20 insanely dangerous photos from storm chasers
When Mother Nature shows her fierce side, most people run the other way. These photos are what happens when you stick around to watch.
Meet Roger Hill
Roger Hill runs a tornado tourism company called Silver Lining Tours. Hill and his wife Caryn drive thrill-seeking guests within a quarter mile of the 300 mph wind funnels.
The Hills have eyes
Hill lives in Colorado, where intense lightning storms are commonly visible from his Denver home.
Brian Barnes cheated death
The guy in the blue shirt, left of the giant tornado, is Brian Barnes. A tornado almost killed him in 1993, when he was on the way to his high school prom. He has also been struck by lightning. Barnes chases storms and runs an extreme-weather tour company.
A hail of a drive
Barnes captured this image of a hail-covered road while chasing a storm in Colorado.
Sometimes, you chase the storm...
Storm chasers Joel Taylor (left) and Reed Timmer (right) have been featured on Discovery Channel's reality TV series "Storm Chasers."
...and sometimes, the storm chases you
A team of extreme-weather meteorologists were tracking storm data in Oklahoma when tornadoes suddenly appeared behind them.
To get inside a tornado, drive a tank
Sean Casey also appeared on "Storm Chasers." He built two armored trucks, called Tornado Intercept Vehicles, to drive into the center of tornadoes. That's almost definitely better than doing it in a Prius.
Do it for the Instagram pics
This tourist from London is seen casually posing in front of a monster storm outside of Hemmingford, Nebraska.
Dust comes at you fast
This cloud is called a haboob. A haboob is a cloud of dust kicked up by high winds, and standing inside of one can feel like being pelted with a million flying needles. Storm chaser Scott Wood set up the camera to capture this terrifying oncoming storm.
Scott Wood isn't scared
And he stuck around for a while. Next question: Has Scott Wood seen "The Mummy"?
That feeling when your camera needs a raincoat
This is professional storm chaser Katherine Bay. She's in a car in the middle of Hurricane Jeanne, documenting plus 100 mph winds while driving in a foot of water in Vero Beach, Fla.
Multitasking can be dangerous
Holding an umbrella in a storm is difficult enough. Doing that while adjusting the shutter speed, focus and ISO on a camera is another thing entirely. This photo was taken by storm chaser Mike Kirk of his son and storm-chasing partner Shane, whose photography focuses on lightning.
This is a supercell and it can be stronger than a hurricane
Supercell storms are rare, but the contained rotating storm systems can sustain winds in excess of 92 mph.
Supercells make super hail
Supercell storms also produce baseball-sized hail. That makes sticking around to watch them that much more dangerous.
Another view of a supercell
This supercell reportedly generated a tornado near Piedmont, Oklahoma.
Storm chasing at night
Storm chasers were tracking a tornado when this bolt of lightning lit up the dark sky.
A very dark sky
These rainbows appeared as a severe thunderstorm moved across the plains from Kansas to Colorado.
It took 7 years to capture this moment
Greg McCown is a real estate agent by day and a storm chaser by night. He tried for seven years to photograph a lightning bolt and a rainbow in the same image. McCown used a lightning shutter trigger on his camera to capture the moment.
Even hurricanes are no match for storm chasers
Storm chaser and meteorologist Michael Phelps walks through the storm surge of Hurricane Isabel as the storm makes landfall near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.