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Verne Carlson

Location: Golden, CO
Started Chasing: 1987
Tornadoes: over 200
Web site:

Bio: Verne Carlson has always had a passion for weather and has been a storm chaser since the mid 90s. Verne travels thousands of miles each spring from Texas to Canada to document severe weather. Verne’s severe weather footage has been features on all the major networks ABC, CBS, NBC as well as CNN and The Weather Channel. Verne was severe weather trained by the late great Tim Samaras in 1996 and was part of his TWISTEX research team in 2007. Verne is a software engineer by trade and an avid flyer of RC drones for severe storm research and damage surveys.

Favorite Storm Chasing Photos

Favorite Chase Video

Chaser Q&A

How did you realize your love for weather?

Kite flying as a kid.

When did you decide you wanted to storm chase?

1987 when I had a tornado pass over my house in Littleton, CO

How long have you been actively chasing?

Coming up on 30 years

Do you chase for a reason?

Love of weather.

Do you see passion as a good or bad thing?

Good thing.

Do you prefer to chase alone or with a group?

Alone mostly.

Have you ever considered going on a storm chase tour?


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

Getting too crowded.

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?

West of I-35.

What are your favorite areas to chase? Least favorite?

Favorite Western Kansas. Least favorite Arkansas.

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

Favorite is dryline. Least favorite warmfront.

What is your most memorable chase? Least memorable?

Most memorable is May 24, 2011 Canton, OK. Least is Campo, CO since I stayed home.

Have you ever feared for your life?

Yes, when an erratic rope-out was heading my way near Hays, KS.

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

I am now since May 31, 2013.

Do you have any superstitions?


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?


Are you currently doing anything job related to the weather?

I am the creator of a number of mobile apps for chasing.

Have you ever been to ChaserCon?

Every year since 2003.

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

Prefer to sit alone.

What is your favorite storm chase and why?

May 28, 2013 Bennington, KS. We had perfect position on this slow moving wedge tornado.

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

Campo, CO. I had gotten a $700 ticket the week before and vowed not to go through that town anymore.

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

Usually after the fact you know.

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

Self taught, seminars and online classes. Meteorology classes in college.

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

Not usually.

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


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

I don’t like all the auto wrap, lightbars and silly team names.

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


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

I sell video to them.

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

Randy Denzer and David Douglas.

Would you considering getting your children into storm chasing?

Yes, and my two sons have become chasers.

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

Encouraged them to do it.

What do you fear most about a storm?

Being overrun by a rainwrapped wedge.

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

Classic to LP storms.

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


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

I try to avoid them by talking side roads.

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

Locals yes, LEO no.

Do you have a job that supports storm chasing?


Do you have a family that supports storm chasing?


How long do you plan on chasing?


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