The disappointment is heavy.
“You missed a tornado because you did something wrong or you picked the wrong storm,” Mike Olbinski laments. It’s one of the most difficult aspects of being a storm chaser. “The fear of missing out – the ‘FOMO’,” he tells CNN. “All storm chasers feel it and deal with it. It can be very depressing.”
For more than a decade, Olbinski has spent his time chasing and filming storms – from the most dramatic lightning strikes to powerful super cells – across the United States. He later edits his time lapse footage into short films, including “Monsoon,” “Pursuit” and “Shadows in the Sky.”
When everything goes right, storm chasing can be exhilarating. “(I’m on) cloud nine. It’s euphoric… akin to an addiction … I can’t help it,” he says. “Storm chasing can be just these ups and downs.”
Olbinski says he picked up his passion for storms at a young age growing up in Arizona, “probably watching big thunderstorms with my dad sitting on the patio.” It wasn’t until he reached his 30s, more than a decade ago, that he ended up using photography as an avenue to capture storms. “Being in front of these storms is an awe inspiring moment,” says Olbinski. “Just the winds and colors, they’re so powerful and you feel really kind of insignificant.”
For the Emmy-award winning videographer, his work is about capturing the most evocative, cinematic shots. The journey is a personal one that he wants to share with the world: “I think the story I try to tell is how amazing the weather is and maybe how much I love it.”
Watch the video above for the full story
Anagha Subhash Nair contributed to this report.