the Paducah Office. It can be exciting. The one negative is that I don't get to see much of the actual weather. It is a trade-off though and I enjoy it.

Happy winter ahead!

I am looking forward to experiencing a REAL winter having moved back from Florida last spring. Central Florida has some cold nights but nothing the winters in Missouri. I hope the Summer here in Kentucky is any indication of the winter we will have, it has been very hot and hardly any rain.
Yeah - winter! I'm keeping my house in WV for the time being, partly so I can go back whenever it snows. Raleigh only gets one or two dustings a year.
I love chasing snowstorms! The desert sees snow so rarely, so I have to go into the Rim Country (alpine) to see heavier snow. The snow line starts in the Mazatzal (Aztec word for land of deer) mountain range which is about 6-7,000 ft elevation and up to 11,000+ in the Mogollon Rim Country. Here is what the lower Mazatzal, the desert part, looks like with snow. The upper Mazatzal and Rim Country looks like a more typical mountain Christmas scene.

These are Giant Saguaro cacti (about 40 feet tall) on top of a desert hill. This is the northernmost boundary for this Sonoran Desert plant. They look funny with snow coming down. Geography wise this is northeast of Phoenix Arizona between Phoenix and Payson, Arizona. The second picture is the Four Peaks of the Mazatzal, a mountain in the Tonto National Forest. That wilderness alone is the size of Connecticut. When I come to the Plains, I drive a lot. When I stay in the Southwest, I think I drive equally as much :)


I saw an article recently about a developing La Nina if that is the case we may be in for another exciting winter like last year.
Sorry 'bout this, but I guess I'll have to be the wet blanket here. I don't share the same enthusiasm for winter as some of you do, probably because it gets so darn cold here. It's hard to love winter much when the latest wind chill information warns that exposed skin will freeze in less than a minute.

We end up with lots of snow here every year, and after more than 40 winters north of the 49th, it ceased to be a novelty a long, long time ago. Near the winter solstice, when we spend almost two-thirds of the day in total darkness, it can get real depressing.

Most years, the snow is on the ground to stay by early to mid-November. With a good deal of certainty, it will be sticking around until late March or early April.

To summarize all the above: it gets old REAL fast.

There, I've had my rant, and I feel better now. :D

John Hudson
President and C.E.O., Winter Haters International