TODAY   |  June 04, 2013

Will storm chasers’ deaths change weather reporting?

TODAY’s Al Roker and The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore discuss whether the deaths of three experienced storm chasers while tracking tornadoes in Oklahoma this past weekend will change the dangerous game of tracking storms close up.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> another topic that is still generating a lot of conversation online the deaths of three storm chasers , they died while tracking friday's devastating tornadoes over in oklahoma. so will the tragedy be a game changer when it comes to extreme weather coverage? let's bring in the weather channel 's jim cantore on this and al is with us as well and jim , we need to separate groups here. there are people who do this for science, there are people who do it for research, then there are the people like you who cover it as a weather event. there are also some amateurs who go in there for danger's sake. will this change the game when it comes to a couple of those groups?

>> you know that's a good question, matt. you know, certainly the media has to look at crews and how they position them in this because they're not experienced storm chasers like the spotters are and also the scientists. the thrill seekers are out there and i don't know how they can be monitored or certainly kept out of harm's way but there were certainly too many people on the road. we've known this for years and the numbers have only grown and obviously what's happened to our friends, our scientists and even one of the thrill seekers as we've learned this morning who lost his life, you know, there's just too many people too close.

>> al, you and i were talking about this this morning, as long as there is a market for video like that, which is dramatic, we know that, will there be people who are going to go put themselves on the line, their own lives and others on the line just to feed the demand for footage like that?

>> we have to look at ourselves, because we run that video, our friends at the weather channel , news organizations all over. if there's a market for it and sadly, i think with the death of tim samaras, his son paul, carl young , and these were experienced storm chasers , scientists, these folks, the thrill seekers and the folks looking to make a fast buck are probably going to still go out there.

>> so what do we do? jim , jump in on this. i see you constantly crisscrossing the country, seem to always be where these storms are breaking out. if the weather channel said jim , we're not going to run this footage anymore, don't risk your life, would it change everything?

>> it would change it for me. that's my job, matt. i mean, our very own richard engel as a matter of fact, he was, you know, taken in syria and now he's back out on the job. i mean it's what we do. our military, men and women are out there, they get shot at, but they go back out and do their job. it is my job to be out in the field. it is my job to show the viewers what is going on, how bad the storm it is, why i've asked to you evacuate, so you know i will do my job. i will go back out.

>> it's a difference in the aftermath of a storm and covering a storm as it's occurring and still terribly dangerous. al out do you feel?

>> unlike jim i usually come in almost immediately after a storm happens but we look at hurricanes, we put ourselves in harm's way there. we try to take as few risks as possible but unlike hurricanes, tornadoes as we've found out, really found out really quickly, these are unpredictable, violent storms .

>> clearly this incident over the weekend and perhaps others like it in the past will cause people to stop and take a second and look at what's happening with the footage. jim cantore as always nice to see you in a safe location this morning.

>> thanks, matt.

>> al thank you as well.