Q and A with Weather Network Storm Hunter Mark Robinson
Mark Robinson is a Canadian adventurer, storm chaser, and meteorologist. Recently named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Explorers by Canadian Geographic, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. Mark has chased (and has been chased) by tornadoes across Canada and the United States. Mark has been intercepting hurricanes since 2005, and has documented many major storms including Katrina, Ike, and Sandy. He has also chased innumerable ice storms, blizzards and snowstorms. Mark’s adventurous spirit has taken him around the globe. He has witnessed avalanches, experienced -110 degrees Celsius temperatures, and jumped into both the Arctic and Southern (Antarctica) Oceans.
Mark’s love for weather started at a young age and his passion for the weather grew as he got older. He is a sought after speaker and audiences want to hear about his experiences chasing storms and his adventures around the globe. The FCC (Farm Credit Canada) also seek Mark’s expertise on how seasonal forecasts and weather will impact their farming season. Mark speaks to students ranging from grade school to university and has had an influence on many people choosing science and weather as a career.
Mark is also an on-air personality at The Weather Network and co-hosts the show “Stormhunters” with his fellow storm chaser and Weather Network meteorologist, Jaclyn Whittal. When there is active weather, Mark and Jaclyn will often present on air, change into casual clothes, and chase storms well into the night. Mark is also the host of “Unearthed”. He is active on social media and you can follow him at @StormhunterTWN
What was your most memorable weather event?
The most memorable weather event that I experienced has to be Hurricane Katrina. It was the second hurricane I’d ever rode out and we inadvertently ended up in the strongest part of the storm (the right side of the eye-wall). Given my relative in experience with hurricanes, I was trying to stay away from the most dangerous part of the storm, but as Katrina made landfall just south of me, the storm made a slight right turn and hit me with the worst of it.
What is your favourite and least favourite type of weather?
All natural phenomena is fascinating to me so I don’t really have a specific favourite type of weather. Each type of weather has it’s own amazing aspect. Tornadoes and supercells are stunning visually but you really don’t want to get into the middle of one. Hurricanes on the other hand don’t have the visual aspect that thunderstorms do, but the experience of being in one is what makes it amazing for me (from a meteorologist point of view – it’s terrible for those that are caught in it).
If you weren’t a meteorologist what would you most like to be?
I probably would be wildlife biologist. I actually have two science degrees, one in wildlife biology and one in meteorology. I’m fascinated by the natural world in all it’s forms so no matter what I’d be out there in field trying to see what the universe has to show us.
From a purely meteorological point of view, where would you most like to live?
Right here in Ontario! It’s one of the most dynamic places in the world in terms of weather. We get everything – tornadoes, hurricane remnants, blizzards, freezing rain, etc. It’s all about the variety!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’m incredibly lucky (thanks in part to hard work) to be living out the dream of chasing storms as my job. Thanks to the Weather Network, I’ve been able to travel around the world, jumping into volcanoes, exploring the poles of the planet and even stepping foot on Mt Everest. It’s been a hell of a ride and it’s nowhere near over!
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