2019 Archive News/Blog & Recent Events - George Kourounis

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Dec 28 2019 - End Of The Decade
The past 10 years have been absolutely filled with amazing adventures all over the world. I'm extremely grateful for all of the amazing opportunities I've had. Many thanks to you, the people who watch the TV shows, videos and pictures, and those who come out to my talks. Without you, I wouldn't be able to share so many incredible sights and stories. I look forward to whatever the next 10 years brings!!
Safe adventures and prosperity to you and yuor loved ones in 2020!

World MAp

Dec 11 2019 - White Island Volcano Eruption
On Monday, the White Island volcano of the north coast of New Zealand erupted. There were several tour groups on the island at the time, and there were numerous fatalities. The full extent is still being assessed.
I wrote an article for Canadian Geographic about the incident and my personal experience there.
I also did several radio interviews, and an interview with CBC about my thoughts on volcano tourism.

Canadian Geographic White Island

Dec 01 2019 - Boston, Massachusetts
I flew into Boston yesterday, and for the next couple of days I'll be sitting i front of a camera, filming interviews for the Science Channel show "What On Earth?".
This is for season 6 of the series, and I've been fortunate enough to have been involved with the show since season 1.
One complication is a massive snowstorm that's bearing down on us. We're expecting at least a foot of snow to come down over the next 36 hours. Hopefully I won't have too many problems flying home after the shoot!

What On Earth? Filming

Nov 27 2019 - Toronto
Today I had the great honour of moderating a panel discussion on climate change during a "Stormhunters" event for The Weather Network at TIFF Lightbox in downtown Toronto.
On the panel were: Wildlife photographer Michelle Valberg, Environment Canada's Senior Climatologist David Phillips, and meteorologist/storm-hunter Jaclyn Whittal.
What a treat it was to spend some time chatting with these outstanding individuals.

Weather Network Climate Change Event

Nov 25 2019 - National Geographic Certified Educator
In my pursuit to help educate people about the natural world, I'm always looking for new ways to connect with students. I'm very please to announce that I am now a certified National Geographic Educator.
Learn More about Nat Geo Edu.

National Geographic Certified Educator

Nov 22 2019 - Ottawa
Last night was the annual gala dinner put on by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. This year we were celebrating the 90th anniversary of the society, and the place was packed! What a fun event. It was so great to see so many old friends, make new ones, and welcome a few as new fellows of the RCGS. I wish I could have spent more time talking with everyone, but it was just so overwhelming!
Some of the interesting people I got to meet and chat with included:
-Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, who spent 204 days aboard the International Space Station.
- Michael Ulica, President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Geographic Society, who joind us from Washington D.C.
- His Royal Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Seissie of Ethiopia.

Congratulations on 90 years of making Canada better known to Canadians and the world.

RCGS Dinner - Ottawa

Nov 21 2019 - Ottawa - RCGS 90th Anniversary Medal
So, today had an unexpected twist. I’m in Ottawa for the annual gala dinner of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and I was presented with a medal. One of only 90 that were given to certain individuals to commemorate the society’s 90th anniversary!!
What an unexpected surprise! Congratulations to all the other medal winners today.

RCGS 90th Anniversary

Nov 17 2019 - Explorers Club Canadian Chapter
A quick announcement. I will be staying on as chair of The Explorers Club Canadian Chapter for another 2 year term. It has been a honour to serve the organization, and I look forward to the coming years. We have such a great group of world-class explorers here in Canada. They never stop impressing me with their talents and dedication to exploration, conservation, and discovery.
The Explorers Club - Canadian Chapter

Explorers Club Canadian Chapter

Oct 24 2019 - New York City
Heading to New York today for a brief TV shoot, but just for the day, back to Toronto tonight.
We're filming material for a new season of "Strange Evidence" for The Science Channel.

New York City - Filming

Oct 20 2019 - IMAX Volcanoes
Today, I finally got to see the IMAX film “Volcanoes, The Fires Of Creation”. It recently started playing at the Ontario Science Centre.
I highly suggest it. The imagery is stunning, and it was great to see so many familiar locations in the film, including Ambrym Island, Vanuatu. I was a part of the expedition team that was there when the final sequence of the film was shot at the bottom of the Marum crater.

