2 Wisconsin storm chasers share their experiences

Image by Carole Meekins

2 Wisconsin storm chasers share their experiences

By Annie Scholz. CREATED Jun 3, 2013

MILWAUKEE - Why would someone risk their life chasing killer storms? Two storm chasers from Wisconsin share their story.

Joel Rams and his storm chasing partner Matt Malicki are guys who go toward a storm in specially equipped vehicles.

"Digital cameras, everything on the dash for filming while we drive," said Rams.

They're not meteorologists. But they say a combination of science, experience, and instinct works when it comes to getting information on the ground as the sky opens up.

"It's just years of experience," Rams explained. "You just know by looking at the sky and what you've seen before. You know when you need to leave, you know when you're safe, and you always have an out."

They say there is a limit to how far they'll go, and what has happened in Oklahoma the last two weeks is it.

"Debris, heavy rain, we'll back out and get to safety,” said Malicki.

“I've had a couple close calls," Rams said. "The Eagle tornado was a rain wrap tornado. I was very close to it."

But they say it's worth it if it makes a difference.

“If we can see it, give them a direction, they can report that to the people, save lives," Rams adds.