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Attention Amateur Weather Fans! Have you ever thought about being a meteorologist...or chasing tornadoes through the Great Plains? Well now you can!

The first step is to know basic weather information. Being knowledgeable in weather science is a must for all storm chasers. In fact, specialized training courses all across the world are offered to individuals and teams of persons willing to spend some quality time learning weather lessons. There is no real degree required to start storm chasing as a hobby, but it is a dangerous sport without training. (In fact, as many would argue, it is not a sport at all. It is a serious scientific inquiry into the nature of severe storms.)

As a beginner's guide to weather, you can make a start at becoming a future storm chaser by answering some of the basic questions on the Ask a Weather Expert pages. Once you get through the basic lessons, you can join the weather message boards to get even more details on becoming a certified storm chaser! I have all the details you will need on how to become a real-life storm chaser.

Comments

May 8, 2007 at 9:10 pm
(1) mike dick says:

i would like to know how to become a storm chaser i love to see the weather develop please let me know if you can what step to take first

May 12, 2007 at 10:14 am
(2) rob Hansen says:

I would like to know what it takes to become a storm chaser and is it a hobby or a full time job.

May 13, 2007 at 11:42 am
(3) Rachelle says:

Well, that depends. It can be just a hobby…Go to this site http://www.volunteer.noaa.gov/weather_stormspotter.html

Or, if you are a trained meteorology researcher you can do it full time as a scientist. Plus, there are more and more people out there trying to make a little side money by publishing videos and pix of storms. They sell them to news channels and such. But this is NOT recommended because it can be VERY dangerous. I don’t recommend messing around with Mother Nature for a buck!

January 16, 2008 at 12:07 am
(4) Mark L. Thomason says:

Hello, I recently came upon this site and thought I would leave a few words on storm chasing. I have done a lot of it, but not for money or a hobby. I recently finished my Ph.D in Meteorology where my research speciality was in Mesoscale Meteorology. This area of the field focuses on weather that occurs on the smaller scale. My focus was on supercell and tornado dynamics. Therefore, I did a lot of field work (storm chasing) for my research. I noticed a few comments on being a storm chaser for a career. I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble on this, but there is no one that will give you the job title of storm chaser as your full time job. The National Severe Storms Lab hired several field storm chasers in the 1980′s to work on a project, but outside of that no one will pay you a full time salary to chase storms. The people who storm chase are out there as a hobby, to grab some videos or picture for sale, or they are doing research for graduate school. The only reason I am posting this here is because I’ve had several people ask me about this. On the other hand, if you love storms, it can be a very rewarding hobby. I would ask that if anyone wants to do this as a hobby, please learn as much about thunderstorms and safety as possible. There is a great book entitled, “The Storm Chasing Handbook,” by Tim Vasquez that is wonderful. I have seen too many people get into dangerous situations because they were unaware of the science of storms. One man that kept following us on a chase got his nice vehicle destroyed by hail when he core punched to try catch a glimpse of a tornado. The hail destroyed his car, not to mention he could have drove straight into the updraft of the storm, where the tornado could have been on the ground. If you really love this field then you may consider going to college to get a degree. At least a Masters degree would be required to get a job due to the high number of people holding a Bachelors degree in Meteorology and no job. This can allow you to do research and there are chances that the University you land a job with will provide a grant and in a sense you will get paid to storm chase for your research. However, be aware that recently the Meteorology field, as well as interests in storms, has exploded with people. Jobs are very, very competitive and will probably remain that way. We have several shows on television right now that glorify storm chasing and this is sparking more and more interest in this field. So, be prepared to work very hard to enter this field. I hope I helped provide some additional insight into storm chasing. Please be careful if you the dark tackle skies. Best of luck.

February 9, 2008 at 3:58 pm
(5) Stephanie Armijo says:

I’ve always been so intrested in Weather. Ever sence I can rember, I would always be outside looking at storms saying, “Someone bring me a video camera quick!” I always take storm pictures with my cell, or cannon camera. I’ve always wanted to be a Storm Chaser. I just never knew where to start, or how to be hurd. Maybe you could help me please, it would be very helpful of you! Thanx!

