Location: Hiawatha, KS
Started Chasing: 2010
Bio: Hey I’m Dillon Killoren. I’m from a small town outside Hiawatha, KS called Powhattan. I’ve been chasing tornadoes since 2010. Over the 5 years, I’ve logged around 80,000 miles of chasing. The last 3 years I’ve worked for a news station out of Topeka, KS (KSNT News).
Favorite Storm Chasing Photos
How did you realize your love for weather?
Growing up as a kid I loved watching the movie Twister. Before I had a license if a storm came through town I’d get on my bike and ride to the edge of town and watch the storm come in.
When did you decide you wanted to storm chase?
On June 4th, 2005 I saw my first tornado. I remember the adrenaline rush it gave me. That same adrenaline rush is what got me into storm chasing.
How long have you been actively chasing?
I chased here and there during the 2010 season but after graduation in 2011 I started chasing on a regular basis.
Do you prefer to chase alone or with a group?
I will chase alone if I have to but over the last 3 years I’ve chased with a partner.
Have you ever considered going on a storm chase tour?
The idea has crossed my mind but its nice to be able to make your own decision while chasing than somebody who is driving the van.
How far are you willing to travel for a good set up?
Living within 8 hours from practically any chase target in the northern, central, or southern plains has helped out drastically. Driving distance isn’t a problem.
What are your favorite areas to chase? Least favorite?
My favorite place to chase is Western Kansas and Eastern Colorado. My least favorite place to chase is Missouri.
What is your most memorable chase? Least memorable?
My most memorable chase was June 17th, 2014 in Cherry Co., NE. Being able to get within just a couple of miles from a beautifully striated storm with a cone tornado moving 5 mph was a chance of a lifetime. My least memorable chase was on June 14, 2012 when I drove clear to Fairbury, NE and the best we could get was a sloppy shelf cloud.
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?
I’ve been fortunate enough to find a salaried job with full benefits that allows to me leave within a few days advance.
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’m more likely to hang out with other chasers while waiting for initiation. It allows me to see friends I only get to see maybe 3 or 4 times out of the whole year.
What date burns in you (think bust) and why?
May 24, 2011 was a high risk day. I chased Southwest Kansas around the Great Bend area where storms were more HP. I regret not going to Oklahoma that day for the better storms.
Do you consider the day a success even if you don’t witness a tornado?
Yes. Any day I can get out get a picture of a beautiful storm or just some lightning is a successful chase day in my books.
Do you feel short changed if you see a tornado from a greater distance to you than you prefer?
I’m one that likes to be closer to the tornado.
Do you have a family that supports storm chasing?
No. They never fully could understand why I ran around doing what they call “chasing a bunch of clouds”.
How long do you plan on chasing?
I plan on chasing until I’m financially or physically unable to.