IMAX Volcanoes

Oct 18 2019 - Kelowna, British Columbia
Many thanks to the Engineers & Geoscientists of British Columbia for inviting me to come out and give a keynote talk at their conference. It was great fun!

Kelowna, B.C.

Oct 12 2019 - National Geographic Headquarters - Washington D.C.
Most of the morning was spent at National Geographic headquarters. Each of the awardees of the Lowell Thomas Award got the chance to hit the stage in the Grosvenor Auditorium to speak a bit about their work.
There were talks about discovering shipwrecks, spaceflight, the discovery of the deepest point in the Mariana Trench, Disney theme park design, documenting melting glaciers in Alaska and so much more.
It is always a treat for me when I get to visit Nat Geo, especially since there's a photo of me hanging on the outside of the building. One of the pictures from my Darvaza flaming gas crater expedition is mounted on the wall outside the museum.
Of course, I had to pose for a selfie in front of it.
Tonight is the big awards dinner, and it looks like it is going to be a good one. The Lowell Thomas Dinner is one of the Explorers Club's big fund raising events, and each year it is held in a defferent city, hosted by different club chapters. Two years ago, we held one of these dinners in Toronto.

National Geographic Headquarters - Washington D.C.

National Geographic Headquarters - Washington D.C.

Oct 11 2019 - Uzbekistan Embassy in Washington D.C.
I'm in Washingto D.C. for a few days. It's the annual Lowell Thomas Awards Dinner weekend, and there will all kinds of events and parties.
As soon as I arrived in D.C. I dashed into a board meeting for the club which lasted a good chunk of the day.
In the evening, there was a special VIP event which I managed to get myself invited to that was held at the Uzbekistan embassy. The building is absolutel;y gorgeous, and I found it particularly interesting having been to Uzbekistan twice, the most recent time was only a few months ago.
There was traditional music and dancing, and so much Uzbek food.
The ambassador and his cultural attaché were such great hosts! Thank you so much.
Pictured L-R Marlis Butcher, His Excellency Djavlon Vahabov the Uzbekistan Ambassador to the U.S. Myself, & Robin Brooks from Exodus Travels.

Uzbekistan Embassy

Uzbekistan Embassy

Oct 05 2019 - RCGS HQ in Ottawa
What a treat it was to meet Alex Trebek again. He’s such a nice guy. This is from yesterday at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Canadian Geographic Challenge. A national geography quiz for students. The event was held at 50 Sussex in Ottawa at the Canadian Centre for Geography and Exploration.
Recently he has been in the news because of his pancreatic cancer returning. We wish him all the best during these difficult times.

Alex Trebek at the RCGS

Oct 03 2019 - Iceberg Climbing Video
Here's the video of the iceberg climb that I did this past summer that was filmed by Australia's Channel 7. I think it turned out great.

Channel 7 Sunday Night

Channel 7 Sunday Night - Icebergs

Sept 20 2019 - Movie Expo - Toronto
I'm at Movie Expo in Hall C of Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place in Toronto. The Weather Network Has a booth set up and we're promoting the Stormhunters TV series. The best part is that this movie industry trade show is open to the public! Very cool. I'll see you there!
Iron man made an appearance at our booth today. We gave him one of our umbrellas so that he doesn't rust in the rain.
Movie Expo

Movie Expo

Sept 13 2019 - Shoreline Cleanup
Today I was helping out with a shoreline cleanup along the Little Rouge Creek in Scarborough, Ontario. Andrew Lovesey and I collected so much garbage, but the strangest item was this meat cleaver!... Or as I call it “Exhibit A”.
In all seriousness, we picked up so much trash including: booze bottles, condom wrappers, a pregnancy test kit, clothes, paint cans, a street sign, a cutting board, and so many cigarette butts. We turned it into a bit of a competition, which made it a fun day, you should think about joining a cleanup in your own neighbourhood.
Big thanks to The Toronto Zoo, Canadian Geographic and their10,000 Changes program.

Shoreline Cleanup

Sept 04 2019 - Florida - Hurricane Dorian
I've been in Florida for almost a week now, watching Hurricane Dorian creep through the Bahamas as a monster category 5 hurricane, doing incredible damage Abaco Island and Elbow Cay. The storm never reached us here in Florida, it curved and the strongest part stayed well off the coast. I was part of the Weather Network team that was documenting the storm, and we tried to get over to the Bahamas for the landfall there, but the flights and ferries were all shut down.
At least we tried. This was a historic storm and we had to try to intercept it. I feel so bad for the Bahamas who took such devastating hit. The storm actually stalled over some of the isalnds while it was at category 5 strength!!