October 4, 2008 at 5:54 pm
(6) Jesalen Inzitari says:

Stroms ALWAYS interest me and I REALLY want to be a strom chaser. I always go out and examine the storms at least. I need to know how to be an ACTUAL storm chaser.

October 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm
(7) Miky C says:

I would like to know much you make

October 15, 2008 at 2:13 pm
(8) Melanie says:

Hi, I’ve been researching online about being a storm chaser and all the sites say that storm chasing is not an actual job, just a hobby. I really love to be in the action of the storm, instead of sitting in an office predicting weather. Is there jobs anywhere in Canada or the US that is storm chasing? I would really like to know because I am doing a school project on it.

October 15, 2008 at 7:56 pm
(9) Rachelle Oblack says:

Well, as for how much I make…Sorry, can’t tell ya!

October 15, 2008 at 8:01 pm
(10) Rachelle Oblack says:

Melanie, look at the third comment I posted above. Think of storm chasing like quilting or fishing. It can start out as a hobby, but with increased knowledge and training (not to mention lots and lots of practice) you CAN turn a hobby into a career. Professional fishermen enter tournaments, go to classes, check out the latest research…Much the same way any hobby works. You just have to get good at it and know EVERYTHING YOU CAN about your chosen craft.
As for where to get a job? There are always internships available with government agencies for qualified individuals. Schools also offer internships like this. Most are unpaid, but some do pay a small amount.
But all in all, you won’t find a “want ad” for a storm chaser. One storm chaser I know works for a local television station. Start bugging your local weather station to see if you can go in and “help” in any way. Then, you will have a foot in the door.

October 17, 2008 at 1:20 pm
(11) Melanie says:

I never thought of trying to help local weather stations but that is a really good idea! Thanks!

October 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm
(12) Andrew says:

Hello, i’m a meteorology student and am looking for resources for a research paper. i’m researching how the industry of storm chasing works along with News Stations hiring storm chasers to do work out in the field, like an extra pair of eyes. I just can’t seem to find any resources like books or articles that examine this subject. I was wondering if you could help point me in the right direction or at least help getting started. Thank you so much for any help,

Sincerely,

Andrew

November 6, 2008 at 10:57 pm
(13) weather says:

Try contacting the KOCO-TV First Alert Team at http://www.koco.com/weather/1698571/detail.html

November 11, 2008 at 2:26 am
(14) chuck divel says:

is there any storm chaser out there that would be willing to give me a job by just holding the camera and getting the best shots ever.. that is my calling in life,, i will get as close to the storms as they get to me.. no lie.. i truely believe this is what im supposed to do.. i will sign a contract saying that no one is responsible for me i am responsible for myself.. i am for real i feel thats all i can do in life,, please give me a call at 1 662 574 3249 to help save my life.. thanks abunch.. chuck divel

January 12, 2009 at 2:22 am
(15) ron gettman says:

I have see the storm chasers on T.V.. I dont need a PH degree or anything else. Im a professional dowser which locates underground water. I also find positive and negative energy. I can also divert the energy, which a twister and tornado is created from. before anybody says im an idiot and dont know what im talking about. all i can say is have you done it. native americans have donwe it for years. and i have a freind in missouri that does it. everyone always talks about early warning to help people to safety. if ya know out to divert the energy then you wont have the destruction the tornado makes. It seems to me everyone wanrts to do things the hard way my way is easier.

February 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm
(16) CHRISTINA sCHUSTER says:

IF YOU TELL ME WHAT I HAVE TO DO TO BECOME A STORM CHASER.BECAUSE EVERYTIME A STORM COMES I LOOK FORWARD TO IT.I WOULD LOE TO CHASE A STORM.

THANKS

March 4, 2009 at 6:52 pm
(17) Stephanie says:

I would love to become a storm chaser…I have been watching storms develop from age 10 I have never been afraid..I know everything possible about a tornado..haha i know im prob.to young right now(16)haha but I still love them!!!Even if the news says its not going to be severe Im still out side watching the clouds roll in…if anyone is a storm chaser here I would love to see a video or even go with you to chase one..depends how far u are?? haha but anyway if you have any tornado pictures please let me know or videos!!you have no idea!! how much I love storms!!!!!!they are practiclly my life!!!

