Stormchasing in Oklahoma

Jun 7, 2016

There she blows … the storm captured from Dave Hall’s vehicle
Credit Dave Hall / The Guardian

An editor for the British news site The Guardian recently went on a trek with a team of Oklahoma stormchasers. His expectations were low—he knew seeing a tornado was rare, even for these intrepid weather watchers.

As they pulled out of the filling station on that first day, Dave Hall said, “If I see a tornado, I’ll wear my underpants on my head.” As it turned out, that day they witnessed a huge wall cloud turn into a wide twister: “We watch in awe as the rotating wall cloud, now above us like a huge spaceship, sucks in air around us.”

Dave reported that the funnel made a noise like a large waterfall. The team watched as it tore the roof off a barn. That day, 23 tornadoes were spawned across the state. As a hobby, notes Dave, stormchasing isn’t cheap—mostly on account of all the traveling. But, he said, “It’s worth it.”