Monsoon Special 2012: Arizona storm chasers


by Meteorologist Royal Norman

Bio | Email | Follow: @RoyalNorman

Posted on June 6, 2012 at 6:54 PM

PHOENIX -- Most of the storm chasing in Arizona is done during the summer thunderstorm season.

Two of our favorite storm chasers include veteran chaser Mike Olbinski, who is perhaps one of the best known photographers in the Phoenix storm chasing community, and veteran photographer Bryan Snider, who has turned his photography work to the great storms we have in Arizona.

They’re looking forward to the 2012 Summer Monsoon and are hopeful for an active season. The two actually met through Twitter and it didn't take long until they were sharing stories and developing a friendship.

Olbinski is the guy who got famous overnight when his time lapse video of last summer's great dust storm went viral on the Internet. Besides thousands of YouTube hits, Olbinski has been interviewed for TV stations around the world.

Olbinski says he'll travel up to 3000 miles this summer chasing storms across Arizona.

Snider says he pays attention to what Olbinski and other storm chasers are doing.

Still, he likes to do his own thing. Snider’s idea of a great chase is setting up in an area he thinks a storm will hit and letting the weather come to him.

Both say they took thousands of pictures last summer and expect to do the same this coming monsoon. But they're pretty picky. Only a small fraction of those photos will ever make it past their discerning eyes.

They also remind folks who do want to take pictures of Arizona weather to be safe, and never mess around with lightning because you never know when and where it’s going to strike.

By the way, both Mike Olbinski and Bryan Snider have cool websites featuring their work. 

Here are the links:

Mike Olbinski's time lapse video of the massive dust storm in 2011: