Storm Chasing for Photographers: High-Speed, High-Risk, High-Fun!

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Weather Service predicts 1787 tornadoes this year. That’s almost 5 tornadoes per day.

Dorothy would shiver in her ruby slippers, all right.

Us? We want to chase ’em down. ‘Cause the only thing cooler than 300-mph funnels of wind are the pictures you take of them yourself.

Luckily (kinda?) we’re right smack in the middle of twister season, here and across the globe.

Do it yourself: Chasing tornadoes, mind you, is DANGEROUS. And doing it right requires lots of fancy devices, like anemometers and hygristors. If the thought of hunting a roiling squall excites you, the Stormtrack website outlines the basics of storm chasing.

Do it with help: Want those amazing photos, but like your limbs right where they are? Consider a storm tour! Professional storm chasers lead you into twister territory in these weather safaris, and some are even made for photographers.

Fair-weather friend who prefers rainbows to cyclones? So be it. Rainbows are cool, too.

for the DIY-er…
Stormtrack’s FAQs for the Budding Storm Chaser

for the Do-it-with-help-er…
Silver Lining Tours’ Atmospheric Adventure of a Lifetime

Texas-Based Tempest Tours
(Check out the 2009 High Plains Photo Tour, sure to be a meteorologic hit)

(via PopPhoto)