Virginia Tech students share storm chasing experience


BLACKSBURG, Va. – As cleanup continues, we're learning more about a group of Virginia Tech students who had a front-row seat during Sunday's severe storms.

Levi Cornett and Mark Overbeck are Virginia Tech students. But on Sunday, they were storm chasers. Levi and Mark are both meteorology majors, and they got a firsthand look at the storms they've studied in books.

"Once it crossed over, the rain broke loose and the wind came with it, and you could see the sweeping motion in it and we knew it was going to be intense," said Cornett. 

Early Sunday morning, Levi, Mark and three of their friends hit the road armed with laptops and storm tracking tools. They started in North Carolina and chased the storm back to Virginia.

"We went ahead and dropped south as the storm started to produce the tornado. We just sort of skipped ahead of it to stay out of its way and to stay safe," said Overbeck.

The students relied on radar and maps to follow the storm. And while being that close to a tornado may sound scary, for Levi and Mark, it was a learning experience unlike any other.

"I'm kind of the weather enthusiast so I'm really kind of looking to see if what I've learned in the classroom holds true," said Cornett.

"I just love seeing storms in motion. There's just something about seeing the unnatural look of a storm rotating like a top and you can look up into and see the green coloration," said Overbeck.

Students traded the classroom for a back road in Virginia and watched nature unfold.