World's Most Extreme Weather Jobs
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World's Most Extreme Weather Jobs

It can be easy to kick up a fuss when the office air con is down for the day or the heater isn't set to your ideal temperature - but for some workers facing extreme weather and all the problems that follow adverse conditions is just part of the job.

Whether it’s the frost-bite-worthy cold of the Arctic or the unforgiving heat of the Sahara, wild, windy and downright dangerous weather is all in a days work for some.

Storm Chasers

While most of us are running away from them, storm chasers are looking for front row seats.

Facing wind speeds of over 200 km/h and pelting rain and hailstones, it takes nerves of steel and a pure love of adventure to jump into the boots of a storm chaser.  Storms - particularly tornadoes - are notoriously unpredictable, so a quick change of wind direction can put storm chasers right in the danger zone.

You might be wondering why these people put themselves into the eye of the storm? Well there are actually good reasons for it. Using sophisticated devices they collect data and samples that are used in scientific research. They have meteorological backgrounds so they aren’t just aimlessly chasing storms - they know when to back off.

Despite the danger they put themselves in on the job, deaths and serious injuries within the storm chasing profession are relatively minimal.

Alaskan Fishermen

Commercial fishing is an incredibly dangerous career path no matter where you are in the world, but for those that dare to head out into the treacherous Arctic waters around Alaska, the danger level is on another level.

The delicious and very popular Alaskan crab is one of the most sought after of its kind in the world - but the journey to get it is a dangerous one. Alaskan crab fishermen head into some of the most extreme weather conditions in the world. Sub zero temperatures and icebergs in the water can easily capsize fishing boats. If you go overboard in Alaska your chances of survival are very slim - water temperatures are freezing and the smashing waves are unforgiving.

Fortunately the crab fishing season only lasts four weeks a year, so they can rest easy after a tough few weeks.

Antarctic Researcher

There’s cold and then there’s Antarctica cold, and every year around 4,000 people are employed to work in the Earth’s most hostile and coldest environment. From chefs and secretaries to computer engineers and cleaners - Antarctic research stations are like mini businesses on ice.

However, the ones that have to face the most extreme weather are the researchers themselves. Every day they head out into the harsh Antarctic environment and drill holes, collect samples and try to keep warm. But when average temperatures are -30 degrees in summer and -60 degrees in winter, staying warm is the hardest part of the job.

Labourer

Although we are lucky in Australia that there are laws that prevent people working in extreme temperatures (most laborers are sent home if the temperature exceeds 35 degrees), for many other countries the show must go on regardless of the heat.

In places such as the Middle East, where the construction industry is huge, temperatures regularly exceed 40 degrees during the summer. It’s hard enough doing manual labour for 8+ hours a day - but in scorching temperatures it is not only physically draining but dangerous as well.

Photo by Smith's Lawyers QLD

Offshore Oil Rig Workers

It’s bad enough being stuck out in the middle of the ocean for weeks on end, but when bad weather hits there isn’t a worse place to be than on an oil rig.

No matter where you are in the world, extreme weather is a problem when you’re out at sea. Just as fishermen have to battle unpredictable weather, so too do oil rig workers.

From freezing temperatures with strong Arctic winds to sweltering temperatures and hurricanes, anything can happen when you’re working on an oil rig. Unfortunately most oil rigs aren’t based in calm, tropical waters - they are in wet, wild and windy locations, but regardless of the weather the jobs still need to get done. 

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