Chasing storms is dangerous and getting increasingly reality-TV-esque, as chasers get closer and closer and closer to tornadoes for the viral thrill. But there’s push-back within this community of weather/adrenaline junkies. They’re pissed that one car full of chasers went driving straight into a tornado.
None other than The Washington Post collected the drama in the storm chasing community after this video was announced:
Watching the vid, it’s not even particularly dramatic. The storm chasers at the wheel certainly have, erm, a ‘stormgasm,’ as the community calls it, but a casual observer would barely know they’re in a tornado at all.
There are no flying trees, there is no microphone-deafening wind. Contrast that to the legendary video shot inside of a wedge tornado a few years ago:
The sky darkens to black, debris hits the fully-armored TIV2 with such speed as to spark.
Still! People are not happy about this most recent inside-a-tornado video, as the Post reports:
“This is not a badge of honor, nor is it a good example. Bragging about it is tone deaf,” tweeted Barbara Mayes Boustead, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, who storm chases in her spare time.
“Irresponsible,” tweeted Jeff Frame, a professor of meteorology at the University of Illinois and storm chaser.
“I try not to be judgmental,” added Matt Lanza, a meteorologist in Houston. “But storm chasers driving INTO a tornado essentially laughing all the way. That’s … not a good look.”
I will also point out this tweet from Barbara, which the video uploader was not happy about:
The Post also notes that three storm chasers died just last week while chasing, not from a tornado but from getting into a crash after running a stop sign. Another three, as the Post points out, died getting too close to a tornado back in 2013.
You’d think this would all be common sense (hey, don’t drive directly into a tornado), and hopefully as we get deeper into tornado season this spring, everybody keeps their heads.