Home

Galleries

News/Blog

Technology

Media

Links

Bio

Adventure Speaking

Contact

FAQ

2007 Archive News/Blog & Recent Events - George Kourounis

Get All The Latest Expedition Updates Via:

George Kourournis on Facebook

George Kourounis on Twitter

George Kourounis on YouTube

Dec. 31 2007 - Toronto - Goodbye 2007. The past year has been an incredible one for me. I've been able to document and photograph extreme forces of nature all over the world including multiple tornadoes, hurricanes, several volcanoes, avalanches... well the list just goes on and on. I must extend great thanks and well wishes to everyone who helped me this past year and also to all the incredible, interesting people I've met along the way. What a ride it has been, and there's a lot more to come. 2008 is going to see me in new places, filming even more spectacular events in remote corners of our Earth.
 
The Angry Planet TV show has been very well received and we're already several episodes into production on season two. It is a great privilege for me to have the opportunity to share these adventures with so many people. I love getting emails from folks all over the world who are interested in weather, climate change and the other extreme forces of nature that I so often encounter. I wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year and I'll see you all in 2008.
 
Cheers,
George Kourounis



Dec. 29 2007 - Toronto - I hope everyone out there is having a great holiday season. I've returned to Toronto after spending Christmas with family in Quebec. The journey back took me through a snowstorm which caused numerous accidents along the 401 highway, mostly from people driving too fast for the weather conditions. It is amazing to me how so many people don't understand that when the roads get icy, you can't control your vehicle at higher speeds. Just slow down a bit and you'll make it there without needing a tow truck... Or an ambulance.
 
A safe, happy and prosperous new year to all!!
Semi_In_Ditch

Dec. 22 2007 - Toronto - After almost a month of traveling, I'm finally back home in Canada. This past trip included stints in Australia and Hawaii where I was able to see so many incredible things.
 
The Photo Galleries section has links to many of the new adventures, too many to list here. Just look for the NEW beside the latest entries.
 
Kilauea Volcano was fascinating to witness again. I was there last year when lava was pouring into the Pacific but now, the activity has changed and the only way I could get to see it was by doing flights over the volcano with a helicopter.
 
Mauna Kea was also interesting. Up at over 13,000 feet there was a thick blanket of ice & snow on the summit. Not exactly what one might expect in Hawaii but there was even a blizzard warning issued for the mountain about a week before I arrived there.
 
Now that I'm back home, I'll be switching into holiday mode for a while but soon I'll be back on the move with many new adventures being planned for the new year. Seasons greetings to all.

Kilauea_2007_05

Mauna_Kea_10

Dec. 15 2007 - Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii - I've been so busy the past few days here in Hawaii that I've had no time at all to do any updates. I will work on putting together a series of photos from the Hawaii adventures as soon as I can. In the meantime, I'm currently filming the lava flows from Kilauea volcano via helicopter. Right now the activity at the volcano is limited to a very remote area that is only reachable by helicopter.
 
Later today, I start making my way back home for Christmas... Aloha!

Dec. 15 2007 - Hilo, Hawaii - Goodbye Australia. The Down Under trip is now complete and it was amazing. It'll turn into a great episode of Angry Planet. For now, we've relocated to Hilo, Hawaii for about a week to continue on the filming we did here last year. While I'm in a tropical paradise, here's what the folks back home are having to deal with:
 
City of Toronto
11:56 PM EST Saturday 15 December 2007
Winter storm warning for
City of Toronto continued
A crippling Major winter storm with heavy snow and blowing snow as well as some ice pellets is moving in right on schedule tonight.
This is a warning that dangerous winter weather conditions are imminent or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..Listen for updated statements.
 
A massive winter storm has begun over southwestern Ontario and the stage is set for this dangerous storm to kick into high gear over the rest of southern and eastern Ontario tonight and Sunday with near record snowfall amounts.
 
It almost makes me wish I was there for it. Oh well, I guess I'll have to wait for the next big snowstorm... Now, where did I put my Pina Colada?..

Dec. 14 2007 - Sydney, Australia - It's been a busy couple of days... Yesterday, I travelled north of Cairns to Port Douglas to meet up with underwater film maker Ben Crop. Together we hunted down a few samples of the most dangerous creature in the ocean. The Box Jellyfish. These jellies have some of the strongest venom of any animal on Earth and our mission was to find some and test a new pain remedy. The only problem is that to test it, someone needed to volunteer to be stung by a Box Jelly. Well you guessed it, I did. Probably not the smartest move ever on my part but the ones we had were small and the risk was low. The pain was intense but tolerable but it didn't help when Ben started grinding the tentacles into my arm... Thanks Ben!!
 
Today we flew to Sydney and climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge What a fantastic view. From the summit of the bridge, you could see across the whole city and look down onto the Sydney Opera House. Not so good if you are scared of heights.
 
Tomorrow, I bid Australia farewell and head back to Hawaii for more Angry Planet filming.

Box Jellyfish

Dec. 12 2007 - Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef, Australia - The city of Cairns is one of the hubs for visiting the Great Barrier Reef and I did several dives here in the warm waters of the Coral Sea. The biodiversity here is amazing with countless fish, corals and even several sea turtles which didn't seem to mind our presence as they fed amongst the coral. I have posted a few pictures for now and I hope to have the turtle pictures up soon. I remain in Cairns for a few more days before returning to Sydney and moving on to the next leg of this adventure.
Great Barrier Reef

Dec. 09 2007 - Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia - The remoteness of central Australia becomes evident when you get the chance to drive around on the few roads that exist here. The centerpiece of this area is Uluru or "Ayers Rock" which has become a symbol of the Australian Outback. The best time to see it is when the sun is low, so sunrise and sunset are when it seems to glow and shift colour with the subtle movements of the sun and clouds. If you ever visit Australia, a trip out here is certainly worth the extra effort. Stay for a few days though, just in case the weather doesn't cooperate. Since I arrived here, there's been periods of overcast, perfect blue skies and torrential thunderstorms so you never know what you're going to get.
 
My next stop...The Great Barrier Reef.
Uluru_02

Dec. 08 2007 - Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia - I've relocated to the center of Australia in the southern part of the Northern Territory at Uluru. This area is famous for its giant sandstone landmarks but last night, a rare intense thunderstorm hit the region. It brought heavy rain, strong winds and a lot of brilliant lightning.
 
I'll be here for a few more days and once the cloud cover clears I'll be back out gathering pictures of Ayers Rock. This is truly a spectacular part of the world.
Australia_Lightning_02

Dec. 05 2007 - Coffs Harbour, Australia - Thunder Down Under - I've just completed a week's worth of storm chasing in New South Wales, north of Sydney. There were storms every day but a huge problem was the lack of road networks, especially in the more remote areas. This country needs to invest some money in more roads!!
 
I teamed up with Australian storm chaser Jimmy Deguara who was a great help, especially with his local knowledge of the terrain and weather systems. Many thanks Jimmy.
 
The Australian adventure is far from over so expect more images from other interesting parts of this land down under.
Thunder_Down_Under_12

Dec. 04 2007 - Coonabarabran, Australia - During the Australian storm chase trip, we've been traveling across several areas that are rich in native wildlife. I've uploaded some examples including Emus and of course, Kangaroos.
Australian_Wildlife

Dec. 02 2007 - Dubbo, Australia - I'm in Australia to chase storms and although there are storms to chase, the biggest weather story here is the extreme drought that has been in place for over a decade in some areas. Parts of the countryside are showing dramatic signs of the prolonged lack of rainfall. The building La Nina pattern of warmer Pacific waters may bring some relief but time will tell if it will be enough.
Australia_Drought_04

Nov. 30 2007 - Sydney, Australia - After my brief stop in Hawaii, I'm now in Australia where I'm going to be chasing storms in the outback for a while, then heading up to Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef. I'll post updates whenever possible (meaning whenever I can get an internet connection).
 