Hurricane Dorian

Aug 27 2019 - Newport, Rhode Island
For the past couple of days I have been in Rhode Island, working with a British TV crew. We've been filming fresh interviews for new episodes of "What On Earth?", a shot on the Science Channel which brings experts in to look at and analyse interesting or unusual satellitte or aerial imagery.
It's been two full, long days of sitting in front of the camera, talking, so tonight we went down to the water for a nice sunset at a seafood restaurant right beside the water. This was my first time visiting Newport, and I was so charming. I will have to come back to visit again when I have more time. Tomorrow, I fly back to Toronto, just in time to likely turn around and head to Florida for Hurricane Dorian.

Newport, Rhode Island

Aug 23 2019 - Lumieres Podcast Event
Several months ago I was interviewed for the new science-themed podcast "Lumieres".
The podcast "Is dedicated to share big ideas from experts around the world, to make knowledge accessible, and to inspire people to be who they want to be".
Tonight was the official launch event, I was one of about half a dozen people who each gave a brief talk at the event.

Lumieres Podcast

Aug 21 2019 - Medicine Hat, Alberta
Many thanks to everyone at Medicine Hat College for inviting me to come give the keynote talk at their staff event. I had a great time, and I wish you all a great new school year!
I don't get out to Alberta nearly as much as I would like to, it is a wonderful part of Canada, with so many different landscapes and places to explore. I'll be back.

Medicine Hat, Alberta

Aug 19 2019 - The Weather Network
I was back in the studio today, shooting more material for the show 'Captured". This will be the 9th episode of the show, and I'm told that I'm the only person to be featured on all 9 episodes. That's pretty cool.
Captured is all about gathering weather experts to deconstruct and analyze viral weather videos.

Captured - On The Weather Network

Aug 13 2019 - Toronto
Back home. What an amazing overland trip it has been. Central Asia is so underrated. There's a lot to see and do there, but its not on most traveller's radar. Many thabks to all the local guides, and drivers, and the great folks who signed up for the trip.
Of course, thank you to Exodus Travels for the opportunity, I look forward to the next time I get to host a trip for them... Which will be in early 2020: Southeast Asia! Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Check it out.

Thai Indochina Explorer With George Kourounis

Aug 11 2019 - Almaty, Kazakhstan
In a cou

Aug 09 2019 - Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
In a cou

Aug 03 2019 - Marghilan, Uzbekistan
In a cou

Aug 02 2019 - Fann Mountains, Tajikistan
In a cou

July 30 2019 - Termez, Uzbekistan
In a cou

July 25 2019 - Merv, Turkmenistan
In a cou

July 23 2019 - Darvaza, Turkmenistan
The past few days have been spent seeing the sights around the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat. Today, we headed north into the desert to visit the Darvaza flaming gas crater. This is the place where I lead a National geographic expedition back in 2013. During that visit, I became the first person to ever set foot at the bottom. It's still burning as vigorously as I remember, but there have been quite a few other changes there. Tourist infrastructure, and a protective fence have been installed, as the site have become popular with visitors to the country.
For me, it was trip down memory lane. It really is surreal.

Darvaza, Turkmenistan

July 17 2019 - Epic Central Asia Road Trip
In a couple of days I depart on my latest grand adventure. This one will be a 3 1/2 week overland road trip, retracing part of the ancient Silk Road route through 5 former Soviet "Stan" countries: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan!

Many thanks to
Exodus Travels who have invited me to be the special guest-host for the trip. I've been to a couple of these countries before, but some will be brand new to me. One of the highlights will be the chance to revisit one of my favourite places in the world, the Darvaza flaming gas crater. A place that I have fond memories of.

Silk Road Map

July 09 2019 - Filming "Captured"
Today, I was in one of the studios over at The Weather Network, filming on-camera interviews for the series "Captured". The show takes a close look at viral videos that involve the weather, and gets experst to examine these and comment on what actually going on with the different weather phenomena. I've done many of these in the past, and it's always fun to work with Captured host, Michelle Mackey (that's her photobombing me in the background!

