You should not -- absolutely not -- chase a storm on your own. Inexperienced storm chasers put themselves -- and anyone else foolish enough to accompany them -- at great risk. Storms are incredibly unpredictable forces of nature, and an unprepared storm chaser can easily be taken by surprise.
The most common type of storm chasing involves tracking tornadoes. Before imagining yourself on the open road scanning the skies for twisters, consider this: Tornadoes can be deadly. In the path of a tornado, you're in danger of being picked up and flung through the air and crushed or impaled by flying debris. Storm chasing is better left to the professionals.
Though Hollywood often portrays them as reckless thrill-seekers, professional storm chasers often have years of meteorological training and experience; they know what storms are capable of and know when it's a good time to back off and go home. And they serve a valid purpose in the field of meteorology. Some document storms through video or photographic evidence, while others track the paths of tornadoes as they move, even measuring their wind speeds to determine how dangerous they are.
If you're truly a weather fan who loves catching the action, today's technology makes it easy for you to follow storms from the safety of your home or office -- simply log on or tune in to live coverage. And for those absolutely obsessed folks who won't be satisfied by a virtual experience, there are storm chasing companies that offer tours, allowing inexperienced people a chance to safely view storms up close.
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