During my stopover in Hawaii, I headed up to the north shore and did an incredible shark dive. There were at least two dozen sharks circling the cage, and they sure looked hungry. We spotted both Galapagos and Sandbar sharks joining in on the feeding frenzy. Some pictures are now uploaded...
 
Thank you all who tuned into the premiere of the new episodes of Angry Planet this past week. Keep tuning back in...There are a lot more crazy adventures to see!

Feeding Frenzy

Nov. 27 2007 - Kailua, Hawaii - I've made it to the first stop on this trip, Hawaii. I won't be here long though since I have a lot to do in Australia. Tomorrow morning, I head to the North Shore to do a shark dive then in the evening it's back to the airport to continue on to Sydney. On the way back from Australia I'll be returning to Hawaii to do more filming for Angry Planet but for now, my stay here will be brief.

Hawaii_01

Nov. 25 2007 - Toronto- Here we go again... My next big expedition is about to begin. Tomorrow morning I leave for a dual purpose trip. Part one will be storm chasing in Australia where they can get huge thunderstorms and even tornadoes at this time of year. Part two will involve a re-visit to Hawaii to capture some more of the extreme elements of the islands. I will keep the website as updated as possible with pictures as I go.
 
Don't forget - New episodes of Angry Planet begin on Wednesday night. The new set of shows begins with 2 back to back episodes starting at 9:00 P.M. eastern time. The first two shows: Blizzard & Wild Water.
 
Subsequent weeks will have one episode on at 9:30 P.M.
 
Here's the whole breakdown of show dates:
 
Nov. 28th - Blizzard 9:00, - Wild Water 9:30
Dec 5th - Avalanche - 9:30
Dec 12th - Volcanic Wedding - 9:30
Dec 19th - Fin Del Mundo - 9:30
Jan 2nd - Midwest Stormfest - 9:30
Jan 9th - Boiling Lake - 9:30

 

Australia

Nov. 22 2007 - Oakville/Burlington- The first real winter storm of the season.

The winter storm system that rolled through Southern Ontario on Nov 22nd was initially forecast to be accompanied by up to 20 cm of snow but the colder temperatures stayed further north. We did end up with a mixed bag of precipitation including: rain, freezing rain, ice pellets, and snow. With the winds coming out of the east at daybreak, it was clear that the wave action on Lake Ontario was going to be significant, and it was. Large waves crashed ashore in Oakville, Burlington and Hamilton. They eventually died down once the winds shifted direction but put on quite a spectacle while they lasted.

Also, watch for me on Breakfast Television on Friday Morning on City TV. Sometime around 7:30 A.M. Toronto's favorite morning show.

2007_11_22_Storm_04

 

Breakfast Television

Nov. 18 2007 - Toronto- NEW EPISODES OF ANGRY PLANET
 
The wait is almost over. Seven brand new episodes of Angry Planet are about to make their broadcast debut. The first two shows will be aired as part of "Wicked Weather Week" on the Outdoor Life Network, Nov 28th. The subsequent episodes will air on Wednesday nights at 9:30 eastern time.
 
These new episodes feature even wilder adventures in more remote and exotic locations around the world. To view the official press release and learn more about each episode, go HERE. If you miss an episode, not to worry. They'll be rerun again during the winter months.
 
Also, production on season two episodes continues at a furious pace and I'll have more news about my next adventure coming up soon!
 
 
Angry Planet, Wednesdays at 9:30 on OLN.

www.angryplanet.tv


Nov. 17 2007 - Toronto- The fatality toll in Bangladesh from Cylone Sidr is currently at 2200 and is expected to rise. This was the worst cyclone to hit the region in over ten years.
 
A cyclone that strong hitting such an undeveloped and low-lying country had the potential to cause tens of thousands of fatalities. There was a lot of structural damage, especially along the coast and I'll be keeping a a close watch on the situation as rescuers slowly are able to get into more isolated communities.

Nov. 15 2007 - Dangerous Super Cyclonic Storm In The Bay Of Bengal - Cyclone Sidr has defied the forecasts and not weakened and is poised to make a direct hit on the heavily populated lowlands of Bangladesh near the India border, east of Calcutta. This is a horrible situation unfolding. In the past, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Bangladesh by cyclones. If you have family or friends there, contact them and make sure they get to a safe location NOW. The strength of this storm is at the top end of category 4, almost cat 5. This is a worst case scenario.

News agencies have been slow to pick up on this story for now but more info can be found here.

Nov. 13 2007 - Dangerous Super Cyclonic Storm In The Bay Of Bengal - Cyclone Sidr has rapidly intensified up to category 4 strength with wind speeds over 200 km/h. What makes this storm so dangerous is that on its current path, it will head towards the India/Bangladesh border region. This area is densely populated and some parts lie just barely above sea level. To make things even worse, there is a chance that the Himalaya mountains could block the storm from progressing out of the area,, thereby drawing even more rain out of the storm system. I would not be surprised to see tremendous loss of life with this cyclone.
 
It is unlikely that I'll have time to intercept this storm.

Cyclone Sidr

Nov. 07 2007 - Toronto- I'm back from the exhausting but successful Noel chase and I've added more photos HERE. It was incredible to see the power of nature, especially the huge waves that can be created by these storm systems.
 
The new Noel page has photos from myself and Mike Theiss as well as a video clip from Mark Robinson. As for me, I think I'll go and get caught up on my sleep.

TN300_Noel_GK_06

Nov. 05 2007 - Post Tropical Storm Noel - Nova Scotia - The chase of post tropical storm Noel was a great success. I'll post more pictures and details when I get the chance, my main concern now is getting back home after this exhausting chase. The waves kicked up by the storm were unreal. Joining me on this intercept was Mark Robinson and Florida chaser Mike Theiss.
 
Here's a preview picture of me in front of one of the huge waves at Peggy's Cove, near Halifax. More to come...

Noel

Nov. 02 2007 - On The Road - I'm on my way towards Nova Scotia for the imminent arrival of hurricane Noel. The storm forecast remains unchanged since last night so, here we go...

Nov. 01 2007 - Toronto (for now) - The recently upgraded hurricane Noel has already tragically impacted Haiti and the Dominican Republic over the past few days and as of right now, its outer edges have caused some flooding and high surf along parts of the south Florida coastline. The storm is expected to barrel north and looks like it'll gain strength as it becomes a post-tropical cyclone.
 
Parts of Nova Scotia may experience hurricane like conditions with this fast moving system. It looks like I'll be hitting the road in the early morning and driving to Nova Scotia for an intercept. More details to follow.

Noel

Oct. 29 2007 - Toronto - Yesterday I attended the Creepy Crawly Cooking event at Urban Primitive in Fergus, Ontario. The chef featured various insect dishes from around the world.
 
Some of the items on the menu included: scorpion pizza, ant soup, mopani worm stew and curried water bugs (pictured).
 
It was great to try some truly exotic cuisine which is not only nutritious but can be quite tasty.

CreepyCrawly2007

Oct. 25 2007 - Angry Planet Video Preview - Here is a sneak peek of what's coming up at the end of November when new episodes of Angry Planet are going to be aired.
 
This clip is from the episode where I descend into the exploding Yasur Volcano on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu. As I get deeper and deeper into the crater, the eruptions get bigger and more violent. Huge, glowing lava bombs are being thrown out of the volcano, some traveling hundreds of meters. Once I reach the end of my rope, I unclip from the safety line to retrieve one of the freshly ejected chunks of lava.
 
The seven new episodes start airing on the Outdoor Life Network beginning on Nov. 28th. Wednesday nights at 9:30.

Yasur Volcano Descent You Tube

Oct. 24 2007 - Okotoks, Alberta - Today was busy...It started off with an educational presentation at the Ontario Science Centre where I talked about volcano exploration. The kids particularly liked the part when I took a blowtorch to the sleeve of my heat suit - with me in it!!
 
After that, it was straight to the airport and off to Calgary and then south to Okotoks where I am now. I'll be out here for a couple of days, then it's back to Toronto.
 
