Storm chasing critical, profitable and dangerous
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — While most people take shelter when a tornado approaches, a growing throng heads for the prairies, be they scientists hoping to protect the public from a twister’s fury or amateurs armed with little more than a smartphone, a digital camera and a desire to sell 15 seconds of video to the nightly news.
But the deaths of three respected researchers near Oklahoma City have renewed questions over whether the risk of dashing off into violent storms in Tornado Alley is too great — regardless of the adrenaline rush.
“I think there will be some who will step back and say: ‘Am I really doing something safe here?’” said Michael Armstrong, a meteorologist for KWTV in Oklahoma City. “I think you’ll probably have others ... that just feel that invincibility that they’ve always felt and they’ll keep doing what they’re doing and basically look at it as though it was an aberration or an outlier.”
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