Greg McLaughlin


Location: Tulsa, OK
Started Chasing: 1997
Tornadoes: 120

Bio?: I am fascinated by tornadoes. I began chasing in the late 90’s at the dawn of the internet. My favored chase domain is the southern Plains however I do make occasional trips to the central Plains and even the Midwest. Over the years I have documented tornadoes for major news outlets. I currently am a storm tracker for FOX23 News in Tulsa.

Favorite Storm Chasing Photos

Chaser Q&A

How did you realize your love for weather?

I have always been drawn to a dark stormy sky since as early as I can remember. My fascination with tornadoes was sparked by my experience with the April 23, 1993 Catoosa tornado.

When did you decide you wanted to storm chase?

I first wanted to storm chase when I was about 14 years old. My dad actually drove me out to Osage County to see a severe storm in 1994.

How long have you been actively chasing?

19 years

Do you chase for a reason?

I chase to see tornadoes.

Do you prefer to chase alone or with a group?

Sometimes I like to chase alone, but chasing in a group is more rewarding.

Have you ever considered going on a storm chase tour?

No. I have considered conducting one.

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

Chasing is becoming more and more dangerous. Social media has transformed storm chasing, and much of it not for the better. I prefer less drama and less focus on the chaser and more focus on the storms we chase. There are some awesome advancements being made in chasing. The quality of documentation is vastly improved and many chasers continue to innovate the way we record storms.

How far are you willing to travel for a good set up?

1000 miles

What are your favorite areas to chase? Least favorite?

Central and southern Kansas, the panhandles along with western and north-central OK are my favorite places to chase. I also like the Front Range of Colorado and eastern Nebraska. I do not like chasing in southeast Oklahoma and east Texas

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

I like a good dryline set up, remnant OFB set up, and triple point set up. Veer-back events are pretty lame.

What is your most memorable chase? Least memorable?

My most memorable chase is May 24, 2008. My least Memorable was May 8, 2003.

Have you ever feared for your life?

Yes, more than once. I have never feared for my life because of a tornado, but close lightning strikes and driving I-44 at night in the rain can be quite terrifying.

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

It depends on the storm and the situation.

Do you have any superstitions?

I try not to.

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?

Yes

Are you currently doing anything job related to the weather?

I contribute a blog for a tornado safe room company. I also chase for FOX23 News in Tulsa

Have you ever been to ChaserCon?

2014

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

It depends on the circumstances. I often enjoy meeting and catching up with other chasers. There are sometimes when I chase solo I like to find a field all to myself and enjoy the raw atmosphere.

What is your favorite storm chase and why?

May 24, 2008: I chase 8 slow moving tornadoes produced by a single supercell across a perfect road grid with my best friend and his late beagle Charlie Pig. What’s not to love?

How did you learn what you know about forecasting and meteorology?

Trial and error, the interwebs, and picking the brains of meteorologists

How you do you feel about the media in regards to the weather and chasing?

The media has a way of blowing things out of proportion and hyping things beyond reason.

Who are the most influential people to you out in the field?

Jeff Piotrowski, Tim Marshall, Roger Hill, Gene Moore

What do you fear most about a storm?

Lightning…particularly that of the positive kind

Do you have a job that supports storm chasing?

I help operate and family business, which allows are very flexible schedule.

Do you have a family that supports storm chasing?

My family is very supportive.

How long do you plan on chasing?

I will chase until I have had my fill of seeing tornadoes. I don’t see that ending anytime soon.

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