Storm chasers Chris Chittick, Greg Johnson and Ricky Forbes (left to right). (Photo: Courtesy of Greg Johnson/Corus Entertainment/CMT)
“We put our vehicle and ourselves safely into the position to get images that other people simply can’t get,” says Johnson, the chaser known for wearing nerd goggles and a hockey helmet.
Johnson’s fascination with storms began when he moved from Ontario to Saskatchewan in 1995. “When I first witnessed a storm out here, it was really something I never experienced before as a photographer,” he says. “I really fell in love with the prairies, the landscapes, the skies.”
He decided to sell his successful business and leave his desk job for a career chasing storms. “In Canada, there are probably millions of people who take pictures of storms and landscapes, but nobody was focusing on severe weather and tornadoes,” he says. “Literally, no one else was doing it or covering it.”
While filming the series this past year, Johnson witnessed the most memorable storm he’s ever seen. On June 16, the chasers were in Nebraska when they saw twin wedge tornadoes, which are wider than they are tall. The storm hunters were between the two, photographing them at close range. “Only a handful of people have seen that before,” Johnson says.