(WETH.ur toor.ist; TH as in the)
A person whose vacation consists of tracking down and observing tornados, hurricanes, and other severe weather phenomena.
Tornado chasing, one form of weather tourism, has become particularly popular of late, no doubt owing in part to the 1996 film Twister. One tornado-chasing tour company, for example, offers two- week, $ 2,000 packages. The less adventurous can indulge in armchair storm watching, facilitated at one West Coast inn by the placement of microphones on a nearby stormy beach: speakers enable patrons to hear the crash of thirty-foot waves and the howl of 80 mph winds from the safety of the inn's dining room. Perhaps not surprisingly, weather tourists tend to be city dwellers.
"Wordwatch," The Atlantic Monthly, August 1, 2000
Frank Blau, a database designer from Issaquah, Wash., has never met a storm he didn't like, but hurricanes are definitely his favorite. "I don't want to use the word sexual, but there's something about the process of a hurricane that really appeals to me. You can see it coming; you feel it building; you can put yourself in as much danger as you want. Come late summer, if I can swing it, I'm heading to the Outer Banks to catch the peak of hurricane season."
Frank is a weather tourist, an odd but growing breed that plans its holidays around spectacularly awful weather. For the next five months, that means hurricanes.
David Laskin, "Lovely Day for a Storm," The New York Times, July 11, 1999