Storm Analysis 101 Educational Video


I think anyone that deals with storms at some point or another can benefit from some expanded knowledge about them. If I stopped chasing for some reason, I would still be extremely grateful for the knowledge gained over the years(since the 90s). It's just really useful to know something about storms when you cross paths with them.


There are 15 videos in all. The first 3 cover a lot of the basic storm structure and environment talk. Consider that there is an hour and a half of content right there on those subjects. That's a video on its own. But then there's another 2 hours of setup discussions and 3 hours of storm observations. There's a ton of content. I put all I could think of on here.

The videos are in 1080p high definition.

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1-Intro Basics - 22 Minutes

It starts with some basic need to know stuff. What height each millibar level is roughly, surface plot stuff, zulu time, etc. Just look at the indicated run times of each section to get an idea how much of each is gone over. 22 minutes of basics here, so actually a good bit covered. Essentially some primer stuff for the next sections.

2-Intro Forecasting - 39 Minutes

For some the idea of forecasting might sound daunting. It doesn't have to be. I tried to make what I know easy to understand on here. If you want to understand what storms are doing and why, you have to get some of the forecasting side of things. It's not bad though. This goes over quite a bit in 40 minutes. There is a whole lot more of it in each chase setup section for those days. Wind shear, moisture depth, capping, instability, soundings, satellite, radar, surface plots, upper air. Really just wind, moisture and instability when it comes down to it. And well fronts and their orientation to the flow aloft. Ok there is plenty to pin down, but again it isn't that bad and it will really open your eyes to why storms are doing or not doing various things.

3-Intro Structures - 29 Minutes

A half hour goes over some storm structure talk using still photos. More primer for the rest of the video. There is a wealth of information to learn in these initial 3 sections.

4-Dupree SD Tornadic Machine - Setup - 25 Minutes

An interesting setup with fairly weak mid-level flow but a storm turned deviant on a boundary. Basically had this storm to myself as most others were chasing the more outlooked area to the west into Wyoming. This was an ideal setup for a slow moving tornado machine and that is what happened.

5-Dupree SD Tornadic Machine - Chase - 46 Minutes

The stationary tornadic machine near Dupree SD. Crazy tornado video(just like Bowdle), as the storm produces an amazing long-lived large tornado, then several others, some at the same time. The main tornado is truly mesmerizing with its motion and shape changing, all while basically sitting in one spot. Some counted 22 tornadoes from this storm, but seemed more like 11 or 12 to me.

6-Bowdle SD Tornadic Supercell - Setup - 18 Minutes

Talk about a violent setup! Big instability, strong cap, big shear and deviant on a boundary. The question was, would a storm even form with the cap and if one did, could you get it to turn on the boundary and not just cross it right away.

7-Bowdle SD Tornadic Supercell - Chase - 44 Minutes

The most intense tornadic supercell I've seen to date, with some close range footage included. As it fully plants and goes violent, it's only about a block away. A highly wound up violent tornadic supercell. This storm and tornado are crazy. There's 44 minutes of it alone, over an hour if you include its setup part.

8-Bradshaw NE Tornado - Setup - 23 Minutes

I usually don't have much luck with these wound up stacked upper level lows, especially the more compact ones. Often messy and often the good turning shear is in a rather small area that is also full of storms.

9-Bradshaw NE Tornado - Chase - 17 minutes

Close intercept of the Bradshaw NE tornado. Best part may have just been the view straight up at the vortex overhead, while the ground circulation crossed the highway a bit east. Tornado outbreak day with really only two specific areas in the setup working out. It was important to find the area with the mid-level flow crossing the boundary.

10-Ewing NE Tornado - Setup - 18 Minutes

Summer setup with weaker mid-level flow aloft that works out. You get too close to 180 degrees of turning from the surface on up and storms act more pulsy as they ingest their own rain-cooled air. This one almost didn't work, but finally got it done with a close big tornado.

11-Ewing NE Tornado - Chase - 32 Minutes

Windshield cracking hail followed by the close tornado near Ewing NE. Interesting setup and situation. You had two entities for storms so close to one another, their circulations tending to mess up the other. One finally gets it done and produces a pretty big tornado. There's also some really powerful rear flank downdraft views, plus an unseen funnel moves straight overhead. A good amount can be learned from just this chase.

12-Valentine NE Violent Supercell - Setup - 22 Minutes

These weaker northwest or west flow aloft summer setups are some of my favorites to chase. Sometimes you get a slow moving wonder of a supercell to watch. Usually you don't, but when you do, it can be completely amazing, like this one was.

13-Valentine NE Violent Supercell - Chase - 32 Minutes

Likely the most messed up storm I've seen to date. Jaw dropping structure, barely west of the highway the whole time. Up close and personal view of just what can happen in the sky with a crazy storm. It felt like one was on the wrong planet.

14-Watertown SD Severe Bow Echo - Setup - 21 Minutes

I had to include a linear setup and chase to learn from. This is that. Looked like a day with potential but high bases and outflow quickly killed supercell odds. Instead, a crazy fast moving line happened, which was good enough to make the trip very worthwhile without getting any supercells.

15-Watertown SD Severe Bow Echo - Chase - 17 Minutes

It was simply insane how fast this thing started to race down this highway. The front of the shelf was moving 60mph down the road. You gain some distance and pull over and it is approaching you like a car driving down the highway. Just zero time to stop and shoot most of the time.

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