'Boss babe' Jaclyn Whittal featured for storm chasing work
Friday, June 10, 2016, 12:18 PM - Weather Network meteorologist and storm hunter Jaclyn Whittal was recently featured in Flare Magazine's 9-5 series that highlights important "boss babes" and what their daily grind entails.
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Not many can say they can easily transition from meteorology work in front of a green screen straight to Tornado Alley. But for Whittal, it's her passion and one of the many reasons a magazine like Flare wants to shine the light on her.
In a series of questions which included things like age and education, you can see the majority of Flare's article focuses on Whittal's life chasing tornadoes. The work is captivating, it's informative and it's also extremely dangerous, but it draws in thousands of curious viewers who want to know more about her storm chasing season each year.
In the four years that Whittal has been with The Weather Network, she's been sent on behalf of the network to chase in Tornado Alley.
"I can't imagine not chasing now," she says. "I really think it's about keeping fresh, always learning about storms and utilizing the latest technology."
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In her description to Flare about what being a storm chaser entails, Whittal says it's basically anything but glamorous.
"I'll be on the road for about a month, staying in really dingy hotels, there’s nothing fancy or glamorous about it. I wake up every day around 6:30 a.m., because usually we have to go a long ways to get into position to chase the storms."
Still, Whittal manages to bring a bit of her glam into the chase field.
"In the studio I have to look tidy, classy, put together, in the field my hair is always a mess, but I've been known to touch up my lipstick in the middle of an intense chase," she laughed.
When asked to comment on her most memorable storm, Whittal immediately went back to the EF5 tornado in Joplin, Missouri. It was her first time chasing.
"I had never seen devastation like that," she told Flare. "It looked like the town had just been put in a blender and everything was just piles of rubble, trees, cars, bits of houses and drywall. Nothing made sense. I was pretty new, so I thought I better ask around and get a story. I went up to this man who was wandering around the debris, figuring that he was probably looking for belongings, family photo albums or something like that. He was actually looking for his sister-in-law. That broke my heart. I apologized and walked away and thought, "Here’s me, looking for a story and this guy is looking for a family member." I’ll never forget that.
Whittal also says that the trust you put into each other on the road truly defines a lot of the chase.
"You develop very strong relationships with people out in the field. You are trusting someone with your safety, you life is literally in each other's hands."
To read more about what it's really like to be a female storm chaser, be sure to read Whittal's feature here.