Storm Chasing, whether for hobby, research or career, has been around for many decades. According to the Storm Prediction Center’s Online Tornado FAQ, the late Roger Jensen is believed to be the first person who actively hunted for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes – in the upper Midwest in the late 1940s. David Hoadley has been chasing annually since 1956, and is widely considered the “pioneer” storm chaser. There have been movies and TV shows about chasing storms and tornadoes. There are college groups and touring companies. The chasing community has exploded and in recent years especially in 2017, they have made headlines in the news and over social media. There have been reports of fender benders, reckless driving and arrests. A tragic accident in March of 2017 shook the chasing community to its core. On Episode 35 of Tornado Talk, we interview current members of the chasing community. They all have a varying degree of experience and have different reasons for chasing. We presented them with a list of questions to get their opinion on the state of storm chasing today. Why are there so many chasers on the road? Are they all experienced? What are the motivators for chasing? Have the incidents of this year changed how people chase? Have chasers gone wild or are these isolated incidents exasperated by the 24/7 news cycle and social media? This is just a sampling of what you will hear on our latest episode. Check out Episode 35 and you decide: Have chasers gone wild?
Alycia Gilliland, meteorologist with the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder
Quincy Vagell, full time storm chaser
Jake DeFlitch, masters student at Okalahoma State
Jeff Stephens, CEO and owner of MesoMount Designs