Why Storm Chasers Do What They Do | KCUR

Why Storm Chasers Do What They Do

Jun 13, 2013

Category F5 tornado viewed from the southeast as it approached Elie, Manitoba on Friday, June 22, 2007
Credit Justin Hobson / WikiCommons

Last month, as we all know, a series of tornadoes devastated areas around Oklahoma City, with dozens killed and hundreds injured over several days of storms.

Among the casualties were three men who were well known in the meteorological community and, indeed, to television audiences: Storm chasers Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras and Carl Young were doing interviews and sending back footage the day of the EF-3 El Reno storm that changed direction on them and killed them.

In light of these tragic events we wonder, just what is a storm chaser anyway?

Julie Adolphson the meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Missouri; David Salmon a private meteorologist and former emergency manager and author of a book on storm chasing and spotting; and Brian Stone, the president of the Kansas Emergency Management Association join us to talk about the art and science of chasing and spotting storms.