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News/Blog & Recent Events - George Kourounis

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May 10 2024 - Intense Geomagnetic Storm
 
Very active sun spots have erupted in massive solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CME's), sparking a solar storm the likes of which we haven't seen since 2003.
 
This intense storm reacked G5 levels (the highest) and caused dramatic northern lights to be visible all over the world, even as far south a s Florida.
 
I live in Toronto where there is a lot of light pollution, so I drove north up to the shores of Georgian bay on Lake Huron to try and view the aurora borealis. The weather forecast was tricky, and I encountered rain and clouds on my drive up, but eventually the skies cleared and I was treated to the best display of northern lights I've ever seen in Ontario.

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May 08 2024 - Expedition News
 
When I opened my inbox this morning, I was delighted to see that I had been included in a small feature in the latest issue. While in New York recently, I was chatting with one of my fellow explorers Mark Fowler, who has nicknamed me "The Human Extremophile" due to my love of extreme environments. Our conversation was overheard by Expedition News editor Jeff Blumenfeld, and the next thing I know, it's in the Expedition News.
 
Thanks Jeff & Mark.

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April 22 2024 - Explorers Club Annual Dinner - New York
 
I was supposed to be back in Bristol, U.K. this week, but a schedule snafu meant that that trip is postponed. Unfortunately that trip was meant to happen the same week as the Explorers Club Annual Dinner, which I always try to attend. The last minute cancellation came at a point when all the dinner tickets were already sold out, so I did the next best thing and flew down to New York the morning right after the dinner so that I could at least attend the day-long open house at TEC headquarters.
 
It was great to meet up with so many old friends. and make many new ones as well. It's hard to walk 10 feet in that building without running into someone I know, which is the best part of the multi-day events surrounding ECAD.
 
I was able to attend the Annual General Meeting, and a significant time was spent at the club's newly renovated bar area.
 
I scheduled my flight back to Toronto late enough on Monday to be able to spend even more time hanging out and chatting with amazing explores from all over the world.
 
Many thanks to all the organizers and volunteers who make it all possible.

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April 11 2024 - Annapurna Film Screening
 
Great fun last night at the Toronto premiere of the new film Annapurna, which chronicles the trials and tribulations of mountain climber Don Bowie as he mounts 6 expeditions over 13 years to try and reach the summit of one of the most dangerous mountains in the world.
The event was graciously hosted by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Annapurna Screening

April 08 2024 - Total Solar Eclipse - Cowansville, Quebec
 
I live in Toronto and Niagara Falls was in the path of totality and close to home, but after looking closely at the weather forecast for several days, it became clear that the Eastern Townships of Quebec was going to be the place with the best chances of having clear skies for the eclipse.
 
I ended up in Cowansville Quebec after an overnight stay in Montreal, and the eclipse was as amazing as I was expecting it to be. It has been 7 years since my last eclipse (which was also my first), and I was eagerly anticipating this. Our position was perfect and our location got 3 minutes and 23 seconds of totality.
 
Because the sun is very active right now, we got a great view of red solar prominences along with the spectacular corona. What sight to behold, especially with the naked eye during totality.
 
The adventure wasn't without it's setbacks. We ended up with a flat tire right before the eclipse, but luckily we found a place in town that was able to help us out. It worked out well, because as we were getting the tire fixed, it gave us time to let the traffic disperse a bit.

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March 28 2024 - Fenside Public School
 
Thank you so much to the students and staff at Fenside Public School in North York, Ontario for the incredibly warm welcome. I was there giving a presentation about forces of nature to a gymnasium full of K-6 students.
 
They had so many great questions, and a lot of them wanted to volunteer to be my assistant!

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March 17 2024 - Bristol, U.K.
 
I'm currently in the U.K. for a few days, in the city of Bristol.
 
I don't have a lot of spare time here (more on that later), but I did get the opportunity to walk around a bit today after arriving. My hotel is in the historical downtown, so I got to walk across the River Avon, see the Bristol Cathedral, and wander around Millennium Park.
 
It is a lovely city, and this is my first time visiting this part of the U.K. despite having visited the country numerous times before.
 
 
I have a few friends in the area, so I'll try to meet up with at least one of them during my stay. FYI Bristol is home to a lot of film & TV production, including the BBC Natural History unit. These are the folks that bring you the amazing "Planet Earth" documentaries among others.
 
I will be filming here, but not with the BBC. I'll give more details in the next couple of days. Now I'm off to sleep off some of my jet lag.

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March 16 2024 - En Route to England
 
I'm in the process of travelling from Toronto to Bristol in the U.K. for a few days.
 
On one of my flights I captured a cool optical phenomenon. A “cloud bow”. The sun above and behind us and the water droplets in the clouds below refracted the light and produced a bow that is very similar to the kind you might see on a foggy day (a fogbow). It’s also similar to a rainbow but doesn’t have as vibrant colours.

If you are able to actually see the plane’s shadow in the clouds, you might spot a small colourful ring around it. This is called a “Glory”. I couldn’t see if there was one of these as well from my angle.

