If we look across the globe and absorb all of the natural beauty that has been gifted to us, it is no stretch to recognize quickly the flip side of that reality. Sometimes, there is tragic in beauty, or beauty in tragedy—or both.
There is no greater prevalence in this truth than weather.
Spin your globe and stop it with your finger there—wherever it is, that place has probably had a unique experience with weather.
Be it a typhoon or tornado zone or a predictable early evening shower, we build our lives around the weather with which we live. Your snowbanks may be as high as mountains or your ocean beach as warm as bathwater, but we all share the local short-term weather realities as well as the global long-term impacts in each and every one of our lives.
If the weather of our planet were an orchestra, Mother Nature is the maestro.
Chad Cowan is a storm chaser. He is the creator of the time-lapse video featured in this article and experiences the chase, the risk, and the beauty and majesty of weather in real time, and sometimes the unfortunate outcomes of a destructive weather event.
Cowan is awed by the ironic juxtaposition of the tragedies a storm can cause, even when set against the backdrop of some of the most beautiful colors, motion, and sounds that fill both sky and earth with an exclusive seat to the scenery provided.
“There is something about a thunderstorm that makes me feel alive.
I don’t know if it’s the fear, awe, humility or some combination thereof,” Cowan explained. “What I do know is that I love experiencing them. I love predicting them. I love the anticipation of watching them approach, and the uncertainty of their intentions.”
Cowan grew up loving when his little-league games got rained out because he preferred that action of an approaching storm to a baseball game.
While some kids dreamed of hitting a grand slam, Chad dreamt and hoped for a storm!
When a storm did approach, he was the kid running from window to television and back, trying to take it all in while keeping an eye on the radar on The Weather Channel. This enthusiasm was not shared by his siblings, he added.
At age twelve, the sirens sounded warning of an approaching tornado and Cowan was glued to the window rather than the basement. His parents literally had to drag him away for his own safety.
Chad loaded up his SUV and headed west on I-70, and found himself in the middle of the biggest tornado outbreak of that year.
Chad Cowan with “Paddy,” his storm-chasing companion. It seems appropriate that Chad and Paddy met at his grandfather’s farm on St. Patrick’s day. And of course, he named her Paddy!
And due to our actively pursuing them, storm chasers are often the closest people around once tornadoes impact towns and are able to render aid quicker than others when the victims are at their most desperate and in need of help.”
After ten years, countless tornadoes, and tens of thousands of miles logged, Chad Cowan still has equal passion for storm chasing as he did when he was a child. “Every chase is unlike any other, and the atmosphere still finds ways to surprise and humble me,” said Cowan.
Source Credit: FRACTAL – 4k StormLapse by Chad Cowan on Vimeo. All video footage and photos provided and given permission for publication directly from Chad Cowan – storm chaser / photographer / timelapser / economist email: ChadLCowan@gmail.com vimeo.com/219046468