Captured on The Weather Network

July 06 2019 - Lisbon, Portugal
What a privilege it was to be invited to be one of the speakers at the Global Exploration Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. The past three days have been a whirlwind of inspiring talks, meeting some of the planet's most innovative explorers, and incredible conversation.
The summit, a collaboration betwee The Explorers Club and Portugese government brought together the world’s leading explorers and scientists for this extraordinary gathering, where we all shared cutting-edge technology and innovations to propel us toward the next frontier in the future of exploration. Some of the other presenters at GLEX included:
Bertrand Piccard - Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund, Solar Pilot, Circumnavigator and Global Explorer.
Fabien Cousteau - Aquanaut, Ocean Conservationist and Documentary Filmmaker.
James Garvin - NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Chief Scientist.
Don Walsh - Oceanographer, First Person to Reach the Deepest Point in the Ocean, The Marianas Trench.
Ken Lacovara - Award Winning Paleontologist, discoverer of the Dreadnoughtus.
Lindy Elkins-Tanton - Leader of the NASA Psyche mission.
And this is just a small sample of the caliber of people that were there.

Global Exploration Summit 2019 - Lisbon

Global Exploration Summit 2019 - Lisbon

June 22 2019 - Orange County, California
I'm in California for a couple of days, attending the West Coast Explorers Club Annual Dinner (WECAD).
It has been a great event, and I got to see many old friends, as well as meet many fascinating new ones. The main reason why I was there was because we were doing an official flag return of Explorers Club flag #114 that we carried with us in Tornado Alley back in May. Myself, and the Dolan brother, Tom and Donald, returned the flag onstage to Bob Atwater, VP of Flags & Honors.
These flags are brought on expeditions around the world, and each one has a deep history of travelling with various explorers.
I also had the privilege of escorting Jean Michel Cousteau (Son of Jacques Cousteau).
He received the Ralph B. White Memorial Award For Oceanographic Exploration and Conservation of the Seas & a Lowell Thomas Medal.



June 13 2019 - Iceberg Climb
My Newfoundland iceberg climb was a great success. We had a few days of less than ideal weather, but the skies cleared and the winds died down enough to do the climb and place a satellitte tracking beacon on top of one. We had the perfect iceberg to work with. It was close to Ocean Quest, seemed to be grounded, and had a shape that was unlikely to disintegrate while I was on top. It did roll a few hours before I climbed it, and again after I got back to shore, but I was able to spend almost an hour on the iceberg.
Plenty of pics here.

Update - Watch the full video

Iceberg Climb

June 09 2019 - Heading to Newfoundland
I'm on my way to Newfoundland for the next few days. I'll be teaming up with my friends over at OceanQuest and an Australian TV crew. They are filming a program about icebergs and I've been invited out there to help them out... By ice-climbing on one of them, and placing a satellitte tracking beacon on top of it. This is very similar to what I did there a few years ago, while we were filming the Angry Planet TV series.
The weather in Newfoundland looks rater cold and dreary right now, but conditions look to improve later this week.


May 29 2019 - Canadian Geographic Challenge
Students at the Canadian Geographic Challenge answer a video question that I provided for them about ice on Lake Erie. Way to go, guys! Special appearance by fellow Explorer-In-Residence, Jill Heinerth as the quizmaster!
Watche the ice shove video here!

Canadian Geographic Challenge

May 27 2019 - Announcement
It is a great honour to be included amongst The Lavin Agency’s listing of their top motivational speakers!
If you are interested in having me come out to speak at your conference or event, give them a shout.

Lavin Speaking Agency

May 26 2019 - Victoria, British Columbia
One last stop in my recend whirlwind tour around North America! This morning, I flew out to Victoria, British Columbia to give a talk at the BC Water & Waste Association Conference.
The weather here is absolutely stunning, it's too bad that I'm only going to be here for one night, then immediately after my talk tomorrow, I fly back to Toronto.

Victoria, B.C.

May 25 2019 - Explore Podcast Released
The latest episode of Canadian Geographic's podcast "Explore" has been released.
You can listen to it wherever you find your podcasts.
Learn more here.

Explore Podcast

May 23 2019 - Jefferson City, Missouri
Approximately 15 minutes before midnight, a tornado emergency was issued for the Jefferson City area. Minutes later, an EF-3 tornado caused extensive damage on the southwest side of the city. At least 20 people were injured but luckily there were no fatalities reported. This occurred on the 8th anniversary of the 2011 Joplin tornado. I was on my way back home from Tornado Alley with the Weather Network crew, and it was only a short diversion to go and report on the destruction in Jefferson City.

