A new episode of the documentary series entitled “Wild Canadian Weather - WIND” features The Prairie Storm Chasers has been released. To the delight of many people in town, Cochrane's own Braydon Morisseau gets the spotlight in the episode.
“We are a group of storm chasers that we forecast these weather events during the summertime. We take those forecasts and decide whether or not we're gonna go chase these systems or not and we're looking for the environments conducive of tornadoes.”
“We are looking for those supercell thunderstorms or storms that contain that deep rotating updraft that they need to produce tornadoes, and then from there we target where we think storms are going to form, get on them and we get that information to Environment Canada.”
Around 70 percent of the warnings for summer storms and tornadoes that the public receives from Environment Canada, comes from the information that The Prairie Storm Chasers provides.
Morisseau says that his storm chasing dreams began back in elementary school. “I really fell in love with the weather when I was going to school here at Holy Spirit and graduated from St. Timothy. It’s one of the big things that they got to help me learn with, was through weather and it grew to this obsession with storms and from there we created The Prairie Storm Chasers.”
He explains what goes into finding storms. “We look at a bunch of raw forecast models online, and we use that to, kind of, get an idea of what the system is that's coming in. We start looking about a week out at what could be coming in and as we get closer, about three to five days, we have a better idea.”
“On the chase day itself, or the night before, even if we need to drive to like Manitoba or getting into Oklahoma or something like that. We'll start to prep our gear, get ready for that drive to where we need to be.”
While many people run from tornadoes, Morisseau drives directly into them. “I don't find it scary. The perfect idea for it would be is that people are afraid of what they don't understand. Having that understanding about the different fundamentals that go into that tornado formation and those visual cues that lead up to it. By knowing what those are. I feel like it's not something to be scared of.”
“You definitely get the chills up the spine and you're ready to go.”
“Wild Canadian Weather - WIND” is available online here. It features Braydon and The Prairie Storm Chasers as they tackle some extreme weather that includes summer storms and tornadoes.