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Close Encounters with Tornadoes: The Thrills and Risks of Storm Chasing in the Prairies

Storm chasing can be an exhilarating and awe-inspiring experience, but it's not for the faint of heart. It takes a certain level of skill, knowledge, and bravery to get up close and personal with tornadoes in the prairies. Here's what it's like to storm chase and be close to a tornado in the prairies.

tornado in Saskatchewan
Photo credit: Live Storm Chasers/Facebook.

A powerful thunderstorm unleashes its fury over the Saskatchewan prairie, with lightning bolts illuminating the darkened sky and heavy rain pelting the parched earth below.
Fury Unleashed

The first thing to keep in mind is that storm chasing is not a solo venture. It's important to be part of a team of experienced storm chasers who know what they're doing and can help keep you safe. This team should include a meteorologist, a driver, and a spotter, all of whom work together to track storms and avoid danger.

"Roiling Clouds": A wall of ominous, black clouds hangs low over the Saskatchewan landscape, their churning depths hinting at the violent storm that lies within.
"Roiling Clouds": A wall of ominous, black clouds hangs low over the Saskatchewan landscape

Once you're out on the prairies, you'll spend a lot of time driving around in search of the perfect storm. Storm chasing requires patience, as you may need to wait hours for the right conditions to develop. However, once you spot a storm, the adrenaline starts pumping.

As you get closer to the storm, you'll start to see the signs that a tornado may be forming. The sky may turn green, the wind may pick up, and the clouds may begin to rotate. You'll need to keep a close eye on the storm and communicate with your team to determine the safest course of action.

"Stormy Horizon": The expansive Saskatchewan prairie is dominated by a menacing storm front, as dark clouds loom on the horizon and the sun sets in a fiery blaze of red and orange.
"Stormy Horizon": The expansive Saskatchewan prairie is dominated by a menacing storm front

If the storm starts to produce a tornado, you'll need to act quickly. Your team will need to find a safe place to park and set up equipment to document the tornado. You may need to get out of the car and take shelter in a ditch or other safe location.

"Calm Before the Deluge": The quiet stillness of the Saskatchewan prairies belies the coming storm, as a foreboding wall of clouds gathers on the horizon.
"Calm Before the Deluge": The quiet stillness of the Saskatchewan prairies

Being close to a tornado is an intense experience. The wind is incredibly strong, and the noise is deafening. The tornado may throw debris and dirt into the air, making it difficult to see and breathe. However, with the right equipment and precautions, storm chasing can be a thrilling and rewarding experience.


It's important to remember that storm chasing is not without risk. Tornadoes are extremely dangerous, and even experienced storm chasers can find themselves in harm's way. It's essential to have a solid understanding of meteorology and storm behavior, as well as access to the latest technology and safety equipment.


In conclusion, storm chasing and being close to a tornado in the prairies is an intense and exciting experience. It requires patience, skill, and bravery, as well as a strong team and the right equipment. However, it's important to remember that safety should always be the top priority. If you're considering storm chasing, make sure to do your research and learn from experienced storm chasers before hitting the road.

"Resilient Barn": Against the backdrop of a raging storm, an old barn in Saskatchewan stands tall and proud, weathering the elements with resilience and fortitude.
"Resilient Barn": Against the backdrop of a raging storm, an old barn in Saskatchewan stands tall


"Lightning Symphony": The Saskatchewan prairies light up with a stunning display of lightning, as bright bolts of electricity dance across the sky and illuminate the surrounding countryside.
"Lightning Symphony": The Saskatchewan prairies light up with a stunning display of lightning


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