My name is Alan Switzer
(here is my professional picture). I am a CPA
in Oklahoma City, OK. I have been practicing accounting for 20 years.
Unfortunately, I don't have much time before April 15th to chase
storms so I have to hope the good ones all wait until after then. I
am a loyal Oklahoma
Sooner fan (I was a fan before
they won the National Championship again). I believe in and have
faith in God to carry me through the storms of life.
I have been chasing for about 8 years now, but was fortunate to catch two of the biggest tornado events in 1998 and 1999 in Oklahoma. A life long goal was to photograph a tornado. I photographed and videod my first tornado in Watonga, OK on October 4th, 1998. On May 3rd, the F-5 tornado that hit OKC also hit my house and destroyed it while I watched from about 1 1/2 miles away. On April 15th, 2003 of all days for a CPA, I was lucky enough to go chasing and catch a severe storm but missed a tornado by just a few miles.
I am by no means a weather expert, instead relying on other people's forecasts (e.g. SPC and NWS) when planning chases.
Lots of people ask me why I like to do this. I have always been fascinated by clouds and sunsets. When I was about 10 or 11 years old my family and I were out at the farm at Thomas, OK. It was harvest time in early June. A cloud came up in the afternoon and stopped us from cutting wheat. As we were eating supper about 6 pm, my uncle called and said there was a tornado over by where we were. We rushed to the window just in time to see it dissipate. I wanted to see a real tornado and I missed it. A couple of years later, a tornado moved across south OKC. I had a good view of the storm but I could never really see a funnel even though it did some minor damage across the city. Ever since then I have wanted to see a tornado and take a picture of one. I got my wish on October 4, 1998.
Here's what someone I know says about the above:
"This does not answer the question "Why do you do this?". You do this because you are "nuts". You might as well just write it in there. Just say, "I am nuts" and be done with it."