To storm chase or not to storm chase, that is the question...


Doug Kiesling, The Weather Paparazzi

Welcome to the personal blog, photo and video gallery website home page for Douglas "Lightningboy" Kiesling, The Weather Paparazzi.

Doug is a freelance videographer who specializes in capturing footage of all types extreme weather situations from blizzards, flooding, hurricane’s lightning, tornadoes and various other meteorological events and news footage. 

His work has been featured on ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, NBC, Associated Press, The Weather Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel and dozens of various other news shows and television networks around the world.

He is also the founder of BNVN or Breaking News Video Network, Inc. which helps up and coming videographers break into the news stringer and stock footage industry.

 Please note, as of 01/11/2011 (1/1/11) all of the photo gallaries have now moved and are now hosted on SmugMug

The stock video is still at but I will be making catalog pages for my footage on this site in the coming weeks.


Catch up week at the office

Ok, no trips planned this week and spending the week working on getting a lot of stuff caught up.  Lots of paperwork and receipts to go through, footage to edit, and working on the SCV "Singularity" project. 

Lot's of great stuff in the work's in the next 6 week's!

Busy Week, good to be home.

To say I have been busy this week is a little of an understatement.  First I was covering the flash flooding from what was left of Odile in southeastern Arizona, then I thought going to the airport early was suppose to make it easier with security.  On my way home while waiting at the gate for the flight to show up and go home, I ended up in the middle of a security lock down because the police were looking for murder suspects in Terminal 4.  I was in Terminal 4... 

After a several hour delay, I was one of the lucky ones whose plane was on the ground but parked and awaiting to be cleared to let the passengers off the flight.  A couple other planes were diverted and flights canceled all because some idiot ran into the terminal to get away from the police, a place where there are a lot of police.

Only after a couple day's back at home, it was back on the road to chase again for the line of storm's that were moving through western Minnesota.  Below is the video that we shot yesterday near Willmar, MN.   Nice seeing fall colors with falling hail.

9/18/2014 Tropical Storm Odile Flash Flooding in Southeast Arizona.

Just doing a recap the chase trip of what was the remains Hurricane Odile that  moved into southeastern Arizona this afternoon and caused flooding in several communities.   Knowing the area after chasing down here a few times now and learning the data holes, I was able to pull a rabit out of the hat and actually get to see the effects of the flooding.

I was also able to get some Infrared photography in at 5000 feet above sea level with the cloud deck right on top of me.

Here is the footage. The footage is from the town of Pima, AZ in the first part of the video from the start to 1;24;00. and the second part of the video from 1;24;00 to end is from around the area of Whetstone, AZ.

Clip 1, Road sign warning of flooding in the town of Pima, AZ

Clip 2 Flooding and the road blocked off in the town of Pima, AZ where Ash Creek started to flood.

Clip 3 Flooding at Ash Creek in Pima, AZ

Clip 4 - 6 POV driving through heavy rain on Interstate Ten south of 191 south of Pima

Clip 7 POV shot showing the heavy rain and the green vegetation when everything should be brown and dead.

Clip 8 Clouds moving up and over a mountain south of Pima, AZ
Clip 9 Flash flooding in the town of Whetstone with water running over the road and a sign warning of the road flooded ahead.

Clip 10 An SUV tries to navigate though the flash flooding but finds the road is turned to mud.  The SUV almost gets suck but was able to back out of the hazard.

Clip 11 Rushing waters over a roadway in Whetstone, AZ

Clip 12 Rushing waters over a roadway in Whetstone, AZ

Clip 13 Flash flooding over a road in Whetstone, AZ

Clip 14 Flash flooding going over a road and down into a drainage ditch.

Clip 15 Flash flooding

Clip 16 Flash flooding with a tighter shot of the water going into the drainage system

Clip 17 Car driving through the flooding

Clip 18 Water covering another road

Clip 19 Rushing water flash flooding flowing over a road

Clip 20 Just south of Whetstone, very low clouds roll over one of the hill sides or mountains.