Jefferson City Missouri Tornado

May 22 2019 - Tornadoes and Incredible Lightning in Oklahoma
We started the morning in Norman, OK with the idea of chasing northeastern Oklahoma. There were two issues with that: 1) bad chase terrain with a lot of hills and trees and 2) a ton of flooded out roads. We had to be really careful to ensure not to go too far north and east of Tulsa due to the flooding. Oh, and it was my birthday so the pressure was on to get a birthday tornado (actually, I've witnessed numerous birthday tornadoes over the years).
As we were departing Norman, the NWS SPC upgraded the risk to a MODERATE RISK for storms and a 15% hatched for tornadoes. We waited in Prague, OK for a while to assess the situation. Some storms started firing just to our south while a larger, more potent looking storm was firing down near Lawton, OK. We finally decided to head east out of Prague, OK toward Okemah, OK. Here we paused looking west when we saw our first tornado of the day pass just northwest of our location. That tornado dissipated but the storm still looked good. To keep up with the storm, we decided to head east to Henryetta, OK. The entire time the wall cloud was spinning like crazy.
Several times it was so close to producing another tornado then dissipated. Finally, closer to Okemah, OK, the storm produced a large tornado. The issue is we had trouble seeing it due to trees and hills. At one moment, it appeared there might be two on the ground. Eventually the tornado dissipated.
To continue to track the storm, we went north out of Henryetta to Okmulgee then to Muskogee and north out of there. We passed through Wangoner, then Choteau, then Pryor. From Pryor we ventured west but got too close to the rotation so we backtracked east toward Salina, OK. On the way to Salina, we stopped a couple of times because the lightning was spectacular. I got some of my most dramatic lightning photos there!
From Salina we headed south until we found a good vantage point to watch. Unfortunately it had gotten dark so we were only able to catch glimpses of the wall cloud. We decided to call it a day since we couldn't get visuals anymore.
See more at the 2019 Chase Page.



May 20 2019 - High Risk Outlook & Tornado near Mangum, Oklahoma
This day had us all worried. We started off in Childress, TX in the morning and the Storm Prediction Center had issued a very rare "high risk" outlook, and the tornado potential was also at a rare 45% hatched forecast. We were expecting a large outbreak of tornadoes, but luckily, only a few were reported that day, including the one we witnessed in Mangum, Oklahoma.
We got up early to ensure we were prepared and spent a long time waiting around in Childress. Eventually a PDS (Particularly Dangerous Situation) Tornado Watch was issued for the region. We headed west and south out of Childress where a couple of storms had fired up.
Eventually one storm became dominant and we followed along with it north and east from north-central Texas into southwest Oklahoma. As we approached the storm from the south nearing Mangum, OK, it was producing a large cone tornado. Unfortunately visibility was very poor with a lot of moisture/haze in the atmosphere and may hills and trees, so it was low-contrast at points. As we got to Mangum, the tornado became thinner and started to rope out. We split from the other chasers and continued north through the town as the tornado clipped a few structures on the north side of town.
We continued with the storm as it was still looking good toward Granite, OK. It produced strong circulation that passed the road in front of us and into the field beside us.
See more at the 2019 Chase Page.



May 17 2019 - Tornado in McCook, Nebraska
The busy schedule continues. After a very long drive down from Canada yesterday, we managed to document a tornado today in Nebraska. The dusty, rope-like tornado touched down just outside of McCook, where we had spent several hours earlier in the day having lunch. We drove around for nothing! We could have sat right there, and waited for the tornado to form.
See more at the 2019 Chase Page.


May 15 2019 - Sudbury Neutrino Observatory
What a cool experience. I got to help out Joe Grabowski from Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants do a live classroom broadcast from 2 km underground inside SNOLAB, a research facility deep inside an active nickel mine in Sudbury, Ontario. The scientists at SNOLAB are studying things such as neutrino particles and dark matter. Some of the most mysterious things in the universe. Neutrinos pass right through most matter (including YOU right now), and by having the detection equipment deep underground, it makes it much easier to shield their sensors from background radiation and other contaminants. The problem is that to be that deep underground requires some special procedures to get down there and back, and to keep the lab as clean as possible. No easy task.

Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

May 14 2019 - Ottawa - Podcast Recording
This morning I returned to RCGS headquarters ay 50 Sussex in Ottawa to sit down with David McGuffin, host of the Canadian Geographic's "Explore" podcast. We recorded it in the Christopher Ondaatje reading room, which was the perfect setting. We talked about exploration, weather, Canada, and so much more. The podcast will be released soon, and I'll be sure to make an announcement when it does.
The moment we finished up recording, I hopped into my car and made the long drive from Ottawa to Sudbury for something super-cool that I'm doing tomorrow.

Can Geo Explore Podcast Recording

May 13 2019 - Ottawa Grand Opening of RCGS Headquarters
I arrived home from Oklahoma last night, and was only home for about 13 hours before I het the road again. This time driving to Ottawa to be present at the grand opening of the Canadian Centre For Geography and Exploration. The building, as 50 Sussex Ave. right on the confluence of the Rideau and Ottawa rivers is the home of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society as well as Canadian Geographic publishing. The building has actually been open for about a year, but this was the official, ceremonial event, and it featured an incredible lineup of guests.
Prime minister Justin Trudeau was there to say a few words at the opening, and I got to meet him and chat briefly.
Jeopardy! host & RCGS honorary president, Alex Trebek was also on hand. He looked great, and was i terrific spirits despite his recent well-publicised battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Also in attendance were: Astronaut Roberta Bondar, Ethnobotanist Wade Davis, Oceanographer Joe Macinnis, as well as several other RCGS explorers-in-residence besides myself.
A plaque was unveiled, speeches were made, and we als welcomed in a brand new EIR, Inuit actor & explorer, Johnny Issaluk.

Prime Minister Trudeau - Grand Opening of RCGS Headquarters

Grand Opening of RCGS Headquarters

May 10 2019 - Surfside Beach, Texas
On the Texas Gulf Coast. Wrapping up with the Tornado Verification & Doppler Radar Analysis Project team.
News & Blog 2019 Our chase trip is winding down, and since we were already in southern Texas, we decided to head down to the coast since there were no storms to chase. We proceeded from Fairfield, Texas down to Surfside Beach, south of Houston. We had easy access to the Gulf Of Mexico there, and it wasn't all that far to drive.
Pictured L-R: Donald Dolan, George Kourounis, Jade Vajna, Tom Dolan with Explorers Club flag #114. See more at the 2019 Chase Page.


May 07 2019 - Stinnet, Texas
Today was a complicated chase day. We ended up on about 4 different storms, all with tornado warnings. We chased large portions of the Texas Panhandle including: Stinnet, Borger, Pampa, Canadian, and eventually finishing up in Shamrock..
The storm of the day was south of interstate 40, near Tulia, but we were on the storms further north, so never got to intercept that one, but we were in excellent position for the Stinnet storm, where we were abl;e to get very close to the wall cloud. It did apparently go on to produce a tornado, but we never saw it.
The flag in the picture is one that is on loan to us from The Explorers Club (Flag #114). These flags are brought on expeditions around the world, and each one has a deep history of travelling with various explorers. See more at the 2019 Chase Page.


May 04 2019 - Adrian, Texas
Well we hit the ground running. Upon landing in Oklahma City and meeting up with the rest of the team, we immediately drove west on Interstate 40 into the Texas Panhandle where we were able to intercept a tornado warned storm near Adrian, west of Amarillo. We didn't even have time to set up our equipment in the vehicle, we just grabbed a few essentioals (laptop computer & GPS) and hit the road. It was a gorgeous storm, and a great way to kick off the chase season.


April 28 2019 - Getting Ready For Tornado Alley
May is going to be a very busy month for me. It all starts off on May 4th when I head down to the central U.S. on another tornado chase. This year is special for me since I have had to miss the past 2 years of tornado season, so it will be nice to get back out there again.
Also, I'm teaming up with some new people this year. I'm joining Tom and Donald Dolan from california. They are storm chasers from california who spearhead a research project called the "Tornado Visualization and Doppler Radar Analysis Project". I'll share more details about that later. We also have the honour of carrying one of The Exlporers Club's historic flags on this trip, so that's exciting.
We''l be in Tornado Alley from May 4th - 12th, then after that I have some other plans, so stay tuned.
I'll be posting daily updates HERE.

