Paul Brooks


Location: Muscatine, IA
Started Chasing: 1987
Tornadoes: over 200
Web site: http://www.iowachase.com/paul-brooks/
Blog: stormchaserco.blogspot.com

Bio: Paul started “pursuing” storms in 2006, mainly only within a 4 county area surrounding his current place of residence. In 2011, he started branching chases out further, encompassing some Illinois counties, some of southern Wisconsin , some of Northern Missouri, and nearly all of Iowa. He stretched this even further in 2013, making a few trips in to southern Minnesota and far eastern Nebraska. Paul witnessed the June 1, 2007 Grandview-Muscatine tornado in person, as it just missed his place of employment by less than 200 yards.

Paul has a degree in Computer Sciences(AA) from MCC with an emphasis on Networking. He took a few Meteorology baseline classes during this time as “electives”. Paul has had training in dealing with injuries and immediate 1st aid (and use this while out chasing when it is needed).

PPaul Brooksaul has been interested in photography since around age 10 beginning with simple film point and shoots, and slowly moving up, transitioning to digital in 2004. He currently has both still and video cameras, and captures everything from storms to local events (Fairs, Bands, Aurora Borealis, Night Sky). His favorite subject to capture is lightning.

Paul has interests in many different areas of science and is obsessed with gathering and analyzing data of many types(weather models, solar anomalies, sun based atmospheric study) .

Favorite Storm Chasing Photos

Favorite Chase Video

Chaser Q&A

How did you realize your love for weather?

The event that really piqued Paul’s interest in the weather was the 1994 DeSoto-Lancaster Tornado. He witnessed the destruction it caused, and helped with clean up in Lancaster. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_1994_tornado_outbreak

When did you decide you wanted to storm chase?

It was a combination of wanting to get the ultimate shot for video and photography along with a passion to try and help when the need arose.

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

9

Do you chase for a reason?

Education, Warning, Video, Photos, when needed, 1st aid and immediate response

Do you prefer to chase alone or with a group?

Group, but occasionally alone.

Have you ever considered going on a storm chase tour?

No

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

It is starting to mature, but there are areas that could always see improvement. Continuous improvement is a goal of mine.

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

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

1500

What are your favorite areas to chase? Least favorite?

Favorites: Local, for cost reasons. Western Nebraska and Wyoming for scenery, Texas and the Dakotas for flat land

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

I have no real preference. If I can photograph it and get video of it, I like it.

What is your most memorable chase? Least memorable?

Most: Cantril, Iowa 2012. I was one of 2 chasers on this storm, and the only one on the SW side.

Least: Mother’s day 2014- Not many chances for good footage or photos because of HP set up and way too many people.

Have you ever feared for your life?

No.

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

No

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?

I stream occasionally and sell video through LSM

Have you ever been to ChaserCon?

No

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

Preferably hanging out with others out in the middle of the country, looking at the sky.

What is your favorite storm chase and why?

Iowa City/West Liberty 7/2014. This was the best example in Iowa I have seen of the entire life cycle of a Meso. We watched this cell from before it was a blip on the radar until it
gusted out near the Mississippi River towards dusk.

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

Self-taught, but have had many good influences

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

It is a source of income for me. It has it’s place.

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

Dr. Forbes, Tim S., Ben McMillan, Tony Laubach, Tim Marshall

What do you fear most about a storm?

Destruction of personal property an loss of life

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?

As long as possible.

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