How many storm chasers are there?
Because storm chasing primarily began in the United States, for reasons to study the behaviour of tornadoes, storm chasers seem to have a relatively high acceptance in the community. In the United States, literally thousands of chasers embark on storm chasing expeditions across Tornado Alley. Anyone from storm enthusiasts to researchers and even storm chasing tour companies who are paid by their tourists in the hope of experiencing a tornado sighting!
Since the 1990s, storm chasing spread to other countries such as Canada and Australia as well as several countries across Europe. Of these, some storm chasers also make their treck across to Tornado Alley in search of supercells and tornadoes. The influence of the movie block buster Twister had its impact across the globe but certainly the internet revolution enhanced the storm chasing movement.
In Australia it is estimated perhaps a hundred or so storm chasers who might venture out during the season. Very few storm chasers existed prior to Twister aired across Australia. The development of Australia Severe Weather website certainly made significant grounds in providing a balanced, positive and quite accurate foundation for storm chasing in Australia.
Jimmy Deguara and Michael Bath are believed to be the first of the storm chasers to have begin storm chasing with their base being the Sydney region. Several others appeared on the scene making contact with Jimmy and Michael's website. By 1998, an online email list and chat session was very active. Since then, storm chasers have appeared in all states with a variety of flavours. Some storm chasers in Australia seem to favour lightning whereas some of the more hard core chasers seem to want to venture under or in the core of the storms. In Australia, the most violent of severe weather expected from storms are hailstones. The tornado is more the holy grail - the icing on the cake.