31 January 2012

Chaser Profile: Shane Adams


1) What is your name and where do you live?

Shane Adams, and I live in North Richland Hills, TX

2) Do you have a website or a brand name that people identify you as?

I have a website which has been around since 1999:www.passiontwist.com. I guess you could consider Passion Twist a "brand" by today's standards, because most people who know me associate me with it.

3) What got you interested in weather?

Just growing up where I did, in Oklahoma. As far back as I can remember, there were always storms on a regular basis. I never feared them. I was always intrigued from the beginning. Once I discovered tornadoes, those became my all-consuming passion. Never seeing one my whole life fueled a desire to witness one that was unrelenting.

4) What is your favorite aspect of weather?

Definitely the tornado. In fact, other than tornadoes and supercells, I'm really not that interested in weather.

5) When did you first start chasing?

June 6, 1996 was my first chase, but the only one that year for me. My first full season was 1997.

6) What do you see chasing as... a hobby or a business?

Neither...it's an all-consuming passion.

7) Who do you credit for getting you into chasing and what have they done to further your career?

Myself, LOL. Everyone I knew thought I was crazy because I wanted to see a tornado growing up. Once I started chasing them, they thought I was even crazier. I never had a support group when I started chasing, even into my first few years. Most veterans shunned me, because I was so unlike any of them. I don't think they thought I would last. Over the years, after it became obvious I wasn't going away, many of them finally accepted me.

8) Do you have any chase partners?

My girlfriend, Bridget Geaughan, has been my partner since 2008. I've had several partners over the years: Greg Clark (1996-2000), David Brown (1997-2000), Matt Sellers (1998-2003), Dwain Warner (1998-2001, 2004), Jeff Johncox (1998-1999), Mark McGowan (1999-2000), Chad Lawson (2001-2011), Mickey Ptak (2004-2011). I've chased with several different people, but these people were/are my main partners throughout the years.

9) What is your most successful chase?

Most difficult question in chasing, LOL. I can give you my top five, but even those would change depending on the day. May 29, 2004 (Sumner/Harper co KS tornado machine)...June 12, 2004 (Mulvane, KS tornado)...May 3, 1999...October 24, 2010 (Rice, TX tornado).

10) What is your most terrifying moment?

May 5, 2002 near Lesley, TX. Just after dark, an intense RFD slammed a long line of chasers we were in. I experienced the highest winds I've ever been in, nothing I've experienced even comes close to this night. Our vehicle was pushed across dry pavement like we were on ice, a power pole next to us snapped and flew into us, striking the "a pillar" where the windshield meets the hood, and our back wheels were lifted off the ground briefly. This was the only time in my chasing life that I thought we were going to roll over.

11) About how many tornadoes have you seen?

This is probably the most meaningless stat these days, but by my count I've seen 165 tornadoes.

12) What do you think about people who chase for sales and the need to get up close and personal with Mother Nature?

I don't get it, but to each their own. One thing I will say, is any chaser who makes it a part of their routine to make money, doesn't love chasing. They love chasing and making money from it, all together. I see people say time and again how devoted they are, but when you're always selling video, there's something more there than just the desire to see a storm. But at the end of the day, it doesn't change what I do out there, so other than answering an interview question, I really don't care.

13) Describe your dream chase.

Great tornadoes, great video.

14) What is your favorite set up to chase?

Any classic S Plains triple point setup is great, although I do love those days with rogue supercells riding outflow boundaries.

15) Which state has brought you the most success? Least success?

Being a S Plains born and bred chaser, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas have always been my bread and butter, particularly Oklahoma. My least successful state that I've chased fairly consistently over the years would probably be Nebraska, though one of my top-ten chases occurred there. Although I haven't chased there a whole lot of times (maybe a dozen my entire career), Iowa would probably be my worst state. I've never seen sh*t there.

16) Do you want to pursue a career in meteorology? Would you ever chase locally for a t.v station?

No and been there, done that, never again.

17) What do you see chasing as being like in 5-10 years?

I don't really think about it. I stopped wondering about it once the techno craze took over. What you see today is what it will always be for most, except faster, easier, and more expensive. I got off that train years ago. For me personally, chasing will be in 5-10 years what it's always been: the thing I love to do more than anything.

18) Despite all the deaths and destruction in 2011, are you looking forward to chasing in 2012 knowing you can run into a Tuscaloosa or Joplin?

Of course. I'd love to see a Joplin or Tuscaloosa type tornado...just out in the open. I don't retain guilt from human tragedy regarding tornadoes like so many people seem to. I don't control the weather. Of course, I'd much rather my tornadoes stay in open areas than affect people. But if it's going to happen anyway, I want to be there (from a distance).

19) Is there any point in time where you had no desire to chase anymore? What caused that and what gave you the power to move on.

Yes. The last part of 2006 and into the first few months of 2007. I'd gotten out of a long, grueling relationship, and for the first time in years I was both single and had money. I worked out of town Monday-Thursday, so when I was home on weekends, I wanted to just relax. I suddenly had opportunities to do things I'd never been able to do, like pursue my musical interests. I didn't like the idea of spending my weekend on the road again chasing when I was out of town already four days of the week. Fortunately for me, this burnout period happened during the off season. I missed the March 28, 2007 event because I had to commit to chasing it the Monday before, a full two days in advance. Because my car was on its last legs, and I wasn't wild about the setup at the time, I opted out and just rode down to Dallas with my boss. Well, the event ended up being incredible, I missed everything, and I was furious. My burnout had happened because it WAS the off season; chasing was far away and out of mind. But to miss a marquee event so early in the season infuriated me, and I knew that I'd always be a chaser. I never really stopped, I just thought I was going to.

20) How long do you plan on continuing chasing?

As long as I draw breath.

21) Outside of chasing, what do you like to do?
I'm not one of those people who has to have a different hobby for every season. I chase tornadoes. And when I can't, I talk about chasing tornadoes. I write about chasing tornadoes. I do webshows about the stupid things other chasers do besides chasing tornadoes. Most of what I do revolves around chasing to some degree. I think about chasing, in some way shape or form, constantly. It never goes away. Some people consider me pathetic. I overlook that, because they don't know any better.

South Plains, Texas tornado May 12th, 2005
*Rice, Texas tornado crossing I 45 October 24th, 2010

*Authors note* - This is one of my FAVORITE storm chasing DVDs it is a must have! Please check out his site http://www.passiontwist.com/videos.htm and purchase some of his awesome DVDs. 

What Shane has to say:

Chasing is my life. Although I obviously can't chase year round, it's always the driving force behind everything I do. My life is completely structured around it to the best of my ability, and every decision I make regarding anything else always hinges on how it affects my ability to chase. There's nothing I love more than the freedom of the open road, the wonder and excitement of what could be, and the satisfaction of observing an amazing tornado and capturing it on video. My chasing DVDs are my life's story, told through my video camera. I will chase until the day I die. Many say that, few do. I will be the exception.

1 comment:

  1. I like.your video and photos .keep on doing the good work and be save on the hunt for a tornado .
    Greetings from the Netherlands from Lobke barbara