The reason behind this obsession? Hunt lost her father in a Level 5 tornado (the largest) when she was just a kid. From that point on she's had a love-hate relationship with them, awed by their power, but feeling that she must help others avoid their extreme destruction. Meanwhile, Paxton is a "human barometer" who instinctively knows where a twister will turn. He's the ex-husband of Hunt's character, but throughout the film (in a surprisingly good metaphor) he too has a love-hate relationship with her.
The ironic part of this film is that while the twisters themselves are extremely unpredictable, the plot is not. It is a simple story with no twists and turns.
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