Meteorologists vs Hurricane Irma: Journos in harms way

THEY'RE one of the few people running towards danger when everyone else is fleeing.

You've probably seen them almost getting blown away in howling winds, or getting lashed by torrential rain and debris as they yell into a soaked microphone.

When a natural disaster strikes, weather reporters often put themselves in life-threatening situations attempting to do the impossible.

Some of the ludicrous reporting that has emerged from Hurricane Irma has shown TV journalists and meteorologists doing live crosses as they battle the full force of the storm.

Incredible footage shows meteorologist and storm chaser Juston Drake getting pummelled by the eye wall of Irma as he attempts to get a wind speed reading while holding an anemometer.

Juston Drake, a meteorologist taking the wind speed of Hurricane Irma in Florida.
Juston Drake, a meteorologist taking the wind speed of Hurricane Irma in Florida. Supplied


Seconds after exiting his car, the paintball mask he is wearing is ripped off and the storm chaser is almost swept away as he struggles to keep his footing.

Drake, who was filmed by his colleague Simon Brewer, later posted an image of the device, which showed a wind speed reading of 117mph (188km/h).

In this clip, CNN reporter Chris Cuomo is shown reporting from Naples in 228km/h winds gusts. He can barely look at the camera with sheets of rain battering his face.

Another CNN reporter, Bill Weir, is almost blown over by a wind gust in the middle of a cross in Key Largo, Florida.

Shortly after the incident, another reporter tells him: "Alright brother, do me a favour - get to safety. The reporting is important but your safety is essential."

In one extraordinary cross, Weather Channel reporter Mike Bettes braces his feet as the storm rages around him. He almost loses his footing and is forced to stagger back to safety.

Another Weather Channel reporter, Mike Seidel, fights one of Hurricane Irma's early squalls in Miami late Saturday.

"Getting slapped by one of the early squalls from #Irma tonight in the Brickell section of #Miami. @stevedresner captures behind the scenes," Seidel tweeted.

The outrageous crosses have been met with backlash on social media with some people slamming the coverage tactics as "crazy".

While the tradition of television crews reporting on significant events from potentially dangerous locations is well established, users suggested no story was worth a life.

However, other users commended reporters and cameramen on their bravery, praising the "amazing" footage.

Originally published as When crazy weather reporters go too far

Topics:  danger editors picks hurricane irma journalists meteorologists

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