Chasing Tornadoes

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Scientists call tornadoes “the black hole of meteorology.” No one knows what causes a thunderstorm to turn into the super cell which then spawns a twister. But the effect is devastating, unpredictable and, to the storm chaser, utterly exhilarating.
This time each year, tornado chasers head to the Great Plains in search of their perfect storm. Some are scientists drawn to solve the natural mystery; some are amateurs hooked on the thrill of watching a sky turn green and purple and then twist into whirling destruction. Tornado chasers live their lives by weather maps, cell phones and truck stop food, driving a line between luck and catastrophe that can shift as quickly as the wind.


Tim Samaras, Senior Research Engineer for Applied Research Associates and long-time Storm Chaser

Dr. Lou Wicker, Research Scientist National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Severe Storms Laboratory, featured in he NOVA special, “Hunt for the Super Twister”

David Lewison, Amateur Tornado Chaser

Steven Levine, Director of Tornado Alley Safaris