Michael Dickerson

Location: Midwest City, OK
Started Chasing: 2013
Tornadoes: 0

Bio: I retired from the U.S. Army in 2008 (Military Police/Recruiting). Afterwords, graduated the Oklahoma Police Academy (CLEET)in Ada, OK and served as a State Park Ranger for over three years. Currently, I work in Hospital Security. I am a licensed Peace Officer; however, not currently in law enforcement. I have training in CPR and basic First-Aid. I have always had a passion for weather and now that I have retired from the service I am able to pursue this pasion.

Favorite Storm Chasing Photos

Chaser Q&A

How did you realize your love for weather?

When I moved to Oklahoma. I have a tremendous amount of respect for weather (Mother Nature). Like others I’m sure…I’m in awe of the power of weather and just gaze in amazement!

When did you decide you wanted to storm chase?

Military life was very demanding for me with numerous assignments and deployments; not to mention raising a family. I spent a lot of time reading about weather and now since my life is not so demanding I can now purse this passion.

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

2

Do you chase for a reason?

Personal enrichment.

Do you prefer to chase alone or with a group?

Most of the time it’s just me, but I’m interested in finding a chase partner.

Have you ever considered going on a storm chase tour?

Yes

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

I tend to stay away from chaser convergence even if it means missing out on something special.

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

175

What are your favorite areas to chase? Least favorite?

West and Northwest Oklahoma! Basically anything west of I-35.

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

I tend to prefer dryline setups. Least would probably be warm fronts.

What is your most memorable chase? Least memorable?

Well, with only two seasons under my belt I would say my most memorable so far would be April 23, 2014. My son came along with me that day and we ended up south of Erick, Oklahoma and witnessed a supercell together. No tornado, but it’s not always about a tornado. It was still a nice supercell and the best part was watching it with my son. My least memorable would be any one of my blue sky busts! >>:(

Have you ever feared for your life?

Yes, when I was deployed to the middle east back in 90-91. But I’m sure you meant with chasing….right! So far, no. I don’t get that close to storms. Like I stated before, I have a lot of respect for weather. Weather can be very unpredictable and there’s no video or picture worth my life. I tend to stay a very safe distance away but close enough to enjoy the show.

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

If I had to make them I suppose I would…but I don’t. I don’t believe in taking unnecessary risks when I don’t have to.

Do you have any superstitions?

None that come to mind.

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?

No

Have you ever been to ChaserCon?

No, but would love to attend. I hear their having it in Norman next year….count me in! 🙂

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

More likely to sit alone on a country road.

What is your favorite storm chase and why?

Not sure that I understand exactly what this question is asking. My favorite type of setup or my favorite chase I’ve been on? My favorite chase would have been my most memorable one above, 23 Apr 2014. If it’s a setup, then I tend to go after the dryline hoping for discrete suprcells to initiate.

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

All the books from Tim Vasquez (Awesome books!) and numerous internet sites.

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

I believe what the local weather channels do and provide by means of coverage for the public is invaluable. What I don’t like is some that will try to sensationalize an event, perhaps for ratings or whatever.

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

I haven’t had an opportunity to meet anyone in the field yet. I’m usually out there on that lonely country road.

What do you fear most about a storm?

miscalculating my distance from the storm and it perhaps changing directions on me with no road options!

Do you have a job that supports storm chasing?

Meaning do I earn a paycheck which I use to pay for gas and new toys? Yes!

Do you have a family that supports storm chasing?

Yes, but they tend to think I’m crazy….they need a little more work!

How long do you plan on chasing?

The rest of my life! 😉

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