Tornado Trackers was founded in 2013 when three friends hastily created a twitter account to keep their families updated during storm chases. With very few storm-centric twitter handles available, @tornadotrackers was serendipitously agreed on and the name stuck.
While the Tornado Trackers brand and following have grown considerably since then, the three co-founders have maintained the simplicity of their original goal: to share their enthusiasm for all things weather. At the heart of the team lies a complete fascination with storms and a genuine excitement to be a part of the larger community of weather fanatics worldwide.
MEET THE TEAM
Born and raised in Austin, TX, Jeff Mangum's interest in storms began at the age of 10 after watching reports of the May 22, 1987 F4 tornado that hit Saragosa, TX. Intrigue surrounding the strength and mystery of that particular tornado stirred up a passion for storms in Jeff. That passion was reinforced on May 27, 1997 after chasing and experiencing the effects of the infamous Jarrell, TX F5 tornado. That day, known as the Central Texas Outbreak, solidified Jeff's fascination with storms and left him wanting to experience more. Today, Jeff lives in Austin with his wife and children, and is as passionate about weather and storms as ever.
Jeremy Hamann grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska underneath supercell thunderstorms. The sound of tornado sirens and the sight of swirling clouds have been commonplace in his life from birth. In 2004 the second largest tornado on record hit Hallam, Nebraska just 30 minutes south of his hometown. This storm in particular, with it’s 2.5 mile wide wedge shook something awake in, a then teenage, Jeremy: a desire to know more about and to get closer to these deadly phenomena. Jeremy now lives in Longmont, Colorado with his wife and chases storms with his friends as often as he can.
Gabe Cox has had an obsession with the sky since he was a toddler. Even at 3, he could be found outside for hours watching clouds. After seeing a 1995 National Geographic special on storm chasers when he was 9, Gabe was awakened to a community of tornado enthusiasts he never knew existed. In June of 2009, Gabe experienced his first tornado as an EF-0 passed over his office. The moment invigorated his desire to chase and a few years later, after moving to Austin, TX, he co-founded Tornado Trackers with Jeff and Jeremy. Gabe currently lives near Austin, TX with his wife and kids who support and encourage him in his pursuit of documenting storms.