Equipment or Tools needed for Storm Chasing

I’ve had a lot of people ask me what kind of equipment I use when storm chasing. It’s really not much more than my laptop, camera, hot spot and a few assorted extras. I will outline them here.


The best vehicle is the one which will get you to the storm. The most important aspect is tires. The second most important aspect is fuel economy and ground clearance.

I’ve created a list of items I keep in my vehicle while storm chasing.


I’m using a Lenovo Thinkpad P52 high powered workstation. It’s powered by a Intel i7 hex core CPU, 16GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD drive space running Windows 10. Some of the software applications I run on this include GRLevel3 version 2 & GRLevel2 Analyst Edition version 2 (Radar Data), GPSGate (GPS Data splitter), Microsoft Maps (Navigation), Spotter Network (Position Updates), Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop (Photo editing) and Adobe Premiere (Video Editing).

For my GPS feed to GPSGate, I use the Globalsat BU-353S4 USB GPS puck. I have been using the GPSDirect driver to setup my NMEA BU-353S4 input to a Windows location sensor which feeds the web browser, Microsoft Maps and other Windows applications. I also run a hardware Windows location sensor, the GlobalSat 05-BU353-W11GPS. More on my NMEA to Windows Sensor setup here.

Video Cameras

This is my most important piece of equipment. I’ll be primarily shooting video with my Canon EOS R. My dash video camera is a Sony CX900. This shoots in 1080p60 fps. I have a Manfrotto tripod head attached. I use a filmtools windshield mount with the Manfrotto quick release to mount to my windshield and Manfrotto tripod.

Still Camera

Stills are taken with a mirrorless Canon EOS R and trio of lenses. The three lenses include a Sigma 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM Art, Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art, and a Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM.


My choice of tripods is Manfrotto brand. They provide stability and ease of use as well as durability. One of my tripods has a fluid video head on it. The second tripod has a pistol grip that I use for easily pointing and capturing still images. The third is a light weight carbon fiber tripod that is great for hiking and travel.

Laptop Mount

Since I started storm chasing, I have used the RAM laptop mounts in various vehicles and it has been a rock solid piece of equipment. The laptop tray can be reused with different base plates for each vehicle.

Ham Radio Gear

The radio in my vehicle is a Yaesu FTM-200DR. I’m using the Diamond K400 NMO mount and the Diamond NR770H dual band antenna which provides a 3.0db gain on 2 meters and 5.5db gain on 440. Note: I would not recommend the radio.

Mobile Internet

Verizon Wireless Jetpack MiFi 8800L with unlimited plan. My car also has a built-in AT&T wireless access point. Having two providers is a must as there are many spots in Tornado Alley without Verizon or AT&T service. I also use a Weboost Drive Reach cell booster.

Smartphone Apps

I use, and highly recommend, using the RadarScope product from DTN. It provides very high resolution radar data not found on any other app.