, 41 tweets, 18 min read
My Authors
Read all threads
Time for countdown: my Top 10 chases of 2010s! I've got lots of war stories, & it hurt to limit myself to 10. Criteria varied, ranging from intensity to fear factor to footage coolness to quality of my data. Rankings are subjective, & y'all may hate my decisions. Ready? Let's go!
No. 10: #Typhoon #KAMMURI
Dec 2019 – Legazpi City, PHILIPPINES – Cat 4
Intense Christmastime cyclone slammed Filipino port city. Despite nighttime darkness, I caught some of my best footage of combo wind/water assault on waterfront. Bonus: weirdly violent wave action in calm eye.
My timestamped footage from #KAMMURI. The real pounding (in the front eyewall) happens from ~11:16 pm to ~12 midnight. Wind & water become one ferocious flow of energy ripping in off the gulf:
No. 9: #Hurricane WILLA
Oct 2018 – Sinaloa, MEXICO – Cat 3
On my list for 2 reasons: 1) My best data work: I planted 3 devices along coast to sample inner core from all sides. 2) A true CHASE: I drove into eyewall to ensure I penetrated eye—stupid yet totally exhilarating. ❤️
My video from WILLA. It was a harrowing chase to the bloody end—especially difficult because @esereno & I were hunting without radar! But somehow we punched that little eye:
@esereno No. 8: #Cyclone DEBBIE
Mar 2017—Queensland, AUSTRALIA—Cat 3
Large, slow-moving cyclone in remote N Queensland brought me to my knees. Blocked by floodwaters, I found myself in a lone farmhouse to ride out the fierce winds. More memorable than the cyclone? The new friends I made.
@esereno DEBBIE's the only chase in my Top 10 without a video. The cyclone was tearing the farmhouse apart—the farmer, his son, & I took turns bracing a bed frame against the front wall to keep it from caving in. & in the eye we were busy with emergency repairs. No time for video.
@esereno No. 7: #Hurricane HARVEY
Aug 2017—Rockport, Texas, USA—Cat 4
Rapidly intensifying to Cat 4 just before landfall, strongest 'cane to hit USA in over a decade smashed this tiny town. Bag of tricks included violent inner-eyewall mesovortices that inflicted streaky, heavy damage.
@esereno And here's my video from HARVEY. Too bad it was a nighttime hit, because the eye would've been really cool-looking. The hotel had catastrophic damage—probably from mesovortices, which were clearly evident on radar—just before the eye.
No. 6: #Hurricane ODILE
Sep 2014—Cabo San Lucas, MEXICO—Cat 3
The worst in history of Los Cabos, ODILE struck with unprecedented ferocity. I got the message when I found myself diving under a desk, my legs bleeding, terror in my heart, as our hotel lobby exploded around us.
My ODILE video is one of the most insane in my portfolio, showing hurricane winds destroying a building from the inside. The real craziness starts just after the eye passes. ODILE was a truck-tire cyclone with an *intense* backside:
We're halfway through the countdown of my greatest chases of the decade. Which cyclones made the super-elite Top 5—and in what order? Tune in tomorrow! I'm thinking some of my decisions will be controversial.
No. 5: #Hurricane MARIA
Sep 2017—Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico, USA—Cat 4
Near beach, just N of exact center of eye, I had front-row, daytime look at jaw-dropping power of 6th-strongest hurricane in US history—& Puerto's Rico's most cataclysmic impact in almost a century. Boom!
My video from MARIA is maybe the best I've shot in any hurricane—especially when it really cranks after 7 am. (See timestamp.) As one dude said, it looks like "the wrath of God." More than 2 years later, the scars from this incredible impact remain.
I notice MARIA's official rating as Cat 4 in Puerto Rico continues to anger some. It felt huge & cataclysmic & unimaginably powerful in Puerto Rico because a high-end Cat-4 #hurricane is huge & cataclysmic & unimaginably powerful. A storm doesn't need to be Cat 5 to be a BEAST.
Stay tuned for No. 4, which I'll post early this evening... 😎
No. 4: #Hurricane MICHAEL
Oct 2018—Callaway, Florida, USA—Cat 5
MICHAEL smashed midsize American city with terrifying power. Memories of the chase: frantic relocation just minutes before eyewall, explosion of destruction, sunshine in eye... & perfect pressure trace of inner core.
My video of MICHAEL: action-packed 4 minutes that brings you right through the eye. Impossible to do it justice, but it captures my experience—& the terror of it. The woman's screams—as the building blows apart minutes before the eye—say more than words:
I'll post No. 3 in the morning (USA time). I'm still trying to decide the timing of No. 2. As with those beauty-pageant things, when I announce the runner-up, I'm announcing the winner. 👑
No. 3: #Hurricane PATRICIA
Oct 2015—Jalisco, MEXICO—Cat 4
Offshore it was strongest cyclone in history. Still a beast when it screamed ashore, tiny but extremely violent 'cane did most of the damage in 15-minute burst following passage of pinhole eye. Weird, freaky, scary storm.
