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John Wheeler, Published April 26 2012

Weather Talk: Thrill-seeking storm chasers becoming more of a problem

When tornadoes were approaching Woodward, Okla., about a week ago, emergency management officials were unable to get a good view of developing storms because of a two-mile- long traffic jam caused by amateur storm chasers.

The tornado outbreak had been forecast with high accuracy a couple of days in advance, which fortunately meant that a lot of people took the tornado warnings seriously.

Unfortunately, the same advanced warning caused a convergence of storm chasers to the region.

Most professional storm chasers offer valuable information to forecasters, and are often credited with saving lives. But thrill-seeking amateurs, hoping to get a good shot of a storm to post on YouTube, are increasingly becoming a problem during spring and summer severe weather.


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