Tornado Chase 2019

April 22 2019 - Earth Day
Happy Earth Day everyone. All I hope for is better stewardship of this vessel we call Earth. The only home we have.

Earth Day

April 06 2019 - Montreal, Quebec
I'm in Montreal, Quebec right now. Earlier this morning, I was onstage at the Bonneventure Hotel, giving a keynote talk for something called The EVENT. Its a conference for event planners, who have gathered here from around the country.
It was a lot of fun to be involved with this... Sharing my stories and experiences with the audience. I fly back home to Toronto this afternoon.

The EVENT - Montreal

March 28 2019 - Smithsonian Channel
The program I worked on last year "The Weather Files" is now broadcasting on The Smithsonian Channel. The program, which was also airing in Canada on Cottage Life TV, features people who work in extreme weather and contains interviews, real footage, as well as some dramatic recreations... It's a bit weird to see an actor playing me on TV for parts of this. Cool, but weird.

Smithsonian Channel

March 18 2019 - The Explorers Club Annual Dinner
The past few days have been an absolute blur. I don't know where to begin. The Explorers Club Annual Dinner was the biggest ever held, with almost 1700 people in attendance at the Marriott Times Square Ballroom. The theme this year was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing. In attendance were 8 Apollo astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins from Apollo 11. Hearing their stories was fascinating. I hope we get people back on the Moon again soon.
Other highlights included:
- Snacking on exotic foods such as tarantulas, cockroaches, scorpions, iguana, and jellyfish. These odd foods have been a tradition at ECAD for decades.
- I got to meet Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Canada's Governor General, and a former astronaut herself.
- Hanging out with so many incredible people, seeing new friends, making new ones, all who are incredibly accomplished.
- There were so many excellent presentations at the open house at club HQ on Sunday. The place was packed!
- I got to spend a bit of time with Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart. An amazing guy, who is currently working on systems to protect Earth from asteroid collisions.
- I was able to spend a few nights with my frequent storm chase partner Scott McPartland, and his wife Cecilia. They graciously let me stay with them when I visit New York.
It's impossible to summarize how outstanding ECAD weekend really is. I will always endeavor to be there, when I can.



March 14 28 2019 - New York City
I flew to New York City last night for my annual pilgrimage for The Explorers Club Annual Dinner. This is the event that I was emcee for last year. It is considered to be the "academy Awards of Exploration". The big event isn't until Saturday, but between now and then I have Chapter Chair meetings, board meetings, special events, dinners, and a bunch of other things over the next few days.
It is so great to be back at the historic headquarters of the club. There's just so much history surrounding this building.
I just know that by Monday when I fly home, I'll be exhausted, and will have no voice left, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Explorers Club - New York

March 10 2019 - Vanuatu Lava Lakes Obliterated!
I can now speak publicly about this. The beloved lava lakes that I frequently visit on Ambrym Island, Vanuatu are gone. A few months ago, fissure eruption on the flank of Marum drained the lava out the side of the volcano, then several days or weeks later, the summit craters all collapsed. Our base camp site no longer exists!! Here's a video from good friend Geoff Mackley (who has been visiting this volcano since 1997) showing some before and after imagery. I'm very privileged to have been able to make a dozen descents to the bottom of these craters over the years. Time will tell if the lava comes back...

Vanuatu Lava Lakes Obliterated!

Feb 28 2019 - GeoGala Toronto
What a great evening in Toronto. I was invited by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society to give the keynote talk at their GeoGala fund raising event in Toronto.
Last year, I was the Master Of Ceremonies, and fellow "Explorer In Residence" Adam Shoalts gave the keynote. This year we reversed roles. There was a great dinner, many great items up for auction (including several trips), the keynote talk, and Canadian roots-rock band The Skydiggers provided live music.
A great time was had by all, and we raised a bunch of money for the society. thank you to everyone who attended!

GeoGala 2019 Toronto

Feb 24 2019 - "Ice Shove" on Lake Erie
Extremely strong winds from a deepening Texas Low brought hurricane force gusts to the eastern end of Lake Erie. these winds pushed thousands of tons of ice up onto shore in a phenomena called an "Ice Shove".
I was out documenting the event in the towns of Crystal Beach, and then eventually at Fort Erie, where the ice was dramatically being pushed ashore, over the breakwall, into the adjacent park, and onto Lakeshore Road. At one point, the ice pushed up quickly, and we had to dash to get out of the way as the ice crashed towards us.
It is astonishing how fast the ice conditions can change.
Be sure to check out the dramatic video of the ice crashing towards us.