To all of you who have been wondering and asking if I was going to Southern California for the wildfires...Unfortunately, due to prior obligations, I'm unable to go and document this incredible event. It looks like the firefighters should be getting a break from the winds that have been fanning the flames over the past few days.

Oct. 23 2007 - Toronto - Tomorrow, I will be appearing at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto as part of their Earth Sciences Week. I'll be giving a talk to school students about some of my volcano explorations from around the world.
 
After that, I head directly to the airport where I then jet off to Calgary where I'll doing yet another presentation out there. This time for a group of health care workers.
 
At the right is a photo of me at the Science Centre beside their tornado simulation chamber. the device uses a series of fans and air jets along with a fog machine to create a tornado that reaches about 15 feet high. It's great fun watching the kids run through and disrupt the vortex.

Ontario Science Centre

Oct. 20 2007 - Toronto - My time visiting the Rochester School for the Deaf was an experience I won't soon forget. My heartfelt thanks go out to all the students, teachers, administrators, board members and underwriters who made me feel at home during my all too brief stay there. The students blew me away with their inquisitive, intelligent questions about storms and earth sciences. I am truly privileged to have been a part of the 15th annual "Adventures in Education" program. Photos from the event can be found HERE
 
Presenters in previous years have included:
Jack Horner - Renowned Paleontologist
Dick Rutan - Aviator
Jean-Michel Cousteau - Ocean Explorer
Fred Haise - Apollo 13 Astronaut

Rochester School for the Deaf

Oct. 16 2007 - Rochester, New York - Today I find myself in upstate New York for a few days doing a series of presentations at the Rochester School for the Deaf. My appearance is part of their "Adventures in Education" program and I'll be speaking with several different age groups at the school.

Oct. 07 2007 - Toronto - I'm back home and I've uploaded pictures from the recent caving expedition in British Columbia. Many thanks go out to all who helped out on this epic trip. The main caves we explored were: Eternal Fountain, Minigill and Devil's Bath which were all located along old logging roads in a remote part of northern Vancouver Island.
 
Photos can be found HERE.

BC_Caves_Tony_02

Oct. 05 2007 - Vancouver, B.C. - The latest cave trip is over and it was an incredible expedition. We were able to explore numerous caves which had beautiful features, huge vertical drops, underground rivers & lakes and some incredibly tight squeezes. The image at the right is just a first glimpse of some of the pictures to come. I plan to return here in the future to explore even more passages that we didn't get the chance to survey.
 
The trip back was not without incident as well. One of the Land Rovers blew an engine on the way from Port McNeill to Nanaimo which caused a ripple effect for all our transportation logistics. Hey, it happens.
BC_Caves_08

Oct. 03 2007 - I've been too busy to attempt any website updates recently...The cave expedition is progressing well with a fantastic trip to Minigill cave that involved a 110 foot rappel to get in. Today I'll be kayaking across an underground lake in Devil's Bath cave.
 
Does it ever stop raining on Vancouver Island?

Sept. 29 2007 - Port McNeill B.C. - The caving trip is going well despite the almost constant rain, remote locations and having to winch one of our vehicles out of a ditch on a logging road. The next couple of days will be spent at Minigill cave, which has a huge 110 foot rappel at its entrance and Devil's Bath which contains an underground lake.
 
I'll try to get some pictures up when I can.

Sept. 29 2007 - Port McNeill B.C. - Today will be the first true caving day of this expedition and we're getting our gear sorted out right now. There are a million details to organize: lighting, batteries, camera gear, ropes, safety gear, the list goes on and on.
 
Our convoy of vehicles certainly draws attention wherever we stop and every person who comes up to us knows we're up to some big adventure.
 
Time to load up and get underground...

Sept. 27 2007 - Nanaimo B.C. - Well I've made it to British Columbia and met up with the rest of the caving team. We're now travelling in 2 customized off road Land Rovers & tomorrow we'll be heading up towards Port McNeill where our operations will be based. The rainy season has started and I expect there to be a lot of water in these caves so it's a good thing I brought along my dry suit.
 
I'm still on Toronto time so I need to get to sleep. It's going to be a busy week.

Sept. 26 2007 - My Latest Adventure - I'm on my way to the west coast of Canada to explore underground water systems and caves on Vancouver Island. I arrive in Vancouver tomorrow to meet up with the rest of my team and then it's off via Land Rovers to Port McNeill where the caves are. We'll be exploring numerous caves, hopefully including one that no humans have ever entered before. I should be able to post some updates and pictures while I'm gone.
 
This expedition will be filmed and will make up one episode of my Angry Planet TV series.

Vancouver Island

Sept. 25 2007 - National Geographic Book - A photo of me taking wind speed measurements during hurricane Dennis in Florida appears in the new book: Hurricanes - Witness To Disaster.
 
The book, by Judy & Dennis Fraden describes hurricanes from the perspective of the scientists who study them and also through the eyes of storm survivors who lived to tell their tales.


Sept. 21 2007 - Canada's First Recorded F-5 Tornado - After reviewing amateur video footage and comparing it to the official damage survey, Environment Canada has upgraded the rating of the June 22nd Elie, Manitoba tornado. It was originally rated as an F-4 but further investigation justified the subsequent upgrade. There has never been a documented F-5 in Canada before this although strong tornadoes may have occurred in remote areas. The tornado was small but obviously very strong with a compact wind field and the best part about this is that nobody was killed although 19 people lost their homes.

Sept. 20 2007 - Toronto - A huge five alarm fire broke out at an auto wrecking yard near Victoria Park Avenue and Danforth Ave. As I arrived on the scene, emergency vehicles were still showing up and the smoke plume was towering up over the entire city. There were dozens of small explosions heard every few minutes as the fire crews worked to get the blaze under control. I've never seen so many emergency vehicles in one place before; police, fire, hazmat, even the ambulance bus was on the the scene.
More pictures HERE

Auto_Wrecker_07

Sept. 18 2007 - What an awakening. Last night a police chase ended in tragedy when the alleged stolen car they were chasing collided with another car and ended up on my next door neighbor's front lawn. If it had gone 20 more feet, it would've been in my house.
 
The suspect was pronounced dead and the special investigation unit is looking into the incident.
More photos and info HERE
2007_09_18_Fatal_MVA_03

Sept. 17 2007 - I just got an interesting email. It came from the tropical medicine clinic here in Toronto. A couple of months back, I developed a nasty fever immediately upon my return from Dominica & Mexico. I went to the emergency room and subsequently, went back for a battery of blood tests. Well it turns out that I had Dengue Fever, a mosquito borne infectious disease with symptoms similar to Malaria. Here is the Dengue Fever page from Wikipedia. Since Dengue is found both in Dominica and Mexico, I'll never know exactly where I caught it.
 
The good news is that I feel fine now, all is well and there are no long term effects. In fact, I'm looking forward to my next expedition which is coming up in about a week and a half....What is it? Keep checking back here to find out.

Mosquito

Sept. 13 2007 - Well...Tropical Depression #9 surprised a lot of people by suddenly strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane before hitting the Texas coastline. I'm sure that a lot of residents who went to bed last night, woke up to a bit of a shocker. In other news, TD #8 is still well out in the Atlantic but it looks like it's fighting an uphill battle right now. There's going to be a fair amount of upper level wind shear that is going to keep it weak for at least the next few days. It'll probably reach tropical storm status (Ingrid) but after that, we don't know.
 
Yesterday's earthquake in Indonesia was followed by two more. A second one near Sumatra and the third was on a different fault near Sulawesi Island. Indonesia gets lots of earthquakes each year and is one of the most geologically active regions in the world.

Sept. 12 2007 - The tropics are getting active again. This morning two tropical depressions formed. One out in the Atlantic and the other off the coast of Texas. The Texas storm has just been upgraded to Tropical Storm Humberto and is heading in the general direction of Houston. The other depression should soon become Tropical Storm Ingrid. This is the one that I'm watching closely because it has the potential to possibly reach the U.S. in about a week and a half. Time will tell.
 
