LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -As we prepare for severe weather and tornadoes, storm chasers are taking to the roads to help people get ready for the storm.
We have our own group of chasers who work closely with SkyWARN 7 Chief Meteorologist Austin Bowling here at 7News, but there are many other amateur groups on the road too, and they can be distracting and cause problems for other drivers.
The Oklahoma Storm Chasers drive all over the state with a group of 18 people. They say they want to help meteorologists be their eyes and ears out on the road. They are driving all over the state Tuesday finding severe weather.
Shane Duckworth, the Oklahoma Storm Chasers founder, started with his team in Rush Springs Tuesday. They plan to meet all the trackers around the Oklahoma City metro, which means they will be logging a lot of highway miles tracking this storm.
Duckworth has loved tornadoes since he was a little kid, and growing up in this state means he gets the best of them.
"The development of storms is just a great thing and we just enjoy that," Duckworth said.
However, they know getting that firsthand view of the storm can create problems for other drivers.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Jacob Dickinson knows the chasers have a job to do, but he still urges everyone to stay at home if possible.
"We can't keep everybody off the roadways. We just stress with the bad weather to try to stay off the roadways, that way it's safer. The more people we have out there, the more dangerous it is," Trooper Dickinson said.
Trooper Dickinson says even though he's never had any issues with storm chasers, they can cause traffic or distract drivers.
"Watching them, seeing them out there on the roadway probably distracts them a little bit, so I stress this to pay attention to the roadway," Trooper Dickinson said.
Duckworth says they're just doing their job and trying to make a difference.
"We do our best to stay out of the way of everyone. We're not going to plug the roads or anything like that. We're here to help people and being in the way isn't a help," Duckworth said.
OHP says if you have to go out on the road, drive slower than the speed limit and be aware of what's in front of you.