BOBBY MAGILL

Journalist • Photographer

Bobby Magill is a senior science writer for Climate Central in New York and a journalist who has covered fracking and the environment in Colorado and New Mexico since 2001. 

Awakening the latent storm chaser

One of the advantages of living in Fort Collins is that it's a fantastic base for storm chasing. Tornadoes and extremely severe weather rarely affect Fort Collins because we're on the edge of the foothills, but the storms explode just to our east. Weld County, the border of which is only about five or six miles east of town, is one of the top spots in the country for tornado formation.

We've had crappy weather all day today, but just such a storm blew up over the Larimer-Weld county line, just east of Fort Collins around 3 p.m., producing two separate twisters. They were spotted near Nunn and Carr between Hwy. 14 and the Wyoming border. So, when the National Weather Service issued tornado warnings, it was time for some dramatic cloud photography, and I found a decent spot about 10 miles east of Fort Collins.

I love pictures of big, black, towering cumulonimbus. These images aren't the best I'll get all summer, but nearly every afternoon will bring plenty of opportunity to capture Weld County getting hammered by thunderstorms.

Of course storm chasing starts with big, dramatic clouds. Then it'll be lightning, and then I'll be chasing tornadoes...