Chasing Hurricanes: Why These Germans Travel in Storms

United States of America

Chasing Hurricanes: Why These Germans Travel in Storms


In the United States, as here in Oklahoma, more than 1,000 tornadoes are recorded each year.

picture: istock

Severe weather enthusiasts make a pilgrimage to the United States for peak hurricane season. Why do these men and women face the storm despite the danger of death?

Berlin. Bold people like Thomas have traveled to the fascination of the USA these weeks. Hurricane season is high in the Midwest — severe weather enthusiasts anywhere in the world probably have no better chance of getting a violent storm in front of their camera lens. If you don’t know your way around, you can easily pay €2000 for a guided hurricane tour. Adventure tourists are looking for it Suspense, but please play it safe. But safety and they are in this scene, some pay the price for their passion with their lives. Like the three students who died recently in Kansas while chasing a tornado.

However, Thomas Saffert likes to stand in the wind. The 56-year-old from Voerde on the Lower Rhine is willing to take risks Tornado chaser. He’s been tracking storms for 20 years—with scientific interest, he asserts. The meteorologist remembers being caught in Florida because he got too close to a hurricane: “I wasn’t concerned with speed limits on the highway—you’re just speeding.”

Up to 60 tornado reports per year

Travel is one of a growing number of Germans who have indulged their passion for amazing storms. According to the association, there are up to 700 men and women Skywarn, where many joined together. They don’t only travel to the United States or the tropics, where it is much warmer than in Europe and where a large number of hurricanes occur as a result.

Also in Germany, up to 60 dangerous cyclones are reported each year. In 2019, for example, a tornado broke out in Munsterland, throwing cars into the air like toys and uprooting trees. “I’ve been through it for days debris Run and score everything,” reports Travel.



In cooperation with the German Tornado Working Group – Multihead Expert Team – And Skywarn, as well as with German and international weather services, they classify reports of suspected hurricane cases. Skywarn offers its own reporting center for this purpose hot line The application is running. “Keeping our eyes close to the storm – that is our mission so that we can report immediately,” explains club spokesman Heiko Fischmann, 49, of Brandenburg.

Read also: Severe weather: heavy rain and wind threatens in Bavaria and northwest of the northwest state

Not driven by excitement

He also travels regularly to the United States for photography and trade shows. There alone, Oranienburger says, he saw more than 50 hurricanes in Germany—six. “It’s not about us excitement,” asserts Thomas Saffert. “The primary concern of 95 percent of storm chasers is to report the hazards to the weather service so they can warn citizens.”


Traveler, who grew up on the North Sea coast, has known storms for a long time. This is where he experienced his first tornado as a child: “It passed through our city at that time.” Hurricanes occur when warm, moist air on Earth and cool, dry air at high altitudes layer on top of each other. This creates an updraft: more and more air flows into the hose at increasing speeds. unpredictable Warning time Low. So far, Thomas Sävert has analyzed the damage caused by 50 tornadoes in Germany.

Super storm kills eight people

The date that neither he nor Heiko Wechman will forget is May 31, 2013. At that time, the largest recorded hurricane, El Reno, broke out in the US state of Oklahoma – diameter: 4.2 kilometers. “The storm chasers are dead there, those outside Rotation from the hurricane. Wishman remembers.

He’s been tracking El Reno on Earth for nine years. “This hurricane did things we hadn’t seen before. This is still on the fringes of many today.” Eight people died at that time. who – which risk Aware of German storm chases. However, they are already looking forward to the next tour in the US. The next hurricane adventure is sure to come.

This article first appeared on morgenpost.de.



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