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Storm Chaser dies in car crash in Minnesota in extreme weather

A meteorologist was killed in a car crash caused by severe weather on Wednesday while chasing a storm in Minnesota.

Martha Llanos Rodriguez, 30, of Mexico City, died when a trailer hit a car she was driving on Interstate 90 after Rodriguez’s vehicle stopped briefly to avoid downed power lines, authorities said.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Rodriguez and three other weather experts had been chasing a severe storm system that brought damaging winds, flooding, hail and reports of possible tornadoes to the southwest portion of the state.

The victim, writing for the Spanish-language newspaper Meteored, had been chasing storms in Nebraska and Iowa before embarking on the fatal journey to Minnesota. according to their Twitter page.

Her death came after three other storm chasers died in the Midwest over the past two weeks while chasing tornadoes, as severe weather chases like those in the 1996 film “Twister” have been on an upward trend in the United States lately, according to weather forecasters and trackers.

“Sometimes with some storms there are so many pursuers out there that there is potential traffic and other hazards,” said Marshall Shepherd, director of the Atmospheric Sciences program at the University of Georgia.

vehicle accident
Three meteorology students died in another crash.
FOX 8WGHP

“Seeing storms in their natural context has scientific and broader value, so I’m not against hunting, but there are elements that have gone a little wild, wild west.”

Three University of Oklahoma students were killed April 29 after driving to Kansas to hunt a Twister, police said.

Gavin Short, 19, of Illinois, was one of the victims.

“He loved it and we were so happy for him,” his mother, Beth Short, told WMAQ-TV.

“And it’s just, this is just the worst nightmare for us and two other sets of parents.”

Greg Tripoli, a professor of atmospheric and ocean sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who taught a storm-chasing class in the ’90s, told his students that car accidents pose a greater threat than being struck by debris or lightning.

Still, for many, the potential rewards outweighed the dangers, he said.

“Seeing a tornado is a life-changing experience,” Tripoli said.

“You want to see one instead of just talking about it. It’s really just one of life’s excitements. You have to take risks and get out there and pursue your passions.

“It’s no different than rock climbing or deep sea diving.”

With AP wires

https://nypost.com/2022/05/12/storm-chaser-dies-in-minnesota-car-crash-during-extreme-weather/ Storm Chaser dies in car crash in Minnesota in extreme weather

JACLYN DIAZ

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