Why Do Some Individuals Pursue Storms?

Quck answer

Some people chase storms for the adrenaline rush and sense of adventure. They are fascinated by the power and beauty of nature’s fury. Storm chasers also aim to gather valuable data and contribute to scientific research. By studying storms up close, they can better understand their formation and behavior, which helps improve storm prediction and warning systems. Additionally, storm chasing can be a hobby or a profession for photographers and videographers who capture stunning images and footage. While storm chasing can be dangerous, with proper training and precautions, it can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for those who have a passion for extreme weather.


Does a loud burst of thunder send shivers down your spine? What do you do when you witness a flash of lightning? Hopefully, you seek shelter indoors where it is safe!

Would you believe that there are individuals who actually approach a storm when they spot one? And we are not referring to just any kind of storm. We are referring to some of the most perilous storms out there: tornadoes and hurricanes!

These individuals are known as storm chasers. Why do they chase storms? Is it solely for the excitement of the pursuit? Or is there another motive behind their actions?

Although it is undoubtedly an exhilarating adventure, storm chasers chase storms to gain knowledge about the most dangerous types of storms. By getting close to a storm — even directly in its path — storm chasers can observe storms up close and collect data that cannot be obtained by any other means.

Storm chasers are typically scientists who specialize in studying weather and aim to gain a deeper understanding of these storms. Tornadoes and hurricanes can be extremely lethal because, especially in the case of tornadoes, they often occur with minimal warning.

The more storm chasers comprehend about storms, the better they can work towards developing methods to predict the appearance and behavior of storms. This information will hopefully enable meteorologists to provide people with earlier and more accurate warnings, allowing them to evacuate areas where severe storms are anticipated.

Storm chasing is not always as glamorous as it may seem. It often involves hours and hours of driving, simply searching and waiting for storms to form. Various circumstances have to align for storm chasers to locate a developing storm and position themselves in its path.

Once in the path of the storm, storm chasers deploy scientific equipment that they hope will be picked up by the tornado. Afterwards, they swiftly retreat to a safe location. If the storm carries away the equipment, the scientists can utilize the recorded data to gain a better understanding of the inner workings of these hazardous storms.

Some storm chasers have even designed specialized vehicles that they believe can withstand the force of a tornado. For instance, the Tornado Intercept Vehicle 2 (TIV2) weighs approximately 8 tons and possesses additional features that would make it challenging — but not impossible! — for a tornado to lift it off the ground.

Occasionally, storm chasers are unable to reach a safe location quickly enough. Some have been injured and even killed in this risky profession. That is why only professional weather experts should ever attempt to chase storms. It is not an endeavor for amateurs!

Give It a Try

Are you prepared to place yourself in the path of a storm? Make sure to explore the following activities with a friend or family member:

Storm Safety Tips

Storm chasing is a dangerous hobby that should only be done by professionals. If you spot a storm approaching, do you know what to do? The safest place to be during a storm is indoors. If possible, go inside and find a secure location away from windows, such as a basement or cellar, to wait out the storm. If you don’t have a basement, find the most interior room in your house. Discuss with a family member or friend the safest spot in your home to take cover in case of a storm.

Unfortunately, there are times when it’s not possible to seek shelter indoors during a storm. If you happen to be outside, make sure to get out of the water if you’re in a lake, river, ocean, or swimming pool. Water conducts electricity, which can be extremely dangerous during a lightning storm! If you’re stuck outside and unable to find any shelter, stay away from tall objects. Large trees, telephone poles, and metal towers can attract lightning. To make outdoor activities safer, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast beforehand. If there’s a chance of bad weather, make sure you have a plan in case of a storm.

Remember that time you were caught in a tornado? Use your imagination to create an exciting story about your adventure. How fast were the winds spinning? Where did the tornado take you? Did you sustain any injuries? Have fun coming up with a fictional tale about encountering a magical tornado!

Resources

  • http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/storms/storm-chaser.htm (accessed 13 Mar., 2019)
  • http://skydiary.com/kids/chasing.html (accessed 13 Mar., 2019)

FAQ

1. Why do some people chase storms?

Some people chase storms because they have a fascination with extreme weather and the power of nature. Storm chasing can be an adrenaline rush and an opportunity to witness the incredible beauty and raw power of storms up close. It allows them to experience the thrill of being in the midst of a storm and capturing its awe-inspiring moments. For some, storm chasing is also a scientific pursuit, as they study and document the behavior of storms to contribute to meteorological research and understanding. It is a way for these individuals to satisfy their curiosity and passion for weather phenomena.

2. What equipment do storm chasers use?

Storm chasers use a variety of equipment to help them track and monitor storms. This includes meteorological instruments such as anemometers to measure wind speed, barometers to measure atmospheric pressure, and weather radar systems to track storm movement. They also use cameras and video equipment to capture images and footage of storms. In addition, storm chasers rely on communication devices like radios and cell phones to stay connected with other chasers and receive up-to-date weather information. Some storm chasers may also use GPS systems and laptops with specialized software to analyze storm data in real-time.

3. Are storm chasers in danger?

Storm chasing can be a dangerous activity if not approached with caution and knowledge. Storm chasers often find themselves in close proximity to powerful storms, which can pose risks such as strong winds, large hail, lightning, and tornadoes. It is crucial for storm chasers to have a deep understanding of meteorology and storm behavior, as well as access to accurate weather information and reliable communication systems. Safety protocols and situational awareness are key to minimizing the risks involved in storm chasing. It is important to note that not all storm chasers put themselves in harm’s way, as some focus on observing storms from a safe distance or rely on remote monitoring techniques.

4. What are the benefits of storm chasing?

Storm chasing offers several benefits to those who engage in this activity. Firstly, it provides an opportunity for scientific research and data collection, contributing to our understanding of severe weather patterns and helping to improve forecasting models. Additionally, storm chasing can be a thrilling adventure and a way to connect with nature on a deeper level. It allows individuals to witness the sheer power and beauty of storms, which can be an awe-inspiring experience. Furthermore, storm chasing can create a sense of camaraderie among chasers, as they share a common passion and often form tight-knit communities where knowledge and experiences are exchanged.

5. How do storm chasers find storms?

Storm chasers use various methods to find storms. They rely on weather forecasts and analysis from meteorological organizations to identify areas with a high potential for severe weather. This includes monitoring weather patterns, atmospheric conditions, and storm prediction models. Once a potential storm area is determined, storm chasers may travel to that region and position themselves strategically to intercept storms. They also use advanced weather radar systems and GPS technology to track storm movement in real-time and adjust their position accordingly. Experienced storm chasers often rely on their knowledge and intuition gained from years of chasing storms to make informed decisions on where and when to chase.

6. Is storm chasing only done in the United States?

No, storm chasing is not limited to the United States. While the United States is known for its frequent and intense severe weather events, storm chasing occurs in various parts of the world where severe storms are prevalent. Countries such as Canada, Australia, Argentina, and South Africa also attract storm chasers due to their unique weather conditions. Each region offers its own set of challenges and storm phenomena, making storm chasing a global pursuit for those passionate about studying and experiencing extreme weather.

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