Author: Tony Laubach

Storm chasing in the 21st century

Opinion For more than two decades, storm chasers have often paid their way by marketing their severe weather videos. This industry developed in the late 1990s and flourished during the early 2000s. Several companies were developed by storm chasers to market their videos to news agencies with the goal of covering their storm-chasing costs. As…

In Kansas forever more

BY TONY LAUBACH / Earlier this year after an early season severe weather event in southern Kansas, one of the Wichita-area news stations published two stories regarding storm chasers and how they were getting in the way of emergency vehicles and over-crowding roads. Another story published online by a second Wichita station interviewed a sheriff in Barber County, Kansas who is concerned with the crowding of roads. These Kansas stations that posted the stories focused heavily on the side of the law enforcement. It wasn’t until storm chasers brought to light the lack of incidents on video that the news stations gave the chasers a chance to voice their side of the story.

Perfect storm reporting

By TONY LAUBACH / Several tornadoes hit the state of Oklahoma on March 25 in a regional outbreak of severe weather. In addition to the well-televised tornado hitting Moore, a city hit nearly half a dozen times since 1999, another tornado hit near Tulsa in northeast Oklahoma. This tornado was noteworthy largely due to the actions of a well-known storm chaser who took shelter beneath a highway overpass when the tornado got too close and he was unable to safely flee. His video of this event was posted within a couple hours and went viral almost immediately. In addition, the chaser sold his video to several major news organizations across the country. Highway overpasses are one of the most dangerous places to be during a tornado.