Also, a strong earthquake measuring 8.4 on the richter scale shook the southern end of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Tsunami warnings were issued and a tsunami of about 10 feet was produced.
Atlantic Satellite

Sept. 09 2007 - I'm back home in Toronto and it's good to be home, although with my insane schedule, I never know exactly how long I'll get to stay before I'm off again to some far flung corner of the Earth.
 
The planet is busy right now with numerous events worth mentioning:
 
- Tropical storm Gabrielle is poised to strike North Carolina today but it is not strong enough for me to have justified a trip down there. There are also other disturbances in the Atlantic that bear watching which might develop over the next week or so.
 
- On the volcano side of things. Mt Etna in Sicily is in another eruptive phase. Strombolian eruptions, ash plumes and lava fountains have all been witnessed over the past week. Also, the Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano in Tanzania has produced a large eruption with a large lava flow descending it's flank and high ash columns. Lengai is the only volcano in the world that erupts rare, natrocarbonatite lava.
 
Last night I attended the 50th anniversary of Canada Goose, the company that provides me with all my cold weather clothing. Their parkas are the best in the world and are used by polar explorers, Antarctica researchers and mountain climbers. They were also raising money and awareness for Polar Bear International, an agency devoted to saving the diminishing habitat of the polar bear.

Sept. 05 2007 - Erie, Pennsylvania - I'm on my way back to Toronto. The Florida waterspout chase went well and in the coming days, I'll be posting more pictures from the trip. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying a bit of time at home...At least until the next hurricane starts to swirl out there.

Sept. 03 2007 - No, I will not be chasing hurricane Felix. I'm glad I didn't jump the gun on this one and fly to Belize since it looks like it's now going to hit Nicaragua & Honduras as a category 4 or 5. This scenario is similar to hurricane Mitch which hit Honduras in 1998 and killed about 11,000 people.
 
I hope that this does not become another tragedy and that the officials are able to get people out of the path of this monster.

Sept. 02 2007 - Sugarloaf Key, Florida - As the waterspout chase continues, I find myself distracted by an intensifying hurricane Felix prowling the Atlantic. The storm has exploded over the past 24 hours and has now become a category 5 storm heading towards Belize with sustained winds of around 165 mph!!!
 
I don't know if I'll be chasing it. There are a few issues:
- If it veers to the south, it'll brush the mountains of Honduras and lose strength.
- If it moves to the north, then it could hit Mexico and leave me high & dry in Belize with a car that I can't bring across the border.
- Last minute logistics are complicating matters.
 
If the forecast remains true and the storm can "thread the needle" & stay on course, then things could get interesting...

Hurricane Felix

Aug. 30 2007 - Yesterday we were able to film 3 waterspouts off the south coast of Key West. At one point, there were 2 spouts down simultaneously, unfortunately, I had some problems with my still camera at the time but the entire event was caught on video. I've also added some photos of the beautiful scenery around the Sugarloaf Key area.

Keys_01

Aug. 29 2007 - Florida Keys - The waterspout chase continues. It's been tough, especially with the shallow, treacherous water conditions around the lower Keys. It's very easy to run aground here and that would be bad, to put it mildly. There have been several reports of waterspouts in various parts of the Florida Keys but it's almost impossible to tell the exact location where they might form. All I can do is read the sky and make my best prediction.
 
On another note. Today marks the 2 year anniversary of hurricane Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast. Many areas, including New Orleans are still attempting to rebuild.
 
To the right are links to my photos of the storm and some of the devastation that it caused.

Katrina Making Landfall
The Aftermath in New Orleans
The Aftermath Along the Gulf Coast

Aug. 23 2007 - It's been so busy with all the hurricane chaos that I didn't have the opportunity to upload any pictures of the waterspout I photographed last week. Now that I'm back in Florida, I'll be out searching for more of them, but instead of looking for them by land, I'll be out in a small boat. Although it's riskier, by using a boat I hope to be able to get a lot closer to the waterspouts than I would be able to normally.
 
I'm currently based in Sugarloaf Key, near Key West and this will be my base of operations for the remainder of the waterspout chase.

Waterspout - Florida Keys

Aug. 22 2007 - Florida - After all the craziness of the past few days, it's good to be back in Florida. I can now continue my waterspout chasing trip that was interrupted by hurricane Dean and my last minute flight to Jamaica to intercept it.

Aug. 21 2007 - Okay, this was scary.
 
We made it back to Montego Bay and had one last night here in Jamaica before our scheduled flight this afternoon. We headed out to find a restaurant and only got a few feet from the hotel when some local guy appeared and started getting friendly, then a second guy showed up. It seemed pretty clear that these guys were street hustlers. They show you where to go, then ask for money. Fine, I've dealt with this kind of thing before but I had a bad feeling, it was the day after the hurricane, the street lights were out because of the power outages and and we were getting too far away from the hotel.
 
They took us to a few places but none had any food so we decided to turn back and return to the hotel. That's when the inevitable request for payment came. We asked him what would be reasonable and he said $20 U.S. for each of us (myself, Jim Leonard and Peter Rowe). I laughed at the guy and told him his price was outrageous, Most of the time, this is the start of the typical negotiation process. Unfortunately, Peter had taken out his wallet and was trying to figure out the local exchange rate, that's when the guy grabbed Peter's wallet and ran...
 
Here's where things get really interesting.
 
I instinctively ran after the guy. I've chased down thieves before so I didn't give it a thought. The problem was that he ran across the street and when I followed him, I forgot that they drive on the left side of the road here. He ran in front of an oncoming car and that's when I came to the sudden realization that I didn't have enough time to stop. Collision was inevitable.
 
I hit the front right fender and went up onto the windshield then up onto the roof and rolled back off the right side and down onto the ground. It was like a stunt man in an action film. The instant I hit the ground, I popped back up and kept running, to get the thief and to get out of the way of the next car coming down the road. I kept running until the guy dashed into a pitch black park. A woman standing outside the park entrance said that I didn't want to go in there and I wisely took her advise. The guy got away and my adrenaline was still pumping so hard that I wasn't even sure if I had any serious injuries.
 
The car never stopped and the second guy eventually took off.
 
This is one of the closest brushes with death I've ever had and I'm amazed that I didn't get any serious injury at all, I'm just a little sore this morning and I have a bit of road rash but all things considered, I can't believe I'm not in a Jamaican hospital...or worse.

Aug. 20 2007 - Hurricane Dean - Jamaica - Many people were wondering where I was and how I was doing after hurricane Dean. We're all fine and had an excellent intercept of the storm. Details and photos can be found Here. Right now I'm waiting for the electricity to come back on and the airport to return to normal. Jamaica got very lucky, if Dean had not taken a last minute turn, the destruction would've been far worse. Also, the mountains at the center of the island block a lot of the wind from sweeping all the way across.
 
The most interesting moment was having to dodge huge logs as the storm surge washed across one of the roads and carried with it all kinds of debris.
 
If all goes well, I'll be back in Florida tomorrow to continue the waterspout filming project.
Hurricane Dean

Aug. 18 2007 - Hurricane Dean - Live from Montego Bay, Jamaica - I made it to the island before the airport closed and I'm currently awaiting hurricane Dean's landfall tomorrow evening. Dean is currently a strong category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph with higher gusts. There is even a chance that it could intensify to a cat-5 storm. Either way, Jamaica is facing a catastrophic event and I'll be here to document the whole thing.
 
After Jamaica, Dean is expected to rip through the Cayman Islands, then on to Cancun and out into the Gulf of Mexico where it will threaten the Mexico/Texas border region.
 
Joining me is veteran hurricane chaser Jim Leonard and we're filming the whole thing for an upcoming "Angry Planet" episode.

Aug. 17 2007 - Hurricane Dean - I will be attempting a tricky storm intercept of hurricane Dean in Jamaica. Right now, the forecast has Dean making a direct hit on the island on Sunday as a dangerous category 4 storm. One of the risks of chasing hurricanes on islands is that if the storm shifts its track...You get nothing for your efforts. Despite this, I'm quite confident that Jamaica is going to take a serious hit from this storm. Updates will be posted whenever possible.
 
