For the past few years, we have been asked many questions. Below is a list of the most common questions and their answers. If your question is not on the list, E-mail us at email@example.com. If your question is not below, we will personally answer your question. If we feel it is a question many would enjoy knowing the answer to, we will post the question and its answer on this page.
1. What are the job requirements to become a storm chaser?
Over the years, many people have asked this question. Hopefully the answer won't discourage anyone's interest in the weather, but the truth is that there is no such thing as a job in storm chasing. Storm chasing is nothing but a hobby for most people. There are a few people that are making some money off of tours and selling video, but usually they get some extra income from other sources as well. While there is no such thing as formal training to chase storms, it is highly recommended that one were to learn about severe storms before attempting to chase them. This will allow one to chase storms more safely and it will greatly reduce the chances of damage to property and injury or death to oneself. No matter how much knowledge one has about severe storms, the above is always a possibility due to the fact that no one truly understands every detail needed to predict exactly what a severe storm will do. To learn about the structure and actions of severe storms, read information that can be found on the Internet, in books at your local library, and in booklets on storm spotting that can be obtained from your local National Weather Service. In the spring the National Weather Service offers spotter-training classes. These classes are also very useful in learning how to stay safe while around severe storms. With this hobby, knowledge is safety. The more you know, the safer you will be.
2. Can you send me some video or pictures?
Many people, especially students, make this request for projects that they are doing. We will provide videos and pictures to production companies looking to buy videos; we will not provide them to the general public. However, if a member of the general public is interested in buying a copy of a picture or video, arrangements could be made. The only money that a storm chaser can make to attempt to pay for his expenses is by selling the pictures and videos from the chase. Because of this, the storm chaser copyrights the pictures and video to keep control of who uses the images.
3. How much money can you make as a storm chaser?
If you are looking to get into storm chasing as a way to make money, you may want to think again. Storm chasing is an expensive hobby and not a way to get rich quick. Because of the large number of storm chasers and video cameras in the country today, the market has been flooded with video of tornadoes. Most TV stations have policies not to buy video from the public. If you find a station that will buy video, they may only offer $50 to $100. If video or pictures are captured that are spectacular, it is possible that a network such as CBS or The Weather Channel will buy it. These places will pay up to $500 for video. Also, if the video is good, some companies that do severe weather specials, may buy the video for $400 or less. After the cost of the trip for gas and wear and tear on the vehicle is factored in, there is little profit left over. The profit that is left over probably will go to pay for other chases when no video or pictures that were taken were good enough to be sold.
4. What type of education do I need to become a "qualified" storm chaser?
I will be up front with the answer to this question. There is no such thing as a "qualified" storm chaser. There are chasers out there that have a degree in meteorology, and there are those that have no formal meteorology training. A degree in meteorology does not "qualify" a person to chase storms. Anyone can chase storms. The actual question should be, what type of education do I need to chase storms safely?
A degree in meteorology does not give you the knowledge that is required to stay safe while chasing storms. The best way to learn about storms and storm chasing is to do research. Reading books on storm chasing and on storm structure will help greatly. The best way to learn how to chase storms is to speak with an experienced storm chaser. There are many little tips about staying safe while chasing that you will not find in any book. Finally, if there is the opportunity, ride along with an experienced chaser. This will help you put all of your researched information into a real life situation. Remember, the main goal for storm chasing is to bring everyone home safely at the end of the day.
If you wish to chat with experienced chasers, contact the Severewx.com Team through the Contact Us page.
DISCLAIMER: Remember storm chasing exposes chasers to many hazardous and potentially deadly weather conditions such as lightning, dangerous roads, damaging winds, hail, and flying debris which puts the chaser's life at risk, particularly those who have little or no experience and/or storm structure education. Learning to deal with these is best done by understanding supercells and thunderstorms, and riding with an experienced chaser before attempting to chase on their own. The author of these pages does not encourage storm chasing and is therefore not responsible for any actions as a result of what is seen here!
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