In meteorologist-ese, “chasing” means storm chasing. As far as I can tell, chasing is the favorite hobby of my meteorologist husband and his friends (well, aside from golfing). Many people are fascinated with storms and if you live in tornado alley, it’s likely you have jaunted off in pursuit of an attractive thunderhead at one point or another, but watching professionals hunt twisters is a totally different ballgame. For one thing, there is ego involved. Lots of ego. They are professionals, after all, and they thumb their nose at all but a few of the casual chasers. (Sometimes they have a point- danger is a concern) Being professionals, they have access to skills and even equipment that the casual chaser does not. This means that when chasing, they often land on the cusp of a storm that has produced or is about to produce tornadoes. So if a car full of these highly trained, extremely eager, egotistical scientists doesn’t witness a tornado on their outing, major pouting ensues. Fortunately, they often do. Or, at the very least, they get to enjoy some good “structure”, whatever that means.
Despite the inherently chancy nature of storms, enthusiasm for chasing runs high. I’ve never quite been able to get on board with concept of driving for 8 hours and going nowhere, but fortunately that does not dampen my husband’s enthusiasm for the pursuit. A handful of images (non-tornadic) from Oklahoma spring 2010: