Storm chasing and storm tourism have become more popular than ever in recent years. The popularity of films like Twister and TV shows like Storm Chasers have led to many people taking it upon themselves to chase down tornadoes and photograph or film them. However, this is an extremely dangerous hobby for a lot of reasons.
Even accomplished meteorologists have met with grim fates while chasing storms. Amateurs should under no circumstances approach strong tornadoes, whether in a vehicle or on foot. Leave storm chasing to the pros!
Here are some of the biggest reasons why you should not take up a hobby of chasing tornadoes around.
Twisters Are Unpredictable
Twisters are some of the least predictable weather phenomena on Earth. It’s essentially guesswork when you’re trying to figure out the twists and turns that a tornado is going to make once it’s touched down. As such, you’re never fully sure whether you’re “following” a tornado or just outright leading it.
Should you suddenly find yourself in the path of a tornado instead of just in its wake, there’s not much you can do. Driving away as fast as you can isn’t often an option: tornadoes don’t care about the directions roads take, so the path of the road isn’t always the most direct path away from the twister.
To add to that, tornadoes can often move much more quickly than your vehicle can. Should you get too close to a tornado, you’re risking serious injury or worse.
Traffic Is Terrible
If you think traffic is bad during rush hour, wait until you see the line of wannabe storm chasers clogging up the roads near a tornado. All those warnings about how hard it is to get away from a tornado if it suddenly turns become even more difficult when the traffic is intense in a small town that isn’t accustomed to having its roads flooded by out-of-towners trying to get the best tornado snapshots.
Imagine the scene of pandemonium if 500 wannabe storm chasers suddenly all realized that the tornado was heading right for them. Compound this with extremely narrow roads and few paths in and out of town. You can picture the chaos now, right?
Now, let’s say you ignore all of this advice and drive headlong toward the nearest twister. When you get into a traffic accident because everyone is too busy looking at the twister instead of the road, there’s not going to be anyone to help you. The cops are way past gone, and emergency services aren’t about to drive directly into a tornado if you get injured in the accident.
Should you find yourself in a bad wreck near a tornado, there’s almost nothing that anyone can do to help you. Should you find this situation tough to fix, you might be in even more danger: sitting still near a tornado is a recipe for disaster, as the twister could be on its way to your now-immobilized location.
Just stay away from the storm, everyone. It’s not worth a few likes on social media.