Jason Persoff, MD, SFHM, is an internationally renowned storm chaser, father of three amazing forces of nature, husband to his soul mate, erstwhile stand-up comedian, and Assistant Director of Emergency Preparedness at University of Colorado Hospital.
“Medicine and meteorology overlap for me,” said Persoff, associate professor of medicine at the CU School of Medicine. There's an anatomy and physiology to a storm, and both tap into my passion for complex thinking.”
Each May he spends two weeks scouring the Great Plains using many of the same skills he uses in internal medicine—analyzing and interpreting subtle and system-wide weather physiology—to pursue severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. He has appeared in many TV specials (The Weather Channel, Discovery Channel, and The Learning Channel), and has appeared in myriad magazines and books. Dramatic pictures and stories can be viewed at http://stormdoctor.com/
After chasing a tornado through Joplin, MO, in May 2011, that resulted in mass destruction of that city, he responded to the disaster by going to the Freeman Health System emergency room and functioned as a hospitalist for the first day of the disaster. That experience fostered a lifelong research interest focusing on the role of hospitalists in responding to disaster. More recently that role transformed into a leadership position at preparation, response, and recovery for the University of Colorado Hospital and UC Health System during the COVID pandemic.
Several years ago, Persoff came upon the work of Canadian photographer Don Komarechka, who was taking amazing snowflake photos. Persoff knew this was the next direction for his work. They eventually met and was mentored by Komarechka. Persoff has since refined his technique over the past 7 years. "Each snowflake is fragile, ephemeral and, they're magnificent."
Snowflakes have a short lifespan. Each one is unique, based on the combination of atmospheric conditions encountered on their journey from cloud to earth. "Looking at snowflakes is a way to reconnect to nature, its inventiveness, it's creative force," says Persoff.
“Every One is Unique,” is Dr. Persoff’s inaugural photography exhibit.
Rachel Sauer's January 27th interview with Jason Persoff in CU Anschutz News, Capturing the One-of -a-Kind Beauty of Snowflakes, shares Jason Persoff's passions for photography and extreme weather. Just as his patients have anatomy and physiology that factor into his treatment decisions, storms also have a body and a structure that inform everything from how he sets his camera and where he aims it, to how long he stands on his porch with a black wool sock, catching snowflakes.
View the Denver 7 News story, Weather photographer finds new passion in capturing snowflakes, by reporter Danny New on February 28th.
View 9NEWS profile, Storm chasing doctor honored by hospital with art gallery, by meteorologist Cory Reppenhagen on March 17th.
Ethical Issues in the Heart of the Storm 3/17/23 >
Discussion with Jason Persoff and Jackie Glover