March, 30th 2023



None of us at SSW team can accurately tell when our interest for Weather started. But we all know it is something that has lived with us since we were very young. Looking at the sky, searching for thunderstorms, opening our windows to rain and wind (against Mum´s anger), waking up early to find a new snow-fall… all of us share these. More and more people share similar experiences, probably more than we can imagine. This is something surprising; obsessive (nearly sick!) behaviours, almost a miracle that they are shared by every kind of people all around the world, regardless of their age…we are all crazy for Weather!

It was early in 2000 when I set up my ADSL line at home. I knew this would be the perfect tool for my weather-related activities. Finding contacts and information, searching for people with my same hobby… developing my Weather interest was easier now. It took me only a few weeks to find others like me. I found some Forums, such as MeteoRed, where no more than 30 people by that time were sharing information and learning from one another.
We met in the Forum, as well as in the Chat, making a close online follow-up of interesting weather phenomena. I can still recall some of our conversations: “The storm is now over me, you will have it over you in 15 minutes!”… “Any lightning there yet?”… “Save your documents before the inminent black-out!!!”…
We shared thunder on our telephones, sent images online, shared all our temperature observations… all of this was the beginning of a long lasting relationship between us, of course.

Those online contacts, loaded with adrenalin but just virtual contacts sofar, ended up on physical meetings, what we call “kedadas” (meetings). Our first meeting took place in Madrid at “La Casa del Clima” (a Weather Instruments shop). It was really exciting, we had a face to look at now. It was a great success, just the starting point for many of our plans.

The very first of our plans, widely commented in our online chats, was the creation of Thunderstorms Chasing Groups. We were already following thunderstorms from our PCs at home, then why not going out and chase them?.
It was easy: Just getting our cameras and our cars, and going for them!. This helped us spend a long time with our dear Thunderstorms, taking many pictures, learning from them, finding every little detail from the start to the end of them, even watching some amazing Mammatus… chasing them, in the end. Back in 2002, the first official chasing group was created: KOKAM (Komando Kazatormentas de Madrid - Madrid Thunderstorms Chasing Group), whose first official members were: Pedromad, Rayo, Mammatus and CumulusHumilis. Our first big chase took place on 26th June 2002, following a Thunderline that crossed the Guadarrama mountains. New members joined us soon, as other groups were also created in other areas of Spain, such as KOKACL (Castilla-León), KOKAL (Eastern Spain), KOKAS (Southern Spain), GEK (Gipuzkoa area)…and many others. Nowadays we cover most of Spain´s territory, sharing some standard procedures, as well as safety common rules that we all have adopted. We even have our own written guide, the MBK (Manual del Buen Cazatormentas- A Fine Stormchaser´s Handbook), where every kind of advice is found, such as Where to find them?, What do we need?, What do they look like? And of course much more…

Our chases are now more frequent and complete; now a short text is not enough, as we all wish to see the images, and to learn the Why, the When, the Where, and the How… looking at the charts, Low and Upper level, Satellite, Radar… A good chase involves quite a lot of documents. Then the idea was born: Why not compiling all that stuff, or at least the best of it? Many of us have browsed through American or Australian websites, searching for Tornados, Supercells and every kind of severe Weather, but we never heard of a Spanish site like those. We have the facts and we have the will… so, well, let´s make it then!

Said and done, but, How can we do it? In September 2003, some members of MeteoRed Forum met in Madrid, what we could call SSW´s initial Meeting: Rayo (José), Cumulonimbus (Pablo), Mammatus (Fran), Pedromad (Pedro), Gale (Pedro), Nimbus (Paco), and CumulusHumilis (Emilio). We all set the basis for this SSW site, its contents and design and everything. We have gone through different stages since then, even nearly giving up sometimes…but we have continued on this worthy work, with the technical help of MeteoRed and our two webmasters, who we met at the forum: “the two Dannys” as we kindly call them (Onuba and Seal). Finally, SSW is in front of you, after some months of hard work, some sad times as well…but above all loads of hope





Now this site is yours, it belongs to everyone. We want it to be a landmark for severe weather facts in Spain, being these as frequent and assorted as we know they are. But that´s not everything; we want SSW to be a site for studies and opinions, a dynamic place reflecting our dynamic atmosphere. And, why not? Maybe we can centralize here some of our dreams, such as a trip to the Tornado Alley in the USA. All of that, and much more can be done with your help, your ideas, your chases.

Keep your eyes open and have a good chase!

SSW Team

July 2004

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