Clip 21 Long clip of the clouds moving from east to west as they roll over the top of a mountain.

Back in Phoenix, AZ for the next system.

Yes, I headed back to Phoenix, AZ to cover what could be Tropical Storm Odile with the core fo the storm making its US boarder crossing tomorrow. 

Based on the forecast models and experience chasing, this system look's like it will have a major impact on the region and my main concern what the moisture from the Sea of Cortez and Gulf of California will have on it. 

Quick trip to Kansas City today for work

After several years of doing the 14 hour round trip drive, today I just said no more and spent a few extra bucks from what I would have paid in fuel to just fly down to Kansas City. 

Working on building up and had to go meet up with Juston Drake go get caught up on some of his archive footage for this year.  I also spent the rest of the afternoon with Robin Lorenson who is going to be helping out with the DVR review.  At the office, I have a massive DVR system where if needed, I can record up to 18 channels of HD Network Broadcasts for footage verification during the busy season. 

On the normal days, we are recording just the major networks and that means the system is recording over thirty hours of broadcasts a day with over 16 hour's of broadcasts just being from The Weather Channel.  Until my new assistant can start working full time to work on the DVR review and other stuff around the office, Robin is going to help out with reviewing and logging all of the clips on TWC from home in Kansas City.  I'll be making friends with the FedEx counter staff to ship hard drives to her for the next four months about twice a month.

Right now I have a lot of great ideas to expand the SCV operations and finally getting a lot of help now behind the scenes to expand everything.  The rest of 2014 is going to be great and looking at 2015 to be even better.

Major flooding drops record rainfall in Phoenix, AZ from Hurricane Norbert.

Wow, today was an insane with the record amount of flooding that hit the Phoenix, AZ area.  After checking out the area south of Phoenix with Ben yesterday and watching some intense dust devils, the storms finally moved into the Phoenix region and all I can say is wow, the forecast was spot on and the rain fall was dramatic.

It started out in the early morning hours with several inches of rain being dumped on the Mesa, AZ area just east of Phoenix.  In no time at all, the flooding shut down several main highways.

At sunrise, while the rest of the local media was all focused on flooding on the west side of town, on the east side in the Mesa and Gilbert areas on 60, I was pretty much one of the only videographers around and only chaser on the ground.

In this video, Highway 60 and the park say it all.  The roads were pretty much a lost cause until the water could be pumped out and in the park, check out the girl on the Kayak next to the basketball courts.

I was also checking out the area just west of the park where the neighborhood started to flood out.  In just a few hour's, the flooding from the highways and interstates being pumped out into the spill ways to drain off started to overflow according to the local residents and the water drained into their streets and homes.

All I can say is wow, the forecast verified, the footage is incredible and from a chasing perspective, catching the 100 year storm in the Phoenix area was just amazing. 

In Phoenix, AZ to cover the flooding and got a massive dust storm.

Today I'm in Phoenix, AZ to cover what could be a massive flooding event in the next couple of days from Hurricane Norbert.  As soon as I got settled into the area, the fun started with a Haboob that was massive. 

What looked more like Hollywood special effects from the movie "The Mummy" happened naturally over the landscape in the Phoenix, AZ metro area as a massive dust storm or Haboob moved over the region.

Package has two parts, part one is time lapse showing the massive dust storm rolling over the landscape.

Part two is real time clips edited together.

Clip 1 - 3 Time Lapse footage at 2000% of the normal speed.

Clip 4 POV clip driving towards the Haboob

Clip 5 - 7 Tripoded shots of the Haboob moving into the Phoenix, AZ area.

Clip 8 Tripoded shot of the other side of the Haboob moving into the Fountain Hills area.

Clip 9 In downtown Phoenix, AZ looking up at Palm Tree's as the dust blocks out the sun.

Clip 10 The dust storm blocks out the sun over the playground as the lights come on due to the low visibility,

Clip 11 - 12 Palm trees in with the dusty sky in the back ground in the low visibility.

Clip 13 Downtown Phoenix, AZ as the dust starts to clear out as drivers navigate the city streets.

