Erik Dirksen

Location: Pulheim, Germany
Started Chasing: 2005
Tornadoes: 5
Web site: http://www.ppulheimwetter.de

Bio: Witnessed 3 Tornadoes (2 in Germany and 1 in Oklahoma), made damage survey for 5 Tornadoes in western Germany. Member of Skywarn Germany, European Severe Storms Laboratory and Tornado-Arbeitsgruppe Deutschland.

Chaser Q&A

How did you realize your love for weather?

As a child with 12 years I witnessed a F2 Tornado near my homtown. Since 2002 I own my private weather station at Pulheim, Germany.

When did you decide you wanted to storm chase?

Spotted storms for nearly 20 years. Saw a big photogenic Squall line in 2004 and had no camera, so I bought one to document severe storms.

How long have you been actively chasing (in years)?

10

Do you chase for a reason?

Document for Science and to improve warnings.

Do you prefer to chase alone or with a group?

Alone

Have you ever considered going on a storm chase tour?

Made a tour to the Alley with Skywarn Germany back in 2009.

How do you feel about the current state of storm chasing?

Too much yahoos on the road.

Which era of chasing would you prefer to exist? Old-school or new-school?

New School

How far are you willing to travel for a good set up (in miles)?

100

What are your favorite areas to chase? Least favorite?

Western Germany around Cologne between the dutch and belgian border and the Rhine river.

What is you favorite type of set up to chase? Least favorite?

Spanish Plume followed by a cold front.

What is your most memorable chase? Least memorable?

Supercell at Titz 2009, 4 Supercells in OK, TX and NE 2009. Big Supercell near Aachen 2011. Bowecho western Germany 2014.

Have you ever feared for your life?

No!

Are you afraid to make dangerous maneuvers while chasing? (I.E – core punching/hook slicing/living in the bears cage)

Yes, most of my pic show storm structure.

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?

No

Are you currently doing anything job related to the weather?

Expert for energy-efficiency and Chimneys/Heating systems.

Have you ever been to ChaserCon?

No, but the German Meetings like Skywarn Assembly and Extreme Weather Congress.

Are you more likely to hang out with other chasers while waiting for initiation, or sit alone on a country road watching the sky?

Depends on situation and setup.

What is your favorite storm chase and why?

Local chase because it’s important in Germany to know the roads.

What do you fear most about a storm?

Lightning and debris.

Do you have a family that supports storm chasing?

How long do you plan on chasing?:

Depends on situation.

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