The 2019 Monsoon Storm Chase | The Cloud-To-Ground Lightning Heats Up Edition | Part III

Chasing with friends always makes chase days better. As Titan Eugene Thieszen arrived in the southwest for his shot at some monsoon chasing, it was my hope that the atmosphere would cooperate and provide us with some beautiful scenes. Thankfully, it did just that with Gene in the area!

This summer was a giant learning experience and these days are no different. It was cool seeing so much electricity but getting close lightning bolts with storms without getting a ton of rain on the lens is something I want to work on in 2020. Another area to improve on is shooting more video, especially stabilized video attached to the car around storms. There were several moments we missed out on some incredible content (August 6 at El Morro there were several big strikes of lightning we couldn’t get).

Thus, Part III is all about the successes but also we look back on this part as a good time learning how to chase a new pattern with friends. Hope you enjoy!

Two views of a tornado warned supercell and what we can learn from them | A storm anatomy guide

Sometimes in storm chasing, you want to be a little closer. And sometimes you find yourself just slightly out of position due to roads or some other unfortunate factor.

In any case, knowing how a supercell looks from every side will aid you in diagnosing storm features and what your next move is. In this storm anatomy guide, we take a look at two different views. One from the back, one from the front and we diagnose some features and talk a bit about escape routes.

Be sure to check out more of our storm anatomy guides, you can find the full selection on our website here:

How I use a histogram to expose my images | Photography tip for better images

No matter if you are just starting out or if you are a long-time veteran of taking photos — you are probably glued to the meter that’s typically at the bottom-center of your camera’s display screen. Hey, this thing was pretty good to get some aspects of exposure right, but its not the best tool you have in your camera (most likely).

What I use is a histogram, which most cameras have built in but not enabled by default. A histogram has specific strengths over your meter. First, there’s no guesswork as to where the data in your image is. You know whether your image has any blown out or total black portions. Second, a histogram will allow you to control your image better in camera. It seems funny to say, but having your image’s data look the same in the camera and in the editing booth is a great way to be.

For post-processing your images, having all of your data workable and also having your exposure just right will mean your images only turn out better.

Storm Chase Case | Needmore, Texas Tornado Warned Supercell | May 4, 2019

Here’s a new experiment for our channel and I hope we can continue to evolve and develop this content type. Today, we’re doing a start-to-finish storm chase case with some thoughts on forecasting, strategy, and storm anatomy throughout. The hope is these become an all-encompassing source of learning as we move forward.

So with this case, we’re taking a look at one of Sanner’s only supercell storm days of 2019 but also a good marginal looking supercell day that garnered a slight risk of severe storms and marginal risk of tornadoes from the SPC. Days like this, where there’s just enough for supercells, are incredibly fun to chase when they work out because typically the storms are more isolated in nature and they can tend to be beautiful and slow moving.

The target today is either the mountains of SC New Mexico or a developing confluence line in eastern New Mexico.

A few key takeways you should take from this chase case are:

1-Never sleep on supercell days. Even when they seem otherwise marginal, if you are a fan of storm structure and photos of storm structure, these marginal supercell days can really be great. This is especially true as you get into May and June and onto the High Plains.

2-Another is that wall clouds don’t mean tornadoes are imminent, especially when they aren’t persistent and rotating. Lowerings under supercells are common, but its the persistence and rotation that set the tornadic ones apart (but even those aren’t guarantees!).

3-The last one is to always keep your options option with targeting as much as possible. This is an interesting topic and we’ve touched on it in our Storm Chase Forecasting series (, but hedging to keep as much of a target region open as long as possible is a really smart move unless the target is super obvious.

Hey did you like this? Should we do more? Let us know in the comments and of course, be sure to subscribe!

The 2019 Monsoon Storm Chase | In Search of Thunderstorm Electrical Discharges | Part II

The first few weeks of the 2019 monsoon were just a primer for the heart of the season. As my first season of living in the Southwest US continued, I was taking a lot of hard lessons to heart. It seemed that as I learned, the misses on epic lightning continued to mount.

When it comes to monsoon thunderstorms, there are some key differences in chasing them versus storms on the plains. First, they don’t last nearly as long. Targeting where a storm is results in getting blasted by outflow as the storm dies. At that point you typically have to turn around and go back where you came from to wait on storms. Chasing east of storms works sometimes, other times…not so much.

And most of all, when it comes to capturing lightning its all about the instability. In part II of the 2019 monsoon storm chase, we continue to learn lessons in seeking out lightning from thunderstorms of the monsoon in New Mexico.

10 Years of Capturing Incredible | Storm Chasing Highlights | Tornadoes, Supercells, and More!

Back in August of 2009, Sanner and Goforth decided Tornado Titans was a thing. 10 years later, we’re still around!

This is a selection of highlights from all our chasers from the past 10 years of chasing. These shots include some of our favorite tornado and supercell chases from the past decade. Most of us were chasing well before the foundation of TT, but it felt like cheating to include stuff pre-TT.

It has been a wild ride. We’ve grown on social media, had a few versions of the website and even a couple of versions of a YouTube channel (HEY WELCOME TO THE NEWEST ONE) — but the one constant has been the pursuit of capturing incredible skies.

Hope you enjoy and remember, spring is coming…

Shots from:

-Brandon Goforth
-Brett Wright
-Raychel Sanner
-Brandon Sullivan
-Eugene Thieszen
-Jason Castor
-Josh Ward