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Ride into the Danger Zone: Tornado Chasing, Hurricane Hunting, and Smoke Jumping

I’ve had a recurring dream ever since I was a little kid: I’m playing in the front yard of the house I grew up in, and suddenly, the atmosphere around me changes. I feel an ominous breeze on my face. I look up, and barreling down the street, is a tornado headed straight for me. I turn to run… and the dream ends. 

I think my compulsion to run away from dangerous weather - in my dreams and in real life - is probably shared by a lot of people. But today? The folks you’re gonna meet go towards the danger to stop it, or to document it so we can understand it better.

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  • Chuck Sheley is a retired smoke jumper, and the editor of Smokejumper Magazine, a quarterly publication for members of the National Smokejumper Association. He worked 34 years with the forest service and bureau of land management & firefighting
  • Juston Drake is a meteorologist who chases tornadoes and other extreme weather
  • Dr. Lisa Bucci is a Hurricane Research Scientist - or “Hurricane Hunter” - with NOAA. The research has taken her into the eye of a hurricane 54 times

Catie Talarski contributed to this show.

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