Clip 14 - 15 Traffic with dust in the air at sunset in downtown Phoenix, AZ.

Clip 16 Flag blowing in the wind

Clip 17 - 19 POV shots driving on the 202 into downtown Phoenix, AZ as the Haboob was moving into the area.

Amazing flooding from record rain fall in Saint Cloud, MN.

What a crazy day for me where I did not have to go far to shoot any footage, just down the block from my office.  

Saint Cloud, MN set the daily record for the most rain fall in a single day and the day is not over yet. With over two inches of rain falling, many area's around central Minnesota are starting to flood.

Footage shot around south Saint Cloud, MN around the 4100 block of Clearwater Road.

Clip 1 Several vehicles stranded in the flooding as a pickup truck drives through the flooded water.

Clip 2 People pushing their vehicle out of the flooded street.

Clip 3 A Jeep drives through the flooded water.

Clip 4 Closeup of a car stranded in the water

Clip 5 PT Cruiser stranded in the flooded water.

Clip 6 Driver of the PT Cruiser pushing the vehicle out of the flooded water as the water starts to recede.

Clip 7 - 8 Flooded fields on the south side of Saint Cloud, MN

Phoenix Trip Cluster... Avoid Eddy's Jeep in Wichita, KS

This month has been a roller coaster ride.  With a new TV project in the work's for a series about storm chasing and the business of chasing, it has added on to the workload of an already busy year.

For the project starting this late in the season, the only sure thing was to head to Arizona for the Monsoon Season storms.   The storm's were there for the one day that we needed them for the production shoot.  Ben McMillan, Robin Lorenson and I were able to intercept an incredible lightning storm that looked more like a western Kansas high plains storm.  The best part was we were able to get into an HaBoob or violent dust storm to the Southwest of Phoenix that was picked up by serveral networks and proved to the production company that we were for real and could get them to the storms.

Now the fingers are crossed to see if the network will green light the project for a full season.  If they green light this, the show will make a lot of people in the storm chasing community go WHAT THE... because of the fact that a lot of the behind the scenes B.S. that some people have done will be coming out on TV.  Yes, I have a laundry list of shady stuff people have done and if this thing is green lighted, it will be fun to get some of the truth out there finally.

And speaking of shady B.S. while driving down to Arizona last week, I had in issue with my Jeep as I was passing through Wichita, KS.  The front drive shaft was going out and started to make some wicked vibration as if I was riding on the rumble strips.  I had a feeling it was a CV Joint or one of the drive shafts that were replaced or the front drive shaft that was not replaced started to throw the U-Joints out.  I had just had my Jeep worked on in Saint Cloud and the shop replaced everything except for the front Drive Shaft and told me to keep an eye on it.  The deal with the Jeep, it is a 2005 model and some idiot thought it would be a great idea to PRESS THE U-JOINTS INTO THE SHAFT, and prevent anyone from replacing the U-Joints on their own, and making it so you needed to replace the whole drive shaft for a lot of money instead of buying a $20 part and fixing it an an hour or less. 

So with the drive shaft starting to go out, I pulled into the Wichita, KS airport and booked up a rental and had to wait until 6:00 a.m. for the staff to get their to get another truck.  The Cluster F... started to get worse, as I booked up a full size SUV from Alamo and a tow with Verizon Wireless Roadside Assistance to bring my Jeep into the shop.  Alamo did not have any rentals that they said they had on line and their staff was running late so they did not open at six in the morning when all the other rental car companies had staff at their desks.  So after waiting around for another fifteen minutes to find out they did not have any SUV's, I had to go and rent from another company and the only thing they had was a Lincoln Navigator.  After stressing out enough, I took the Lincoln and knew I was getting ripped off on the rental from Avis as I have rented the same vehicle for the cross country trip and paid half as much but I was pretty much in a take it or leave it situation. 

