Storm Chasing Risk Can be Deadly

Storm Chasing Risk Can be Deadly

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MOBILE, Ala. -

There's no doubt, we see more and more tornado video from storm chasers every year. Many sell it or share it for free with news media. It's routine now to see dangerously close video of a violent tornado. For some chasers it's a job, while for others it's a research endeavor. Storm chasers can provide a public service.

John Sibley of "we can let people know what's happening on the ground".

The 3 storm chasers killed last week in Oklahoma were researchers who may have misjudged storm motion, or been blocked on a roadway with no exit opportunity. *INSERT* A crew from the Weather Channel escaped critical injury and possibly death, chasing tornadoes. These events make one thing perfectly clear.

John Sibley of "Risk is being seriously injured or killed".

Technology makes it easier for those with some weather knowledge to be at the right place at the right time. But technology cannot match unknowns of tornado motion and strength. On an interstate you have few exit options. In an urban area, you have congestion. Locally, we have narrow outlying roads with trees blocking the horizon. Storm chasing might seem fun for those fascinated by tornadoes but it's not without risk for experts or novices. You can "blow a tire, end up in a ditch, tree falls on you.... you can get struck by lightning, you can drown".

Leave it to the experts but even the experts can't lose sight of the deadly threats.

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