Jerry Prsha

Location: St. Louis, MO
Chasing Since: 1984
Tornadoes: 90+
Web site: http://www.stlstormchaser.com

Bio: I started being curious about weather as a child. We lived at the top of a hill so that I could see the entire Western sky. As severe weather would approach, I’d stand on the highest portion and my mom would yell for me to come inside. I learned from watching the clouds when to come inside and would run across the yard and make it inside, arriving just before the wind and rain would start. When I made it into college in the early 80’s and found myself having more time, I would cross the river into Southern Illinois and wait for fronts to come through. I had subconsciously made the connection between the flat terrain in Illinois and being to not only being able to see the incoming weather but find roads to make my escape. I remember being out there all by myself, perhaps with a rogue farmer, watching the storms across the farm fields and it never crossed my mind that there other people like myself who enjoyed weather so much. ..Well until 1996 when the movie “Twister” was released and suddenly the roads filled up with other cars…

Do you prefer to chase alone or with a group?

Prefer to chase alone.

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 own my own business so as long as I don’t have a client and my wife can handle things without me, I can chase.

What is your most memorable chase?

Best day chasing was May 23rd, 2008. Saw five tornadoes, met many chasers and had an exciting trip out of the area running for my life. 😉

Should storm chasers feel more entitled to be around storms than law enforcement or locals?

We are not “First Responders” in the classic sense but we are usually the first on the scene to call for help, etc.

How long do you plan on chasing?

You’re never too old to learn for yourself and from others.. even if they’re much younger than you!

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