Then the fun keep's adding on.  I was suppose to have a tow to bring my truck to a Jeep dealer in town that was only a couple miles from the airport.  I thought I have had enough issues this morning, I would bring it to the one place that could fix it fast and correctly.  So after waiting around for an hour for the tow truck to show up, I get an automated call from Verizon saying that they wanted to verify everything was ok since the tow company said they were already their.  I'm standing around in the parking lot of Avis wondering WTF, nobody is here.  So the phone call asks if their is a problem, please press this number to talk to us.  So I talk to a rep who said my truck should be there now and I'm telling her nobody is there.  So she puts me on hold for several minutes until I got disconnected. 

I waited around for another 15 minutes and finally called the number that was texted to me of the towing company that was suppose to come out.  They said they could not tow my Jeep because of the possible drive shaft problem and canceled the tow.  I asked WTF, nobody told me, you could have called me an hour ago and I could have called someone else.  The towing company just said, Oh Well and hung up.  That was KIDS Towing in Wichita, KS that left me stranded.  FU KIDS!!!

So after finding out that I just wasted 90 minutes on a tow that was canceled and never notified and Verizon Roadside left me hanging, I took the matter of finding a competent towing company into my own hands.   Made a call to Arrow Towing in Wichita, KS and told them what happened and the lady said "Don't worry sir, I'll have a flatbed truck over there in about 10 minutes."  The truck was there in ten minutes and it took him longer to hook up the Jeep and get it secured safetly onto the flatbed then it took for them to show up.  Arrow Towing in Wichita, KS get's a A+ for their service and the tow only cost me $75 out of pocket, which Verizon will be pay for. 

Now hour's later then planned, the Jeep is now at Eddy's Jeep of Wichita, KS.  The logic was take it to the experts to fix, take it to the dealer.  What a Fn Mistake that plan was. 

At Eddy's, I met Taylor who work's in their service department and told him what I had done to the Jeep and what I thought was the problem.  I told him the CV Joints were replaced and the rear drive shaft was just replaced so it could be the front drive shaft or maybe one of the CV Joints.  I told him that I was on a trip and would not be back until Monday (this was on Wednesday August 20th) so they had
six days to work on it.  I also told Taylor that their was some recall's that needed to be worked on that I keep getting notices for that I have not had time to get taken care of so if they could fix those too, that would be great.

On Thursday, I get a phone call from Taylor saying they found the problem and it was the Tranfer Case and it would be about $1800.00 to fix and the tech also said I needed lower ball joints on both sides as they were leaking grease and loose.  That was my first warning sign because the shop I bring my trucks to here in Saint Cloud know what I do and they just replaced the ball joints and greesed the heck out of them to protect them from me driving through flooding.  So the ball joints were brand new and Eddy's tried selling me brand new ball joints.   Um, ok, but he said that the transfer case was shot and needed to be replaced.  I told them to go ahead and replace the transfer case if it was needed.  They said they should have it ready Monday for me when I return back through Wichita, KS on my way home. 

Friday I did not get an update on the work and if the part would be their and everything would be ready Monday.  So instead of driving Robin back from AZ with me to split the drive and make sure I was not burned out, I booked her on a flight home on Sunday back to Kansas City so I would not have to stress out over making sure she got back after telling her she could drive back with me. 

So I needed to get back to the office by Monday, I left Phoenix ASAP to head home and left Robin with Ben to hang out for another day and told Ben to make sure she gets on the flight.  I haul ass back to Minnesota with knowning I'll get a phone call saying that the truck won't be ready until Tuesday or Wednesday.  When I got home early Monday Morning, I got a phone call a few hour's later from Taylor at Eddy's saying that the part would not be in until tomorrow (Tuesday) and that he would rush to get everything taken care of for me to pick it up.  I told him I already had a feeling that was the case so I drove back to Minnesota to work for a couple of days and then drive back down to pick up the truck on Wednesday morning and told him just make sure everything is taken care of.  He assured me that everything would be fine.

Monday evening I get a call from Taylor at Eddy's Jeep saying they have the new tranfer case in the Jeep but it is still making the same noise and not safe to drive and the tech thinks its the drive shaft.

