Colorado - Ryan Kost

Stormy Mammatus

The mountains are calling, and I must go." John Muir's famous adage is ubiquitous on Instagram; however, for me, it was..."the storms on the plains are calling, and I must go." Ever since I was a little kid, when people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say a storm chaser. Clearly, I didn't pursue this professionally, but storms have always excited my very being. I get giddy like the guy on the weather channel who sits outside in hurricanes doing live broadcasts.

On 5-8-17, Colorado weather was shaping up to be buzzing with activity. For the first time, I gathered up the courage and set out solo in my truck for the Palmer Divide (where the hot spot was indicated by radars and other storm chasers). Many will probably call this naive or plain stupid...having no experience chasing storms and just setting off, and you know, I really don't have a counter argument other than I have always felt this deep urge to pursue extreme weather and am confident in myself to make smart and rational decisions in moments of stress. Perhaps another word for it is stubborn. I don't condone it necessarily if you are unsure of yourself and haven't thought it all out and done your homework.
All told, yesterday was amazing! I chased out my childhood dreams, and I was hooked. I think it is in the blood...being born on the plains in Nebraska. Clearly, storms cause devastation, but their true power is remarkable and humbles every single one of us. It is amazing to witness it first-hand. Pictured here are some amazing mammatus clouds near Deer Trail. A few minutes later, I captured a funnel cloud that didn't touch down but was just mesmerizing to see. More photos of it and others on the day to come. I look forward to studying up and getting back out there.

mammatuscoloradolandscape stormplainsstormchasingcloudsweather