March 4, 2009 at 7:01 pm
(18) $tephanie says:

WOW! i have always dreamed of this like i said i in a previous comment I am only(16) but I have been out there studying storms ever sence I was(10) they are my life I hate that ppl get killed but they are thrilling to me!!!I never like to hear when a child has been killed by a tornado and I couldn’t even give them a warning…if you guys really are here because you love tornadoes then check out these movies..(atomic twister),(twister),and(The Tornadoes Path) wow these are great movies but they will make you wont to be out there even worse trust me haha I know!!!

March 5, 2009 at 8:26 am
(19) Rachelle Oblack says:

I have seen those movies. You are right, there are some great ones out there.

April 7, 2010 at 2:41 am
(20) Saumil Patel says:

Hey,my dream is to be a storm chaser.
i ready for work hard and ready to accept all challenges.
But i don’t know how to be storm chaser!!!
What to do for giving the exam for storm chasing

October 28, 2010 at 10:18 pm
(21) jeff says:

I am already a certified storm spotter.How can I become a paid storm chaser?

November 8, 2010 at 1:24 am
(22) weather says:

Being a “paid” storm chaser is a shot of luck really. With enough experience and training, you could work for a local TV channel or sell the videos and images online.

November 3, 2010 at 6:32 pm
(23) james brown says:

Hello,
I WOULD LIKE TO BECOME A STORM CHASER. WITH ONE BIG DIFFERENCE. IF PROVIDED A TORNADO PROOF CAR OR AT LEAST TORNADO PROTECTED LIKE THE TIV ON T.V. I WILL DRIVE DIRECTLY INTO THE TORNADO. NOT TRYING TO GET CLOSE BUT HIT THE HEART OF THE STORM IN AN EFFORT TO GET ALL THE IMPORTANT INFORMATION EVERYONE HAS BEEN SEEKING. IF I DONT DO IT I DONT GET PAID BUT A MINIAL FEE. THIS IS NOT A JOKE . IF I DONT SURVIVE, THE MONEY GOES TO MY FAMILY.

November 8, 2010 at 1:23 am
(24) weather says:

This is very dangerous. Storm chasing is not a hobby and should not be romanticized. It is serious research and only done by those with years of training and experience.

December 1, 2010 at 7:14 pm
(25) nick says:

i would also love to be a storm chaser i need the nxt step.

December 8, 2010 at 11:13 am
(26) Denise Moreno says:

I wanna be a storm chaser but im too young im only 14 and i love watching storms and every thing.every time i see storm chasers on tv thats all i watch all day!!!!
But i this is my future job and i hope i make it!!!!(:

January 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm
(27) Ariel Leming says:

hay I’m Ariel Leming i wanna be a storm Chaser really bad. I think it would be fun, and exciting!

April 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm
(28) anthony says:

if im 14 and i have a responsible adult to drive me around and help me storm chase can i do it?

April 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm
(29) Rachelle Oblack says:

I would never advise storm chasing for someone so young. I would never advise it for anyone without training in the meteorological sciences. Even with a responsible adult, chasing can be dangerous. You need a lot of education and background in meteorology first. If the adult taking you on a storm chase had the same education and training, they would tell you no way! Without training, how will you know when and where a storm will turn?
You CAN begin to catalog storm events and take photos of weather events. But not the extreme storms like tornadoes or hurricanes. You should at least gather cloud photos and people to identify them with ease. If you cannot, you are not ready. No one is unless they know this material, even the responsible adult. You could also keep a daily weather log until you understand the changes that happen every day. If you cannot say why those changes occurred, or what tomorrow may bring based on the past, you are not ready.
I don’t want to put your storm chasing dreams to rest – But they do need to go on hold. Learn as much as you can first, then go to college and participate in field studies that examine severe weather events. A storm chaser is not an official job title, but people in universities do “chase” storms in order to learn more about them. It is a scientific endeavor and not a hobby per se.

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