Friday, June 13, 2008


Hello everyone,

Sorry I have been remiss this spring on updating my blog here. It has been a wild beyond belief spring! We have intercepted 31 tornadoes thus far, including 2 wedge torndoes on May 23nd near Quinter, Kansas; more tornadoes May 25, 26 and culminating with 9 on May 29th which included a large multivortex tornado that damaged Kearney, Nebraska and a mile wide wedge tornado that damaged Jewell, Kansas. June has seen plenty of chasing, but not many good quality visible tornadoes. For instance here is a complete write up of this past two days:

June 12. Started in Chamberlain, SD, blasted south and spent the afternoon near Council Bluffs, Iowa. First DECENT cell went up and moved across the river near Onawa, IA. We had a large rotating wall cloud (which if you watched our streaming video you would have seen), but it couldn't focus enough to tube. Then the fun begins. Many storms, seeding each other and becoming very messy, developed along the boundary. We drifted north to just southeast of Sioux City as a large RAPIDLY rotating wall cloud formed, producing MANY MANY funnels in a merry-go-round fashion and moved northeast. We stayed with it, TOR warned of course, until it went into the hills. Then attention turned to the storm 5-10 miles to our south, the Little Sioux storm. We headed into Blencoe, IA dodging intense CGs, high winds and wrapping rain curtains and made our way east towards Moorhead. The tornado passed about 2-3 miles from us! We continued to intercept storm after TOR warned storm, in a very messy line until we got tired and blew it all off to head to St Joe, MO, where we were greeted with the remains of the Manhattan, KS storm. Crazy day, intense, but pretty frustrating.

June 13: Left St Joe headed to Wichita to play the southern end of the boundary. Drifted north to where the dryline and boundary intersected and was THE hot spot for initiation. Hoping for nonsupercell tornadoes. We followed storms as they would develop there and move northeast intensifying. First such storm went racing off towards Topeka. We couldn't catch it nor did we really want to. The next one developed and QUICKLY became supercellular as it approached Strong City, KS. It developed a nice hook, large wall cloud and was spinning like a top. You could see the blob fall out the back of the supercell as rotation increased tremendously. A couple of brief funnels would form, spin and disippate in a shot time. We then stair stepped back southwest towards the next storm. As we approached the updraft a HUGE round low level mesocyclone came into view with one of the WILDEST merry-go-rounds I have ever seen! We couldn't see the ground under it, but there was a reported multivortex tornado with it. We had to blast to Cottonwood Falls and head south to get out of the core. As we did, the now HP storm approached. A tail cloud was being drawn in from the east as the rear flank core surged towards us. MAJOR LEAGUE rotation was occuring as we stopped about 5 miles south of Cottonwood Falls. All of a sudden VERY fast rotating rain curtains approached from the west as chunks of debris fell from them. TORNADO! rain wrapped. We BLASTED south out of its way and let it go, now targeting the southern storm. As we approached Wichita on the turnpike, CG activity became extreme. When we punched through the core, the storm became tornado warned and FOR GOOD REASON!!!!! A LARGE circular mothership base came into view as rain curtains wrapped from west to east across the turnpike. We were greeted with golfball sized hail as the vault passed overhead. We headed to Mulvane and blew east to get in front of the monsterous mothership, stack of plates supercell. The view was PHENOMENAL!!!!!! Circular base, FF updrafts, clear slot, and one of my clients said "Roger, there's a funnel". I couldn't see it and kept taking pictures. Well, there WAS a funnel, right where you would expect, and my pictures show a slender grey TORNADO under the wall cloud!!!! Too bad it was so close to dark to be able to see it clearer. We stayed with this storm till dark and then blasted west to chase an undercut supercell that was also amazingly electrified. Never have I had a tour that has had SO MANY close CG strikes!! Several times, a CG would occur within a few hundred yards of us as we watched the ground GLOW ORANGE where it would hit. It also did that in the trees a couple times!!! Crazy stuff! All in all a wild day, fun day and a great end to the tour.

Roger Hill

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A new chase season!

Hello everyone!

Well, the 2008 storm chasing season is well underway. Been a strange one, but I have managed to catch at least one tornado on each of my first three tours thus far. A beautiful supercell with a nice tapered cone tornado graced the landscape on April 23rd near Patricia, Texas. The structure of the supercell was as classic as it gets. The storm also produced baseball sized hail that shattered my windshield. No big loss there as the windshield was in need of replacement. Later that tour we encountered significant supercells and large hail on 4 of the next 5 days.

During Tour 2, the May 2nd Arkansas tornado outbreak occured. We were very fortunate to catch 4 tornadoes from the system, including two long lived and strong tornadoes, one in Arkansas near the town of Gilmore, and the other in Mississippi, near the town of New Albany. Unfortunately, significant damage and a few fatalites occured with these tornadoes that day. Which just reemphazises the need to follow tornado safety rules and to listen to the warning instructions from the National Weather Service. Also on this tour we would capture a magnificant rotating supercell producing softball sized hail near Roswell, New Mexico. This storm looked like a "mothership", pardon the pun.

