Stormdoctor
 

Jason Persoff

    About Me and About My Adventures...hover here...
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    To read about the events of May 22, 2011 (Joplin), please go to my blog at: http://stormdoctor.blogspot.com.
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    And as a reminder, I offer a year round service to all chasers that is FREE of charge:
    Strorm Chaser Medical Hotline and Acute Care Service, Available 24/7/365.

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    I have been chasing severe weather since 1990 when I lived in Denver, Colorado. My wife and I moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1997 so that I could work for Mayo Clinic but then moved back to Colorado in 2012 to be closer to family and to work for the University of Colorado. I chase annually the last two weeks of May, statistically trying to fit a limited time off due to a demanding schedule when I hope to catch severe weather on the Great Plains. I go wherever the storms will form--my travels frequently exceed 4000 miles during those two weeks. I marvel at the amazing landscapes and differences in geography that span Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Texas. My favorite areas to chase are the Texas Panhandle,Eastern Nebraska, and Kansas which both provide highly differing but spectacular views. I am an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado in the subspecialty of Hospital Medicine (I only take care of inpatients). The top four questions I get are:


    a) How close do you get to the storms? I get as close as I feel safely that I can. Having chased for almost two decades, I have developed a good feel for the breadth and scope of severe weather. Education and trial-by-fire have taught me what's safe and what's not. Storm chasing is NOT for those without weather knowledge. A good starting place is: http://stormtrack.org/ for those interested. But more to the point, I have been within a quarter mile of a large tornado on several occasions, but mostly enjoy being at enough distance to capture the enormity of the storms.


    b) Does your wife come with you? She used to, but stopped when she realized that 95% of chasing is driving; the other 5% are high-stress. She enjoys watching my tapes and loves my photos. She is the most amazingly supportive person I have ever met. And I love her tremendously. Her encouragement means more than she could ever know.


    c) What's the most powerful tornado you've ever seen? I witnessed an EF5 in Joplin, MO, on 5/22/2011, and two EF4s (one in Quinter, Kansas in 2008 and Chickashaw, OK in 2011). The latter tornadoes are included in this photo collection.


    d) Do you go to the MidWest and chase storms by yourself or with others? The storm chasing community is fairly tight-knit and we all are familiar with one another. When I go chasing I am often "by myself" in my vehicle. However, it is exceptionally common for me to run into other chasers on the same storms I am chasing, and frequently I also run into others at motels or restaurants. Sometimes we will all team up; other times we won't. There is a good rapport between most chasers (with a few exceptions), so to me, I am never really alone. I usually chase with a couple of friends who also happen to be physicians, Dr. William Hark http://www.harkphoto.com/) and Dr. Robert Balogh. Bill has some exceptional accounts on his homepage and his links collection is the most extensive available.


    Please email me with any questions at all. Please help support my photography by purchasing any photos you find call to you. I would also love to hear your thoughts about the scenes you see. Emotional reactions/thoughts are always welcome because I enjoy sharing these moments with others.


    Thanks!


    Jason


    Jason@Stormdoctor.Com

    Photos