Northern Arizona Bureau News Photographer Nolan tornquist
From the first snowflake to the final meltdown, I have treaded and rolled on snow. When accumulation grew an inch, it meant pack some warmth and prepare to endure the harsh brutally cold conditions.
First and foremost, dig the news truck out of the driveway, load up the gear and shove off thru the slick wind chilled streets of Flagstaff. Together with my favorite storm chaser reporter, Mike Watkiss, we ventured out to find the sights and sounds that would ultimately tell the high country tale of a once upon a dreary storm in a place otherwise known as the world's first, "International Dark Sky City."
An assignment to cover the weather is an assignment to cover the blatantly obvious. Most people already have a pretty good idea what's going on outside their homes or their offices. And I have found, over the years, that telling people what they already know is usually a recipe for a very boring and uninteresting story.
So after nearly four decades of chasing storms, both big and small, I have come to believe that when assigned to cover the blatantly obvious, the reporter must make every effort to make sure that the obvious is, at very least, entertaining.
It also helps to work with a great cameraman like Nolan Tornquist. Nolan and I have teamed up on so many stories over the years that, the truth is, I have forgotten most of them. But I certainly remember these outdoor adventures. Good fun.
Another thing that I learned a long time ago--long before the Weather Channel and so-called "Storm Chasers" of today--that weather is most interesting when people are in it.
I firmly believe, to cover it well, you basically have to throw yourself in the eye of the storm. It's sort of like doing Comedy. You have to be willing to sacrifice your body.
And while being assigned to cover the weather is an assignment to cover the blatantly obvious, I still dig the challenge and love the thrill.