By Larry Mowry, CBS 11 Weather

Extra Sets Of Eyes Help CBS 11 And TXA 21 Storm Team During Severe Weather

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – They are the people who drive towards the storm as many others seek shelter.

We call them storm chasers.  They’re the witnesses who sometimes find themselves in the middle of severe weather.

At CBS 11 and TXA 21, we have some of the most experienced storm chasers in North Texas.  Clint Perkins, Mike Casey and CBS 11 photojournalist Jake Shannon lead our team.

Their chase vehicles are equipped with cameras and a computer program to broadcast live, streaming video on TV.   “I think by having us out in the field, having eyes and ears and who can actually relay where it (the storm) truly is and where it, maybe, truly not kind of gives a peace of mind to the viewers,” says Shannon.

Each year the technology improves.  Our storm chasers have pinpoint precision down to street level.  Along with the thrill of the chase comes great responsibility.  Often, storm chasers are right there after storms have caused damaged, injuries and even death.

“We also know because of what we do we are the first ones on the scene,” says Mike Casey.

Storm chasers must always be cautious.  They have to remember the weather is always be unpredictable.
“You can never take Mother Nature for granted that she is going to produce the same thing that she does the last time you chased,” says Clint Perkins.

And it’s that reason that Perkins, Casey and Shannon all agree that storm chasing is not for amateurs.  Severe weather is dangerous and should only be left up to those who have extensive experience and also plan ahead for an escape route when the storm makes a sudden change.

But, the mission of our storm chasers is vital to everyone who lives in North Texas.  “If we can save one life then we’ve done our job,” says Shannon.