Meteorologist Proposes to His Boyfriend with a Tornado Looming in the Background
On Tuesday, in Tipton, Kansas a massive tornado hit. While some people packed up and found shelter, one storm chaser thought it would be the perfect setting for him to propose to his boyfriend.
Storm chaser, meteorologist, and risk analyst for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Joey Krastel, 27, saw his first tornado when he was just four. He later became obsessed with them after getting over his fears.
However, Krastel didn’t just want to watch and monitor them, he wanted to be in the tornadoes. That’s how he became a storm chaser and started running towards them and documenting thunderstorms and twisters.
So far, the meteorologist figures he’s chased around 70 storms in total. His love for them is what brought him together with Chris Scott, 23.
Scott and his father used to watch storms together and his favorite movie as a child was “Twister" from 1996. He and Krastel had been following each other on Instagram for a while before Scott sent a message him a message.
Scott was drawn to Krastel because the meteorologist would post pictures of the storms he encountered. He asked Krastel: “Hey, do you actually chase tornadoes?”
So this week, the couple, who were now dating, and two of their mutual friends went to Kansas in the hopes of seeing a tornado. They had heard the National Weather Service issued a “tornado emergency” for several counties in the state, including the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Their first tornado watch was in Salina, Kansas, and they ended up following the storm to Tipton, where Krastel proposed. Speaking about why he chose that moment the meteorologist explained: “That’s why it was always in the back of my mind to get engaged during storm chasing.”
He added: “I felt like it would be this perfect way to seal the deal.” Krastel described the moment saying: “It all just kind of came together and happened so quickly,” adding “I was like ‘OK, this is it.’”
His friends took the photo of Krastel down on one knee with the menacing tornado looming in the background. The photo was posted on Twitter where it went viral.
The meteorologist captioned it: “The 2 loves of my life.” After his boyfriend said “yes” Krastel said: “I called to my friends to get back in the car,” as the tornado was closer than it appeared in the image.
The meteorologist added: “I was just so emotional just because it was my happiest place, being with him next to the storms.” So far, no one has died from the natural disaster but at least 15 people suffered from storm-related injuries.
Even though he chases storms, Krastel is well aware of the risks and advised:
“People need to listen to the warnings and listen to the National Weather Service and their local meteorologists. They know what they’re talking about and their only goal is to save you.”
He shared a bit about their next adventure as a newly engaged couple stating:
“Every storm offers a new opportunity for data, for personal experience, for science. Now we’re on our way down through Oklahoma and then we’ll be making our way to northern Texas to catch some storms.”
On Wednesday, meteorologists issued tornado warnings for the 14th day. Tornado sirens could be heard blaring in a number of states as severe storms rolled across the US.
Around 34 million people were under an enhanced risk from the severe weather all the way from Texas to New Jersey. A number of tornadoes were seen in Texas and one southeast of Dallas.