Update - Dean has now been upgraded to a category 4 hurricane and is still intensifying!! Wind speeds are at 135 mph and I expect that to go up before hitting Jamaica. There is a chance that it could even reach cat 5 intensity.
Hurricane Dean

Aug. 17 2007 - Sugarloaf Key, Florida - Wow it's been busy the past few days. I'm currently in the Florida Keys on a mission to film waterspouts (Saw a great one the other day near Tavernier) but it looks like my plans are changing rapidly with hurricane Dean expected to strengthen up to a category 4 storm before hitting Jamaica and then slamming into the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. There is a very good chance that I'll be flying out to one of these locations for an intercept. The things I don't like are that it might hit at night in Mexico which complicates things tremendously and the uncertainty of what will happen to the storm once it passes through Mexico and into the Gulf... Decisions need to be made very soon.
Hurricane Dean

Aug. 13 2007 - Florida - I just spent the last 2 days driving from Toronto to Florida. I'll be down here for a couple of weeks, working on some Angry Planet stuff, filming some new episodes. It looks like things are going to be getting very busy... There's already Tropical Depression 4 that formed out in the Atlantic, plus there's another area of interest heading towards the Gulf of Mexico. I think the 2007 hurricane season is about to really get cooking after a rather slow start. It works out well that I'm already in Florida, it makes intercepting these storms a lot easier than it is from Canada so stay tuned...I don't know where I'm going to end up over the next week or so.

Aug. 09 2007 - This morning I was interviewed on CTV Newsnet as a commentator regarding weather modification, and specifically cloud seeding in China. The Chinese are using cannons to fire silver iodide particles into the atmosphere to try and clear the precipitation out before the clouds reach Beijing. Historically, this technique has been used to bring rain to areas that need it but also will be employed during the 2008 Olympic Games to try and keep rain out of the forecast.
CTV Newsnet

Aug. 07 2007 - It's been a while since I posted something here...It's been nice to have some time at home. After so much travel, it's strange waking up in my own bed for more more than a couple of days at a time. Ah, but the recuperation will be short lived since the next project is fast approaching. It involves a very long drive south followed by numerous boat trips out to sea as I get ready to chase waterspouts in the Florida Keys. Waterspouts are non-supercellular tornadoes over water... What that means is that these tornadoes are not formed by the same giant, rotating thunderstorms that spawn their larger, more destructive cousins across the Great Plains.
 
What I plan to do is to get up close to these nautical phenomenon on a small boat, they're usually too far offshore to get a close look so I guess I'll have to head out into their territory.

July 31 2007 - Photos from my recent trip to Death Valley, California are now online. It was one of the most inhospitable places I've been to, very similar to parts of Ethiopia and Djibouti.
The heat here is so incredibly intense that you dehydrate incredibly fast, in fact people die here from the heat almost every year.
Death_Valley

July 23 2007 - Death Valley, California - So far after 2 days in the blistering heat of Death Valley I'm starting to feel a bit better. This illness has been a real pain but I think I'm truly on the mend. Death Valley is a beautiful place but as harsh as anywhere I've been. It's so hot & dry here that you dehydrate with every breath and your sweat evaporates before you even feel wet. This combination can be lethal if you don't stay hydrated and take extreme precautions.
Up later today is the Kiehl's Badwater Ultramarathon. A 135 mile foot race from Death Valley to Mount Whitney. This is the toughest running race in the world and these athletes are incredible.
 
To put things in perspective:
-It's about 5 marathons back to back.
-The daytime temperature here will likely peak out at around 115 degrees, maybe higher.
-It's almost completely uphill.
-The winner will probably be finished in about 24-28 hours but the course stays open for runners for 60 hours.
-There is NO prize money.
 
So, You think you're tough enough?

July 20 2007 - I've finally got some pictures uploaded from the Dominica Boiling Lake traverse. This expedition was one of the most challenging both in terms of logistics and danger but it went off without a hitch. This adventure will be featured in an upcoming episode of Angry Planet. This wraps up filming for season one and we're already heading "full steam" into season two.
 
Tonight I head out for Death Valley, California, the hottest place in North America where daytime temperatures commonly top 120 degrees.

Boiling Lake Traverse

July 18 2007 - Good news. My first malaria blood test came back negative...What a relief to hear, but I'm still running a fever and I need to go back to the hospital for a second set of tests, just to be sure.
 
In the meantime, I've uploaded some of the whale shark pictures from Isla Holbox, Mexico. Right now I only have the surface pictures but I plan on getting the underwater ones online at some point.
 
The new boiling lake pics will be online soon, right now I need to get some rest.
Isla Holbox Whale Sharks

July 17 2007 - Toronto - Too much going on right now to go into a lot of detail...
- The Boiling Lake expedition was a terrific success. See pictures online at www.thestar.com/videos
- Swimming with whale sharks in Mexico was out of this world. I was totally surrounded by them and so incredibly close too.
- Pictures will be uploaded when time allows, right now I'm running a fever and I need to go to the hospital for a blood test to rule out malaria or any other tropical disease, just as a precaution.
 
Whew... All this and I'm supposed to fly to Death Valley, California on Friday where it's going to be 110 degrees in the shade!!

July 01 2007 - Happy Canada Day!! - I'm now en route to the Boiling Lake in Dominica and from there I'll be continuing on to Holbox Island, Mexico to swim with giant whale sharks.
 
This expedition is the final shoot for season one of my Angry Planet Television series...But there will be more! we've been picked up for a season two with even more adventures planned to remote, dramatic corners of the Earth. There is no gap in the filming process and we've actually already filmed a few scenes for season two. I'll have more updates when I return.

June 30 2007 - No rest for the weary.
The final details are being checked and re-checked. Tomorrow I depart for the Caribbean to be the first person to ever traverse above the Boiling Lake in Dominica by rope. I've tested & re-tested to rigging equipment and I'm really looking forward to this unique challenge. The lake is about 350 feet or so across and the water is heated by volcanic gas vents underneath. It literally boils away like a witch's cauldron.
 
The real challenges are going to be getting the massive amount of rigging, filming and camping equipment up the mountain trail to the lake, plus of course the extreme heat from the steam plus possible volcanic gasses while I'm out on the ropes.
 
Also, a feature article on my storm chasing and weather in Ontario is in today's Globe & Mail newspaper. Read the article Here.

Boiling Lake

Globe & Mail Newspaper Article

June 28 2007 - Back from Alberta. It sure was a busy trip but a productive one. I did a speaking engagement at the Canmore hospital, then I picked up all the specialized equipment that I'm going to need for the upcoming Boiling Lake expedition in Dominica.
 
Of course, I had to try out the rigging so we set up the ropes across a canyon and put the whole system to the test. It went off without a hitch.
 
I even got the opportunity to do some excellent caving at Rat's Nest Cave which has some very technical and challenging areas. One of note is the "Psych Squeeze" which is difficult both physically and mentally. The passageway got so tight that I could barely fit through. Not a great spot to be in if you needed to be rescued.

Canyon Test

Rat's Nest Cave

June 24 2007 - I've learned that you can't be everywhere. On June 22nd, a huge, photogenic tornado touched down in Manitoba, destroying several houses in the town of Elie, near Winnipeg. Chasing this event was not an option for me since I have so little time this week between other trips but the news photos I've seen have been spectacular. The preliminary damage reports are putting the tornado at an F-4 rating. The last F-4 in Canada was 13 years ago.
 
Meanwhile. I'm off to Canmore, Alberta for a few days doing a speaking engagement, picking up & testing some new equipment and going caving at Rat's Nest Cave. The trip will be short but sweet as I have to come home to prepare for my return to Dominica next week where I will be rigging ropes across the boiling lake to become the first person to ever traverse it from above...Stay tuned.

June 20 2007 - Yesterday, I filmed the rollover test of the racing yacht Spirit of Canada. The skipper, Derek Hatfield is planning on entering it in a solo, around the world race in 2008 and the boat needed to be tested to see if it was self-righting. A giant crane was used to flip the boat upside-down with Derek inside, he then adjusted the keel which caused the boat to rapidly flip back upright. He's already learned how treacherous sailing can be when his last boat snapped it's mast and capsized off the treacherous waters of Cape Horn.
 
