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'There is nothing like it': Arizona storm chasers ready for monsoon season

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 16:05:14-04

PHOENIX — Chris Frailey tells people he's had a camera in his hands since he was eight years old. His love for taking pictures has now led him to chase storms.

"Being outdoors. Seeing what Mother Nature can do and then capturing those moments. I mean there is nothing like it,” said Frailey.

He showed ABC15 some of his work ranging from capturing lightning to dust storms and plenty of heavy rain in between.

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"When you look at the back of your camera, you see this shot that you just got, it is the best feeling in the world,” added Frailey.

Frailey took ABC15 to a field near Interstate 10 and Riggs Road where he often finds the best shot and remembers safety.

"You've got to respect Mother Nature. She is playing by her own rules,” added Frailey.

We asked him, so why do it with knowing all of that?

"...If it is one reason for it, it is lightning,” added Frailey.

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He's excited knowing this monsoon season's first big storm could come soon. But, he's taking a different approach this time around.

"We are going to be a little pickier, probably, about what we go after,” added Frailey. “The summer is going to be very interesting for a lot of us, I think, as the gas prices kind of curtail some of the chasing that is going to be involved."

Becca Furnish is also ready for the upcoming season.

"When I first started, I did not know what I was doing,” added Furnish.

After six years of chasing, she is now a pro and finds peace with every storm.

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"Honestly, it is like there is nothing else to worry about,” added Furnish.

As she looks forward to seeing and smelling this season's rain, she is hopeful to see more women riding out the storms.

"We are no different. It's sad there are so few. But, hopefully, there will be more,” added Furnish.

Out of about 30 area storm chasers, Furnish counts only about a half-dozen who are women.

Furnish guesses she gathers between 9,000 and 20,000 pictures and videos of storms each year and would love others like her to capture the fun.

As you can imagine, going after these storms takes a lot of time, a lot of energy, a lot of driving, and a lot of patience. But, these storm chasers say it is still worth it, even though they might come up a little short.

"Yep. Every penny. Every second. Every lightning bolt. It's worth it,” added Furnish.

Taking your own storm photos and video? Send your best ones to share@abc15.com.