My PATRICIA video is good example of chaserdude commandment: "When the sh*t hits the fan, keep the camera running." Camerawork is horrible & at times you can't see—but that'll happen when 8 people are squeezing into bathroom, under mattress, to survive:
iCyclone Trivia: My good buddy, @esereno, accompanied me on my PATRICIA & WILLA chases. He is the *only* dude who's been with me on 2 of my Top 10 chases. (I'm a loner & usually hunt solo.)
@esereno I think I'm gonna wait until tomorrow (the last day of the decade) to post Nos. 2 and 1! And I'm gonna do 'em at the same time, since of course there'll be no more suspense once the runner-up is announced. 😎
No. 2: Super #Typhoon #HAIYAN (YOLANDA)
Nov 2013—Tacloban City, PHILIPPINES—Cat 5
Uniquely awful: Industrial-strength wrecking ball slammed into big, densely-populated, low-lying city. Fierce winds & tsunami-like surge reduced whole neighborhoods to rubble, left thousands dead.
At the height of the storm, most of the city was under water, including the hotel. Things got so bad I threw down my camera to jump into the water for rescue efforts. (We got everyone upstairs in time.) #HAIYAN
I got back home to California pretty traumatized by what I'd seen. What helped me: getting involved with recovery efforts (there's large Filipino community in USA) & returning to #Tacloban twice to celebrate city's incredible rise from the ashes. ❤️ #HAIYAN
My video captures the before, during, & after—all in 12 intense minutes: #HAIYAN
I was with videographer @EarthUncutTV that day. No one did a better job than he did in documenting the sights & sounds of that day—so be sure to check his work on this storm as well. #HAIYAN
No. 1: #Hurricane #DORIAN
Sep 2019—Marsh Harbour, BAHAMAS—Cat 5
Tied for strongest Atlantic landfall on record. Penetrating explosive inner-eyewall whiteout, emerging into sunshine of eye, & measuring 913.4 mb was religious experience. A specimen—& chase—I don’t expect to top.
Rode it out with 11 others in solid-concrete room. In inner eyewall, wind slammed walls like sledgehammers—wasn’t sure they were gonna hold. We barricaded windows & doors with furniture, wrapped kids in blankets. Felt relief when sunshine shone thru cracks in shutters: the eye.
Building was so badly damaged we had to relocate during eye. Concrete walls smashed; cars not just tossed but mutilated. Most of this wildness had happened behind the cloak of a complete, roaring whiteout—you could hardly see a thing. Video:
Was trapped for days after, living in my car, subsisting on rationed supplies, & helping victims in small ways (my car still worked, so I could drive folks). Returned to civilization—& rumors I’d perished—gaunt & hollowed-eyed, & reminded that chasing at this level ain’t a game.
Data-wise, #DORIAN was one of my best chases. I measured inner-eyewall pressure gradients that literally blew my mind when I did the calculations later on—up to a whopping 12.4 mb/n mi. That’s way beyond anything I’ve measured in any other cyclone.
I rode out #DORIAN in a building on a hill. Low-lying neighborhoods were completely swept away by gargantuan, tsunami-like storm surge. Never seen such complete destruction, & I’m sure many more died than reflected in official toll. Scale of destruction is hard to describe.
It will take many years for Great Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands to recover. You can donate to the relief efforts here: bahamas.com/relief
Surprise! I have two honorable mentions—two big, bad cyclones that just *barely* missed my Top 10 of the decade but deserve recognition...
No. 11: #Typhoon NEPARTAK
Jul 2016—Taitung City, TAIWAN—Cat 3
The Taiwanese build for typhoons, so it takes an *extremely* intense one to do major damage in Taiwan—like NEPARTAK. Core passed over downtown Taitung, destroying buildings, rolling cars, & swaying high-rise towers.
.@earthuncut & I both rode this one out in different places in Taitung City, & we agree it was one of the wildest & most-violent typhoons either of us has been in. The official intensity estimate doesn't reflect what we experienced on the ground. Video:
Oops, I meant @EarthUncutTV.
No. 12: Super #Typhoon MANGKHUT
Sep 2019—N Luzon, PHILIPPINES—Cat 5
Big Cat 5 roared into remote Luzon jungles in dead of night. My crew & I chased it in darkness until it was too dangerous. Just missed eye but penetrated—& documented—concentric outer & inner eyewalls. Wild ride.
Inky nighttime darkness prevented me from getting the kinetic, red-hot footage MANGKHUT would have yielded in a daytime strike—but my video captures the mood & the experience:
Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Enjoying this thread?

Keep Current with Josh Morgerman

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!