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Published July 26, 2011, 10:06 PM

Severe weather brings storm chasers to the region

Oakes, ND (WDAY TV) - The potential for severe weather in the region today brought storm chasers to the area. But what do they do? And what is drawing more people to this dangerous profession into the heart of storms?

The potential for severe weather in the region today brought storm chasers to the area. But what do they do? And what is drawing more people to this dangerous profession into the heart of storms?

Storm Chaser Erik Fox has guts to just go barreling into storms like he does. We didn't get to follow him into the worst weather, but it doesn't dampen his enthusiasm.

Maybe its years in the military that makes Erik Fox feel obligated to help his country.

Erik Fox – Storm Chaser: "My first priority is to warn people especially in rural communities who will not necessarily have the advanced warning as towns or cities."

Or it could be the adrenaline junkie in him.

Fox: "Especially when you get around a large tornado, there is nothing like it. The sound, the deafening roar, the sheer power of mother nature you will never forget."

Fox is following storms starting to fire up south west of Fargo, near the South Dakota border.

Fox: " This is what I'm looking for."

A 9 year veteran in the business, Fox cruises cross-country on the search for storms. He sends footage he takes to scientists, to better predict weather patterns.

Fox: "You know when a tornado is coming within thirty minutes. That is thirty minutes that people can grab their stuff and get out of the way.

Nowadays, chasing is a competitive business, and Fox says he is seeing a sharp increase in the number of people participating.

Fox: "Nowadays anybody with a laptop, an internet card, and some sense and knowledge can be a storm chaser..."

Fox lets us out with miles to go before meeting the nasty weather. His black suburban drives off, continuing the tense ride toward a tornado-producing thunderstorm.>

Fox says the job isn't always fun. He has had to witness the worst. He found two people passed away after an intense Oklahoma tornado.

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