When alarms alert us to dangerous weather—like tornadoes and hurricanes—our first instinct isn't usually to hop in a truck and follow the storm. Yet for some around the world, the thrill and potential meteorological benefits of tracking and capturing extreme weather events is more than just a lifestyle. In fact, storm chasing has increased in popularity so much that as many as 80 different vehicles may be pursuing the same twister's path all at once, hoping to catch an up-close glimpse. Roaring winds whipping several hundreds of miles per hour, dangerous debris, golf ball-sized hail and more rip through the atmosphere in the heat of a storm, often traveling upwards of 30 to 70 miles per hour.
But what does it take to be a storm chaser—fearlessness, good equipment or both? Is the risk of a life worth the potential scientific rewards—or is it a dangerous hobby with an unsettling mortality rate? Has the uptick in popularity, especially among TV news outlets, contributed to the rising number of people who die each year chasing storms? Check out these interviews and footage from inside the world of real-life storm chasers and see what you think.