Location: Orion, IL
Started Chasing: 2009
Web site: http://www.bradgoddard.com/
Bio: My name is Brad Goddard, I am an engineer from western IL. I have been storm chasing for 6 years now as of early 2015. I am in my mid thirties now and hoping to see many more years out on the plains.
Favorite Storm Chasing Photos
How did you realize your love for weather?
I was always interested in weather. I was one of those people you see standing out in their yard as severe weather is moving in. Several local severe events in 2008 really got my interest going though. Specifically a 100+ MPH Deracho wiped out my neighborhood in July of that year and really started to get me hooked.
When did you decide you wanted to storm chase?
Aside from the 2008 local deracho there were a couple other things that really got me headed down this path. Memorial day weekend that year I was driving home from a hiking trip in Minnesota. I found myself driving south into the precip core of the Parkersburg, IA EF5 producing storm as it was doing its thing. I was passed by several vehicles where I could see people with laptops running. “Hey, those must be stormchasers” After getting beat up by some 2″+ hail my southward progress was halted by state trooper blocking the road. Good thing too, as just a mile or so down the road was chaos when I passed thru moments after the tornado. I think this was the event that really planted the seed. Then late in 2008 I am a bit ashamed to admit but that season of storm chasers made me come to the realization that you don’t need to be part of an organized group to chase storms and there was such a thing as an amateur storm chaser. I almost immediately started studying and reading anything I could find on the subject. I bet between Nov 2008 and March 2009 I averaged at least 2-3 hours a day reading up on things.
Do you prefer to chase alone or with a group?
I like chasing alone. It has its pros and cons but I mostly like being totally responsible for my own decisions.
Which era of chasing would you prefer to exist? Old-school or new-school?
I enjoy the technology involved with recent years of chasing. However I have a ton of respect for the guys doing it before the data revolution.
How far are you willing to travel for a good set up?
I really don’t have a set limit. My approach is that if a setup is good enough to leave the house for don’t stop short of the best area because you don’t want to get too far from home.
What are your favorite areas to chase? Least favorite?
Favorites, West Kansas, Central Illinois, Central South Dakota. Least favorite, Dixie
What is you favorite type of set up to chase? Least favorite?
Who Doesn’t like a good dryline setup? Least favorite, an over forced cold front
Are you afraid to make dangerous maneuvers while chasing? (I.E – core punching/hook slicing/living in the bears cage)
I have no issues with these moves, however I try to avoid them if for no other reason than it means I screwed up if I find myself needing to make that choice.
Would you sacrifice a salaried job with full benefits, but only 2 weeks out of the year to chase for a paycheck to paycheck life with unlimited chasing?
This is basically the life I live. I do enjoy a decent amount of flexibility and am usually happy with the number of chases I am able to get in.
Are you more likely to hang out with other chasers while waiting for initiation, or sit alone on a country road watching the sky?
I do a little of both.
What is your favorite storm chase and why?
Right now July 6th 2014 in eastern Iowa is at the top of the list. It goes back and forth with Rozel in 2013 though. The Main reason is that so few people were out that day, that storm feels a little more like it was mine.
What date burns in you (think bust) and why?
June 5th 2010, beacause Iowa
Do you consider the day a success even if you don’t witness a tornado?
Yes, The Arcadia, NE after dark lightning show on May 26th 2013 will always be one of my favorite chases.
How do you feel about the post “Storm Chaser” generation?
I have mixed feelings, I am one after all. I think like anything there are good and bad people that came from that.
What do you fear most about a storm?
Do you stop your progress toward a storm for a great photography opportunity?
Sometimes, depends on the potential of the day