To see the photos of my recent Cape Horn sailing adventure click Here.

Spirit_of_Canada

June 18 2007 - My 2007 Great Plains storm chase is now complete and was a great success. This year I was on the road for 47 days straight and drove across 21 states for a total of 31,760km (19,735 miles).
The daily blog entries from the chase can be found HERE.
 
There are many new adventures coming up and updates will be posted whenever possible.

Storm Chase 2007

April 29 2007 - It has been insanely busy lately. Between gearing up for the upcoming 6 week tornado chase, recording narration for the Yasur volcano Angry Planet episode, attending CANWARN, doing a severe weather presentation at the Royal Botanical Gardens, being interviewed on FOX news, well the list just goes on...During this year's tornado chase trip I'll be posting daily updates on the 2007 chase page instead of here on the regular blog. Regular blog entries will resume upon my return.

Tornado Chase 2007 Blog Page

April 28 2007 - I finally got around to uploading pictures from the bioluminescent bay on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. What an amazing place. It was like the best special effects from Hollywood. Every splash of the water would glow and jumping in for a swim was incredible. With every move, the plankton in the water would emit a soft green light that seemed totally alien. At one point we spotted a glowing blue/green stingray in the dark water and the only time it was visible was when it was moving.
Bioluminescent Bay

April 23 2007 - Today, I appeared on the Daytime talk show on Rogers Simcoe. It aired live at 11:00 and then again at 3:00 and 11 PM.
 
It's been very busy lately, working on getting new episodes of Angry Planet finished and making plans for the upcoming tornado chase across the "Tornado Alley" region of the U.S.

April 17 2007 - Toronto - Home at last. The latest series of trips was nothing short of incredible. I was able to visit and document some amazing natural phenomenon from such exotic locations as southern Patagonia & the Caribbean. As this week progresses, more pictures will be uploaded here so check back.
 
Earth day is coming up this Sunday April 22nd and rather fittingly, the Outdoor Life Network is going to be have an Angry Planet marathon. 6 episodes back to back starting at 8:00 PM eastern time. Also, visit www.earthday.org to learn about the ways that YOU can help preserve our planet and hopefully, make it a little less angry.

www.earthday.org


April 15 2007 - Miami, Florida - Well I'm finally on my way home after almost a month in South America & the Caribbean. I left Vieques this morning, where I spent the last 2 nights at the world's most bioluminescent bay which was fantastic to see but extremely tough to photograph (Some pictures will be coming soon).
 
I've also added some more pictures from Dominica including more photos from the Boiling Lake, the Valley of Desolation & the Champagne Reef where I went SCUBA diving in an area of undersea volcanic gas activity. The gas bubbles come up though the reef just like a glass of champagne...Very cool.
 
Bigger updates will be added once I get settled in so enjoy these for now.
Champagne Reef

April 12 2007 - San Juan, Puerto Rico - The epic journey continues...I was unable to do any updates while on the island of Dominica but the scouting mission there was very successful. I made it to the Boiling Lake and the Valley of Desolation and will be returning there in July...
 
What for you might ask?... I'm going to be rigging ropes across the Boiling Lake and will be the first person to ever traverse it from above. The lake is about 300 feet across and is vigorously boiling in it's center. Permissions are being secured and the logistics are continuing. It will be a truly unique and challenging endeavor. I love doing things that have never been done before.
 
Dominica has the highest concentration of active volcanoes in the world and is home to countless steam vents, fumaroles and hot springs. It truly is an adventure island, I highly recommend a visit there.
 
For the time being, I'm in San Juan and will be leaving for Vieques Island tomorrow to film at the Bioluminescent Bay for a couple of days before finally returning to Toronto after almost a month travelling all over the hemisphere.

Boiling Lake

Valley Of desolation

April 06 2007 - Miami, Florida - The Patagonia portion of the latest expedition is now complete. I've just arrived in Miami and I'll be on another plane starting the next leg of the trip to Dominica & Puerto Rico on Sunday. Today I was out buying a new still camera since mine met an untimely demise after it fell overboard and sank to the bottom of the Beagle Channel between Argentina and Chile. It's now resting peacefully after many years of faithful service. Hey, I'm surprised it lasted this long.
 
I was hoping to get more pictures posted online but time has been too tight. I've barely had any sleep after taking the red-eye flight from Buenos Aires so the serious web updates will have to wait...
 
Many thanks to everyone who has been emailing me after watching the Angry Planet TV series...I'll have some important news about the show to share with you soon.

April 04 2007 - Ushuaia, Argentina - Well I'm back in Ushuaia, Argentina after spending the last 11 days aboard the 54 foot expedition sailboat Northanger. The voyage was a complete success and we were able to actually land at Isla de Hornos, the most southern tip of the Americas. The ocean was typically rough and the weather unpredictable. We then made our way up the Beagle Channel to the Holanda glacier which was the most incredible blue colour imaginable.
 
At the glacier, I was able to climb up and get a view from on top of the ice as it cracked & creaked towards the glacial lake. There were deep crevasses everywhere, making travel on it difficult and dangerous.
 
I'm going to post a lot more photos and stories when I get the chance. In the morning I leave Patagonia and head for the boiling lake in Dominica...Stay tuned.

Rounding the Horn

Hollanda Glacier - Chile

March 19 2007 - Bon voyage... Today is the day I leave for the extended South America/Caribbean expedition. Over the next few weeks, I'll be:
- Travelling to the most extreme southern tip of South America.
- Sailing around the notorious Cape Horn in between South America & Antarctica.
- Exploring the Glaciers of the Beagle Channel between Argentina & Chile.
- Doing a reconnaissance trip to the boiling lake on the island of Dominica.
- Documenting bioluminescent micro-organisms on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.
This is a very exciting trip and I'll be posting pictures whenever I can but it'll be a while until I expect to have an internet connection.
In the meantime, additional new episodes of Angry Planet will be airing on Tuesday nights.
Episode descriptions can be found here: www.angryplanet.tv

March 16 2007 - Whew, Okay...Too much going on right now.
I'm in the final preparation stages for the latest expedition to South America which begins on Monday so there are a million things to do. This will be one of my most challenging adventures yet so keep checking back. Web updates will be sparse but I'll do what I can.
 
As far as press coverage goes, the piece on Entertainment Tonight ran last night, so did some of my avalanche footage on the Discovery Channel. This morning, I appeared live on Breakfast Television in Toronto and was interviewed by Dina Pugliese. This was my eighth appearance on the morning show, I'm getting to be a real regular around there. Also on the show this morning was Survivorman Les Stroud. It was great to finally meet him, especially since we both share airtime Tuesday nights on OLN.
 
On the cover of Weatherwise this month is a picture from my wildfire adventure in northern Ontario from last September. Just seeing it brings back memories...I can still smell the smoke.
 
There are even more big projects in the works right now which I can't say much about other than I'm very, very excited about the rest of this year...

Weatherwise - Thunder Bay Fires

Entertainment Tonight

March 13 2007 - It's been very busy the past few days. The show premiered last week and I've been doing a lot of media interviews to help promote the show (Watch for me on The Weather Network and Entertainment Tonight Canada as well as Breakfast Television this upcoming Friday). The response to the show has been great!
 
In less than a week, I'll be leaving on my latest journey - This time to extreme southern South America, deep into the Patagonia region of Argentina and Chile. The objective is to explore the Beagle Channel and sail around Cape Horn, the most extreme southern point. The Drake Passage, between Antarctica and South America is notorious for being some of the most treacherous waters in the world and "rounding the 'Horn" is considered by many to be the "Mount Everest of sailing". After that I fly directly to the Caribbean to do some more filming in Dominica and Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.
 
Preparations are in full swing for this expedition now, plus we're still working on other episodes that will be airing soon...
 
