Eric Nguyen

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Eric Michael Nguyen
BornJanuary 2, 1978
DiedSeptember 9, 2007(2007-09-09) (aged 29)
Alma materUniversity of Oklahoma (B.S., 2005)
Known forTornado and storm photography, storm chaser
Scientific career
FieldsStorm chasing, Photography, Meteorology
InfluencesDavid K. Hoadley, Alan Moller, Charles Doswell III, Timothy P. Marshall, Roger Edwards

Eric Michael Nguyen (January 2, 1978 – September 9, 2007) was an American professional storm chaser, meteorologist, and photographer from Keller, Texas, United States. In 2008 Nguyen released his first book of photography titled Adventures in Tornado Alley: The Storm Chasers with co-author Mike Hollingshead.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

Early life and education[edit]

Eric Michael Isbell (last name changed to Nguyen after marriage) was born in Newport Beach, California near Los Angeles, California in 1978 and raised in Keller, Texas after his parents relocated soon after his birth. Eric was strongly interested in severe storms and tornadoes as a child and became heavily intrigued with mobile instrumentation systems for weather data collection. Eric began studying meteorology at the University of Oklahoma (OU) in 2001. He graduated with a B.S. degree in meteorology in May 2005.[9]


In 1994 Nguyen began chasing storms in Texas and soon expanded his range to the larger area of the central United States commonly known as Tornado Alley. Nguyen began publishing images regularly in Accord Publishing's popular annual Weather Guide Calendar series,[10] Smithsonian Magazine, NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day, as well as Weatherwise, Storm Track, UCAR Quarterly, textbooks, and other venues. His Mulvane, Kansas image of white tornado with a rainbow is one of the most frequently licensed tornado images of all time and several other of his photos have appeared in publications and presentations around the world. Nguyen's storm and tornado photography was considered among the most expressive in the field, with a particular emphasis on unusual palettes and the use of foreground elements to create dynamic line structures in the composition.[citation needed] On April 21, 2007, Nguyen and his storm chasing partner, Amos Magliocco, were struck by a tornado in Tulia, Texas. Nguyen's scientific grade weather instrumentation survived the hit and arguably measured the sharpest pressure fall ever recorded on Earth.[11] Upon his death, hundreds of weather enthusiasts from around the world praised Nguyen's skills as a photographer and chaser in the online journal Storm Track[12] The University of Oklahoma hosted a memorial tribute ceremony in the National Weather Center (NWC) on September 22, 2007.[13] The keynote speaker was Dr. Charles A. Doswell III. An endowed scholarship for graduate and undergraduate meteorology students was created in Nguyen's name at OU's prestigious School of Meteorology (SoM).[14] Nguyen's imagery is represented by the stock photo agency Corbis Int'l which notes that the Mulvane, Kansas tornado image is "Widely considered among stormchasers as the greatest tornado photo of all time..."[15] A five-week exhibition of Nguyen's photography was held at the Todd/Browning Gallery in Los Angeles from March 15-April 23.[16]


Nguyen died in Arlington, Texas on September 9, 2007 as a result of injuries sustained during a suicide attempt on August 31, 2007. Nguyen suffered a sudden relapse of a mental illness and experienced severe negative reactions to anti-depressant medication.[17]


Nguyen authored and coauthored scientific publications and conference papers as well as the photography book, Adventures in Tornado Alley: The Storm Chasers. Publications include:

  • Nguyen, Eric; Mike Hollingshead. Adventures in Tornado Alley: The Storm Chasers. Thames & Hudson. pp. 187 p. : ill. (some col.), maps, 20 x 25 cm. ISBN 978-0-500-51404-7. OCLC 181139459.
  • Richard Ferrare, Edward Browell, Syed Ismail, Susan Kooi, Vince Brackett, Hank Revercomb, Bob Knuteson, Paolo Antonelli, Noah Misch, Jonathan Gleason, Eric Nguyen, Scott Currens, 2004: Airborne Lidar Measurements of Water Vapor and Aerosol Fields Over The Southern Great Plains During IHOP Field Experiment. 22nd International Laser Radar Conference, Metera, Italy.
  • Victoria Sankovich, G. Shaw, J. Gleason, S. Newsome, E. Nguyen, R. A. Ferrare, E. V. Browell, S. Ismail, S. Kooi, V. G. Brackett, H. Revercomb, B. Knuteson, and P. Antonelli, 2004: Characterization and Visualization of Water Vapor and Atmospheric Stability During the IHOP Field Experiment. 2nd Symposium on Lidar Atmospheric Applications, San Diego, CA.
  • Blair, S. F., and E. M. Nguyen, 2005: An examination of the 12 June 2004 Mulvane, Kansas tornado. Preprints, 4th Annual Southeast Severe Storms Symposium, Starkville, Mississippi, CD-ROM.


  1. ^ Hollingshead, Mike; Eric Nguyen. Adventures in Tornado Alley: The Storm Chasers. Thames & Hudson. pp. 187 p. : ill. (some col.), maps, 20 x 25 cm. ISBN 978-0-500-51404-7. OCLC 181139459.
  2. ^ Kissel, Howard (April 4, 2008). "(book review) Gone with the wind: New coffee table book showcases storm chasers". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  3. ^ "Adventures in Tornado Alley: The Storm Chasers (book review)". Amateur Photography. London, United Kingdom: IPC Media. 16 August 2008. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  4. ^ Julian, Janet (July 1, 2008). "Hollingshead, Mike & Nguyen, Eric. Adventures in tornado alley; the storm chasers.(Young adult review)(Brief article)(Book review)". Kliatt. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Adventures in Tornado Alley: The Storm Chasers.(Books: A selection of new and notable books of scientific interest)(Brief article)(Book review)". Science News. March 29, 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  6. ^ "(book review) Spectacular pictures of nature at its wildest, captured by the storm chasers who risk their lives to follow twisters". Mail Online. London. March 31, 2008. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  7. ^ "(book review) ADVENTURES IN TORNADO ALLEY: THE STORM CHASERS". Amateur Photographer. London. August 16, 2008. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  8. ^ Masoner, Liz. "(book review) Review of Adventures in Tornado Alley". New York. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  9. ^ Eric Nguyen (2007). "My Biography". Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  10. ^ Weather: The Ultimate Book of Meteorological Events. Accord Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7407-6989-4.
  11. ^ Blair, Scott; Deroche, Derek; Pietrycha, Albert (2008). "In Situ Observations of the 21 April 2007 Tulia, Texas Tornado". E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology. 3 (3). ISSN 1559-5404.
  12. ^ Kissel (September 7, 2007). "(Eric Nguyen) Death of Eric Nguen". Storm Track. Norman, Oklahoma. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  13. ^ Robert Fritchie (September 22, 2007). "A Gathering For Eric Nguyen". Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  14. ^ Robert Fritchie (November 1, 2007). "Eric Nguyen Memorial Endowed Scholarship". Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  15. ^ Corbis International (June 12, 2004). "Tornado Over Farmhouse in Kansas". Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  16. ^ "Adventures in Tornado Alley: The Storm Chasers (event review)". Los Angeles, California. 23 March 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  17. ^ Magliocco, Amos (Spring 2008). "Put on the Petty". The Missouri Review. 31 (1): 76–91. doi:10.1353/mis.2008.0037. ISSN 0191-1961.

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