The next time you have a window seat, keep an eye out for it.

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March 15 2024 - CBC News
 
I was interviewed today by CBC news regarding yesterday's tornado outbreak in the U.S. There were numerous damaging tornadoes across parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio last night.
 
The town of Winchester, Indiana appears to have been the worst hit. At least 3 fatalities have been reported so far.

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March 14 2024 - Whiskey And A Map Podcast
 
My conversation with Michael Reinhart on the Whiskey and a Map Podcast is now available wherever you listen to podcasts.
 
It is also available in video form on YouTube.

Whiskey And A Map Podcast

 
March 11 2024 - Atmospheric Display In Toronto
 
 
The sky above Ontario really put on a show for us this afternoon. Thin cirrostratus clouds provided the perfect conditions for a phenomenal 22 degree solar halo around the sun above the city of Toronto.
 
 
Better still, later in the afternoon, I looked up to see a rare Circumzeinithal Arc high in the sky. Both the halo and the "upside-down rainbow" are caused by sunlight refracting through high-altitude ice crystals in the thin cirrostratus clouds.
 
Whenever there are thin, high altitude clouds in the sky, I reccommend looking up, you never know what you might see!

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March 04 2024 - Filming At The OSC
 
 
Today was spent at the Ontario Science Center helping out The Weather Network. We were filming a bunch of segments for their series "Science Behind The Weather" which will air on their main channel and on social media.
 
At this time of year, the Science Centre is closed on Mondays, so we basically had the entire museum to ourselves, which was great.
 
TWN meteorologist & storm hunter Mark Robinson brought his daughter along, and her long, straight hair made for perfect demonstrations of the Van De Graaf Generator. It was hilarious to see her hair sticking straight up. BTW, if that ever happens to you during a thunderstorm, seek shelter immediately. Do not hesitate.
 
We also filmed segments about the science behind hail, flash flooding and other weather phenomena.

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Feb 29 2024 - More Filming - Hamilton, ON
 
 
It’s been a busy week, with more filming. This time it’s for season 2 of “Prime Suspect Earth” for the U.S. Weather Channel. Today's shoot was on a green screen in a studio in Hamilton, Ontario.

I’m so grateful that I get to help showcase so many really interesting places, phenomena, and wild stories that are seen by so many people around the world. My hope is that I can help get kids (and adults) interested in science and nature by being enthusiastic about it myself.

Thank you to everyone who’s watched the various shows I’ve been involved in over the years. There’s lots of other plans in the works right now, including additional programs, trips, expeditions and more.

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Feb 23 2024 - Los Angeles, California
 
 
A very hectic couple of days! I just got home from a whirlwind trip to California and back where I was doing an on-camera interview for a new CNN 5-part series that will be airing sometime in June of this year.
 
I flew out to Los Angeles on Thursday, arriving in the late afternoon, then on Friday morning I filmed my parts, then went straight from the filming location back to the airport to fly home.
 
I wasn't even there long enough to feel the full effects of the jet-lag.
 
I look forward to seeing the entire series, and I'll pass along more information when it becomes available.

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Feb 21 2024 - Los Angeles, California
 
 
A very special package arrived today. My copy of the new book “Judging Extreme Weather” by Randy Cerveny (signed by the author).

Randy is the de facto keeper of world weather records with the World Meteorological Organization, and I look forward to reading the rest of this (I did get a sneak peek at one of the chapters before it was released because I was one of the early reviewers).
 
If you have any interest in the wild world of weather extremes, I suggest you grab a copy.

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Jan 25 2024 - Filming
 
 
It looks like I'm going to be spending quite a bit of time in TV studios, filming for a few different programs.
 
Today I was on set, shooting the last of my on-camera interviews for season 3 of Mysteries From Above. I'll be sure to let everyone know when those shows will be airing.

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Jan 23 2024 - Electronic Arts Talk
 
 
Many thanks to everyone over at Electronic Arts (EA Games) for inviting me to give a talk today. I shared many stories from my years of doing expeditions, and shared some insight into the things I've learned and how to apply them in the business world.

Electronic Arts Talk

 
Jan 12 2024 - Thundersnow
 
 
This has been one of the mildest winters on record here in Toronto (if not the warmest). The effects of the strong el Nino are still being felt here in Ontario.
 
Today, the most potent storm of the season came through the Great Lakes and brought thunder & lightning along with it. Thundersnow is pretty rare in most parts of the world, but here it happens more than anywhere else.

Thundersnow

Jan 01 2024 - Happy New Year!
 
I hope that 2023 tnreated you well.
 
As we look forward to 2024 I'm happy to say that I already have big expectations for the new year with trips planned to: Tornado Alley, Greenland, Yukon, Alaska and Costa Rica. I'm sure that many more adventures will be had in the coming year, and I'll keep updating this page as the year progresses.
 
Stay safe.

An Archive of Previous Year's News Items Can Be Found Here

2023

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

 

Any Questions/Comments?

george@stormchaser.ca


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