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Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Wednesday, 15 September 2010 16:58 UK
Storm chaser names East Midlands "lightning capital"

To date Stuart Robinson has witnessed 59 tornadoes and eight hurricanes

A Leicestershire man who has travelled the world chasing hurricanes and tornadoes believes the East Midlands is the "lightning capital" of England.

Stuart Robinson from Mountsorrel has travelled to locations in America and Asia, and even Iceland on his hunt for wild weather conditions.

He said although Leicestershire is lucky to avoid truly destructive weather, the county still plays host to a significant number of thunderstorms, and has even had its own twister.

It is believed this is due to the North-Easterly movement of stormy weather originating in the Bristol Channel.

Stuart Robinson
The ultimate for me is to actually to get right into the eye of a hurricane
Stuart Robinson, storm chaser

"It takes time for a storm to mature until it becomes a real active lightning producer.

"The hour or so it takes them to make it up to the East Midlands is about the time when they're at the most mature and therefore producing the most amount of lightning strikes."

During his years as a storm chaser Stuart has witnessed much destruction at the hands of wild weather, but the thrill of experiencing nature's strength means he has not been put off.

"For me to actually see a tornado with my own eyes takes a lot of doing, you need to put yourself into the right place.

"But the ultimate for me is to actually to get right into the eye of a hurricane."

Stormy passion

September is the peak time for hurricanes, and Stuart already has his bags packed ready to leave for wherever mother nature calls at a moment's notice.

Tornado season in May can mean Stuart is out of the country and away from his self-employed work for anything up to four weeks at a time.

His partner Alison has been nicknamed "the weather widow" by friends.

Stuart said, "She's extremely, extremely understanding and I'm blessed to have met someone like her."


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