WHAT WAIT, what did I tell him last week and what is on the paperwork? "CHECK DRIVE SHAFT AND CV JOINTS"

Taylor told me that he would have new U-Joints put in the drive shaft at a local shop in the morning and get is rushed and if the problem was the drive shaft, they would not charge me for the transfer case.  I told him I would need the old transfer case boxed up and I would take it back home with me to have it inspected  to verify there was anything wrong with it.  He told me no problem and he would get this taken care of for me.

So Tuesday evening I hit the road again and head down to Wichita, KS to drop off the $1,300.00 rental that I got shafted with but not complaining since it was a comfortable ride it and I did not have to clean it out after the dust storm along with putting almost 5000 miles on it in a week. 

I roll into Wichita, KS around 7:30 in the morning after an uneventful drive and met up with Brandon Ivey to help me out with picking up the truck and dropping off the rental then have breakfast before leaving to head back north to pass out for the night.

Brandon and I get to Eddy's Jeep and I not happy about my wasted time.  Don't really care about the money, I can make more money but you can never get your time back.  So the charges now come to just under $800.00 which is average and I asked if they left the new transfer case in as Taylor said they would do if it was not the problem.  Nope, they put the old transfer case back in since there was no problem with it and the drive shaft was bad. 

I find out that not only did they not listen to what told them what the problem might be, they removed the old transfer case for no reason at all and replaced it and then removed the new one because they totally screwed up on what they said the problem was, which was what I told them in the first place.

When I picked up the Jeep, I asked if the drive shaft was rebuilt, knowing that everything on it was pressed in and not able to be serviced.  I find out that they just got another new one from another shop in town and that if they would have followed my instructions on what I though was the problem, I could have been able to leave Phoenix on Friday and get into Wichita on Saturday and pick up the Jeep and drive home and save myself another 1,800 mile round trip, several wasted days and major stress.  Then again, almost nobody fucking listen's to me and they fuck up and I end up having to clean up the fucking mess. 

To top it off, when I dropped off the Jeep, I told Taylor that their were several recall's for the computer that needed to be fixed with software updates.  As Brandon and I were walking out the door, Brandon reminds me to check on the recall work.  So we go back into the shop and ask if the recall work was done, Taylor tells me yes it was done and I ask are you sure, it is not on the invoice as work that was done.  So he walk's back into the service area and comes back out like a kid that was just caught shoplifting and tells me nope but it will only take about another half hour to do that. 

At this point Brandon can tell that I'm totally holding back from going MMA on this fucking idiot and beating this guy to death from wasting my fucking time and I just turn around and tell Brandon lets get the fuck out and Brandon and I leave to go to get breakfast and then head back towards Minnesota.

Oh and it get's even better.  So while driving home yesterday in Iowa, I get this phone call from some lady at the shop wondering where I was and just wanted to make sure I was satisfied with the work they did.   Oh boy, she got my verbal assault with not only did Eddy's Jeep of Wichita fail to do the service that I asked them with the recall work on the Jeep, they ignored the problem I brought the Jeep into their shop in the first place which was the drive shafts, wasted my fucking time and charged me for labor on it when the labor was more like class room training for their fucking idiot service tech's to learn what a bad drive shaft is and how to install and replace and then reinstall two perfectly good transfer cases in a 2005 WK JEEP.

And the icing on the shit cake, after telling their customer service lady all this and told her to have the owner of the dealership call me if anyone was going to call me back, another service manager call's me and leaves a voice mail message saying they are sorry and this type of thing "ALMOST NEVER HAPPENS".  Almost never happens so it has happened before.  So I should call Jeep and talk to their dealership reps next week to let them know what kind of cluster fuck operation they have running with Eddy's Jeep in Wichita who when asked to do recall work and have a week to do it, blow it off on top of replacing thousands of dollars in wrong parts.

Bottom line, if you are readying this and thinking about taking your Jeep to Eddy's in Wichita, avoid them.  Avoid them if your life depended on it. 

If you are with Eddy's Jeep, go fuck yourself.

Syndicate content