Is storm chasing a job or career?
Although there are a few storm chasers that chase as part of scientific research, or run storm chasing tour groups, most storm chasers sell DVDs to make up some of the storm chasing costs. Some storm chasers have been lucky enough to appear in documentaries where storm chase expenses are paid for and gain some publicity.
In my situation, the early years were virtually 100% expenses. With increased media publicity came more opportunities. At least now storm chases are mostly paid for taking the burden off the thousands of kilometres spent on the road and the rising fuel costs. And of course all of those air fares and accommodation costs whilst overseas. The sales of storm DVDs and assisted in making up some of my immense costs. Perhaps the most significant were the sales of the given it is was a significant event and very unique from up-close.
With more and more storm chasers coming onto the scene, it seems to be a balance of making money from storm chasing due to the amount of storm chasers flooding the market as compared to the ease of footage being acquired by storm chasers and weather enthusiast alike. Furthermore, the amount of spectacular footage being captured by locals also makes it tricky trying to get footage to news and media.
Storm chasing tours also provide another form of revenue. However, although the storm chasing has increased in popularity, the cost of fuel and also the number of storm chasing tour companies coming onto the scene have added a fine line in the profit margins.
So is storm chasing a career or hobby? It seems to be favouring more the hobby side of argument.