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High Plains Drifter

disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

September 13, 2007

A storm chaser passes on

Filed under: Editorial,Storm Chasing — Mike U @ 7:21 pm

Eric Nguyen, 29The entire storm chasing community was shocked last week to learn that Eric had become extremely ill following unknown circumstances surrounding the attempt to take his life due to apparent major clinical depression.  We all learned of his dire condition late last week through a good friend of Eric’s (Amos Magliocco), who also is a popular storm chaser amongst the community.  Eric passed on on Sunday, September 9th, and the entire storm chasing community is quite shocked and extremely saddened.  We don’t really like to "classify" storm chasers amongst the community, but we all know who the "elite" were.  Eric was certainly one of the elite.  He had a gift to forecast storms and an even more special gift to get to the right spots to achieve some of the best storm photography the world has known, even at his young age.  While I did not personally know Eric very well, I have certainly met him a couple times, the most memorable time being at the 2002 Storm Chaser Convention in Denver — it was an extremely windy weekend with like blowing dust and tumbleweeds everywhere around the DIA Holiday Inn..  I forget who was all out there in that parking lot where there were just piles and piles of tumbleweeds of which we kicked and threw and mangled.  I remember distinctly taking a picture of Eric holding one of the tumbleweeds in the air in this all-serious demeanor like we were at war with the tumbleweeds.  Unfortunately, this photo, along with many others of family and friends I had around 2000-2002 were lost — nowhere to be found, after the CD they were on became corrupt… you can thank my very poor job of backing up stuff in my college days.  At any rate, I think Eric will always be remembered through one special photograph he took in 2004 — a photograph that made the Smithsonian Magazine.  There are two storm chasers whose work I admire the most, and I take with me when I am out photographing storms myself — that is Eric and Mike Hollingshead.  I know Mike quite a bit better than Eric since Mike and I have exchanged more e-mails and instant messages about photography over the years.  I have chased many of the same storms as Eric Nguyen — most notably in recent years:

Eric did an incredible job of maintaining superb website showing his collection of storm photography work.  I know I checked it often for updates, if nothing more than to make me more jealous of his photography skills!  His website is preserved so everyone can enjoy his storm chasing accounts and incredible imagery:

Memorial StormTrack Thread 



  1. Good job, Mike. I looked at every “Eric’s image/My image” comparison. Never before did I realize that there could be such a difference in photos taken of the same nader. Well, that’s because I’m less skilled than you. I’m sure a “Mike’s image/Bob’s image” would yield similar results, only yours would be much better in such a comparo. Wish I could be in Norman on the 22nd, but I cannot. The best, Bob

    Comment by Bob Schafer — September 13, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

  2. Your one of my favorite weather photographers and I gotta hand it to Eric, everything he touched he put something special on it.


    Comment by Mark — September 14, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

  3. wow what a loss, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. I learned of his website in 04 after I saw it through stormtrack. I love his website to this day and what awesome work and yes he did have a way to get the right shots everyone wants to experience including my self…

    Comment by rich — October 14, 2007 @ 8:11 pm

  4. hello!
    I must say youre photos is amazing!
    I wounder if I can take one of them and show it in my class?
    It would be great!

    / Elina Scüler

    Comment by Elina — November 19, 2007 @ 1:14 pm

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