Jon Stone

Location: Norman, OK
Started Chasing: 2009
Tornadoes: 30+
Web site: http://www.jonstonephotography.com/home/index.php

Bio: I am terrible at writing about myself, but while growing up I lived in the Texas Panhandle and Western Oklahoma. That was back when the panhandle actually got storms, and it was there I fell in love with weather. I spent the first two years of college at the University of Alabama, chasing local storms. But it was April 27th, 2011 that kicked it into high gear. I barely missed the Philadelphia tornado but followed the Cordova long track for about 20 miles before racing back to Tuscaloosa.

The rest is pretty much history, I decided in 2012 to transfer to the University of Oklahoma and finish my degree in Engineering and to get a degree in Meteorology. Besides weather, my passion is in the outdoors and photography. Primarily photographing storms, waterfalls, and abandoned places.

Favorite Storm Chasing Photos

Favorite Chase Video

Chaser Q&A

When did you decide you wanted to storm chase?

When I graduated High School, and bought my own vehicle

How long have you been actively chasing?

Since 2009

Do you chase for a reason?

To experience the raw power of Mother Nature.

Do you see passion as a good or bad thing?

People who see passion as a bad thing is what’s wrong with this country.

Do you prefer to chase alone or with a group?

Alone.

Have you ever considered going on a storm chase tour?

No.

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

Sigh.

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

Old-school.

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

Depends on work.

What are your favorite areas to chase? Least favorite?

Favorite is anywhere with a decent road network, and favorable terrain. Least favorite, poor road network and terrain.

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

Favorite, is the dryline setup. Least are warm front days, usually grungy and just not worth it.

What is your most memorable chase? Least memorable?

Favorite. Probably May 10th-11th in 2014. Least, May 18th, 2013, sigh…

Have you ever feared for your life?

April 27th, 2011, and not from chasing. I wasn’t as close as I thought. But I was more worried about my place, pets, and my friends. So no, not really.

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

Depends on what vehicle I am driving. The Mustang, uh no. The Jeep with 4WD I just bought, most definitely.

Do you have any superstitions?

No.

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. Salaried job please. Much more to life, and to see, then just storms.

Are you currently doing anything job related to the weather?

Kind of.

Have you ever been to ChaserCon?

Yes.

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

Alone.

What is your favorite storm chase and why?

See most memorable chase. Why? Because I spent time with my now fiancée, visited family, and saw some incredible structures and some eh tornadoes.

What date burns in you (think bust) and why?

May 5th, 2012. Drove from Birmingham, Alabama to a couple hours west of Omaha. Straight through to a blue sky bust. The drive back was slow and painful.

Do you always know why you made the wrong or right decisions to chase a particular day?

Most of the time, sometimes it’s painfully obvious, sometimes it’s not.

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

Self-taught, learn from others.

Do you consider the day a success even if you don’t witness a tornado?

Yes.

Do you feel short changed if you see a tornado from a greater distance to you than you prefer?

Depends.

How do you feel about the post “Storm Chaser” generation?

Sigh.

Do you feel like the scientific community should get the same respect as emergency vehicles around storms?

Actual scientists, aka the NSSL, etc, yes. Storm chasers “saving lives”, no.

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

Indifferent.

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

A few photographers.

Would you considering getting your children into storm chasing?

You should always share your passion.

If you didn’t know anything about storm chasing, how would you react if your child said they wanted to be a chaser?

Not sure.

What do you fear most about a storm?

The only thing to fear, is fear itself.

What type of storm do you prefer to chase? (Ugly HP/sculpted LP/classic/squall line)

Sculpted LP and Classic Supercell

Do you stop your progress toward a storm for a great photography opportunity?

Yes!

How do you feel about law enforcement immediately around a tornadic supercell?

Don’t know, never have to deal with them.

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

No.

Do you have a job that supports storm chasing?

Yes.

Do you have a family that supports storm chasing?

Yes.

How long do you plan on chasing?

Until I’m senile and locked up in a home.

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