how do you become a storm chaser

How do you become a storm chaser? 

Engaging in storm chasing is a thrilling activity that allows people to experience the unbridled force of extreme weather up close.

Observing and tracking storms demands a distinctive combination of passion, expertise, and readiness.  But is there anything else too?

Can you make a career out of it? Really, how do you become a professional storm chaser?

To become a professional storm chaser, you need a bachelor’s degree in meteorology and a mix of knowledge, passion, and practical skills. 

What Would You Do as a Storm Chaser?

action plan of a storm chaser

If you decide to work as a storm chaser, you will have to work in all sorts of weather conditions.

Some of your common duties may include the following:

  • You have to monitor weather forecasts and collect data.
  • You have to analyze the data and write articles.
  • You need to create detailed reports using the collected data.
  • You will be responsible for locating and chasing storms.
  • You have to work with various equipment for testing.

Other than these, taking pictures during storms is also one of many duties you have to perform as a storm chaser.

The good thing is that you can sell those pictures and videos to others and earn some extra money. 

How Do You Become a Storm Chaser?

guide for becoming a storm chaser

It is possible that you are unaware that storm chasing is a legitimate profession. Some people may consider storm chasing as just a hobby.

Nevertheless, storm chasing can be a lucrative profession if you follow the appropriate procedures. 

Requirements for Storm Chasers

If you aspire to pursue storm chasing as a profession, you will probably opt for a career in meteorology first.

Although hobbyists may not have to be that concerned about requirements, it is still important for them to be prepared for any situation.

requirements for storm chasers

In order to pursue a career as a professional storm chaser, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in meteorology or atmospheric science is recommended.

This serves as a good starting point, but acquiring practical experience can also be beneficial.

Fact: Having technical proficiency can be crucial for storm chasers as they often rely on specialized equipment to gather data, capture images, and film videos 

Steps to Become a Storm Chaser

If you have decided to pursue a career in storm chasing, you have to go through the following steps. 

Step # 1: Take it As a Hobby First

take it as a hobby first

Many professional storm chasers begin their careers as hobbyists.

If you want to get started, the most suitable course of action would be to contact the National Weather Service.

The SkyWarn course is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in the subject.

This class will teach you the fundamental skills of observing and forecasting storm patterns.

Additionally, it will instruct you on how to measure specific statistics and how to ensure your safety while pursuing storms.

Besides taking the SkyWarn class, it would be beneficial for you to learn the proper usage of a CB radio

Knowing how to operate a CB radio is crucial for communicating with other storm chasers in the vicinity.

In the event of an emergency, having this skill can enable you to contact emergency services for assistance

Step # 2: Become a Meteorologist

become a meteorologist

Many storm chasers typically pursue a career in meteorology before embarking on their adventures in the field.

Having a solid career provides them with a stable income to support their storm-chasing endeavors.

As a meteorologist, you will possess the necessary training and education to comprehend storms more effectively.

Meteorologists frequently pursue storms as part of their research projects. It can also be a component of their routine work.

Meteorologists may involve in various tasks, like:

  • Teaching college courses
  • Working for weather services
  • Following storms for a few months

This action could be taken in order to gather data and conduct research. 

An Important Consideration

To pursue this path, it is necessary to have a bachelor’s degree in science.

Furthermore, obtaining a postgraduate degree in meteorology is required for pursuing a meteorologist career. 

Step # 3: Chase Storms

begin chasing storms

Once you have the qualifications and experience under your belt, you can begin chasing storms.

One can earn a livelihood by selling videos and pictures to media outlets or creating an online shop.

Naturally, media outlets will strive to obtain the most compelling footage of storms as they approach.

You may be able to get good money if you can take good pictures related to the aftermath of natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, or mudslides.

Certainly, you can also conduct research and monetize the information you gather. 

What Else Do You Need to Be a Professional Storm Chaser?

essential requirements for professional storm chasing

Getting a degree and gaining some experience will go a long way in helping you start as a storm chaser.

But, to be successful, you need to have the following traits as well. 

Ensure You Have a Passion for Storms

In order to pursue a career as a storm chaser, it is crucial to have a true passion for weather and storms.

The pursuit of meteorology is driven by a strong motivation to delve deeper into its mysteries.

The initial step towards becoming a successful storm chaser is to cultivate a profound interest in the subject.

ensure you have a passion for storms

Enhance your formal education by reading books from distinguished meteorologists and storm chasers.

Discover a variety of titles that encompass a broad spectrum of subjects, such as:

  • The scientific study of storms
  • The art of predicting weather patterns
  • Firsthand narratives of thrilling storm-chasing expeditions

These books offer valuable insights, personal experiences, and a deeper understanding of the complexities of weather systems

Stay Updated on Current Weather Conditions

stay updated on current weather conditions

Doing great as a storm chaser takes more than just gaining knowledge.

Experience the magnificence and strength of the natural world by fully engaging with it.

Take some time to observe various weather conditions, such as:

  • Cloud formations
  • Shifts in wind patterns
  • The interaction between sunlight and atmospheric elements

To stay informed about the latest weather conditions and updates, it is important to pursue formal education and reading and follow reliable weather resources.

It is important to stay informed about weather conditions by regularly checking meteorological websites, national and local weather services, and reputable weather forecasting organizations.

Fact: The best storm chasers always keep them updated on weather patterns, storm formations, and severe weather events. 

Learn about Forecasting Tools

learn about forecasting tools

It is recommended that you become familiar with the various forecasting tools and techniques utilized by meteorologists.

To excel in this field, you must have a thorough understanding of weather models, satellite imagery, and radar data interpretation.

Acquire the skills to analyze and interpret atmospheric conditions, and use the information to identify potential indicators of severe weather development.

Keeping yourself informed about the latest technological advancements and forecasting techniques can greatly improve your ability to track storms.

Fact: Successful storm chasers always learn about prediction models, like the Storm's Prediction Center's convective outlooks. 

Gain Some Experience

gain some experience

When you are new to storm chasing, gaining some real-world experience can be hard.  But there are alternatives to try.

For starters, you can gain practical experience through virtual storm chasing programs and simulations.

By using these tools, you can improve your ability to make real-time decisions based on changing weather conditions.

Fact: Gaining practical experience is important for storm chasers as it helps them anticipate storm movements and track severe weather events more effectively. 

Learn about Safety Protocols

learn about safety protocols

No matter how passionate you are about storm chasing, you need to understand that it can be a dangerous career.

Therefore, it is important to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of safety protocols and procedures.

You have to become familiar with storm spotting guidelines, reporting protocols, and communication systems utilized by storm chasers.

Moreover, it is important to be aware of the potential risks that come with severe weather events such as lightning, high winds, flash floods, and other hazards. 


How do you become a storm chaser? To become a storm chaser, you need to possess a blend of passion, knowledge, and practical skills.

You can start by developing a genuine fascination for weather and storms.

Educate yourself on storm-chasing techniques, and understand storm structure and forecasting tools.

By doing all this, you can embark on this thrilling pursuit and also end up making some good money in the process.