Tonight's episode - Desert Monsoon - Enlisting the help of fellow storm chaser R.J. Evans, George heads to Arizona to photograph spectacular lightning storms triggered by the desert monsoon season. R.J. however is known as "America's noisiest atheist" for his free-thought radio show... It seems that the gods are intent on striking them down with thunderbolts from the heavens.
 
Tune in to OLN at 9:30 Eastern

March 06 2007 - Where do I begin... Tonight is the world premiere of my new TV series Angry Planet. I've been working on the show for about a year now, travelling all over the world, meeting incredible people and seeing some of the most amazing sights on the planet. Even though the show starts today, production is still ongoing so there are still more adventures upcoming over the next few months.
 
I really want to thank Peter Rowe for his tremendous background, experience and faith in the project, especially considering some of the circumstances we found ourselves in. Also, great thanks to the good folks at the Outdoor Life Network for believing in the concept, and to my new wife Michelle for putting up with me being away from home so much this past year.
 
If you're a regular visitor here, then you already have a good idea of what's coming up in the TV show but if you are new here, then please, browse around the photo galleries and then sit back on Tuesday nights and enjoy the show.
 
Also going on - This morning's extreme cold in Ontario created conditions conducive to steam devil formation on the Great Lakes. I was on the shore of Lake Ontario at dawn this morning and caught the show.
 
In other news - Five Europeans are missing and presumed kidnapped in the Danakil Depression region of northern Ethiopia. The area is extremely inhospitable and is the territory of Afar nomads, bandits and border skirmishes with Eritrean soldiers. This is the same area that I visited in 2005 on my expedition to the Erta Ale volcano. It's a dangerous place at the best of times and is seldom visited.

http://www.angryplanet.tv

Steam Devils on Lake Ontario

March 04 2007 - It's almost time for the "Angry Planet" world premiere. Tune in this Tuesday night March 6th at 9:30 PM eastern/10:30 Pacific on the Outdoor Life Network (Channel 58 on Rogers in Toronto)
 
The next few days will be very busy with press interviews and appearances to promote the show so if you get the chance, tune in and tell me what you think of the show.
-George.

March 02 2007 - Back in Toronto. I'm home again after a great 2 week shoot in Alberta and British Columbia. The avalanche conditions there were just right for my purposes and It worked out well. More pictures will be uploaded when I get a bit caught up. One serious problem was that I set off the explosives detector at the Calgary airport on my way home. I had enough residue just from being close the avalanche control explosives to set it off. It was a pain at the time but it's good to know their equipment works.
 
March certainly came in like a lion this year. My plane landed in Toronto in the middle of a harsh winter storm that brought snow, freezing rain and high winds to the GTA. So what did I do as soon as I got off the plane? I went storm chasing of course. The wave action on Lake Ontario was spectacular but freezing cold as huge waves crashed into the breakwall in Burlington and sent a wall of water 25 feet up into the air. Unfortunately, the conditions made photography impossible.
 
The same storm system is also responsible for a 2 day tornado outbreak that brought deadly twisters to parts of the U.S. Midwest and southeast. The storm season is certainly off to an early start this year, unfortunately with tragic consequences.

Feb. 27 2007 - Golden, British Columbia - The filming continues. Yesterday we were back in Revelstoke and now It's back to Kicking Horse for more. Today I got to spend most of the day with the Applied Snow & Avalanche Research Group from the University of Calgary. We were analyzing the current snow pack conditions and determining the avalanche risk in Rogers Pass. More to come...

Feb. 23 2007 - Gothics Lodge, British Columbia - Right now I'm at the Gothics Lodge which is part of the Canadian Mountain Holidays heli-skiing operation. People come here from all over the world to get air-lifted from the lodge by helicopter to remote, unspoiled slopes in remote areas. It's known as some of the best skiing in the world but avalanches are a tremendous concern for the operators here and they go to great lengths to analyze each mountain slope to determine how safe they are.
 
The views here are breathtaking. Especially from the helicopter.

Avalanche

Feb. 20 2007 - Revelstoke, British Columbia - OK, today was awesome. It started off early when I got the chance to join the Canadian military as they fired off one of their howitzers to produced controlled avalanches along the Trans-Canada highway. They even let me pull the trigger which ended up producing a class 3 avalanche. Very cool.
 
Then it was on to Revelstoke to hook up with the dept. of highways. We went up in a helicopter and dropped explosive charges onto the steep slopes in the area and created even more avalanches. Also very cool.
 
To top it all off, we were able to get some really amazing footage using my "crashcam" protective camera housing. It took a direct hit from a large avalanche!! Extremely cool.
 
All this and I still have plenty more time out here in the mountains before I have to return to Toronto. Stay tuned...

Rogers Pass

Feb. 19 2007 - Roger's Pass, British Columbia - Today we started off with the ski patrol from Kicking Horse Mountain Resort as they carried explosive charges out to do avalanche control on some of their ski runs. The visibility was not so great but the sound of these bombs going off and echoing throughout the mountains was awesome.
 
The excitement didn't stop there, the show producer sank in deep snow and dislocated one of his fingers. I ended up having to take him to the hospital but he's fine.
 
I've started posting more photos from this latest avalanche expedition. The page will be updated regularly with more photos added.

Kicking Horse

Feb. 17 2007 - Golden, British Columbia - The past couple of days have been very busy. Yesterday I was able to do some spectacular ice climbing near Banff. These frozen waterfalls towered up to about 40 meters.
 
Today was spent at the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in B.C. where we spoke with several avalanche forecasters doing snow profiling by cutting into the snow and examining the different layers. It's a complicated process but it is vital to avalanche prediction. More later.

Ice_Climbing_Banff

Feb. 14 2007 - Canmore, Alberta - Happy Valentine's Day. I'm a bit bummed that I missed out on most of the huge blizzard that slammed southern Ontario but luckily my flight out to Calgary wasn't too delayed. The better part of the day was spent driving around Calgary, picking up equipment such as avalanche probes & beacons and a very cool avalanche airbag system. It looks just like a regular backpack but when you pull the rip cord, 2 large balloons instantly inflate via a compressed nitrogen cartridge. The inflated bags are meant to keep you buoyant in the chaotic, tumbling snow if you are ever unfortunate enough to get caught up in an avalanche. It's not cheap but it could be a lifesaver.
 
I'm in Canmore now and I'll be posting updates whenever possible.

Feb. 13 2007 - Toronto - Being on MTV last night was a lot of fun but I tell ya, David Suzuki is a tough act to follow! Everyone there was great and they've got the coolest set. Anyway, I'm off to the Rock Mountains now to spend a couple of weeks filming avalanches. I get to be buried in snow and dug out by dogs and we even get to hang out with the guys who fire artillery into the mountains to start their own avalanches. Updates and pictures will be posted whenever possible.
 
Also. Catch me in the March edition of Explore magazine. They do a profile of me and talk about the new TV series, which by the way now has it's own website. It's still in development but online now www.angryplanet.tv
 
Next stop...Avalanche country.

Explore Magazine

http://www.angryplanet.tv


Feb. 12 2007 - There's lots going on right now. Lets see, where to begin.
 
- The Outdoor Life Network has started airing teaser commercials for Angry Planet. I caught one this morning and it short but sweet. A taste of things to come for sure. It feels good to finally see one of the show's commercials actually on the air. A quick reminder: the premiere is March 6th at 9:30.
 
- I'm going to be on the MTV Live show on MTV Canada tonight. The topic of the show will be global warming/climate change so I should be able to bring a unique perspective to the subject. If you get the channel, tune in at 6:00.
 
- Last but not least. On Wednesday, I leave for the Rocky Mountains to spend some time filming our avalanche episode. We start off in Calgary and we'll be all over the mountains of Alberta and B.C. We actually get to hang out with the guys who fire artillery into the mountainside to trigger man-made avalanches...OK, I have a cool job.

