Josh Morgerman is an obsessive stormchaser. As hurricanes grow fiercer and more destructive, what does it mean to be someone who loves them?

Around 7 A.M. on September 20, 2017, the wind has become a roaring white wall. In his hotel room, Josh Morgerman presses his hand flat against the trembling glass of the patio door. He’s filming, and his left hand appears in the shot, heavy with the skull-shaped biker ring he bought on the Sunset Strip and the pinky ring he had made in the shape of his brand logo—a lowercase i over the meteorological symbol for a cyclone. The glass flutters under his palm. 

Outside, Hurricane Maria churns over Humacao, Puerto Rico, nearly a Category 5 storm, winds moving at the speed of a jet at takeoff. He feels the familiar gut clench of fear: primal, perfect. 

An older woman, a young woman, and a boy are huddled inside his bathroom. Strangers. The windows in their room exploded hours ago, and they took shelter here. Morgerman’s camera flicks back and forth between their grim faces and the chaos outside. He’s narrating, handing them pillows: “I always say the bathroom’s the best place to be during the really bad winds.” They look as if they’re at a funeral. He sounds like he’s at a birthday party. The wind rattles the glass. 

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