Now we are into the Great Plains Lecture tour, a tour where I teach folks how to forecast and chase on their own. On day 2, May 10th we caught a tornado in the mountains of southeast Oklahoma. Very tought chase and very, very close tornado!

You can see all the 2008 chase accounts, videos, and photos by going to my website at

I will be in southwest Nebraska Monday, and back into Oklahoma on Tuesday, then Texas on Wednesday for several days of severe storms!

Roger Hill

Friday, November 2, 2007

Update! New TV Shows!

Hi everyone!

Well, as would be expected, the 2007 storm chasing season is over. We had a successful season with 48 tornadoes witnessed, with several days producing multiple tornadoes. Now the fun stuff!

We have a NEW tv show on The Travel Channel, called TORNADO ALLEY. It premiered Oct 14, was on again Oct 30 and will be on several more times. This is the first in a 4-6 part series that should take place over the next year. Check it out! It was a lot of fun making it!

Also, my new book, HUNTING WIND, is in the making and will hit the shelves in the fall of 2008. It is 15 chapters of action packed storm chasing adventures, and has a companion DVD with footage from many chases and an educational look at severe storms.

Finally, I STILL have one more hurricane/typhoon/cyclone to intercept for a world wide production company. It looks like now we will be forced to travel "down under" to the northern coastline of Australia! Their hurricane (cyclone) season runs Nov 1 through Apr 30. Their forecast this season is for 5 cyclones to develop with two being significant storms. We'll be there chasing the kangaroos around in the 150 mph winds should one impact the coast!

Roger Hill

Friday, October 12, 2007

International Typhoon Chasing and Weekend Severe Weather

I experienced a first for me from October 5-8. I actually flew to Taiwan to intercept Super Typhoon Krosa as she made landfall on the eastern side of Taiwan. Logistics were certainly a challeng with no internet, no phone and tough roads to travel on. However, I was successful, as my friend Stuart Robinson from the UK joined me. We experienced winds over 120 MPH destroying crops, trees, small structures, structures on the sea and even watched as water was flowing UPHILL as winds blew up the coastal mountains. It was a grueling journey with a 21 hour flight each direction and major issues with jet lag (Taiwan is 14 hours ahead of us). Would I do it again? YOU BETCHA!

Oct 13-14 Severe Weather Potential!!! I will be storm chasing this weekend! The set up looks pretty good as a deep low develops in western Kansas, pulling moist air up from the gulf. Extremely good wind shear and modest instability will set the stage for supercell thunderstorms, most likely on Sun, in Kansas and possibly southern Nebraska. Saturday could be a sleeper day in northwest Kansas as a triple point sets up providing the potential for severe storms and tornadoes there is the cap can break! Stay tuned! I'll update as this situation develops!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Typhoon Krosa Projected Path

Hey son!

Well, North One wants to give it a go! However, we are trying to figure out where to chase her at :) The official path looks to be around Hirara, Japan, a small island east of Taiwan. However, any north turn and we miss it as it would go towards Okinawa. If you could check and see what you locals are thinking, that would be VERY appreciated! I would have to fly out tomorrow EARLY AM and not arrive in Taipei till 8 PM Thurs, then would have to jump a plane QUICKLY on Fri morning to Hirara.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Upcoming Hurricanes!!!!

With the hurricane season in full swing, I keep my eye on the tropics. I am under a contract with a worldwide media company to take them into the eye of two landfalling hurricanes anywhere in the world this fall! Tropical Depression 8, east of the Lessor Antillies, will most likely intensify into a significant hurricane over the coming next week to 10 days. I will be heading out with the film crew should this continue to become a reality. Whether it makes landfall in Puerto Rico, Jamaica or the US, I will be there.

Hurricane chasing is quite different than tornado chasing, as you put yourself INTO the path of the eye and eye wall. It is quite an experience getting pummeled with 125-200 MPH winds for hours at a time. You can literally watch the world coming apart. The sounds in a major hurricane are quite interesting with the constant roar of the winds, sounds of trees cracking and falling, glass breaking and metal getting ripped to pieces.

Keep tuned into KMGH for my upcoming adventures should this hurricane become a large one!

Roger Hill

Update, Sept 12

Things got pretty wild for me last week, on September 6th. I chased in south central Nebraska and intercepted 3 supercell storms. The first one had a nice wall cloud, but became outflow dominant quickly.

The second storm was quite explosive. It developed respectable mid level rotation, and also had a rather large, but elongated wall cloud. It did produce ping pong ball sized hail near Wilcox, Nebraska.

The third cell was the storm of the day. I was a tornado warned classic supercell with a 40 mile long inflow band, massive, rotating wall cloud and a cone funnel that extended halfway to the ground. This storm, structure wise, was probably the prettiest all year long! The electrification was second to none with constant intercloud and cloud to ground lightning strikes every half to one second! It also produced baseball sized hail northwest of Franklin, Nebraska.

Quite a fun chase!

Roger Hill