Is storm chasing worth physical injury or the loss of human life? Hope VanSickle
Bryant & Stratton College
Professor Dan Filipkowski
October 12, 2013
Most storm chasers are serious scientists working to increase our knowledge of tornadoes and other severe weather masses and how they behave. The risk storm chasers put themselves in every day brings a question that remains unanswered, Is storm chasing worth physical injury or loss of human life? The loss of storm chasers lives is far less than the loss of lives our nation would sustain if the early warnings given by the brave souls of the chasers were to stop.
Storm chasing is incredibly dangerous. Surviving tornadoes and severe weather requires adequate coverage and careful planning. To think that some people willingly, purposefully stay out in a storm may seem careless, but in reality, when done by people trained in the storm chasing field , storm chasing and storm spotting provide valuable information that helps save lives. “I know all too well the things people associate with storm chasers," wrote AccuWeather meteorologist Cory Mottice in an article. "Why do meteorologists chase storms? Simply put, we do it to save lives.” Storm chasers are able to give warnings to the public of the storm because of their on-location observations. As Mottice explains, "When we are out chasing storms, we have the best forecasting tool available, our eyes. Unlike radar and satellite imagery, we can see what is going on in real-time. We don't have to wait five minutes for the next radar scan to come in; instead we are watching it as it is happening.", (Accuweather, 2013). There is no replacement for human involvement in storm chasing when the goal is saving lives and injuries during major storms.
Storm chasing is broadly defined as the search of any severe weather condition, regardless of motive, which could be curiosity, adventure, scientific exploration, or for news...
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