MTV Canada

Feb. 09 2007 - The winter weather just keeps coming. Today I was down along the Lake Ontario shore to photograph the incredible ice formations that have built up due to the cold weather. It's amazing to see the way the shapes come together to form these abstract art pieces that are doomed to melt away back into the lake. The trick is to enjoy them while they last.
 
Also, today I did an interview for Your World This Week on Rogers Digital so look for me on channel 01 when you first power up your Rogers digital cable box! ... Oh I almost forgot. The promo commercials for Angry Planet have started airing on OLN. I still have yet to see one of these commercials but I'm told that they are now running.

Feb_09_2007_Lake_Ice

Feb. 07 2007 - The snow just keeps coming!! It's been a long time since I've seen this much snow and almost none of it is making it into Toronto. This week has seen tremendous amounts of lake effect snowfall which has closed roads, caused whiteout conditions and blanketed the entire region south of Lake Huron.
 
I was out in it today filming some scenes for Angry Planet and managed to do a great job of getting my truck stuck in a snowbank. It's a long story as to how it got there but at least I was smart and had a shovel with me.

Feb_07_2007_Snowsqualls

Feb. 06 2007 - Video clips - OK, Mark Robinson has uploaded a few video clips of the recent snow squall chase and of me being frozen solid in the wind tunnel. Check out these "Cool Clips"
 
Frozen Solid
 
Intense Snow Squalls

Feb. 05 2007 - Lake Effect Snow Squalls - Last night the conditions were perfect for intense lake effect snow coming off of Georgian Bay. At times it was a total whiteout with near zero visibility. Roads were closed in some areas and I was there, in the middle of the heaviest squall.

Lake Effect Snow Squalls

Feb. 03 2007 - A lot was going on yesterday. First, the much anticipated report on climate change was released in Paris, which paints a bleak picture unless we start aggressively acting now. Plus, a deadly tornado outbreak occurred in central Florida in the early morning hours. So far there are 20 fatalities reported and hundreds of homes damaged or destroyed.
 
I appeared on Fox's national news network in the evening to discuss the tornadoes and to gives safety tips on what to do if you find yourself in the path of a tornado.

Fox News

Jan. 30 2007 - New photos added!! I've updated the site and added pictures from:
My exploration of Bonnechere Cave by boat
&
Being frozen solid in a wind tunnel
Both these events went extremely well and we were able to capture some amazing video footage for the TV show but you'll have to wait to see the footage when it airs. It is crazy to say the least.
 
Yes that's me underneath that cocoon of solid ice. Don't try this at home.
Frozen In A Wind Tunnel Bonnechere Caves

Jan. 29 2007 - I'm back from the latest set of cold weather adventures which took me to the top of the highest mountain in the Northeastern U.S. as well as into a frozen wind tunnel and then into a flooded cave where I paddled an inflatable boat.
 
Photos from Mount Washington are now posted and the others will be coming soon when I get some more time. Enjoy them! Mount Washington is as beautiful as it is harsh & I've been wanting to climb it for a long time now...Mission accomplished. It sure felt good to get to the top.
Mount Washington

Jan. 19 2007 - On the road again. The journey to Mount Washington is on. The other day they had wind gusts to over 110 miles per hour and the wind chill was below -60. We'll see what the conditions are like when I get there... Pictures will be uploaded upon my return.
 
When I get home, I will have spent 127 nights away from home since the end of April. That's a lot of chasing & traveling...And there's more coming up too.

Jan. 13 2007 - Lots going on right now...I'm still fresh back from the South Pacific and now it's time to start focusing on some serious winter weather. At the end of next week, I'm off to Mount Washington in New Hampshire, famous for being the place with the "Worst weather in the world". It holds the world record for the highest wind speed ever recorded at the Earth's surface, a whopping 231 miles per hour!!
 
Of course I have to do this the hard way so I'll be climbing the mountain using crampons & ice axe and joining me will be Mark Robinson. My trusty producer/cameraman Peter Rowe will be taking the snow tractor to the top and meeting us at the summit. We'll be spending 2 nights at the summit at the Mount Washington Observatory.
 
Oh, but there's more. We then head to Ottawa where I get to re-visit my friends at the National Research Council's wind tunnel. This particular wind tunnel is often used in the winter to test icing on airplane wings and the plan is to put me in the wind tunnel and crank it up to 150 km/h and then douse me with super-cooled water droplets. The water will then instantly freeze when it hits me and by the time it's all said & done, I should be completely encrusted in ice. To my knowledge, this will be the first time anyone has attempted this. They might have to chip me out of the ice.
 
Still more!! - We then return to Bonnechere Cave in Eganville, Ontario where we did some filming last summer when the cave was dry. Now it is full of water and I'll be filming scenes inside the icy cave in a small inflatable boat.
 
Also:
The first few episodes of Angry Planet are just finishing up post-production right now and sometime over the next few weeks you should start seeing commercials & promos on OLN.
Mount Washington Observatory

Jan. 12 2007 - I have now finally been able to post some of the pictures of my wedding on top of the Yasur volcano in Vanuatu. Sorry for the delay. What a fantastic and surreal experience it was. The volcano was explosively active during the ceremony and it went off without a hitch.
 
Volcanic Wedding of Michelle & George

Volcanic Wedding

Jan. 10 2007 - A few more things to mention today. It's getting very close to the air date for the first episodes of Angry Planet on the Outdoor Life Network in Canada (Tuesday, March 6th at 9:30) so I've uploaded a bit of a teaser for everyone. It's the opening title sequence of the show, a fast paced montage of some of the adventures that you'll see when the show is broadcast.
 
Check out the sneak preview HERE 11 MB Quicktime format.
 
I'm looking for feedback so tell me what you think:
george@stormchaser.ca


Jan. 10 2007 - Here's the latest uploads from the South Pacific adventure.
 
50 Meter Rap-Jump down the Cascades waterfall on Efate Island, Vanuatu.
This was a lot of fun but a bit un-nerving since it's done face first!!

Rap Jump

Jan. 09 2007 - More pictures have been uploaded including:
 
Big wave surfers from the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore
&
The incredible Blue Cave in Vanuatu which has to been seen to be believed
 
It's still going to take some time before I get the volcanic wedding pictures uploaded. There's been a snag and I have to wait for the files but they are on the way.

Blue Cave - Vanuatu

Jan. 06 2007 - It's a bit slow getting web updates done right now, I'm still catching up with everything after being gone for a month. I have added a few new pages for:
 
Yasur Volcano - Vanuatu
Kilauea Volcano - Hawaii
Home Reef Pumice Rafts - Tonga
 
The much anticipated volcanic wedding photos will be online soon as well as many others. Right now I'm still getting settled from the recent trip, plus continuing post production on the numerous previous episodes of Angry Planet plus I'm getting ready to start filming scenes for several other new, upcoming episodes.
 
We now have an official air date for the Angry Planet TV series - Tuesday, March 6th at 9:30 on the Outdoor Life Network. Six episodes will air on Tuesday nights starting then. Afterwards, the remaining new episodes will be broadcast in the fall.
 
The show looks awesome so tune in and join me for the wildest adventures on the planet.

Yasur Volcano Vanuatu

Kilauea Volcano - Hawaii

Floating Pumice From Home Reef - Tonga


Jan. 04 2007 - Toronto - Well I made it back home. The Trans-Pacific adventure was a complete success. The wedding on top of the erupting Yasur volcano went exactly as planned. The weather co-operated and the volcano was as active as ever. Michelle and I want to extend our thanks to everyone who helped out in the planning & preparation for this momentous event and also to those who wished us well.
 
There is simply too much to discuss right now and I'm still jet lagged so I'll be posting updates about the adventures over the next few days.
 
Trip Statistics:
29 - Days spent travelling
12 - Number of commercial airline flights
5 - Countries visited (Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Fiji, U.S. Hawaii)
2 - Erupting volcanoes climbed
13 - Number of hours spent hiking across Kilauea volcano carrying our filming equipment.

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

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

 

Any Questions/Comments?

Send E-Mail To George Kourounis

george@stormchaser.ca


All Images Copyrighted G. Kourounis

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized Use Is Prohibited