Ice Shove on Lake Erie

Ice Shove Video

Feb 14 2019 - Calgary City Teachers' Convention
It was an absolute pleasure to speak at the Calgary City Teachers'Convention today. I had the privilege of giving the opening keynote talk for the 2 day event, which is the largest teachers' convention in North America.
I had almost 2000 people in the audience for the talk. If you look closely at the picture, you can see me there, up on stage. Now it's time to fly back home from Alberta.


Feb 05 2019 - Filming
I spent most of today in front of the camera, shooting interviews for a TV project. More details later when I know more about broadcast dates etc.

Filming In Toronto

Jan 31 2019 - Polar Vortex
It was the wrong day to eat lunch outside...
North America is in the grip of another polar vortex, a dome of cold Arctic air that has descended down from the north. Many cities have been experiencing frigid temperatures, and bone-chilling wind-chills.
In Toronto, it has been freezing cold as well, with temperatures diving down below -20.
Of course, with temperatures that cold, a lot of people were outside demonstrating the effects of the cold. The most popular of these demonstrations is the old "toss boiling water into the air and watch it instantly turn to snow" gag.
Instead of doing that, I whipped up a quick batch of ramen noodles and left them outside for a brief period. The water froze quickly and the chopsticks were held, suspended in the air by the frozen noodles.
It's a fun trick that anyone can do at home in really cold weather. I highly recommend trying this with kids. It's fun, safe, and afterwards, you can thaw the noodles out and eat them!



Jan 28 2019 - Snowstorm Chaos in Toronto
An Alberta Clipper, combined with lake effect enhancement created chaos in Toronto, including a full shutdown of the Don Valley Parkway, the main north-south artery out of downtown. At first, I was teamed up with The Weather Network to help report on the storm, but on my way home afterwards, I found myself caught up in the middle of the highway chaos. It was like a post-apocalyptic scene. Snowplows couldn't clear the highway, people had run out of gas in the gridlock, cars were abandoned, and people were walking on the highway. I was also experiencing car battery trouble in the middle of it all, so I was struggling to keep my car from stalling. It was like a scene from a move.
In total, between 33 to 38 cm of snow came down in the metropolitan area.

Snowstorm Chaos In Toronto

Jan 26 2019 - Come Join Me On The Silk Road !!
Here we go... Come join me on the Silk Road adventure of a lifetime! July 20 - Aug 11 2019. Three weeks overland, crossing Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
This will be my first time returning to the "Doorway To Hell" flaming gas crater since my Nat Geo expedition there, and you can come along! We begin there, then cross all of the former Soviet 'Stans! This is going to be a real adventure. Special thanks to Exodus Travels.
Link to the trip

The Five Stans - Exodus Travels

Jan 21 2019 - Ice "Teardrops" on Lake Ontario
Whenever it gets really cold, I go down to the shore of Lake Ontario, to photograph the sunrise over some very cold and steamy water (It was -12C with a wind chill well into the -30's today). Today, the steam was OK, but the cool thing I found were these "Ice Teardrops" or "Ice Turnips". They form when icicles reach a body of open water that has gentle waves, as each wave passes over the icicle, it adds a layer of water that freezes in the frigid air. I'm always amazed at the shapes that ice can take on.

Ice "Teardrops" on Lake Ontario

Jan 06 2019 - "What On Earth?" Season Five
Watch for me on season 5 of “What On Earth?” on Science Channel. The new season starts airing Tuesday, Jan 8th at 9PM EST. We investigate bizarre and unusual things spotted on satellite imagery.

What On Earth? Season 5 on Science Channel

Dec 11 2018 - Storm-Hunters on Prime Video
Six episodes of the Storm-Hunters TV show that I sometimes co-host are now available on Amazon Prime Video. The program is produced by The Weather Network in Canada, but now, thanks to the streaming service, it is available in the U.S. Canada and the U.K.
To watch, head over to the Prime Video site and search for the show. (Amazon Prime Subscription required).

Storm-Hunters on Prime Video

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




















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