Stephen Locke


Location: Roeland Park, Kansas
Started Chasing: 1989
Tornadoes: I don’t keep track
Web site: http://www.tempestgallery.com, http://cycloneranger.tv

Bio: Stephen Locke is a photographer,film maker, professional storm chaser, book author and public speaker. He produces motion and still photography for business and private collectors worldwide. Clients include Andrews McMeel Publishing, CBS, Mayo Clinic, The Weather Channel and Discovery. Stephen provides supercell time lapse cinematography to production houses worldwide including Japan, Europe, Canada and Australia. He is an author of the book Chasing Weather. Stephen is also a keynote speaker who talks about supercells, storm chase adventures and presents his supercell time-lapse cinematography to corporate audiences, universities and organizations.

Favorite Storm Chasing Photos

Favorite Chase Video

Chaser Q&A

How did you realize your love for weather?

Growing up in Boulder, Colorado I was fascinated with the upslope thunderstorms that would develop almost every day in late spring along the front range.

When did you decide you wanted to storm chase?

When I moved to Kansas I discovered storms were the most interesting thing to photograph in that state.

How long have you been actively chasing?

Since 1989

Do you chase for a reason?

I chase to shoot still images and supercell time-lapse cinematography.

Do you see passion as a good or bad thing?

Passion is good when it is not confused with drama.

Do you prefer to chase alone or with a group?

Alone

Have you ever considered going on a storm chase tour?

Yes, as part of the crew.

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

I don’t have an opinion about it.

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

New-school.

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

Anywhere on the Great Plains

What are your favorite areas to chase? Least favorite?

Favorite, Kansas. Least, Missouri

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

Favorite, Triple point with large warm sector. Least, Cold front.

What is your most memorable chase? Least memorable?

Most, Coleridge, Nebraska 2014_06_17. Least, countless cap busts in Nebraska.

Have you ever feared for your life?

Wakita, OK – May 10, 2010. After that I knew there would be an El Reno event someday.

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

Yes.

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?

I have.

Are you currently doing anything job related to the weather?

I sell stills and film footage. I published a book titled Chasing Weather. I am a professional public speaker who makes keynote presentations on supercell time-lapse cinematography.

Have you ever been to ChaserCon?

Once.

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

Friends when I can find them.

What is your favorite storm chase and why?

Well structured supercells because they are the most photogenic.

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

Too many to count. I’ve dropped them from memory.

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

Yes, I can usually figure it out.

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

Practice. Practice. Practice.

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?

Yes.

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

No opinion.

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

No opinion.

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

No opinion.

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

I’d rather not leave anyone out by pointing to individuals.

Would you considering getting your children into storm chasing?

I have chased with my son.

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

I don’t know.

What do you fear most about a storm?

Lightning.

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

Sculpted.

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

Yes, if it’s storm related.

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

They have a job to do and they are going to do it.

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

No one is entitled.

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?

THE ROAD GOES ON FOREVER AND THE CHASE NEVER ENDS -CYCLONE RANGER

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