Podcast: What Do Tornadoes Smell Like?

by Ryan Schleeter

September 30, 2015

Check out episode two of Completely Optional Knowledge, the podcast that answers questions you never knew you had. Some things in life are #CompletelyOptinonal — satisfying your curiosity doesn’t have to be one of them.

Extreme Weather Background Documentation (USA : 2004)

Extreme weather crews document a tornado forming over Fort Dodge, Iowa. According to NOAA, the United States experienced 888 tornadoes in 2014. Photo by Greenpeace / Daniel Beltrá.

© Greenpeace / Daniel Beltrá

New Yorker Alex Kapelman has never seen a tornado, and he certainly has no desire to experience one in the flesh. But he is curious about one thing: what do they smell like? With more than 20 years of storm chasing experience under his belt, extreme weather documentarian Warren Faidley has our answer. And no  —  he didn’t have to enter the eye of the storm to get it.

Want more Completely Optional Knowledge? Have a question you’d like to hear answered on the show? Visit us at to subscribe! Don’t forget to tune into the conversation on social media using #CompletelyOptional.

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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