Filed Under:

Storm Chasers Seek Thrills, But Also Chance To Warn Others

Play associated audio

When disaster strikes, our natural instinct is to take cover and seek shelter. But in severe weather, especially the type that breeds tornadoes like we saw in Oklahoma and parts of the Midwest this week, there are those who ride toward the storm.

Oklahoma native Chris McBee is one of those so-called storm chasers, and he was on the ground near Moore, the area hit hardest by Monday's massive tornado that experts now say was an EF-5, the most powerful.

McBee told All Things Considered host Melissa Block that he was about a half a mile south of the tornado as it crossed into Moore when he captured his dramatic video.

"There was debris raining out of the air on top of us," McBee says. "It just gave us a sick feeling because we knew it was hitting a lot of structures and really affecting a lot of lives."

McBee says that while chasing storms and documenting tornadoes is a thrill, he also does it to help the National Weather Service know what is happening on the ground so it can warn those in the path of the storm.

"That's really a priority among storm chasers," he says. "It certainly is a thrill to be out there ... [but] we're trying to warn people in the path as well."

A native of nearby Norman, Okla., McBee says severe weather is a regular part of life. Monday's damage, however, is the worst he's ever seen as a storm chaser.

"There's no way to get used to the destruction we saw yesterday."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Yaya Alafia's Songs Of Strength For Her Baby Boy

2013 was a big year for actress and model Yaya Alafia. She starred in three films and had a baby boy. Alafia shares the songs reflecting those experiences for Tell Me More's series 'In Your Ear.'
NPR

Bake Bread Like A Pioneer In Appalachia ... With No Yeast

Bacteria can make a bread rise and give it a cheesy flavor. That's the secret ingredient in salt rising bread, which dates to the late 1700s in Appalachia, when bakers didn't have yeast on hand.
NPR

Obama Assures Japan Of U.S. Security Commitment

The president is on the first stop in an eight-day trip to Asia that also will see him visit Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea.
NPR

Weekly Innovation: An Inflatable Car Seat That Comes In A Backpack

Parents, you are going to want to read about this prototype from Volvo. It's fully inflatable and designed to make what's normally a clunky and heavy seat both lighter and more portable.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.