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Meet the Helena Suarez agrees. 'There's something about getting so near to nature

that helps you to understand the complete power it has over us. But at the
same time, there's great beauty.'

Like many storm chasers, Suarez's main interest is photography, and her
office walls are covered with images of storms. 'The way the light changes
is really interesting for a photographer,' she says. 'Sometimes you get
these absolutely enormous clouds that can almost completely stop the sun
getting through. I was in one once, and the hail that came out of it was just
amazing – pieces of ice the size of tennis balls dropping down from the
sky. When I showed friends my photos, they didn't believe they were real!'
It all sounds pretty dangerous, but the storm chasers I spoke to insist that
it's safe. Although three experienced storm chasers were killed in 2013 by
a tornado that grew and changed direction very suddenly, deaths from the
hobby are rare.
With the west coast of America expecting one of the worst storms it has Usually both hurricanes (large areas of strong wind and storm) and
ever seen, most people are either moving to a safer part of the country tornadoes (columns of fast-turning wind) are fairly slow to move, so it's
or doing everything they can to prepare their homes – covering windows, possible to get close enough to see them clearly while staying out of
putting garden furniture inside, creating a 'safe room' and making sure danger. In fact, the biggest risk is not from the storms themselves, but
they have enough food and water to last for several days. from driving in heavy rain and wind that can be blowing at over 100 miles
For most of us, the idea of a storm this bad is frightening. All we want to do an hour.
is shut ourselves away in a safe place and wait until it's over. And driving is something that storm chasers do a lot of. 'My wife thinks I'm
But for a small group of people – storm chasers, as they are known – this crazy,' says Monk. 'I'll jump out of bed at 3am and drive a thousand miles
is an opportunity to do what they love best, which is to get as close as if there's a good chance of seeing a tornado. I can easily spend ten hours
possible to all that bad weather. getting there and ten hours getting back, just to watch a storm that's over
in a couple of hours.'
'I started storm chasing about five years ago,' says Philip Monk, an
attorney from Dallas. 'There's really nothing like it. When you're close to Monk and others like him clearly think that storm chasing is worth the effort.
a storm, you're using all your senses – there's the wind on your skin, the However, if you are thinking of joining them when the latest hurricane hits
smell of the earth, the strange atmosphere in the air, the sound of the wind town, government advice is against it. Stay indoors and keep the radio on,
and the rain, the amazing shapes and colors of the clouds.' they say. And if you get instructions to leave, do so immediately!

1 Read the text quickly and choose the correct answer. 3 Choose the best summary of the article.
What is the article about? A When there is a bad storm, most
A people who try to stop storms people want to get away, or stay inside
and protect themselves and their
B machines that tell you where a storm is going to move
homes. They think it's silly for storm
C people who try to go to the places where storms are happening chasers to put themselves in danger.
However, storm chasers say their
2 Match the sentence halves to make sentences about the article.
hobby isn't really very dangerous.
1 There are many things you can do A realise the effect that nature
B Storm chasers are willing to make a
to can have on us.
big effort to get close to storms. They
2 Philip Monk likes the way B his body experiences storms. love to see, hear and feel the force
3 Storms can make you C don't usually move very fast. of nature. However, the government
4 For a photographer, the changing D travel a long way to see storms. advises us to stay inside, or to go to a
light E is the most dangerous part of different area if a bad storm comes.
5 Helena Suarez's friends thought storm chasing. C Storm chasers love to get close to
6 Driving in extreme weather F is an attractive part of storm storms and think that everyone
conditions chasing. should have the experience of
seeing, hearing and feeling the
7 Hurricanes and tornadoes G prepare for a bad storm.
force of nature. However, you should
8 Storm chasers often have to H her pictures of hail were a trick. always listen to the radio and take
government advice.

Skills Boost B1+ READING 6 © Richmond 2014 Photocopiable