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Tornado Forecaster Moonlights as Great Plains Storm Chaser [Slide Show]

When he’s not researching tornado prediction and climate change, Allen drives 10,000 miles a year chasing storms across America’s Great Plains, home of the world’s strongest and most numerous tornadoes

By Kate Baggaley and Climate Central

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METEOROLOGICAL RELAXATION:

“There’s something that’s very relaxing about watching a storm just spinning away over the high plains of Colorado and watching it drop hailstones,” says John Allen.....[ More ]

O'ER THE GREAT PLAINS:

Storm clouds gather near El Reno, Okla., in May, 2013.....[ More ]

DANGER ZONES:

Storm chasers learn to take close calls in stride. Once, south of La Junta, Colo., both of John Allen’s back tires blew out as a tornado bore down. No one stopped to offer a ride.....[ More ]

WHEN LIGHTENING STRIKES:

Huge lightning strikes near Graham, Texas in May, 2012. Storm chasers are the safest people to be in a car with when a storm strikes, says Allen.....[ More ]

ALL HAIL NO:

Having a thorough understanding of how storms work means that Allen rarely encounters hail unless he chooses to do so. “A lot of people take hail dents as a matter of pride, whereas I think it’s stupid to get hail dents on your car for no particular reason." ....[ More ]

FRONT ROW SEATS:

Near El Reno, Okla., in May, 2013. “There is this tendency that people go for the ultimate viewing angle, which in some storms happens to be unsafe,” says Allen. “The reality is that the arms race market of video for trying to get closer and closer has to come to an end.”....[ More ]

A SUPER SOAKER:

A supercell drops rain over farmland in Oklahoma, 2012.....[ More ]

TWISTERS TOO:

A tornado near La Cross, Kan., in May, 2012.....[ More ]

TORNADOES BY MONTH:

​An animation showing every tornado recorded from 1950-2012 by month.....[ More ]

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