My earliest memory of a storm was watching lightning in the backyard with my dad when I was a kid. A bolt hit so close that I remember being blinded by it. Perhaps that’s why, when I became interested in photography in my mid-30’s, I focused on these electric events.
Soon I was chasing supercells and tornadoes on the central plains. It’s exhilarating. I’m based in Phoenix, and for three months last spring I drove to and from the plains, chasing for 18 total days and putting over 25,000 miles on my Toyota 4Runner.
You almost need to be an addict to get the shots I get. You’ll drive all night to Colorado, never sleep, chase all afternoon, get incredible images, then drive to Texas the next day, maybe get a few more hours of sleep, and then chase again that afternoon. Then repeat—maybe in Kansas.
The following are my favorite shots from the six years on the road.
Photo: A post-apocalyptic-looking supercell spins over the dusty farmlands of the Texas Panhandle.All images by Mike Olbinski.