The Situationist

The Situation of Chasing Storms

Posted by The Situationist Staff on June 26, 2009

Storm ChaserWCCO (a CBS affliate in Minneapolis, Minnesota) has an interesting piece on what attracts people to chasing storms.  We excerpt it below.

* * *

Most of us aren’t quite as ambitious as the storm chaser to brought us video of the tornado in Austin, Minn.

But think about how you react when crazy weather comes through. Even though we know it’s dangerous, a lot of us still can’t help but go outside or to our windows to watch.

So what attracts us to dangerous weather?

There is something incredibly powerful about a storm.

“We’re wired to avoid that which could kill us. Severe weather certainly falls in that category,” said John Tauer, a social psychologist with the University of St. Thomas.

“Even if we are afraid, people still look,” said WCCO’s Jason DeRusha.

“Well there’s that sense of thrill seeking and a little bit of an adrenaline rush, like going on a roller coaster,” said Tauer. “What’s interesting is very rarely does someone die in a plane crashes, yet people are really, really fearful, almost to the point of it being an irrational fear of plane crashes.”

“So I think there’s a sense that we think we have a little more control in this situation,” said Tauer.

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To read the rest, click here.  For other Situationist posts on weather, click here.  For a website devoted to a book on storm chasers–Storm Chasers! On the Trail of Twisters–click here.

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