Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Started Chasing: 1997
Tornadoes: US – 7, Canada – 1, Australia – 1, Total – 9
Web site: http://www.yorku.ca/pat/research/dsills.html
Bio: I was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, and it was there in Canada’s thunderstorm capital that I developed a lifelong fascination with severe weather. I have intercepted storms as part of personal storm chasing trips (2004, 2005, 2006) and scientific research (ELBOW 97, ELBOW 2001, BAQS-Met 2007, UNSTABLE 2008, VORTEX2 2009/2010, ELBOW-MB 2013). I have photographed tornadoes in three countries – Canada, United States and Australia – and I’m aiming to expand that list in the future. I also enjoy writing/performing in the folk rock vein, weather/landscape/wildlife photography and freshwater sailing.
Favorite Storm Chasing Photos
What are your favorite areas to chase? Least favorite?
Favourites: Nebraska, southern Saskatchewan, southwestern Ontario Least favourite: Oklahoma (too many chasers!)
What is your most memorable chase?
12 May 2004 Attica KS – my most intense storm chase so far with numerous supercells, multiple tornadoes and challenging forecasts/nowcasts (this was just before the days of live data in the vehicle). Had great company on that event as well (Mark Robinson, Sarah Scriver, Dave Lewison, Scott McPartland and Chris Kridler).
Are you currently doing anything job related to the weather? Do you have a job that supports storm chasing?
I work on all aspects of severe thunderstorm science and prediction as a Severe Weather Scientist with Environment Canada. I led the implementation of the EF-scale in Canada and have done countless damage surveys. I led the development of and continue to maintain Canada’s national tornado database. And occasionally I get the opportunity to intercept storms as part of my research.
Do you consider the day a success even if you don’t witness a tornado?
Absolutely. Witnessing a tornado is without a doubt the holy grail of storm chasing, but so much can be learned and enjoyed even on those frustrating bust days.