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Storm chaser reflects on week of severe weather

As the southern Plains of Texas brace for more extreme weather Thursday, a storm chaser who tracked Wednesday's tornado in Canadian, Texas, tells CBSN what it's like to be on the forefront of such treacherous weather.

Chris McBee, who tracks more than 20 tornadoes per season, told CBSN via Skype from Amarillo, Texas, that while the job is dangerous, he and other storm chasers take certain precautions to ensure they stay safe.

"For the most part, we're at a good distance from it and approach it safely and really do it in a responsible way," said McBee.

He added that most times, they utilize zoom lenses on cameras.

Storm chaser photographer Brad Mack watches thunderstorms supercells pass through areas in Kamay, Texas late April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Gene Blevins

"We're not normally within less than a mile or two and we weren't yesterday from that one in Canadian," McBee added.

He acknowledged that while he has been scared for his life "a couple of times," he views his profession as "really interesting" and says "it's quite an experience to be up next to severe weather just at its worst."

When asked why he chose this as a profession, McBee said he gets that question a lot.

"I grew up in Oklahoma and severe weather is a way of life there. You have to deal with tornadoes because they're so common, but I just decided to take it to the next level and you know, really try to make a living off it."

McBee said he makes money off of selling video footage of storms, as well as doing storm chasing tours.

"We have people coming in from all over the world to go view these storms with us and share our experience. It's a lot of fun and a way to make a little money," he said.

But for McBee, it's not all about the cash.

"It's also just for the love of weather. It's a rush. It's adrenaline. And we just want to be out there no matter what."

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