Matt Salo


Location: Minneapolis, MN
Started Chasing: 1992
Tornadoes: 70
Web site: http://www.twistergeeks.net

Bio: Grew up very much afraid of severe weather and especially tornadoes. Saw my first tornado on July 18,1986 (Brooklyn Park / Fridley, MN) from my front yard. I was ~12 years old. That was the day it all changed. I went from very much afraid of tornadoes, to completely obsessed with tornadoes. When I turned 18 in late 1991, I knew I would be chasing the following spring, and so I did.

Chaser Q&A

How did you realize your love for weather?

Saw my first tornado on July 18th, 1986. I was 12 years old.

When did you decide you wanted to storm chase?

1986. I was still too young, but once I turned 18 in late 1991. I knew I would be chasing the following spring. And so it began.

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

23

Do you chase for a reason?

Curiousity, Passion, Insanity?

Do you prefer to chase alone or with a group?

I general like to have at least one partner with me, but I have no problem chasing alone

Have you ever considered going on a storm chase tour?

Possibly

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

The number of uneducated, clueless teens hopping in their mom’s car, and chasing storms showing off with their girlfriends in their cars is getting to be dangerous.

I have no problem with anyone getting in to storm chasing, but they really need to learn the ropes from some experienced chasers before they go out on there own, and bringing people with them,

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

900

What are your favorite areas to chase? Least favorite?

Upper Midwest, Central Plains

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

I’ll chase anything with a decent potential for tornadoes.

What is your most memorable chase? Least memorable?

In recent memory, the mother’s day outbreak on May 11th, 2014 was fun. I chased with my nephew, and were close to a few tornadoes that day.

So many memories, so many storms, it’s hard to choose. They all have their place, and chasing is a lifestyle full of great experiences, regardless of how many, if any, tornadoes it produces.

Have you ever feared for your life?

Maybe a few times. I generally don’t put myself in those positions

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

No really afraid, I just generally don’t out of fear of damaging my vehicle. I do partake in this activity occassionally

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?

Yes

Are you currently doing anything job related to the weather?

no

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?

If I find other chasers in my staging area, I generally meet up and await initiation. Otherwise, alone is fine.

What is your favorite storm chase and why?

Hard to say. Now, had I been in Pilger NE on June 16th 2014, that might be top of the list…but unfortunately I could not make it to NE in time, and was left chasing rain wrapped garbage in northern Iowa that day 🙁

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

Reading books, online information, classes at Chasercon, etc, spotter training

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

Love/Hate relationship.

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

I always respected Tim Samaras a great deal. He was so passionate about severe weather and chasing, and serious about safety.

What do you fear most about a storm?

Not catching it???

Do you have a job that supports storm chasing?

I am self-employed. My boss is a big supporter of storm chasing! 😉

Do you have a family that supports storm chasing?

Yes. They enjoy watching my live stream!

How long do you plan on chasing?

Until I’m dead

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